Want to write out a short pop melody for your marching or pep band? Not sure how to get started? The right template can really make a difference, saving you a lot of time in formatting parts. Especially if you haven’t fully explored Finale’s Linked Parts yet, you might be amazed at how quickly you can create some great-looking marching band charts – with parts in the appropriate flip chart size, too.
To help you get started, we’ve created two templates, both of which can be downloaded as a .ZIP file here. One is a portrait-orientation template for traditional marching band scores and the second is a landscape-orientation template for pep band scores. Each has the same instrumentation and flipbook size parts.
To see how easy it can be, try this out in either template: Enter a melody in the Piccolo staff and copy it to the Tuba staff. Notice how, by default, Finale transposes your melody to a playable range (which of course is an option you can turn on or off). Now for the reveal, go to Document >Edit Part, select the Tuba part, and see how nice it looks already!
Other benefits of these templates include…
- Bigger time signature, tempo markings, and measure numbers in the score provide an easy-to-read experience and reduce the need for extra annotation.
- Instruments labeled with multiple parts on one staff have split linked parts for easy input. For example, if you enter notes into Layer 1 and 2 on the Flute Staff, notes from Layer 1 will go to the Flute 1 part, and notes from Layer 2 will go to the Flute 2 part. And if notes are entered into only one layer, both parts will show the entered notes.
- Auto-Sequenced Set Number Expression in the “Rehearsal Marks” category for easy input of your drill numbers.
- Margins are adjusted in the score so that a standard hole punch doesn’t punch through any of the music.
- The Baritone B.C. staff is linked to both a Baritone in Bass Clef as well as a Baritone in Treble Clef Part.
- Linked parts have been adjusted to work well for exporting SmartMusic files.
I have one final tip. To use these templates most effectively, I suggest you make the following adjustments in Finale:
- Edit > Check “Use Filter”
- Edit > Edit Filter > Uncheck “Staff Styles”
CJ Garcia is an engraver and quality assurance technician at MakeMusic, where he helps create and edit content for the SmartMusic library.
CJ earned a B.M. in composition from the Lamont School of Music, and was a drum major for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps from 2012-2014.
When he isn’t writing music or absorbing the Colorado scenery, CJ enjoys losing himself in the land of Hyrule while playing the Legend of Zelda series.