While there are a number of notation entry methods
(Simple Entry, Speedy Entry, Hyperscribe, Transcription), we will focus
our attention on the most practical method--Speedy Entry, which
We will examine the following aspects of Finale:
Main Menu options: File, Edit, View, Options,
Saving files (songs) to disk. Please do not
save to the hard drive. Finale file extensions normally have
the following suffix: .mus
Main Tool Palette icons
Menu options with various icons. (FYI,
depending on which icon is selected from the Main Tool Palette,
varying menu options are available.)
Entering music via MIDI music keyboard, or computer
keyboard if keyboard is not available. Accidentals, fixing
Adding expression markings, lyrics, titles/changing
Page Layout, printing
Entering layered music. Hiding notes and other
elements, flipping stems.
Entering chord symbols
Creating figured bass symbols
Sequence of Events
Executing Finale functions in a logical sequence will
save much editing later. If you happen to perform an edit out of
sequence, it can always be corrected ... just may take more time. The
sequence of events list below should prove helpful:
Enter music (Scroll View)
Edit music, if necessary
Add lyrics, if applicable
Go to Page View. Choose desired reduction
(select %, then, click in top left corner of page for dialog
box). Score reductions will vary, depending upon how many
staff systems you need to get on a page. Anywhere from 50% to
70% are common. Later, when extracting individual parts, 85%
works well for parts pages.
From Edit, choose Select All to highlight all
music. From Mass Edit, select Space Music. Update Layout
Use Page Layout to format music on the page.
You may also optimize systems, which eliminates staves with empty
rests; at least one staff will always be present. Always
Update Layout (^+U) before you leave Page Layout, or you may
temporarily loose some measures or staff systems ... an
Once the layout is suitable, in Page View, begin
adding expression markings, rehearsal letters, chord symbols,
etc. If you enter these earlier, you will only end up moving
things around later.
After every staff is "camera ready," you
may extract individual parts, if necessary. Further editing
will always be involved with each part, but this feature is
quite a time saver.
Print, if desired, once the music is fully edited.
Main Tool Palette
Icons in the Main Tool Palette may be in just about any
order. The descriptions that follow will be left-to-right
beginning with the top row.
ZOOM TOOL (magnifying glass): Enlarges work
area each time you click on screen. To reduce size, Control-click.
HAND GRABBER (hand): Click-dragging screen enables you to
quickly move the music score diagonally, instead of using
horizontal/vertical scroll bars.
STAFF TOOL (treble clef): Double-clicking below the default
staff adds an additional staff at the click point. Clicking on
staff handles (the small square) gives you access to staff names,
clef selection and many other options.
MEASURE TOOL (bar line): Each time you click on the icon, a
measure will be added. To add multiple measures, Control-click
on the icon and a pop-up menu will appear.
MEASURE ATTRIBUTES TOOL (bar line with arrows): Clicking on
this icon enables you to manually move bar lines, select double bar
lines, etc. It also allows you to hide, or force, time signatures,
etc., in a given measure.
KEY SIGNATURE TOOL: ... You guessed it.
METER SIGNATURE TOOL: ... Right again.
SIMPLE ENTRY TOOL (straight eighth-note): Impractical ...
SPEEDY ENTRY TOOL (speeding eighth-note): This is the
method that many professionals choose to enter music. With
practice it is quick, and, accurate! Select the icon. Then,
click on a measure. A rectangle will appear and you may begin
HYPERSCRIBE TOOL (slanted keyboard): This
method enables you to enter music in realtime, however, many
parameters must be selected, and much editing is often required.
TRANSCRIPTION TOOL (straight keyboard): This tool will
allow you to record music as you please, then, go back and tell Finale
what the rhythms are. It can be handy for improvisations, but,
again, it is not terribly accurate.
TUPLET TOOL (triplet): This tool enables you to set
specifications for various tuplets, such as where the number will appear
in relation to the notes, whether you beam the notes, etc. To use
it, first hold the Control key down as you press the number 3 (if
you want a triplet).
MIDI TOOL: ... For MIDI set-up.
SMART SHAPE TOOL (crescendo): This tool allows you to add
slurs, crescendos, trills, etc. To slur two adjacent notes, simply
click on the first note; the slur appears automatically. To slur
over several notes, double-click-drag the first note to the last note
until the last note is highlighted. Then, release the mouse.
SCORE EXPRESSION TOOL (mf): This tool puts dynamic markings
in all staves. You can also create other score expressions,
such as rehearsal letters, tempos markings, etc.
STAFF EXPRESSION TOOL (mf with whole note): Same as score
expression too, but the marking appears only on one staff.
ARTICULATION TOOL (whole note with accent): This tool adds
articulations. If you have many articulations, create a metatool
to speed up the process. (See below.)
LYRICS TOOL (quill): This tool creates lyrics. The
easiest method is to select lyrics at the top of the
screen. Then, click on type into score. Then, click
on the note where the lyrics begin. Lyrics automatically advance
to the next note whenever you press the space bar.
CHORD TOOL (CM7): This tool adds chord symbols. By
clicking on a note/chord, you can enter the information manually, or
simply play the chord if you have a keyboard. Finale will create
the chord symbol for you.
CLEF TOOL (bass clef): This tool is for changing clefs during
the music, rather than setting the initial clef, which is done with the
Staff Tool (treble clef).
REPEAT TOOL: This tool is used to create repeat bars and
ending bars. First-ending bars must use an overlap method,
selecting the starting bracket for the first measure and the ending
bracket for the last measure. The two brackets are then aligned
vertically until they blend into one line.
MEASURE NUMBER TOOL: This tool enables you to set the
default location of measure numbers, font, etc.
NOTE MOVER TOOL (car with straight eighth-notes): This tool
is used when notes must be pulled from one staff to another, as
in piano music.
MASS MOVER TOOL (train engine): This handy-dandy tool is
used for a variety of purposes: copying measures, using alternate
notations, transposing, adjusting spacing, etc.
RESIZE TOOL (%): This tool changes the size of printed
music. For single pages, you'll probably want to select 85%.
For scores, you should choose a smaller percentage. With
solo/piano music, the solo part is normally a smaller percentage than
the piano part. To adjust the percentage of only one staff, click
in front of the staff--a menu will pop up. To adjust the size of
an entire page(s), click on the upper left-hand corner of the page to
access the menu.
SPECIAL TOOLS TOOL (hammer, etc.): This tool is for fine
tuning occasional note spacing after you have done general spacing using
the mass mover tool. You can also change the length of note stems,
select alternate noteheads, move accidentals, etc.
TEXT BLOCK TOOL (A): This tool enables you to enter blocks
of text in the music: title, composer, copyright info, etc.
In a nutshell, select Text at the top of the screen to set the
font. Then, to specify justification, specific location, etc.,
select frame from the top menu, then attributes.
From here you can specify how many pages the text is to appear on, how
it is to be centered, etc. You can also set the exact
horizontal/vertical location of the text in case it needs to match other
PAGE LAYOUT TOOL (dog-earred paper): Ho boy, this one can
be tricky. You'll need to do this before printing to get the
finished look you want. You'll need to resize the page (%)
first. After you select the icon, simply click on the music and
you will be in the page layout menu. You can move either
individual staves or all staves, depending upon your menu
selection. After you have made your changes, be sure to
"update" the layout. Shortcut is Control-u.
Otherwise, you may lose some staff systems on each page. Eke!
OSSIA TOOL (small notes): This tool is for creating a small
single measure to indicate embellishments, etc. Let's not worry
about this one for now ...
MIRROR TOOL: This allows you to link measures so changes
you make in one measure will be automatically done in the mirrored
TEMPO TOOL (metronome): Allows you to make subtle
adjustments in tempo playback.
GRAPHICS TOOL (geometric shapes): Allows you to place
graphics, or export music as graphics. This is quite handy if you
need to import music for tests, etc.
These are tools you specify/create to speed the entry of
articulations, dynamics, whatever. For example, to create a
staccato metatool, first select the articulation tool (whole note with
accent). Then, press the Shift key and the number 1 key
(for example) at the same time. You will enter the articulation
menu. Double-click the staccato mark. You have now created a
metatool associated with the number 1. To add a staccato mark to
any note, just have the articulation tool icon selected, press and hold
the number 1 and click on the note. A staccato marking will
appear. This avoids having to open the articulation menu each
time. To create a different articulation marking for number 2-9,
simply press Control-[number], then double-click on the
articulation that you want for that number. Metatools can also be
created in similar fashion with the Staff Expression Tool. Just be
sure the particular icon is selected.
Speedy Entry can be used with or without a synth
keyboard. The synth keyboard specifies the pitch, and the computer
keyboard specifies the rhythm using the numbers across the top of the
keypad. (See Speedy Entry Commands.) First, press the
desired note on the synth, and while continuing to depress it, then
press the desired rhythm (number key) on the computer keyboard.
With a little practice, you can almost enter in realtime speed using a
synth keyboard. To create a rest, simply hit the equivalent
rhythmic value on the computer keypad without depressing a synth key.
Rhythmic values: 1 = 64th note, 2 = 32nd
note, 3 = 16th note, 4 = 8th note, 5 = quarter note, 6 = half note, 7 =
whole note, 8 = breve.
9 = flip enharmonic (e.g., from G# to Ab).
Simply click on the measure and have the cursor(s) on the note.
0 = exit Speedy Entry, or, click anywhere in
a blank part of the page.
= (the equal sign) ties to the next note ...
toggle to untie.
Backspace = changes the note to a single rest
of the same value.
o (the "oh" key) = hides a note ...
toggle to show.
p = puts "courtesy" parentheses
around an accidental
[ (left bracket) = moves the rectangle to the
] (right bracket) = moves the rectangle to
the next measure
l (the "el" key) flips the stem in
the opposite direction
; (semicolon) changes a note to a grace
. (period) adds a dot to a note
/ (slash) breaks a beam between two notes
(position slash on last note of the group)
- (minus) lowers a note one-half step
+ (plus) raises a note one-half step
Speedy Entry is not too shabby even without a synth.
Simply use the mouse or arrow keys to move the cursor to the desired
pitch, then press the number key for the rhythm. To create a flat,
use the minus key; to create a sharp, use the plus
key. To add a dot to a note, simply press the period key.
In the speedy menu at the top, you can set the
preference to Jump to the next measure, if you desire. Once
the measure is full, rhythmically, the rectangle will advance
automatically. To move the rectangle manually, use the bracket
keys as described above.
To enter a triplet, first you must press Control
3 (at the same time), before entering the data. If you are not
using a synth, you must have the cursor set on the appropriate pitch first,
otherwise, if you move the cursor after entering Control 3, the
triplet will vanish. (If you desire a quintuplet, for example,
press Control 5.)
Layers: If you are entering a two-part
piece with different rhythms, you must enter the bottom line in Layer
2. Select layers (1-4) at the bottom left-hand corner of
the screen. I'll demonstrate.
While there is much, much more to Finale, the above
should get you started. The manuals are available for specific
situations which will undoubtedly arise.