See also Beam angles;  Beaming across barlines; Beaming: feathered beaming; Beaming over rests; Beaming: Secondary beams; and Beam thickness.   

Beaming of eighth notes (and notes of smaller value) is automatic in Finale, although you can override Finale’s beaming decisions, either on a global, regional, or case-by-case basis.


Note: To automatically modify the appearance of all beams at once, use the Patterson Beams plug-in.


To break (or create) a beam

  1. Click the Speedy Entry Tool  image\Speedy_Entry_Tool.gif, and click the measure in question. The editing frame appears. Use the arrow keys to position the insertion bar on the note at the end of the desired beam.
  2. Or click the Simple Entry Tool  image\Simple_Entry_Tool.gif, and control-click the note at the end of the desired beam.
  3. Press the slash key (/). If the note was beamed to the previous note, the beam breaks. If the note wasn’t beamed to the previous note, two notes are now beamed together. Press the slash key again to restore the beam to its previous form.

To rebeam a selected region

When you first enter music into Finale, the time signature determines how eighth notes (and smaller notes) are beamed together. In , Finale groups beamed notes in quarter note groupings with the exception of eighth notes which are beamed in groups of 4. See Document Options-Beams to change this setting. In , Finale groups beamed notes in half note groupings.

If you change the time signature after you’ve entered music, the beaming patterns changes unless you have deselected the Rebar music checkbox in the Time Signature dialog box. In such a case, it’s easy to rebeam the music to match the new time signature: Select the region (using the Selection Tool) and choose Rebeam Music (from the Rebeam submenu of the Utilities Menu).

However, if you want to give a region a beaming pattern that’s completely unrelated to the time signature—for example, to beam eighth notes in groups of 3, 3, and 2 in a meter, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Selection Tool  image\Selection_Tool.gif, and select a region. See Selecting music for some region-selecting shortcuts.
  2. From the Utilities Menu, choose Rebeam, then Rebeam to Time Signature. The Rebeam dialog box appears.
  3. Using the upper and lower scroll bars, adjust the upper and lower numbers of the “beaming signature” until you see the desired beaming patterns. In other words, if you want eighth notes in common time beamed in groups of four (rhythmic value equals a half note), adjust the display until it shows two half notes (two groups of four eighth notes). If you’re in and you want all six eighth notes beamed together in each measure, adjust the display until it shows a dotted half note (one group of six eighth notes).

Note: If you want an asymmetrical beaming pattern (such as three, three, and two eighth notes in common time), click the Composite button and enter the desired groupings into the text boxes.


You specify the new beaming pattern for the selected music much as you would create a time signature. See below.


To create custom beaming patterns 


Normally, Finale beams 16th notes (and notes of smaller value) according to the time signature. In , they’re grouped in quarter-note units; in , they’re grouped in half-note units. Eighth notes are beamed in groups of 4. See Document Options-Beams to change this setting for eighth notes.

Occasionally, you may find it useful to break this rule. You may want to create a section of music in time, but whose eighth notes are grouped (for example) in patterns of 3, 3, and 2.

  1. Click the Time Signature Tool image\Time_Signature_Tool.gif, and double-click the measure where you want the meter to change. The Time Signature dialog box appears.
  2. Using the two scroll bars, specify the beaming pattern you want. If you want eighth notes beamed in groups of 3, 3, and 2, click Composite, and enter “3+3+2” in the top box (and 8 in the bottom box). See Time signatures for further instructions in using the Time Signature Tool.
  3. Click . The dialog box expands.
  4. Select Use a Different Time Signature For Display. Using the lower set of scroll bars, specify the time signature you want to appear in the score. If you’ve specified a “beaming signature” using the upper scroll bars, you could enter as the display meter. Or if you’ve specified a beaming pattern of , you could set the lower scroll bars to or .
  5. Using the Measure ___ Through ___ (or Through End of Piece) text boxes, specify the range of measures you want affected by the time signature/beaming patterns.
  6. Click OK (or press enter).

To prevent Finale from beaming automatically (Speedy Entry)

Finale normally beams notes together according to the denominator of the time signature (quarter note groupings in , half note groupings in , and so on) when you’re entering notes in step time using the Speedy Entry Tool. You can, if you wish, turn off this feature.

  1. Click the Speedy Entry Tool image\Speedy_Entry_Tool.gif. The Speedy Menu appears.
  2. Choose Check Beaming from the Speedy Menu, so that the check mark no longer appears.

To beam eighth notes in quarter note groups

  1. From the Document Menu, choose Document Options, then select Beams. The Beaming options appear.
  2. Deselect Beam 4 Eighth Notes Together in Common Time. This will only affect entries from this point forward.
  3. Click OK (or press enter).