Welcome to the Finale Blog

When my compatriots at MakeMusic asked if I would write for this blog, they added their hope that I would be writing from “my voice.” In that spirit, I begin my first blog – the same week that my friend Bob Grifa begins his first blog for SmartMusic.

Earlier this year, over dinner in Charlotte, North Carolina, Bob and I talked about writing a blog – and here we are! Honestly, I am totally pumped about this: a venue within which I hope to expound and rant, share oddities, lore, and helpful hints about using Finale.

I started working with Finale more than 22 years ago. I have been with MakeMusic, the company that makes Finale, longer than any other person. I am not actually sure if that is a cool thing or not, but there it is. As a result, I guess I am the defacto “Keeper of the Lore” and, oh, there is A LOT of lore to share.

For example: ENIGMA. Many Finale users around the world have seen this term bantered around the Finale universe, but not many people know what it means. “ENIGMA Transportable File” (ETF) was the original term for a Finale file that could be shared across computer platforms (before this just “worked” as it does today). But wait, there’s more…ready?  ENIGMA is an acronym for… the “Environment for the Notation of Intelligent Graphical Musical Algorithms.” Whew, what a mouthful!

ENIGMA, as I understand it, was the name originally given to the code used to make Finale. I assume it was homage to the minds that created – and broke – the ENIGMA-encrypted messages in WWII. It was also the earliest name of the Finale software. What a blessing it was changed to Finale upon its release in September 1988. Can you imagine if it hadn’t been?

In this blog, I hope to share my thoughts on Finale today, its amazing features, and how to get the most of this remarkable program. Let the blogging begin!

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