Noteman says: To ensure your music is written entirely within the range of the instrument(s) you are writing for, use Finale's automatic range-checking feature. See Ranges.

The term "instrument" with regards to Finale can mean several different things. For example, manufacturers of Audio Units sound sample libraries, like Garritan, refer to their sound samples as "instruments." The manufacturer of MIDI devices and sound modules refer to their various General MIDI (and non-General MIDI) sounds as "instruments." (The term MIDI itself means ("Musical Instrument Digital Interface"). Of course, an "instrument" might also refer to a trumpet or flute, or, for sheet music, an individual staff or part.

Finale has its own definition of an instrument–a collection of all aspects pertaining to the visual display of the staff/staves as they appear on the printed page (staff name, transposition, clef, etc). Finale includes an internal library of just about any instrument you can imagine, each configured to represent the standard transposition, clef, staff lines, range, and so forth. Instruments are also integral to ensuring Finale designates the appropriate playback sound (based, for example, on your Sound Map preferences). Instruments also facilitates mid-score instrument changes if your score requires a flute player, for example, to switch to an oboe at some point during the piece. All instruments in a document, including mid-score instrument changes, are presented to you in the ScoreManager.

Using the ScoreManager, you can view and edit the document’s instrument order, playback settings and other staff-specific settings.

Noteman says: To assign sounds to instruments for playback, see Configuring Instrument Playback.

Furthermore, the ScoreManager allows you to add, remove, reorder, or change instruments instantly. See Adding or inserting a new instrument and Reordering instrument staves.

Multi-staff instruments

Initially, the ScoreManager presents each instrument as a single row, no matter how many staves that instrument contains. A piano, for example, usually includes two staves, a treble clef staff for the right hand and a bass clef staff for the left hand. You can edit the staff-specific settings for each of those staves individually. Click the expand triangle next to the instrument name provides access to each staff.

The individual staves of a multi-staff instrument include the Drag icon . This allows such staves to be reordered within the multi-staff instrument (e.g. piano left hand above right hand).

Deleting staves from multi-staff instruments

Finale offers a delete button not only for instruments, but for staves within multi-staff instruments as well. When the delete button for a multi-staff instrument’s staff is clicked, the staff is removed from the ScoreManager and the score. The original instrument and any other staves in that instrument remain. If the last staff in a multi-instrument staff is deleted, the instrument is also removed.

Changing multi-staff instruments to single-staff instruments (and vice versa)

When you change a multi-staff instrument to a single-staff instrument (e.g. Piano to Flute), Finale converts the top staff to the new instrument and changes the lower staff to an undefined "Blank Staff" instrument, retaining all the original music.

Changing a multi-staff instrument to a single-staff instrument does not remove any staves.

The lower staff is changed to its own undefined treble clef "Blank Staff."

The new undefined instrument can be edited like any other instrument, changed or deleted as required. In all other respects, for example, regarding automatic channel/bank assignment, this new undefined staff is handled exactly as if a new instrument had been added. If the original instrument is a 3-staff instrument, like Organ, Finale changes the top staff and creates two 'Blank Staff' instruments.

When you change a single-staff instrument to a multi-staff instrument (e.g. Flute to Piano), Finale removes all mid-score instrument changes in favor of the multi-staff instrument. All notation remains in the top staff.

Mid-score instruments

Mid-score instrument changes can be viewed and edited in the ScoreManager.

Noteman says: To add an instrument change, see Adding mid-score instrument changes.

Viewing and editing mid-score instrument changes

When you select a region and add a mid-score instrument change (Utilities > Change Instrument), Finale adds two new rows to ScoreManager, one for the new instrument, and another for a return to the original instrument. The start measure for each is listed under the Start column. (If the Start column is not visible, choose Customize View > Start Measure to show it). To view these rows, click the expand triangle to the left of the Name of the starting instrument to expand the list. Mid-score instrument changes are listed below the Layers, Chords, and Expressions.

Each mid-score instrument change is listed, along with its Start measure, among the layers, chords, and expressions of the original instrument.

There is no expand triangle next to mid-score instrument changes, because changes to individual layers, chords, and expressions within mid-score instruments are not available. Attributes like volume and panning for a mid-instrument change can be adjusted in the Vol and Pan columns (select Customize View > Mix). (A mid-score instrument change can be made within an existing mid-score instrument change, and the list of instruments simply displays all changes in chronological order under the expanded list for the original instrument.) See To add mid-score instrument changes.

Deleting mid-score instrument changes

To delete a mid-score instrument change, click the button for the row of the instrument you want to remove. When you delete a mid-score instrument change, Finale expands the previous instrument to occupy the measures of the deleted instrument.

Click the button to remove mid-score instruments.

The previous instrument replaces the measures of the deleted instrument.

See also:


Staff Attributes

MIDI/Audio/Reassign Playback Sounds