Chant notation

Enter music without a time signature as in chant and other meterless music.

Finale’s ability to space notes and lyrics within measures can be used to great advantage in creating ‘measureless’ or ‘non-mensural’ notation. All of the rhythmic and spacing values that you will use to manage the creation of a measureless score can be displayed and made available for reference until the notation is finished. At that time note stems, barlines, time signatures, etc. can all be hidden. This process can be applied to a recitative, a cadenza, a melismatic phrase, a modern approximation of chant, or any other episodic occurrence of ‘free’ notation. Click through the options below to get started.

In this lesson, you will learn how to

  1. Set up a document for chant notation
  2. Add the music and details
  3. Hide staves and measure items

Step 1: Setting up the document.

Step 2: Adding music and details.

Step 3: Hiding staves and measure items.

Additional tips

  • Once the music is entered, you can use either the beat charts of the measure tool or the note position special tool to precisely position the notes within each "measure".
  • If you do not want stems, choose Document > Document Options. Click the Stems category from the list on the left, and set the Normal and Shortened Stem Lengths to zero.
  • If you are transcribing early music, such as Gregorian square notation or Italian mixed notation, you may want to find an alternative third-party music font, such as one containing neumes.