Noteman says: View the Adding expressions and dynamics QuickStart Video for an overview.
Expressions are markings that tell the performer how to interpret (or express) a musical passage. In Finale, expressions are generally symbols or text placed above or below the staff. Dynamics, tempo indications (Allegro), and performance practice markings (pizz.) are among the figures added as expressions. Because of their positioning characteristics, expressions are best suited for other types of markings as well, such as rehearsal marks. (Although shapes such as slurs and hairpins are also used to communicate the manner of expression, these are generally added as Smart Shapes, whose properties are specially designed for graphical editing. Markings that apply to a single note/beat are added as Articulations.)
Because similar types of expressions usually share positioning and appearance characteristics, Finale separates the different types of expressions into independent categories. Categories permit, for example, all dynamics to automatically share the same font, size, and positioning settings. Furthermore, changes to a category apply to all expressions in that category, including those that have already been added to the score. Finale includes six categories already, each with unique font, positioning, and staff assignment settings. (Each category's settings can be changed at any time using the Category Designer dialog box).
Additional expression categories may be added in the Category Designer dialog box, and individual expressions may be moved from one category to another in the Expression Selection dialog box.
Behind the scenes, the markings available in the Expression Selection dialog box are stored in librariesSets of musical symbols, expression markings, and other important musical elements that are stored on your hard drive. Because you may want to use different kinds of symbols in different kinds of pieces, Finale includes a way to save any special symbols you create while working in a document (articulations, chord symbols, and so on) into a standalone library file. These libraries may then be “loaded into” any document. A Finale document with no libraries loaded will seem stripped-down, because each time you open a selection dialog box (to place an articulation or chord symbol, for example), it will be empty. That’s why the Maestro Font Default file has already been loaded with the most commonly used libraries so you can begin work immediately.. All of Finale's expressions, articulations, and other markings are stored in libraries because different documents require different types of markings. For example, if you’re scoring a big band piece, you may want to create a library full of fall-off, bend, and “doit” markings—but you certainly won’t need those expressions when you write a string quartet. The File menu in Finale offers two commands: Load Library, for bringing expression marks into a document, and Save Library, for storing symbols you have created or modified in a separate library of their own, ready to be imported into future pieces. Note that Document Styles include libraries, and can be used to load a collection of libraries every time you begin a new document.
A basic set of Expression markings is already included whenever you start a new default document, template, or document with the Setup Wizard. If the Expression Selection dialog box is empty when you’re attempting to place an expression in the score, you can remedy the situation by choosing File > Load Library, locating the Libraries folder, and double-clicking the correct libraries (the Articulation Library for the Articulation tool, Text Expression Library and Shape Expression Library for the Expression tool).
For information regarding the behavior of expressions in linked parts, see Expressions in linked parts.
If you intend to make use of the Shape Expressions, it’s important that you assign each to a Metatool (see To create Expression Metatools for full instructions) before placing them in the score. Otherwise, you’ll find that the shapes aren’t individually reshapable; if you change one, they all change.
Working with expressions individually
These steps demonstrate how to assign a expression (dynamic, tempo marking, style markings, etc.) to your score. To add an auto-sequenced rehearsal mark, see To define and add custom rehearsal marks.
- Choose the Expression tool .
- Double-click on, above, or below the note or measure to which you want to attach the marking. To add an expression to multiple adjacent staves, click and drag a box around those staves. The Expression Selection dialog box appears.
- Choose the desired category from the list on the left (or choose Show All to display all of them). Each category represents font and positioning settings that apply to all included expressions (see Category Designer). For example, all dynamics in the score, as well as future dynamics added, will respect changes made to the Dynamics category unless the expression has been specifically excluded from category settings in the Expression Designer (by deselecting Use Category Fonts/Use Category Positioning).
Notice the number or letter to the upper right of some expressions. This is the MetatoolA Finale keyboard shortcut that lets you enter markings very quickly. Up to 36 Metatools can be programmed for the following items: Articulations, Chord Symbols, Expressions, Key Signatures, Time Signatures, Selection, Repeats, and Tuplets. The name for these shortcuts gave rise to the old chestnut, "I never metatool I didn't like." assignment (see below). You can hold down this key and click to add the expression directly to the score. While viewing the Expression Selection dialog box, to assign a new Metatool key to a selected expression, hold down SHIFT and press the key.
- Click Assign (or double-click the expression) to add it to the score. Any expression that is not a tempo mark, tempo alteration, or rehearsal mark (see Score ListScore lists are applied to expressions that apply to the full score including tempo marks, tempo alterations, and rehearsal marks. They indicate the staves on which these expressions should appear and can be edited in the Category Designer dialog box.) can be assigned to any number of staves. Click the
drop-downnext to the Assign button to choose a list of specific staves for assignment. Or click Assign to Specific Staves to define a new list. See Assign to Staves dialog box. See To assign an Expression to Multiple Staves (Assignment Lists), below. Finale assigns the expression according to positioning settings defined for the category in the Category Designer.
An attachment indicator line displays the expression's attachment point. Click and drag the expression to change the expression's attachment point (to a different beat or measure). To position the expression relative to a different staff, drag the expression over the desired staff.
Some expressions always apply to the performance of the full score (every staff) including tempo marks, tempo alterations, and rehearsal marks. Whenever you add an expression in one of these categories, they appear on staves selected in its category's Score ListScore lists are applied to expressions that apply to the full score including tempo marks, tempo alterations, and rehearsal marks. They indicate the staves on which these expressions should appear and can be edited in the Category Designer dialog box.. See Category Designer.
Expressions that apply to single staves, including dynamics, technique text, and expressive text, can be added to multiple adjacent staves simultaneously using Metatools (see To add an expression using Metatools). They can also be added to all staves, or a selection of specific staves using the Assign
- Choose the Expression tool .
- Double-click on, above, or below the note or measure to which you want to attach the marking. Or, double-click the handle of an existing expression. The Expression Selection dialog box appears.
- Choose the Dynamics, Expressive Text, Technique Text, or Miscellaneous category from the list on the left. Assignment Lists are only available for categories not compatible with Score ListsScore lists are applied to expressions that apply to the full score including tempo marks, tempo alterations, and rehearsal marks. They indicate the staves on which these expressions should appear and can be edited in the Category Designer dialog box..
- Click the
drop-downmenu next to the Assign button and choose the desired Assignment List. Finale adds the expression to the staves specified in the list. If you originally double-clicked an existing expression, Finale replaces the existing expression(s) with the newly assigned ones.
- To create a new list, click Assign to Staves to open the Assign to Staves dialog box where you can define a new Assignment List.
You can also change the staff assignment of an existing expression by right-clicking the expression and choosing Assign to Staves. See Expression tool contextual menus.
Additional expression assignment keyboard shortcuts
- Select an expression handle and press
CTRL+Up arrow or CTRL+Down arrow to add the expression to the staff above or below (respectively).
- Select an expression handle and press
CTRL+HOME or CTRL+END to add the expression to all staves above or below (respectively).
- Select an expression handle and press
CTRL+ ALT+ ENTERto add the expression to all staves.
Use the steps below to manually reposition a crescendo marking. If you want to align these markings with each other, see Align/Move Dynamics Plug-in. See also To adjust the vertical positioning of expressions on a baseline, below.
- Choose the Expression tool .
- Drag the handle to move the marking. As you drag horizontally, the attachment indicator line jumps beats or measures to show the current attachment.
- Hold down
ALTand drag the handle to move the marking without changing the attachment point.
- Select it and press DELETE to remove it. Once the handle is selected, you can also use the arrow keys to “nudge” the marking for fine positioning. Alternatively, rightclick the expression and choose Delete.
Three of Finale's default expression categories include score lists: Tempo Marks, Tempo Alterations, and Rehearsal Marks. Score Lists are Finale's way of hiding expressions on certain staves of the full score, although they apply to all staves (and usually appear in every part). See Category Designer dialog box for more information. In the score, they can be moved independently.
- Drag the top Master expressionAll expressions that are subject to a Score List include a master expression, which is the first occurrence of the expression (vertically) in the score. When you drag this expression, all other occurrences of the expression (in both the score and parts) move uniformly. Press ` (tilde) while dragging a master expression to move it independently. (the one assigned to the highest staff) to move all occurrences of the expression in the score.
- Drag a subsequent expression (one assigned to a staff other than the top staff) to move only that expression occurrence.
- Hold down ` (tilde) and drag the Master expression to move it independently.
Working with expressions by region
- Choose the Selection tool . Select the desired region. See Selecting music for some region-selecting shortcuts.
- Choose Edit > Clear Items. The Clear Selected Items dialog box appears.
- Check Expressions. There are two types of expressions listed. If you choose "Tempo Marks, Tempo Alterations & Rehearsal Marks" be sure the full measure stackA selected region including full measures in every staff is called a measure "stack" and is indicated by highlighting extending from the top to the bottom staff, including the area between staves. is selected.
- Click OK.
You can copy any musical element from one passage to another. In this discussion, the source measures are those that now contain the marking, and the target measures are those to which you want to copy them.
- Choose the Selection tool .
- Choose Edit > Edit Filter. The Edit Filter dialog box appears.
- Select Expressions and click OK.
There are two Expression check boxes. If you choose Tempo Marks, Tempo Alterations, & Rehearsal Marks, the source region will need to be a full measure stackA selected region including full measures in every staff is called a measure "stack" and is indicated by highlighting extending from the top to the bottom staff, including the area between staves..
- Select the source measures. See Selecting music for some selecting shortcuts.
- Drag the first source measure so that it’s superimposed on the first target measure. If the first target measure is offscreen, scroll to it; then, while pressing
CTRL, click it. Alternatively, you can use the clipboard to copy ( CTRL+C, then CTRL+V; see Copying Music).
If you want Finale to copy everything as you continue to edit your score, uncheck Edit > Use Filter. The configuration of the Edit Filter dialog box remains until edited manually, even after closing and restarting Finale.
Working with expressions globally (by document)
- Choose the Expression tool . Double-click on, above, or below the note to which you want to attach the marking. The Expression Selection dialog box appears.
- Choose the desired expression category from the list on the left. Finale automatically applies the category's font, style, and size to the new expression. If you would like to change the font, size, or style, you can do so in the Category Designer dialog box.
- Click the Create [expression category] button. The Expression Designer dialog box appears.
- Choose Text and type the text to create a text expression.
- Choose Shape and click Create to create a shape expression. Design the shape and click OK. See Shape Designer.
- To assign a playback effect for the expression, click the Playback tab. See To define an expression for playback, below.
- Category positioning is already defined. To change the positioning settings for the expression, click the Positioning tab. See To assign the default positioning for an expression category, below.
- If you are creating a rehearsal mark, and would like to use Finale's auto-sequencing rehearsal marks, check Auto Sequencing. See also To define and add custom rehearsal marks.
- Click OK. The expression appears in the Expression Selection dialog box.
- Click Assign to add it to the score. If the expression is not a tempo mark, tempo alteration, or rehearsal mark (see Score ListScore lists are applied to expressions that apply to the full score including tempo marks, tempo alterations, and rehearsal marks. They indicate the staves on which these expressions should appear and can be edited in the Category Designer dialog box.) it can be assigned to any number of staves using Assignment ListsA list of staves designated for expression assignment. An Assignment List can be chosen directly from the Assign drop-down menu of the Expression Selection dialog box. Assignment Lists are defined in the Assign to Staves dialog box.. Click the
drop-downnext to the Assign button to choose a list of specific staves for assignment. Or click Assign to Specific Staves to define a new list. See Assign to Staves dialog box.
- Double-click any expression's handle (or select an expression's handle and press
ENTER) to open the Expression Selection dialog box where you can choose a different expression or edit the existing one.
- SHIFT+double-click an expression's handle (or select an expression's handle and press SHIFT+
ENTER) to open the Expression Assignment dialog box where you can specify positioning changes, staff assignment, and playback options for the expression.
Expressions that always apply to the full score, such as tempo marks and rehearsal marks, can be assigned to more than one staff using a Score ListScore lists are applied to expressions that apply to the full score including tempo marks, tempo alterations, and rehearsal marks. They indicate the staves on which these expressions should appear and can be edited in the Category Designer dialog box.. You can apply a Score List to a category in the Category Designer. For more information, see Score List dialog box.
The following instructions allow you to define an expression for playback manually. Note that Human Playback interprets expressions and performs them automatically based on the selected Human Playback Style.
- Choose the Expression tool and double-click the expression. If you haven’t yet placed the mark in the score, double-click any note or measure. The Expression Selection dialog box appears.
- Choose the expression and click Edit. The Expression Designer dialog box appears.
- Click the Playback tab.
- From the Type
drop-downmenu, choose the playback effect you want the marking to have. Many of these are self-explanatory: Tempo, Key Velocity, and so on.
- To set a specific value for this parameter, enter a number in the Set To Value box.
The units for these items are usually what you’d expect. Tempo is quarter notes per minute. Key Velocity is MIDI velocity (0, silent; to 127, very loud). Transposition is in half steps (to transpose up an octave, type 12 in the Set To Value box).
When you’ve entered a value into the Set To Value box, you’re finished defining the shape for playback. The rest of these steps deal with creating playback definitions that change over time—for example, MIDI pitch wheel data (for a pitch bend), Tempo (for a ritard), Key Velocity (for a crescendo), and so on.
- If the playback parameter is to change over time, select Execute Shape, and then click the Select button. The Executable Shape Selection dialog box appears. If the desired shape appears here, double-click it and skip to the instruction marked by the asterisk (*).
- Click Create. In the next box, click Shape ID. In the next box, click Create. The Shape Designer appears.
- Choose Shape Designer > Rulers and Grid. The Rulers and Grid dialog box appears, asking you to specify the background grid increments.
- Click Eighth Notes, enter 1 in the text box, then click OK.
- Choose Shape Designer > Show > Grid. A network of grid points appears, where each horizontal grid point represents an eighth note’s duration.
- Draw the Executable Shape (for instructions, see Shape Designer). What you're drawing is a graph whose contour Finale follows as it plays back your music. A ritardando (or a diminuendo, for that matter) looks like a straight line, or gentle curve, sloping down. A pitch bend looks like a scoop down or up.
As you draw, keep in mind that each imaginary vertical grid line represents an eighth note’s duration, and each horizontal grid line represents one change in value. If you’re creating a crescendo, the volume will increase an equal amount each time your shape crosses a horizontal grid line. If you’re creating a rallentando, the tempo will decrease each time your shape crosses a horizontal grid line. In a later step, you’ll learn how to determine the rhythmic value of these grid lines—specifying, for example, whether the volume increases every eighth note or every sixteenth note. But for the moment, realize that the height of your shape (the number of horizontal grid lines it crosses) determines how many changes in value there will be. (The shape for a rallentando that crosses eight horizontal grid lines will create eight small tempo changes when the expression to which it’s assigned is played back.)
ENTERtwice. You arrive at the Executable Shape Designer dialog box. The two most important elements here are the Time Scale and Level Scale boxes.
- Enter a new Time Scale, if necessary. When you created the shape, you determined how long the playback effect would last (by the number of vertical grid lines your shape crossed). The Time Scale ratio—formed by a combination of the two text boxes—is multiplied by the length of the shape you drew so that you can change the total duration affected by the shape. A 1:1 ratio means that each vertical grid line your shape crosses (in the Shape Designer) represents an eighth note duration.
Suppose you’re defining the Executable Shape for a crescendo. If the shape you drew was only a quarter note long (two grid lines in the Shape Designer), the crescendo will last for exactly a quarter note—if you leave the Time Scale at 1:1. To make the crescendo last twice as long, change the Time Scale to 2:1. If you want it to last only a third as long, the Time Scale should be 1:3. The values you enter here determine the span of time affected by your shape.
- Enter a new Level Scale, if necessary. The Level Scale, like the Time Scale, is a ratio. Instead of determining how long the Executable Shape’s effect will last, the Level Scale determines how much change you’ll hear (in the MIDI parameter you’ve specified).
When you designed your shape, each horizontal grid line crossed by your shape represented one change in MIDI value: a tempo change from 60 to 59 beats per minute, a MIDI key velocity change from 120 to 121, a transposition down one half step. By changing the Level Scale, you can multiply that number to create more dramatic changes in the playback effect. For a ritard, you might want to specify a Level Scale of 10:1, so that the tempo drops by 10 beats per minute for each horizontal grid line crossed by your shape.
- Click OK or Select or Assign in each dialog box until you return to the document. Listen to the effect of your Executable Shape. Can you even hear your ritard in playback? If not, increase the Level Scale ratio. Is your crescendo too brief? Then increase the Time Scale ratio. If you’re still puzzled, examine one of the predefined Text or Shape Expressions that use Executable Shapes: the crescendo hairpin, for example, or the rallentando expression.
- Choose Document > Category Designer. The Category Designer dialog box appears.
- Select the category and edit the positioning settings.
- Click OK. Existing and future expressions in the category reflect your updated positioning settings.
You can adjust the vertical positioning of expressions along a baseline after they have been entered provided they have been set to Above Staff Baseline or Below Staff Baseline in the Vertical Alignment section of the Expression Designer - Positioning dialog box.
Noteman says: View the Using the positioning triangles QuickStart Video for a demonstration of how to use the positioning triangles.
- Choose the Expression tool . The Expression menu appears.
- Choose Expression > Adjust Above Staff Baseline or Adjust Below Staff Baseline depending on whether you want to move expressions above or below the staff, respectively. Positioning triangles appear to the left of the staff.
- Drag the positioning triangles to adjust the vertical positioning of the expressions. These triangles are handles that control the baseline for the expressions (the invisible line against which the bottoms of the letters align).
- Dragging the leftmost triangle up or down moves the baseline for these expressions vertically, affecting the entire piece.
- Dragging the second triangle sets the baseline for expressions for this staff only.
- Dragging the third triangle, whose effect is only visible in Page View, sets the baseline for this staff in this system only.
- Dragging the rightmost triangle sets the baseline for the next expression you enter.
For information regarding baselines in linked parts, see Baseline Positioning in linked parts.