Instant Orchestration with Finale’s “Explode Music” Feature

At a recent Finale training session, I met a music minister who asked how he might quickly turn hymns into brass quintets. He was so jazzed with my answer I decided to share it with you as well.

The answer is: “Explode Music.”

While I’ve mentioned Explode Music briefly in the past, this week I’d like to cover its use in more detail.

Finale’s Explode Music feature allows you to instantly orchestrate existing music by taking music from one or two staves and automatically distributing it over multiple staves. We’ll start with my friend’s hymn as our example. The following could have been entered via scanning, or any other note entry method in Finale:

5. Click OK and the music is instantly exploded.

In looking at the result, you may notice that the tuba staff remains unpopulated. One quick solution is to copy the trombone part to the tuba part, then lower it an octave. To do so, select the tuba part and type 8 to utilize the transposition shortcut mentioned in last week’s post. Having done that, the first system should look something like this:

That strikes me as pretty quick and easy.

As a final tip, you might consider using the Check Range plug-in if you’re unsure of the ranges of any of the instruments in your arrangements. If you’d like more detail on how to do that, or on anything else Finale-related, please let us know by clicking on “Comments” below!

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