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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.
In upcoming videos, we'll begin to learn the Finale interface. At first, we'll work from pre-existing files, so you'll need to know how to open Finale files. Also, if you want to use files created in other notation or music production programs, you'll need to know how to import MIDI and MusicXML files. So, pre-existing Finale files can be opened in a number of ways. First, if you've just opened Finale, you can open a variety of files from the Launch Window. So we can click the Open button, and navigate to the folder that holds the files, or if this window is closed, you can do the same thing by going to the File menu in Finale, and clicking Open.
Now, if the file was opened recently, it might be here on the most Recent files. So I am going to go Open, and then let's go to the Desktop here; that's where the exercise files are at. I'll click that folder, and then we are in chapter 2, and there is the subfolder that holds the files for this video. So let's choose the .mus file, and just note that that's the extension for any Finale score file. So let's go ahead and click Open. After you make changes to the file, you're going to want to update it.
So let's go back to the File menu, and you can either choose Save, or Save As. If you choose Save, you're going to save it with the same name. Now, if you want to update it with a different name, you would choose Save As, and then in this Save As dialog box, you can add, like, a version two at the end of that. I am going to save that to the Desktop, and we'll click Save. Now, if you also work with a music production program, like Pro tools, or Logic Studio, you may want or need to move your work back and forth between Finale and the production program.
One way this can be done is using a standard MIDI file. So let's go back to the File menu, and let's close the file we are looking at, and then let's go right back to the File menu again, and let's go to Open, and again, let's navigate down to our exercise files folder. And here again, we see this .mid file; now this is a standard MIDI file. Those can be opened by Finale, so let's choose that, and click Open. This time it's going to ask us a few questions before it does anything.
Now, most of these default settings have worked for me. The one place I would suggest you look is in the Quant Settings. That stands for quantization, and that's how Finale kind of cleans up the file as it brings it in. Now, notation files are actually simpler than the way we actually perform the music, and this Quantization Settings dialog helps us to clean up those files. So, as you import this music, you are going to want to tell Finale what's the Smallest Note Value that's played in this. Was it a sixteenth note, or an eighth note, or an eighth note triplet? And then, in addition to that, you can also indicate whether there's no triplets, and the word Tuplet in Finale refers to all types of triplets.
And if it doesn't, you would choose No Tuplets. If there is mixed rhythms, go ahead and choose that. I would also suggest you click this More Settings button, and in here, I would make sure that Minimize Rest is checked. And then, if there is MIDI data in that file that you want to bring in, like the Velocities, which represent how hard the keys on the piano were hit, I would go ahead and make sure that that's checked. So let's click OK, and OK, and when we've got all these parameters set, we'll say OK one last time, and Finale starts to analyze that MIDI file, and turn it into a notation file.
So it opens up, and if you remember from the last version that we were looking at, which was an actual score of the same thing, it looks like we got the notes for the most part. We're missing a lot of stuff. It didn't even bring in the Clarinet part transposed, and we didn't get any dynamics, or articulations, or anything else like that. This is kind of a raw data that we can work with, and oftentimes, when I import a MIDI file, the next thing I'll do is actually create a score in Finale, and then copy the data from this score that's actually good, and paste that into the other file.
So, while MIDI files are useful, there is actually a newer thing we can do. So I am gong to click File, and Close, and let's click Don't Save. In recent years, there's been an effort to create an open format that allows data to be more easily exchanged between music notation programs. And this is MusicXML, which is an XML based music notation format, and it's currently the best option, and able to transfer much more data than a standard MIDI file. So let's go back to the File menu, and let's choose MusicXML > Import, and once again, we'll need to navigate down to that folder, and it looks like we're already there, and let's choose this Woodwind Quartet.xml file.
I'll click Open, and it will take a second for Finale to analyze this again, and open it as a score file. And now when we look at this, we see, well, this looks a lot like the original file. We've got all the notes, we've got the transpositions, and we've got dynamics, and we've got crescendos, and articulations. So we are much closer to a finished score then we were with the MIDI file. So now that you know how to open, save, and import files, we're ready to learn how to enter notes into a Finale score.
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