Creating anything you can imagine with Finale

Back in January I attended NAMM, the tradeshow where manufacturers demonstrate their latest music products to dealers, distributors, the press, customers, and the world. As has often been the case in the past, the NAMM show also provided me with an opportunity to see many things others have created with Finale.

It was at NAMM that I met David Aldridge, the author of “The Elements of Rhythm, Vols. I & II,” a set of  unique books that David indicated couldn’t have been created without Finale. Here’s how David describes the content:

“Amazon lists over 4,700 titles searchable with the phrase “music theory.” They list only one set of titles searchable with the phrase “rhythm pattern theory,” and it’s our books. This approach contains the most logical, comprehensive, and thorough collection of fundamental building block rhythm patterns ever published. They’re the holy grail of rhythm.”

 A quick look inside and it’s clear that these are unique books:

Volume 1, page 221
Volume 2, page 79

David was kind enough to provide some background information on The Elements of Rhythm series and how he created all the musical examples with Finale:

“The two books collectively consist of four basic layouts: 0/1 combination tables (where 0 and 1 express silence and sound), rest/note combination tables, single staff music measures, and multi-staff music measures. The 0/1 tables were created in InDesign, the layout program where all the Finale files were eventually imported and placed as TIFF files. 

The rest/note combination tables were created using single-line measures, stacked one on top of another. I had to make their lines invisible, create extended meter contexts, and blank out certain rests to create a “space” between rest/note layouts. The 4/32 tables were the hardest.

The single staff music measures were created to present the patterns generated in the combination tables. Each vertical measure line had to be aligned manually to create a symmetrical appearance on the page. The multi-staff music measures in Vol. II were created to present identical patterns written in different metric contexts (e.g., 4/2, 4/4, 4/8, 4/16, 4/32). 

The most significant aspect of Vol. I’s construction was that Finale let me take an exhaustively detailed combination table in Vol. I, comprised of quarter rests and quarter notes, and translate it into 8th, 16th, and 32nd rest/note values. This made it possible to accomplish in a few hours what would have taken me WEEKS to re-write by hand.

The biggest challenge with Vol. II was manually aligning measures one on top of another and keeping track of the patterns’ order as I copied and pasted sequences from Vol. I’s single music staffs, four measures at a time. But just the fact that it could be done was mind-blowing…

The result? Performing musicians and educators now have a complete list of the fundamental building block rhythm patterns that all the larger patterns originate from. Music researchers can also use this list for studies such as music cognition, coordination and speech patterns. I truly could not have finished this project without Finale. Its productivity horsepower is staggering.”

I’d like to thank David for sharing his story with us, which I think is another great example of how you can create ANYTHING you can imagine with Finale. As David said, “Finale helped bring a 30-year dream to life.”

Tell us about your latest Finale creation by clicking on “Comments” below.

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