Explode Music dialog box

How to get there

  1. Choose the Selection tool icon, and select a region of measures.
  2. Choose Utilities > Explode Music.

You can also use a Selection tool Metatool: press the 2 key with selected measures. Or, hold down E while dragging selected measures to a destination.

What it does

Noteman says: If you place the music into existing staves, the music in the selected region for those staves will be lost.

In essence, Finale’s Explode Music command strips a chordal passage into individual single-line melodies on separate staves. You could use this feature, for example, to transform a piano reduction into four single-line melody staves for a choir.

Before it will "explode" the selected region, however, you have to tell Finale, in this dialog box, how many resultant staves you want, what clefs they should use, and how Finale should handle cases where there are more notes (or fewer notes) in a chord than there are staves on which the music will be exploded.

  • Split into __ Staves. This number specifies how many resultant staves Finale should create.
  • Explode Direction: Top Down • Bottom Up. These options decide how Finale fills the staves receiving music, especially when some chords have fewer notes than the chords around them. For example, when you are exploding music onto four new staves, and there is a chord which only contains three notes, Top Down places the three note chord on the top three staves, leaving the bottom staff empty. Using the same example you can make the lower three voices receive notes, (leaving the top staff blank) by selecting Bottom Up.
  • Extra Notes: Put in Top Staff • Put in Bottom Staff • Distribute to These Staves __ • Discard. These options are used when there are more notes in a chord than there are staves selected in the Split Into text box to determine how to deal with the overflow of notes. Finale divides the number of notes by the number of staves, with the remainder being the extra notes. If Only One Note per Staff is selected, at most one note will be assigned to each staff. When Put in Top Staff is selected, all extra notes from a chord will be placed in the topmost exploded staff. When Put in Bottom Staff is selected, all extra notes will be placed in the bottom most exploded staff. Discard will put the same number of notes on each staff and throw the extra notes away.

    When Distribute to These Staves __ is selected, it allows you to decide, explicitly, which staves will receive extra notes. For example, if you’re exploding the music from a chordal passage into three staves, and one of the chords contains five notes, this box decides which staves are allowed to receive more than one note of the chord, therefore, guaranteeing all the notes in the chord will be present in one of the resulting staves.

    In the example above, if you left the default numbers in this box (12340000), Finale would recalculate how the notes are to be distributed from the original five-note chord, allowing more than one note from the chord to appear in staff one and staff two. That is, it would notate the top two notes on the first exploded staff, the next two on the second staff, and the fifth (bottom) note on the third exploded staff. If the Distribute to These Staves was 22222222, however, Finale would place all the "extra" notes (the top three of the original five-note chord) on the second exploded staff; the remaining staves would receive one note apiece.

  • One Note Per Staff. Select this check box to ensure each staff receives at most one note when exploding music. All extra notes in the chord will then be distributed according to your Extra Notes settings.
  • Use These Clefs. If you select this check box, Finale consults the numbers in the text box to decide what clef to give each of the resultant exploded staves. The numbers in the text box are clef numbers, see Clef Designer dialog box for which numbers represent which clefs. The first number specifies the clef for the first exploded staff; the second number specifies the clef for the second staff, and so on.
  • Place Music into: New staves Added to Bottom of Score • Existing Staves Starting with. Select New Staves Added to Bottom of Score if you want Finale to create a number of new staves (specified by the Split Into __ Staves box) below the source Staff. Select Existing Staves Starting with to explode your music onto existing staves starting with the staff selected in the pop-up menu (replacing whatever music is currently on them).
  • OK • Cancel. Click OK to proceed with the exploding process. Click Cancel to return to the score without exploding any music.

Tip: The Numbers beside Clef refer to Finale’s numbering. 0=Treble Clef; 3=Bass Clef

See also:

Selection tool