SmartMusic Finale Garritan MusicXML

Markings, Lyrics and More

Finale automates and streamlines the process of entering lyrics, guitar tab, chords, and more.

Overview of Markings, Lyrics and More


Finale allows an unlimited number of lyric verses and automatically spaces the lyrics to match the notes they’re attached to.

Dynamics & Tempo markings

Finale makes entering, creating, copying and moving dynamics, tempo indications, and other text and markings intuitive and powerful.

Unicode Support

Today’s Finale includes Unicode text support so that you can use all the characters in your fonts.


Enter chord symbols by typing in their names or playing them with a MIDI keyboard. Change or delete notes without changing your chords.

Percussion Notation

Finale has always offered unparalleled power and flexibility with percussion notation – now it’s also incredibly easy to use.


Default positioning looks great, even when the tuplet begins with rests, and tuplets automatically reposition when notes are raised or lowered on the staff. Tuplet brackets avoid rests and staff lines. Brackets follow the angle of the stems when on stem side and follow the angle of notes when on the note side.

Finale Tuplets example


Notes are automatically spaced as they’re entered. Finale also automates countless other entry tasks like repeats and codas, cue notes or rehearsal marks, slurs, and tablature and fretboards for guitar and other fretted instruments.

Large Time Signatures

New in Finale — While Finale has always been able to display very tall time signatures, in previous versions setting them up could be tricky. Not any more.

Dynamics and Tempo Markings

In Finale, expressions include dynamics, tempo markings, rehearsal marks, technique text like arco and pizzicato, and expressive text.

Reinvented and streamlinedNewerInterface_sm

Selection, entry and placement of expressions or articulation markings is quick and intuitive. Once in your score, they are easily moved – now with transparent selection handles, so they never obscure the object you’re editing. You can instantly change the appearance of an entire category of expressions or articulations.

Drag and drop expressions

Simply drag the text anywhere in your score. Now you simply drag text items anywhere. Clear visual feedback instantly shows you what each selected expression is attached to, which changes dynamically as you drag – even across pages. Drag expressions and rest assured they’ll always change playback – and appear in linked parts – just the way you want them to.

Drag Dynamic Example

Plus, you can now drag-apply expressions to multiple staves at once. No matter how you enter these markings, Finale continues to apply the same collision avoidance rules so you don’t have to think about it.


Finale allows an unlimited number of lyric verses and automatically spaces the lyrics to match the notes they’re attached to. Enter your lyrics and they instantly appear exactly as they’ll print out, automatically spaced with engraver precision.

Automatic Lyric Placement

Lyrics space themselves and the notes they’re attached to automatically so that you can have engraver-level quality without manual editing.

We’ve removed additional space at the beginning of measures:

Previous Versions: Today’s Finale:
Finale Spacing before Spacing after

Punctuation at the beginning or end of a lyric, is ignored for better alignment and centering of different verses.

Previous Versions: Today’s Finale:
Spacing Before spacing after

Auto-Slur Melismas

Finale analyzes your lyrics, and automatically places slurs anytime a syllable lasts for more than one note. You can even specify dashed slurs in situations with multiple verses.

Previous Versions: Today’s Finale:
Spacing before Spacing after

Automatic Verse Numbering

Turn on Auto-Number Verses and appropriate numbers instantly appear at the beginning of each verse. Add a new verse and it’s numbered too. Finale also offers independent control to automatically number choruses and sections.

Easy Edits

  • Finale makes it easy to access multiple fonts and font sizes within lyrics via the text menu or with common keyboard shortcuts as you’re typing into score.
  • Lyric fonts, word extensions, and hyphens instantly update as you enter them and look exactly as they will print out.
  • If you don’t recall the associated keystroke for a needed umlaut, grave accent or other diacritical character, you can simply select those items by sight.
  • Lyrics Window lets you switch between typing into score and automatically assigning existing lyrics without switching tools.

Also in Finale

  • Automatic Word Extensions – Word extensions automatically draw to the next rest and also wrap to the next staff system. If the music expands or contracts, the extensions stretch or shrink to fit.
  • Smart Hyphens – Finale offers automatic hyphen placement with precision results even in tight spacing. Plus Lyric hyphens automatically wrap to the next staff system.
  • Export all or part of your lyrics to a word-processing document
Percussion Notation

Whether you’re an expert user customizing percussion scores, or not sure where a bass drum goes on the staff, Finale gets your percussion notation to look and sound perfect in no time.

percussion notation


Notes on your percussion staves look – and play back – exactly how you want them to.

Easy to Enter

  • Simply drag the cursor over the staff and on-screen feedback indicates whether you’re about to enter a snare, bass drum, or other percussion instrument – and displays the appropriate notehead.



  • Dragging notes up and down the staff scrolls smoothly through all available instruments.
  • Seamlessly copy music back and forth between percussion and standard notation staves.

Automatic Playback

  • Automatic playback configuration – your snare will playback with a snare sound – and so forth – without any manual intervention.
  • Easily re-map your percussion playback without changing your score. Change playback from one instrument library to another – or to an external midi device. If you use built-in sounds in the office, and external MIDI sounds at home – Finale was made for you.

Simplified Percussion Playback Setup

Now you can configure how your percussion staves look and play back – all in one place – speeding up the process of using a new percussion sound library.

Additional enhancements allow you to see only note types that have been defined for playback on the current staff, simplifying their selection, and ensuring that you get creating sooner.


  • Create custom percussion MIDI maps for ultimate control over the sounds your percussion staves play back.
  • Easily change between pitched and non-pitched percussion by changing percussion playback maps on any staff anywhere in your score
  • When more than one instrument appears on the same line or space, you can now control which appears first – you don’t have to switch from side stick to snare.
  • Choose to retain staff position or MIDI pitch when copying between percussion and standard notation staves.
  • On-screen feedback indicates when a staff contains notes not found in that staff’s percussion layout.

Enter chord symbols by typing in their names, playing them with a MIDI keyboard, or by alternating between these two entry methods – all without visiting a menu. Simple, intuitive keystrokes make it easy to move to the next beat or measure as well as delete or edit existing chords.

Finale automates the process of adding capo chords to your music and gives you the freedom to control whether they replace or appear in addition to non-capo chords, as well as whether they appear in specific sections or the entire piece.

Capo Chords

Additional Chord Functionality


Chord symbols in Finale featuring the Broadway Copyist hand-written font.

  • Change or delete notes without changing your chords.
  • Attach chords to measures – whether or not they contain notes or rests – and have the chords appear and playback exactly how you wish.
  • On-screen feedback lets you instantly see what beat or measure each chord is attached to even if you manually reposition your chords.
  • Enter chords before entering notes.
  • Easily create chord-only charts.
  • Chords and fretboards automatically resize as your page resizes – plus you have easy scaling controls for fretboards and chords in document options.
  • Intuitive QWERTY and MIDI keystrokes let you move the cursor to the first beat of adjacent measures (plus it’s easy to move to adjacent beats) and vertically stack chords.
  • Chords attached to whole rests or notes automatically appear at the beginning of a measure.
Repeats and Codas

Repeats are easy to add and edit and they automatically play back. Select the measures that will appear in the first ending. Select “Create first and second ending.” You’re done.

Finale automatically does the rest of the work for you:

  • All numbers and brackets are entered and lined up.
  • Repeat numbers are automatically followed by periods.

You can also choose to:

  • Add mid-measure repeats without affecting your measure numbering.
  • Specify where text and brackets appear in your score and parts.
  • Align brackets and reset bracket position.

Create Codas

Finale automatically creates space, text, and symbols as well as controls playback.

Coda system example in Finale

Tablature and Fretboards

Instant Capo Chords

Finale automates the process of adding capo chords to your music. 

Finale can handle notation for an amazing array of fretted instruments.

Enter notes directly into TAB staves using a mouse, computer keyboard, or MIDI device. Or copy from a companion Standard Notation Staff to a TAB staff and vice versa. Specify the lowest fret to use as you paste.

Guitar Copy paste feature in Finale

Once the music is in the tab staff, it is incredibly easy and intuitive to edit. For example, to change a fret number from ‘2’ to ‘3’, just select the note and type ‘3’.

Up and Down arrow keys move a selected number to other strings. Numbers appear in orange when out of fret range.

Guitar Hammer in Finale

Finale’s handling of stems in tablature is unequaled in ease and power. Various stem styles are easily applied. Use the “Tab Styles” library that comes with Finale or create your own.

Guitar Styles in Finale

  • Bends and shapes automatically convert when you paste between Standard and TAB staves.
  • Notating hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends, and releases is a breeze.
  • User-defined defaults for guitar bends are standard.
  • Custom Smart Shapes now contain an expanded list of guitar-specific lines.
  • Bends can effortlessly do stair steps and double bends.

Finale’s engraver-quality slurs, introduced with Finale 2002, revolutionized music notation software with their ability to automatically snap to avoid collisions – even after transpositions that cause stems to flip.

Finale Slur exampleWe’ve also fine-tuned slurs to ensure that edits made at high view percentages always produce the same results when viewed at 100% and when printed – and that on-screen appearance is consistently representative of high-resolution output so there are no surprises at the printer.


Unicode Support

Unicode text support allows you to use all the characters in your fonts and easily write and share your music in any language.

Want to correctly type Antonín Dvořák’s name? Are you translating a hymn to Korean? Or do you simply need to add something like a music copyright symbol? Today’s Finale can display any character you wish.

See this hymn transformed using Unicode fonts:

Unicode English

Unicode Japanese

Unicode Korean

Unicode Russian