Easter Eggs and Other Finale Delights

In past blogs I have discussed Finale’s beginnings – including Finale’s first name, the first time I ever saw the HyperScribefeature demonstrated, and more. But I have not written much about the original Finale program itself. As with any creation, its origins are only of interest to those with an affinity for the finished work. But I am going to assume we’re all here because of our interest in Finale, and that you’ll forgive me if I share a miniscule bit of trivia suitable only for folks as geeky as myself.

In 2008, in celebration of Finale’s twentieth anniversary, we incorporated the original Finale logo design of a conductor into our marketing materials, as shown above. In the first versions of Finale you would see this conductor when you selected “About Finale” from the Help menu.  Few people know, however, that if you waited a minute or two the conductor would eventually put down his baton and walk off the podium.


I think software engineers put these “Easter eggs,” little animations and other surprises, into their software mostly for fun, or perhaps in the hope software reviewers might discover them and be motivated to share the fun with their readers (just as I’ve done here). But in this case I think it also made a nice, if unintentional metaphor; for those willing to invest the time needed to learn the early versions of Finale, there were some great delights in store for them.

Today’s Finale resembles these earliest versions about as much as a modern car resembles the Model T. We’ve made things much easier, more intuitive, and efficient (despite what folks selling other software might say), but we’ve also retained the original delights, along with the unique power to create anything you can imagine.

One such delight had a less obvious name back in those early days. Remember “Igor’s View?” No? Today we call it Scroll View, but it was originally named after Igor Stravinsky. Why? Finale’s creator, Phil Farrand, explained that Stravinsky had written scores in a linear fashion. He would put them on the walls of his composing space and walk around writing and editing, going from measure 64 to measure 291, for example, and then back to measure 173.

Not unlike Stravinsky, I like to think that Phil and Finale gave us fresh ways to look at music.

This “linear” view in Finale has been an enormously popular feature in Finale from the beginning. I once heard the facilitator of a clinic at the National Pastoral Musician’s convention share his belief that composers and arrangers think differently in this “linear” format than they do when viewing a page. That made perfect sense to me when I first heard it and it still does today.

I’ve also mentioned before that salespeople for one competitor used to criticize Finale for having both a Page and Scroll view, suggesting this duplication unnecessarily complicated things. Of course, years later this same competitor added a similar feature with great fanfare.

Another odd feature name found in early versions of Finale was called “Deedle-deedle.” This too remains a frequently used feature. Can you guess what it’s called today?

If so, send me a note by clicking on “Comments” below.

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