Chord menu

How to get there

Choose the Chord tool . The Chord menu appears.

What it does

Use the Chord menu to specify how you want to add, define, or change chord symbols and fretboard diagrams.

  • Manual Input. Choose this command to either type chord symbols into the score or define and enter a chord symbol manually. If you're typing chord symbols and Finale doesn't recognize a chord, it will give you the option of creating the suffix. If you click OK, Finale displays the Chord Suffix Editor dialog box with the suffix already entered. You can make changes and then return to the score with the new suffix placed on the chord symbol. See for more details.
  • Allow MIDI Input. When this option is selected, Finale adds a chord symbol when you play the chord on your MIDI controller while entering chord symbols (see To play in chord symbols). The register of the chord you play doesn't matter, but the inversion does: if you play a C chord with an E on the bottom, Finale places a C/E chord symbol above the note. If it doesn't recognize the chord, it displays the Unknown Chord Suffix dialog box.

    To advance the cursor to the next beat (or note), press any MIDIMIDI is a standardized protocol by which music applications, computers and MIDI instruments talk to each other. pitch within an octave above middle C; to make the cursor retreat to the left one beat (or note), play any key within one octave below middle C. Play a single note more than an octave above/below middle C to advance/retreat by full measures.

  • One-Staff • Two-Staff • All-Staff Analysis. These commands immediately analyze the notes in any chord you click (including notes sustained from an earlier beat). One-Staff Analysis only considers notes in the staff you clicked. Two-Staff Analysis also takes into account the notes in the next staff down. In other words, it will use the notes struck simultaneously in both staves, as well as sustained notes, to formulate its chord guess, making this a useful option for deriving chord symbols from piano parts. All-Staff Analysis takes into account the notes in all staves of the score. In other words, it will use the notes struck simultaneously in all staves, as well as sustained notes, to formulate its chord guess, making this a useful option for deriving chord symbols from piano parts or a larger score containing any number of staves.

    All of the analysis methods work best if you've already loaded a Chords & Fretboards Library by choosing File > Load Library. If your Finale default file is in place in the Finale directory, you don't have to load this library, because the most common chord suffixes and fretboards have been loaded for you already. If it doesn't recognize the chord, it will display the Unknown Chord Suffix dialog box. Use the Chord Analysis Plug-in to analyze any selected region of a staff (or two staves) and add chord symbols automatically.

  • Chord Style. Select a command in this submenu to change the display style for all your chord symbols. See Chord Style submenu.
  • Left-Align Chords. Normally, Finale centers each chord symbol above the note to which it's attached. When this item is selected, however, Finale aligns the leftmost edge of each chord symbol with the note below it. Choose this command a second time to restore chord symbols to their centered position.
  • Italicize Capo Chords. If you’ve checked Capo At Fret in the Chord Definition dialog box, select this command to display the capo chord italicized.
  • Show Fretboards. When this item is selected, Finale displays chart-style fretboard diagrams beneath each chord symbol in the score (or will do so as soon as you add chord symbols). When you choose Show Fretboards a second time, all fretboards disappear. Finale uses the Lowercase setting for the Root Scale Tone in the Chord Definition dialog box to determine whether it will display the corresponding major or minor fretboard diagram. When you don’t specify a particular suffix and Lowercase is selected for the Root Scale Tone, Finale displays a minor fretboard diagram; if Lowercase is not selected, Finale displays a major fretboard diagram.
  • Position Chords • Position Fretboards. When Position Chords (or Position Fretboards) is selected in the Chord menu, four small triangles appear at the left side of the screen. These triangles govern the position of the baselineAn imaginary line used to align the bottom edge of font characters. Finale displays arrows that control the baseline positioning for lyrics and chords. for the chord symbols or diagrams (the imaginary horizontal line against which the bottoms of the chord symbols align). For information regarding baselines in linked parts, see Baseline Positioning in linked parts.
    • Drag the first (leftmost) triangle up or down to move all the chords in the piece.
    • Drag the second triangle to move the chords up or down in this staff only, regardless of the position of the leftmost triangle.
    • Drag the third triangle, in Page View, to move the chords in this staff in this system only.
    • Dragging the rightmost triangle doesn’t move any existing chord symbols; instead, it sets the position for the next one you enter.
  • Simplify Spelling. Choose this command to switch between spelling chord roots enharmonically, or spelling chord roots exactly as defined in the Chord Definition dialog box. When selected, Finale spells the root using the "simplest" enharmonic spelling (for example, Finale spells E as F). When this command is not selected, Finale spells the root using the exact root and alteration that appears in the Chord Definition dialog box.
  • Substitute Symbols. Choose this command to enter alterations (sharps or flats) and diminished symbols. When selected, Finale substitutes the MaestroOne of Finale's music character fonts. Both TrueType and PostScript versions are supported. diminished () and half-diminished () symbols when you type "o" (lower case letter o) or "%" (SHIFT+5), respectively. When not selected, Finale simply maps the keys directly, without substituting symbols. Deselect this command if you are using a font other than Maestro, and want to use the characters mapped to the o and SHIFT+5 slots in that font. Note that this command is used for chord entry only. Choosing this command will not affect any characters on chords already entered in the document
  • Edit Learned Chords. Select this command to display the Edit Learned Chords dialog box, where you can teach Finale to recognize new chords (or to label chords it does recognize in different ways), or to "forget" chords you've already taught it.
  • Change Chord Suffix Fonts. Choose this command to display the Change Chord Suffix Fonts dialog box, which lets you swap one font and style for another in your chord suffix library.
  • Enable Chord Playback. Check this option to include chord definitions in playback. Uncheck this option to remove chord definitions from playback. You can also manage the playback of chord symbols in individual staves by editing the Score Manager. The playback of chord symbols sustain until the end of the measure or the next chord symbol. To interrupt chord playback at any beat/note, type "N.C." (for no chord).

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