Time Signature dialog box

How to get there

Choose the Time Signature tool icon and double-click a measure.

What it does

In this dialog box, you can specify a new meter for your document, including composite meters. You can also create a time signature that controls the beaming pattern of your notes and a separate one that appears in the score. In the few cases where Finale needs a default setting, it chooses a time signature of 4/4.

Noteman says: Want to display different beaming for your 6/8 time signature or display large time signatures? See Time signatures.

  • [Time signature preview]. This preview shows what the time signature will look like in your document based on settings in the dialog box.
  • Composite. Use this button to display the Composite Time Signature dialog box, where you can create a composite (complex) time signature, such as 3+2+2/8.
  • More Options • Fewer Options. Click this button to expand the dialog box, revealing a lower portion containing display options. Click Fewer Options to restore the dialog box to its compact form.
  • Number of Beats • Beat Duration. Use the Number of Beats spin controls, or type a number, to specify the number of beats in each measure. Use the Beat Duration pop-up menu to specify the lower number of the time signature—the rhythmic value of each beat.

    The way that you define your meter is very important because it also governs beaming in the affected region. In the case of cut time, for example, you should set the options so that the display shows two half notes. This way, the eighth notes are beamed together in groups of four.

    Even if you want Finale to display a completely different time signature in the score (by using the options under Use a Different Time Signature for Display), you still need to create an appropriate time signature using these primary options to govern the beaming of your piece.

  • Rebar Music. Select this option to control whether Finale rebars (rebeams) the music when changing the time signature. When deselected, Finale leaves the beaming of the notes as it currently appears in the score.
  • Measure ___ Through ___. Select this option and then specify the range of measures you want to be affected by this new time signature by entering their numbers in these text boxes. Finale displays the measure numbers for any region you have drag-selected in these text boxes.
  • Measure ___ Through End of Piece. Select this options to change the meter from the measure you clicked all the way to the end of the document. (In the text box, Finale proposes the measure you initially selected.)
  • Measure ___ To Next Time Change. Select this option to change the meter from the measure you clicked until the next measure with a different time signature. (In the text box, Finale proposes the measure you initially selected.)
  • Cancel • OK. Click OK (or press RETURN) to confirm, or Cancel to discard, the changes you’ve made and change the time signature in the specified measures.
  • Use a Different Time Signature for Display. This option, which only appears after you click More Options, gives you complete control over beaming.

    Using the primary time signature options (described above), create a meter that produces the beaming pattern you want. For example, suppose you want a time signature of 3/4, but you want eighth notes beamed together automatically in groups of three. In such a case, you could use the primary options to create a 6/8 time signature. But because you want 3/4 to appear in the printed score, click Use a Different Time Signature for Display, and set the lower Number of Beats and Beat Duration options to display 3/4 time. See Document Options - Time Signatures dialog box.

  • [Time signature preview]. This preview shows what the time signature will look like in your document if Use a Different Time Signature for Display is checked. The top time signature preview shows the beaming of the notes in the selected region.
  • Composite • Number of Beats • Beat Duration. These elements, which only appear after you click More Options, duplicate the functions of the Composite, Number of Beats, and Beat Duration controls in the unexpanded dialog box. These, however, only affect the time signature that will appear in the score, and don’t affect beaming.
  • Abbreviate. Use this checkbox to specify whether to use the common time signature symbol and not 4/4 time signature symbol in a particular occurrence of a time signature. The initial setting of the Abbreviate checkbox (checked if the time signature is abbreviated, unchecked if non-abbreviated) matches the global settings for Abbreviate Common Time and Abbreviate Cut Time in the Document Options - Time Signatures dialog box.

    You can decide whether or not to use the symbols (common time signature or cut time signature) each time a common or cut time signature appears in your music. This capability lets you easily mix common time and 4/4 time (or cut time and 2/2 time) in one piece. First, make sure that you have selected the Abbreviate Common Time and Abbreviate Cut Time to options in the Document Options - Time Signatures dialog box. Next, edit the time signatures in the measure where you want to change their appearance and choose the appropriate option in the expanded Time Signature dialog box.

See also:

Time signatures

Composite Time Signature dialog box

Beaming

Rebarring music

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