Beat positions

When using Finale, beats are positioned according to nonlinear spacing—in other words, the positioning of beats in a measure that contains a half note and four eighth notes won’t be the same as in a measure with four eighths and a half note—even though the measures are the same width. See Document Options - Music Spacing for a more complete discussion.

Each measure has beat chart (when using Automatic Music Spacing), providing handles that you can drag horizontally to reposition the beats in a measure. Moving a beat is not the same as moving a note—when you move a beat, the note that falls on that beat in every staff moves at once.

To create a beat chart in one measure

Until a measure has a beat chart, you won’t have control over the positions of the individual beats. If you apply the Music Spacing command to a certain measure, you affect the spacing of the notes and provide a beat chart; see Document Options - Music Spacing. The following method, on the other hand, adds a beat chart to the selected measures without changing the spacing of the music in them.

  1. Choose the Measure tool icon, and double-click the barline handle of a measure. The Measure Attributes dialog box appears.
  2. From the Position Notes dropdown menu, choose Using Beat-Chart Spacing. Click OK.
  3. Choose the Selection tool icon.
  4. Choose Edit > Edit Filter.
  5. Click None and select Note Positioning.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Drag the measure you’ve already modified so that it’s superimposed on the first target measure. Finale asks how many times you want to copy the positioning mode; enter the appropriate number and click OK (or press ENTER).

Noteman says: This process requires that the measure in question has a Beat Chart (see Document Options - Music Spacing or To create a beat chart in one measure, above).

To move a beat

  1. Choose the Measure tool icon. Two stacked handles appear on each barline.
  2. Click the second from the top barline handle of the measure in question. The beat chart appears above the measure. The top row of handles indicates the positions of the beats according to the time signature (as they were before you respaced the music). By dragging a handle on the bottom row, you can reposition a beat in all staves at once.

    When you click on the bottom barline handle, a beat chart appears. The top row of handles indicates the positions of the beats as they’d fall with linear spacing, and the bottom row of handles allows you to move beat positions by dragging them.

  3. Drag the desired beat’s handle horizontally. Press SHIFT while dragging to move all handles to the right of the dragged handle in tandem. Double-click between two top-row handles to display a new handle which governs the position of the beat halfway between the handles on either side.
  4. Double-click any top-row handle (except the first) to display the Beat Chart dialog box.

Noteman says: To copy the positioning mode you’ve just established to other measures, you’ll need to turn off Automatic Music Spacing in Preferences > Edit.