Working with instrument staves

Adding, changing, reordering, and deleting staves

Even though the Setup Wizard gives you the chance to set up your score before you begin, Finale also gives you the freedom to change the instrumentation of your music while you're working.

In this lesson, you will learn how to:

  1. Add new instruments to the score
  2. Change the order of the instruments
  3. Change the appearance of selected measures of a staff
  4. Delete instruments

Adding instruments

Finale's ScoreManager gives you complete control over all aspects of the instruments in your score, including transpositions, ordering and notation styles.

To add instruments

Noteman says: When a preset score order is selected, such as Orchestral or Choral, Finale adds new instruments in that score order. If a Custom score order is selected, Finale adds the new instrument above the one that is currently highlighted.

  1. Choose Window > ScoreManager and click the Instrument List tab.
  2. Click Add Instrument.
  3. In the first column, choose All, in the second column, choose Woodwinds, and in the third column double-click on Clarinet in Bb.
  4. Notice that your new instrument is visible in your score immediately. You’ll also notice that the Clarinet has a different key signature than the others. This is because the Clarinet is a transposing instrument and Finale makes the appropriate adjustments to its Staff Settings when you add it.

    Tip: To move the left edge of the staves to the right so the staff names are visible, right-click and drag to the right.

  5. Repeat these steps to add a Flute, Guitar (Plucked Strings), and Drum Set (Drums).

Reordering staves

But what if you decide you want the woodwinds above the piano but the guitar and drums below? The ScoreManager lets you change the order as well.

To reorder staves

  1. Click the drag icon next to the Piano.
  2. Drag it down until it is below the flute.

You'll notice that your changes are reflected instantly on the full score.

Tip: The ScoreManager can remain open while you make edits with other tools or change the music in your score. You may want to drag it to the side so that it does not obscure your view of the score.

Deleting staves

Finale also lets you remove staves if you change your mind. As we continue this example, let’s use the Clarinet as the solo instrument instead of the Flute.

Noteman says: You can also use the Staff tool to remove a staff by clicking on it and typing CTRL+DELETE to remove the staff

To delete staves

  1. If the ScoreManager is not still open, click on Window > ScoreManager.
  2. Click on the "x" on the right of the Flute to delete it.

Changing staves

Many notation styles serve as short hand for the performers. Guitar players, for example, may be used to reading something called Slash Notation (usually used with chord symbols, which will be covered in a later step) rather than actual notes. This notation style, along with many others, can be applied as Staff Styles to your music. At this point you can close the ScoreManager (by clicking the X in the upper right).

To apply slash notation

Noteman says: When the Staff tool is selected, you can right-click on any highlighted measure to view a list of available staff styles and apply them instantly.

  1. Choose the Staff tool icon.
  2. Click to the left of the Guitar staff to highlight the entire staff.
  3. Choose Staff > Apply Staff Style to > Score and Parts.
  4. Select Slash Notation.
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