Category Archives: Finale music notation

The Finale Tool Pallet Order Should Influence Your Workflow

Have you ever noticed that the Finale tool pallet is actually set up in the order that Finale prefers you enter things?

Finale 2014 Tool Pallet

Finale 2014 Tool Pallet

The tools for adding instruments, adding measures, changing key signatures, and changing time signatures are first on the pallet. That means Finale wants you to create a canvas so that pitches and rhythms can be added properly.

The note entry tools are next. This is because Finale is ready for you to enter pitches and rhythms with whatever note entry tool you’re most comfortable in. If you’ve already added enough measures, and plotted your key signature and time signature changes, you should theoretically be able to go to town on your note entry task without changing tools.

Dynamics are next on the tool pallet. Once you have all your notes entered, Finale wants you to go through your score and put in dynamics. As you know, this assists in playback as well. Finale understands how loud or soft to play back your notes just like an instrumentalist: it reads the dynamic markings first.

Articulations are next. You see, Finale doesn’t expect you to worry about dynamics and articulations as you’re entering the notes. Although you’re welcome to do so, you’ll just have to switch tools or know your keyboard shortcuts. Still, Finale is cool with you slapping those in as an after thought.

This on is important: The page layout tool is near the bottom of the tool pallet. Finale doesn’t even want you to worry about the spacing of the staffs or the layout of the page until after your music is entered, with dynamics, articulations, chords, lyrics, and all the other junk you might need. Only then does Finale think you’re ready to start laying out the page for print. If you keep this in mind, you could save yourself a lot of time. Try to stay out of the habit of monkeying around with page layout before you have all the other markings you need entered.

If you like adding articulations and dynamics at the same time that you’re entering notes, Finale can accommodate you. Learn these keyboard shortcuts if you’re a Simple Entry Tool fan.

And of course, with the new Score Manager tool, found in the Windows menu, Finale makes it easier than ever to add and remove staffs as an afterthought.

Have a Finale workflow question? Leave me a comment!

When is it a Copyright Violation?

When Is It Copyright Violation - Leading Notes Blog

Read the full article on the Leading Notes Blog:

Have you ever asked yourself if you’re in violation of copyright as you create custom sheet music for your students using your music notation software?

As a music educator who also owns a music notation software program, it’s easy to forget when I should, and shouldn’t be making custom arrangements for students without obtaining permission from an existing copyright owner. I spend my time during regular business hours at MakeMusic Inc., where I have access to an entire team of music engravers (Finale co-workers) and licensing experts (SmartMusic co-workers), so it’s easy to just shout over my cube wall and get amazing clarification on such a topic.

The Leading Notes blog asked if I would share the love and provide a quick guideline for music educators who also use music notation software in their teaching practice. Read the full article here.

When Is It a Copyright Violation?

Hosted by Leading Notes – Music Education in Practice.


AlphaNotes in Finale

AlphaNotes in Finale
AlphaNotes in Finale

I am an ongoing guest author for the Alfred Legerlines blog, writing a series of articles for pianists with tips on using Finale music notation software. If you are a piano teacher, you may like part one of this series, which walks you through the steps for creating Alpha Notes in your own arrangements.

My beginning students typically learn through a method that fits their personality. I like teaching from Piano Adventures and American Popular Piano. However, I like to include home-made supplemental material, and for students who are learning to sight read, I sometimes like to include AlphaNotes in their scores. AlphaNotes is a font by Finale that puts the note name or solfedge abbreviation inside the notehead. Using AlphaNotes can even help my student’s parents, as I find that parents like helping with piano homework, and spend time writing in the note names under the note heads… which isn’t always correct if the parents can’t read music!

I don’t use AlphaNotes with students for long, because I don’t want them to be a crutch for the student. But they are certainly helpful at the beginning of the sight reading process. AlphaNotes are easy to make in Finale.

Read the full article on the Alfred Ledgerlines blog:

The blog will also show you how to find piano repertoire for your students that comes with Finale.

I’m happy to answer your Finale questions anytime. Leave me a comment below.

Handbells in Finale

colored noteheads and handbellsIf you arrange music for handbells, you may like the two part blog series that I’ve written for the Finale blog: Handbells in Finale.

Part 1: Using the Handbells template, and creating a “Handbells Used” chart.

Part 2: Display colored noteheads to correspond with the colors of your educational handbells.

I’m happy to answer your questions about Finale music notation software anytime. Leave me a comment below.