Finale Outside of the Box

As MakeMusic’s senior music editor for the past several years, part of my job has been to design and develop Finale Worksheets and Repertoire. Finale users can view this collection within Finale by navigating to File > Open Worksheets & Repertoire.

One of my goals for this collection has been to showcase Finale’s enormous capability to notate just about anything – right out of the box – without the use of special fonts or imported graphics. Over the years this collection has continued to expand and now includes games, puzzles, flash cards, a Shenker graph, upside-down music, Medieval and Renaissance notation, a round round, and many others (well over 1,000 pages). Of course, every piece plays back, even if there is no notation displayed.

While most people are unlikely to use Finale as their go-to tool for creating crossword puzzles, it has been my hope that by demonstrating a few ways that Finale can be used “out of the box” we might give fellow Finale users news ideas and tools to better notate their own music.

One engraving in particular, William Billings’ Connection, has generated more comments than all the other engravings combined. William Billings was an early American composer, most famous for composing Chester. His friend, Paul Revere, engraved many of his early publications. In 1794 William Billings published The Continental Harmony, a collection of anthems and hymns. For the frontispiece, Billings created this four stave circular piece of music:

I wanted to include a modern version of this iconic early American engraving in Finale Repertoire:

While the creation of this file was somewhat tedious, it was also fairly easy. All of the staff lines are concentric circles created with Finale’s Shape Designer. All of the rotated notes and text were created as custom lines. By adding text to a custom line, and giving the line a thickness of 0, you can easily rotate text or font characters in any direction. This file even plays back, by means of some hidden staves.

Again, this file can be found within Finale: Simply go to File > Open Worksheets & Repertoire. It’s worth taking a little time to poke around and see some of the other “out of the box” things we’ve come up within the other files as well.

If you don’t own Finale, you can download Connection here and open and play it with the free trial version found here.

Have you created something with Finale that is “out of the box”? Share it with us on Facebook: Perhaps we can share your work in a future blog post.

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