SmartMusic Finale Garritan MusicXML

Finale Quick Tips: Creating Tempo Changes

Finale’s Setup Wizard makes it easy to add an initial tempo marking to any new score. But what if you decide to add a tempo marking long after you’ve finished the Setup Wizard? What if you want to add a tempo change mid-piece?

This is a question our technical support staff hears fairly often, so I thought I’d take a second to show how quick and easy it is!

1. Select the Expression Tool and double-click where you would like the marking to appear.
2. In the Expression Selection dialog box, specify the “Tempo Marks” category.
3. Now you can choose one of the pre-made expressions, or create your own.  To create your own, click “Create Tempo Mark…”
4. Click “Insert Note” to select a note value (a quarter note, dotted quarter, whatever),

…then type in your desired tempo, for example “=122.”

(Note that you can change fonts here too if you wish.)

5. Click OK then Assign.

That’s it! The marking not only looks great, it sets the correct playback tempo too.


  1. by Justin W. Phillips

    Hi Irminsul, As of right now, Tempo Tap is about the best way to go for custom tempo curves. The MIDI Tool can do some of this, but unfortunately we do not have a ‘piano roll’ style graphical demonstration for this. I will pass that on however as a feature request to our development team. A feature like that can really open the door to fine tune MIDI editing. -Justin

  2. by Justin W. Phillips

    Hi Derrek, Do you have Human Playback turned on? The best way to control a tempo change if you want to do something a little more out of the box might be to use the MIDI Tool. Go to Playback Settings > HP Preferences > MIDI Data. Under Tempo, choose HP (Incorporate Data) then click Save and Close. Choose the MIDI Tool and select the measures (if you have multiple staves, make sure to select ALL staves) you are adding the accel/rit to. Go to MIDI Tool Menu > Edit Tempo. Go to MIDI Tool Menu > Scale. Enter the start and stop tempo, then press OK. The section should now scale the tempo as desired. Sorry for the long wait for a response, we missed your comment! -Justin

  3. by Justin W. Phillips

    Hi Kathy, The steps in the article apply to Finale 2009 or 2010, based on the new Expression Tool. The quickest way in 2006 to add a tempo marking would be to use the Add Tempo Marking Plug-In, which is available under Plug-Ins Menu > Expression > Add Tempo Marking. -Justin

  4. by Kathy Thompson

    Does this apply to F2006? I don’t see a "Tempo Marks" category in the Expressions Selections box. Am I missing something???

  5. by Irminsul

    Hi Justin, Something is vexing me about Finale – it’s the tempo control. Is there any way I can add a graphically drawn "tempo map" to a Finale piece, rather than deal with the bothersome tempo tap feature to add tempo change expression? I use Finale 2007. Thanks.

  6. by Derrek

    Now, if I can just create a straight-line or parabolic accel/rit from a point of my choosing into the new tempo, I’ll be much closer to Finale heaven.

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