Finale has many powerful features that can make scoring fast and fun. We’ll explore tips and tricks with Finale tools that can drastically reduce the time needed to create a scoreA written representation of a piece of music, including the notation for all parts of an ensemble..
- Special Selections And Dragging
- Edit Filtera process that removes or reduces certain frequency ranges from an audio signal.:Copying Custom Elements
- Clone Lyrics
- Finale Scriptis Finale's built-in scripting environment allowing multi-step operations to be performed by a single keyboard shortcut.
Special Selections and Dragging
Selecting a part of a barA line that separates measures in sheet music. and dragging it to another bar will copy all of the elements active in the Edit Filter to the desired beat in the target bar. For example, you can select a quarter notes’ worth of a whole notea symbol used to represent a specific pitch and duration in one bar, and drag it to whatever beat you want in the target bar to create a quarter note of the same pitchThe perceived highness or lowness of a sound, determined by the frequency of the sound wave. at the new location.
This works even if there’s existing content in the target location. It overwrites the content, rather than inserting it.
This is especially helpful when creating an anticipation. Dragging an eighth of content from the next bar back onto the end of the previous bar can save a lot of editing and rewriting of content already in the previous bar.
Edit Filter – Copying Custom Elements
The elements showing in the Edit Filter are the ones that’ll be copied and pasted. We find this especially helpful for copying score markings, or notes only when markings are in the target bar. It’s not the best way to copy lyrics, however – we’ll get to that in a minute.
Exploding Music (“2” keyThe group of pitches, or tonality, that a piece of music is centered around.) is really powerful. After writing and articulating a lead line, then voicingThe distribution of musical notes between different parts in an ensemble; the intervallic structure of a harmonic array it with the Simple Entry>RePitch tool, voicing it out to other staves is really quick, which you can do with just a shortcut and a couple of configuration options.
The Clone Lyrics sub-tool of the Lyrics tool is the “right” way to copy lyrics in Finale. We’ve found that doing it with the Edit Filter creates additional lyrics in the Lyric Tool>Window, and can cause unexpected results, particularly in multi-staff scores.
An advantage of the Clone tool is, if you fix the original, all the clones update.
Select the tool, select the source bars, then click in the target bar and adjust the highlighted section to the right beat.
Finale is lacking a “shortcut” editor, per se – but it does have Finale Script. We use Finale Scripts with shortcuts assigned to them for many editing tasks, especially for changing the selected elements in the Edit Filter quickly. We wrote a blog post on the subject for the Scoring Notes blog, and offer a complete class on them in this course.