Handbells in Finale 2014

Are you arranging holiday music for your handbell choir this season? This post will share tips on writing for handbells in Finale 2014. For many years, Finale has included a pre-made handbell template. Here’s how to find it:

Launch Finale. From the Launch Window, select Templates > Church Templates > Handbells.

This template is a great start, but you may need to adapt the template to fit the range of your specific ensemble. In this post, I’ll show you a nifty plug-in that automatically creates your list of bells used.

First, enter the notes of your handbell piece into the template. Next select all by using keyboard shortcut COMMAND+A (CTRL+A on Windows). Now you’re ready to launch the plug in:

Plug-ins menu> TG Tools > Create Handbells Used Chart

This is what the plug-in looks like:

Create Handbells Used Chart

The default settings should be all you need unless you’re not using a grand staff, in which case you could uncheck the “display on grand staff” box.

Based on the adjustments you make in this window, Finale will automatically place a Handbells Used chart at the top of your score. For demonstration purposes, I opened one of the free repertoire piano primer pieces included with Finale and used this plug-in to turn it into a piece for children’s handbell choir. Take a look at the results.

I hope Finale is able to play a part in your handbell choir this year.

Like this post? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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