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Chord symbols

Finale’s chord symbols are intelligent with respect to key; if you decide to change the key, the chord symbols are automatically transposed. Similarly, if you copy chord symbols to a passage in another key (or instrument transposition), they’ll be transposed when you paste them. Even Finale’s guitar fretboard diagrams, which can be created automatically, transpose according to the key.

If you’re going to add chord symbols to your score, note that you can change chord suffix fonts either globally, by region, or one by one; see the appropriate sub-entries. See also Fonts and Document Options-Fonts for help in choosing fonts to meet your needs.

Note that Finale offers two systems of chord labeling. The primary method operates according to the standard rules of chord theory and allows Finale to “recognize” almost any kind of chord it encounters—major, minor, augmented, diminished, suspended, sevenths, ninths, elevenths, and so on, even with alternate bass notes.

Occasionally, however, you’ll want to create a chord that Finale doesn’t ordinarily recognize, such as C V/11, or you’ll want Finale to think of a certain chord in a different way. For example, where Finale displays Am7/C, you may prefer C6. For these situations, you can use Finale’s second system of creating chords: you can create a learned chord, a symbol that you’ve defined to represent a particular pattern of notes. Once you’ve defined a learned chord, Finale will correctly identify it in the future, regardless of the voicing or register, and automatically display the correct symbol. Instructions for creating and editing learned chords appear below.

Note, however, that Finale will only recognize a learned chord if the root of the chord falls on the same scale degree as the one you originally taught it. For example, if you teach Finale to recognize a C6 in the key of C, it won’t recognize F6 or G6 in the key of C. It will, however, recognize an A6 in the key of A, because the A6 is built on the same scale degree in A as the C6 was in C. In other words, it’s sometimes helpful to define the same learned chord for several different scale degrees within a single key—such as C6, F6, and G6 in the key of C.


See also:

Chord Tool


To enter chord symbols automatically

To type-in chord symbols

To play-in chord symbols (MIDI data input)

To edit chords directly in the score

To enter a chord symbol manually

To edit chords

To edit a chord suffix

To teach Finale “learned chords”

To edit or delete a learned chord

To move chord symbols up and down

To transpose chord symbols

To erase chords from a region

To copy chords from one region to another

To change the display or position of all chord symbols in a region

To prevent chord symbols from playing back

To program a chord symbol Metatool

To enter a chord using a Metatool

To create or load a Chord Suffix Library

To change chord symbol fonts

To left-justify chord symbols above the notes

To move chord symbols individually

To define a chord symbol manually with MIDI data input


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