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Articulation Designer dialog box

How to get there

  1. Click the Articulation tool  image\Articulation_Tool.gif.
  2. Click on, above, or below any note. The Articulation Selection dialog box appears.
  3. Click Create (or click an existing symbol and click Edit).
  4. If an Articulation already appears in the score, click its note; a handle appears. Double-click the handle.

What it does

An articulation is a one-character marking that affects only a single note (an accent, staccato, or fermata, for example). In this dialog box you can specify the character to be used for the symbol, whether or not (and how) it should be "smart" (capable of centering itself and flipping when the note stem flips), and what playback effect, if any, it should have on the note it’s attached to.

You can make excellent use of these intelligent, self-positioning markings without ever even reading the following descriptions or understanding their workings. Simply load the pre-defined Articulations Library we’ve provided, work from the Maestro Font Default file we’ve provided, or copy the settings shown in the articulations table in the Finale Libraries section (See the Appendix).

If there’s no "upside-down" version of a symbol—which is usually the case—choose Main symbol from both drop-down

Once you’ve specified which symbol appears above, and which below, a note, Finale will place the correct symbol into the score automatically when you select it from the Articulation Selection dialog box. And if the note gets transposed so that its stem changes direction, Finale will automatically substitute the inverted symbol.

Choose either Vertically or Horizontally from the drop-down list, depending on how you want the symbol to stretch: Vertically for a rolled chord marking, and Horizontally for a trill. See Trills and Rolled Chords.

When you choose Change Key Velocity the numbers in the Top Note Value and Bottom Note Value text boxes represent MIDI key velocity (volume) values. These values can range from –127 to 127, where a negative number makes the affected note softer than unaffected notes, and a positive number makes it louder. Your marking will then affect the velocity (volume) of its note; accents, stress marks, and marcato marks are good examples. (A key velocity of 0 = silent playback)

When you choose Change Duration the numbers in the Note Value text boxes represent changes in the duration of the affected notes. A staccato mark is a good example of an articulation that uses this setting. When Change Duration is selected, Finale sustains the affected note for its notated value plus the duration indicated in the Top Note Value text box. (If you want every note of a chord to be sustained by a different amount, enter a different value in the Bottom Note Value text box too.)

The numbers in these text boxes are in EDUs, of which there are 1024 per quarter note. To affect the timing of a note, therefore, be sure to enter numeric values large enough to create a noticeable rhythmic difference on playback—256 EDUs (a sixteenth note) and higher, for example. Because EDUs are hard to compute, the best way to use this setting may be to select Values Are Percentages (see below), so that you can simply type a percentage of the notated value into the text box. To create a staccato marking, for example, you might type 50 (% of full note value) into the Top Note Value text box.

When you choose Change Attack, you’re telling Finale to shift the attack of the affected note forward or backward in time (without changing the note’s duration). A negative number tells Finale to strike the note slightly before the beat during playback; a positive number tells it to strike the note just after the beat.

This option is most useful in creating the rolled chord effect, which you can achieve by entering different values in the Top Note Value and Bottom Note Value text boxes. That’s because Finale ranges the attack times of the middle chord notes proportionally between the earliest and latest attacks (as specified by the values in the Top Note and Bottom Note text boxes), producing a true rolled-chord sound.

If you want the chord rolled from top to bottom, enter a negative number in the Top Note Value text box, and zero in the Bottom Note Value text box. If you enter zero for the Bottom Note Value and a positive number in the Top Note Value text box, the attacks of the upper chord notes will be late—in other words, the rolled chord will begin on the beat. For a more detailed discussion, see Rolled Chords.

If you don’t need a varied playback effect in chord situations— which is likely to be most of the time—leave the Bottom Note Value text box empty, and enter a value in the Top Note Value text box; Finale will apply the Top Note Value to the entire chord.

Select this checkbox if you want the articulation you’re designing always to fall outside the staff.

Choose Auto Note/Stem Side to allow Finale to decide whether the articulation should reside on the note or stem side of the staff. For example, if the addition of a new layer forces stems to flip, the articulation will also flip to the stem side.

If you manually flip the stem (L) of a note containing an articulation set to Auto Note/Stem Side, the Articulation will flip to the stem side. Revert to the default stem (SHIFT+L) to restore the articulations original placement. (These options are called "Flip Stem" and "Default Stem" under the Simple menu > Simple Edit Commands > Modify Entry.) Additionally, this setting automatically handles articulation placement when notes and layers are removed from staves while isolating a voice in a part. See Voicing for Staff in Part dialog box and Articulations in Linked Parts. Choose On Notehead Side if this marking should always appear on the notehead side of a note, even flipping if a transposition flips the note’s stem in the opposite direction. Choose On Stem Side for a marking that does the opposite—appears on, and always flips as necessary to remain on, the stem side of a note. (If you’ve specified a Flipped symbol, Finale will automatically substitute the upside-down symbol when the stem direction changes.)

Choose Above Note if you want this articulation always to appear above the note, regardless of the note’s stem direction, and Below Note if it should appear below the note, regardless of stem direction. (Choose Manually if you want to place this articulation by hand each time you place it into the score.)

Tip. if you like an articulation, but need to vary it slightly, duplicate the articulation in the Articulation Selection dialog box, then make your edits in this Designer dialog box.


See Also:


Articulation Tool

Apply Articulation dialog box

Articulation Selection dialog box

Symbol Selection dialog box

Handle Positioning dialog box



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