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Finale is the standard application used by musicians of all levels to compose, arrange, play, and print music. In this course, Rick Schmunk shows any aspiring or professional musician, composer, or arranger how to become proficient with Finale 2012. The course shows how to notate musical scores, ranging from simple lead sheets and guitar tablature parts to detailed scores, and bring them to life with instruments and share them with an audience.
After you enter the notes, lyrics, and chords into a lead sheet, you will probably want or need to make some small formatting adjustments to improve the overall look of your score. Let's take a look at the most common score parameters that might need some fine adjustment. Now, the first thing I want to do is I want to set the measures per line. You see that this is crowded, and I will admit that I have kind of messed this up a little bit so that we'd have some work to do. So I am going to choose the Selection tool, and remember, we can move a measure from line to line by simply choosing the measure, and then using the Down arrow to move that to the next line. I can use the Up arrow to move it back.
Another way we can do this is the entire score all at once. So I am going to go Command+A; that would be on the Mac, or a Control+A on the PC, and I will select all. I will go up to the Utilities menu, and I am going to choose Fit Measures, and I will choose Lock Layout with 4 Measures Per System. And that looks pretty good, but I actually wanted to get four full measures on the first stave, and you will notice that I only have three, plus the pickup measure. So I am going to undo that; I am going to manually do the first line. So I have got 1, 2, 3, 4; select that, Down arrow to move that down, and now I'm going to Shift+click the last measure to extend my selection to the end of the song.
And then I will go back up to the Utilities menu, and I'll choose Fit Measures, and I will use Locked Layout with 4 Measures again. And the only thing that it looks like I don't like here is the fact that it put that last measure on its own line. So I am going to select that, and put that back up by pushing the Up arrow. Looks like I need to format the chords on this last line, so I am going to use the Chord tool quickly; select that last line, and then use the triangle second from the right to adjust only that line to move those up above the first and second ending.
Now, things are still looking just a bit crowded. So let me explain just a little bit about page size, and what's happening in Finale. So a lot of music is actually printed in what we call folio size, and that's actually a little bit larger than your normal 8.5 by 11. But we, as amateurs printing this music, don't have a professional size printer often, and we will be printing to 8.5 by 11. So I am actually going to reduce the size of the music just a little bit to make it look better and space better. So I am going to choose the Percentage tool, and I can use this in three ways.
I can actually click a note and resize a single note head. I can click in an empty space of a stave, and I can resize that staff for the entire score. Or, you can click up in the upper left-hand corner of the page, and you can resize the page, and all staff and staff systems for the entire score. So in this case, I have only got one staff, so probably the easiest option is just to click inside the stave, and if you go to about 90%, this is going to look really good.
You notice that it changed the size of the chords, and the lyrics, and all the music contained. Now, there is one other pet peeve I have about this particular template, and that is that we have got a real large left -hand margin over here, and it's also indented this first line. To fix that stuff, I am going to go to the Page Layout tool, and I am going to move the -- in fact, I will close that briefly. I'm going to move that out of the way so that I can see the handles on this. Now, we have both page margins and we have staff margins in Finale.
The little handles that you see in the upper corners of the pages; those are actually page margins. So I am going to right-click on one of those, and I am going to choose Edit Margins. You will notice that I am in the Edit Page Margins dialogue, and I am going to set that left margin to be a half an inch, just like the rest of the score. Go ahead and click Apply; you'll notice that moves over. And on this first line, I want to extend that out, so it looks like the rest of the lines. I don't need to go into a dialogue to do that.
I am just going to grab this handle over here in the left side, and I am going to drag it past the margin. Now, Finale won't let you actually print past the margins, so when you drag past, it's actually going to set it exactly to the page margin, and we are done and ready to go with that. Now, there is a few other things that we might want to adjust to make this more of a typical lead sheet. We are going to do that by going into Document Options. Click the Document menu, and then down at the bottom, choose Document Options. And while we are there, you might want to take note of the shortcut: Option+Command+A, or on a PC that would be Control+Alt+A. This is a window that you're going to go into a lot to fine tune the appearance of a score.
So, some of the things that I don't like here are the left-hand barlines at the beginning of lines. So I'm going to choose Barlines, and notice that there is an option here for Left Barlines for Display on Single Staves. So I am going to uncheck that, and then I am going to come down to the bottom and click the Apply button. You will notice that the left-hand barlines just disappeared at the beginning of the staves. I'm also going to go down to Key Signatures, and I am going to choose Display Key Signature Only on First Staff System.
That's kind of a common practice in lead sheets. So we'll see the key signature here, and then that's going to disappear down there. Now, we can make multiple changes before you click Apply, so I am going to do one more thing, and that is I am going to go to the Repeats tab, and I really like this Curved style more than the kind of plain None, but you can choose the Curved, or Single, or whatever you prefer. So I will click that, and now I will click Apply, and OK. When I go back to the score, you notice that I don't have left barlines, I don't have the Key Signature on each stave, only on the first one, and now I've got the Curved style for my repeats.
Now, the other thing that I might do in this score is remove the measure numbers. You really don't need them in score that's only 17 bars long. So I am going to go back to the Window menu, and choose my Main tool Palette so that reappears, and now I can click the Measure tool. I can go to Measure > Edit Measure Number Regions, and right now it's telling me that I have a Region 1 going from measure 2 to 999, and that's what's creating these measure numbers on the far left-hand side of each stave.
I'm just going to go ahead and click Delete, and click OK, and it looks like we've got this in hand. So in the last several lessons, we have learned to enter notes, accidentals, rests, lyrics, chords, and repeats, and how to format them all. Now you're ready to create beautiful lead sheets, and print them so you can perform them with your friends and colleagues.
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