A few weeks ago I participated in a professional development conference for the Iowa Music Educators Association. In the middle of demonstrating the power of Finale’s Staff Styles, I was surprised by the contents of a Finale menu:
Yes, it was the Staff Styles List, but it was written in German!* I was suddenly awash in memories of international travel and I knew my next blog idea was born.
When I first joined MakeMusic I was an experienced musician but a green businessman. Nevertheless, I quickly acclimated to my new gig, traveling across the United States, setting up new Finale dealers, making lots of new friends, and spending an inordinate amount of time away from my young family of five. When I was promoted to International Sales Manager, however, my confidence temporarily waned a bit. How could I reproduce my early success with the entire world as my territory?
As I always say, “The universe provides.” Over one very memorable dinner in Los Angeles, a business acquaintance friend of mine laid it all out for me: “In Japan, you want this company. In Sweden, talk to this guy. In Italy go here,” and so on. While this very propitious start left me feeling like James Bond having just received a full briefing from M, I still had to actually go to these places, meet these people, and learn if they were indeed viable partners for us. And so – on the road I went.
My wife and I agreed that ten days was maximum time I should ever be away from home, so given that as a starting point, I set out, traveling to and fro. Eventually we established international partners in more than 34 countries. Along the way I enjoyed beer fests in Munich, Finale tours of Australia, and even a memorable dinner of bear in Helsinki.
When I began this adventure, Finale was a very different program: Scroll View was called “Igor’s View” (an homage to Stravinsky who supposedly had written scores in a linear format), and MIDI Thru was called “Deedle Deedle.” And you think I’m kidding! Much has changed within Finale in the intervening years, but the German, Japanese, Swedish, Israeli, and Norwegian partners I set up years ago continue to be valued partners and friends today.
While the English-language version of Finale is distributed throughout the world, Finale (and PrintMusic) software have also been translated into many languages as well, including Japanese, German, Italian, French, Swedish, Polish, and more. And this month, new versions of Finale 2010 in Japanese and German come onto the market, just in time for the holiday season.
And with that in mind I’d like to wish all our friends – around the world – the very best for the upcoming year and beyond.
* Are you curious why German text appeared under my Staff Style menu? The short answer is that the file I was viewing was created in the German-language version of Finale. Since you can create your own staff styles, and name them anything you like, this information is saved with the file, and would likely be in German if the file was created from a German default file or template. Sehr gut!