Note Shapes dialog box

How to get there

  1. To assign note shapes (or AlphaNotes) to an entire staff, Choose the Staff tool icon, and double-click a staff whose note shapes you want to modify. (Or, to assign note shapes (or AlphaNotes) to a Staff Style, choose Staff > Define Staff Style.)
  2. Select Use Note Shapes, and then click the adjacent Settings button.

What it does

The Special Tools tool lets you change normal noteheads to X noteheads, diamond noteheads, and so on, on a case-by-case basis. There may be times, however, when you need every occurrence of a certain pitch to have a certain shape. "Shape-note" gospel music uses such a system, for example, as do many drum parts. This dialog box not only lets you specify a different note shape for every note of the scale, but even a different note shape for every rhythmic value for every note of the scale. You can also use this feature for creating rhythm part slashes by using the slash mark instead of a notehead.

  • Replace: Double Whole • Half • Quarter. Using this dropdown menu, select the traditional notehead shape you want to change. The default notehead for Double Whole is , for Whole is , for Half is , and for Quarter (and smaller values) is . Bear in mind that you can specify a different notehead shape for each of these noteheads for each step of the scale.
  • Noteheads on Scale Degree ___ • [Arrow controls] • At Pitch. Either type, or click the arrow controls to select, the scale degree number for which you want to change the selected notehead shapes. For example, to change every occurrence of G to an X-notehead in the key of C, enter 5 in this text box, because G is the fifth note of the scale. Alternatively, click the At Pitch dropdown menu and choose a pitch letter to assign the selected notehead character to a specific pitch (in any octave). Assigning a noteheads to pitches is particularly useful if you would like to use the Finale AlphaNotes font.
  • With This Symbol: ___ • Select. The character displayed in this text box is the alphabetic equivalent of the particular notehead shape you’re specifying; it appears in the system font, regardless of what it looks like in the music font. For example, even if you’ve selected an X notehead in the Maestro music font, you’ll see an upside-down question mark in this text box.

    Instead of having to look up the alphabetic equivalent for the music symbol you want, simply click Select. Finale displays a palette containing every symbol in the music font; double-click the shape you want to use as the replacement notehead. When you return to the dialog box, Finale enters the symbol’s alphabetic system font equivalent in the text box automatically.

  • Use Note Shapes. This check box, which only appears if you’ve chosen Note Shapes from Document Options - Notes and Rests, is the master switch for the settings you’ve made in this dialog box. When it’s selected, the document displays your new notehead shapes; deselect this check box to restore normal noteheads (until you re-select it).
  • OK • Cancel. Click OK (or press ENTER) to confirm, or Cancel to discard, any changes in the note shape scheme you’ve established and dismiss the dialog box.

See also:

Staff Styles

Staff Attributes