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Posted By : MCarlson - 6/27/2016 2:33 PM
I just sent an old piece (copied originally on Finale in 1990!) off to the publisher this morning, and they priced it at $50 retail. I seriously need to find a way to have it use a lot fewer pages, as I think that price will prohibit sales.

The publisher's editor suggested that I use a .25" staff size, for starters, but I don't know what that means in Finale terms (he's a Sibelius guy). I tried looking it up but only found things for Finale in percentages, not inches. Can someone clue me in there, please?

Also, he said that since the music will be enlarged slightly to fit on 9X12 paper, I don't need to worry as much as I might about the size and might, therefore, be able to to fit four systems per page rather than just three. But I don't know how small I can make it and still have it legible.

I also wondered if there is a way to compress the notes horizontally, as a lot of the notes in the piece seem farther apart from each other than they do in traditional scores. Is that possible?

Any help here would be greatly appreciated.


PS I will attach the first movement of this piece as an example.

Mark Carlson
Finale 2014d
OS 10.11.4

Posted By : RVS Lee - 6/27/2016 2:48 PM
Mark -

Ah the joys of scaling systems and pages!! start by playing around with the options in
DOCUMENT/PAGE FORMAT/SCORE (you can worry about the clarinet part later...) Notice options for PAGE SIZE - you want 'concert,' and for Measurement UNITS - you can switch back and forth as needed. (For instance you can set the staff size in inches, and then go back to EVPU's for easier calculations.)

Posted By : MCarlson - 6/27/2016 2:58 PM
Thank you, RVS Lee!

I was able to figure out how to make the staff height .25" and I tried reducing the scaling of the page to 82%, but I see no change at all in the way the score looks or fills out the page. What am I missing?


Mark Carlson
Finale 2014d
OS 10.11.4

Posted By : RVS Lee - 6/27/2016 3:13 PM
There is one trick here... Changes to DOCUMENT/PAGE FORMAT/... only affect new pages (if you added an extra 12 mms. for instance.) To change the pre-existing pages, you need to use
PAGE LAYOUT/REDEFINE PAGES which will change things retrospectively.

Posted By : thomasmith - 6/27/2016 3:14 PM
Hi Mark,
I took a quick look through your piece solely for visual reasons. RVS Lee says good things above. There will be some 'playing around' that you will have to do. But be thankful that Finale is strong in this area.
You have many tools at your disposal.

More specifically, I would shoot for 4 systems per page. (after page 1) For the most part I feel like your measures per system are right on; there are a few places where you might want to tinker with getting another measure on a particular system. But beware, of course, that you need to have a plan for the ensuing measure flow changes that come after that. The many systems where there is just one measure seem like they pretty much have to stay that way. It would look too crowded any other way.

First of all, do a "Save As" version of what you will try things out on, leaving your original untouched. You can always go back to your 'urtext.'

Using the Page Layout tool, you can push systems closer together. It's very spacious right now, and I like it, but page count is a problem, right?
Using the Staff tool, you can mess with the space between the two piano staves. Consistent is nice, but you have to find vertical space where you can.
Clarinet staff can be still smaller. Remember, this is essentially a cue staff for the pianist. Try 70% and re-space your staves from there. All this can help gain that vertical space that will allow that 4th system on a page. It wouldn't look too bad having the piano staff closer to the clarinet also, where possible.
good luck.

Thomas Smith
Guitarist, Composer/Arranger, Engraver
Finale 2014.5, (and every previous version since 2.0)
2009 Millay Colony for the Arts Composer Resident
24" iMac 2.8 Ghz Intel Core Duo, 4 Gb RAM; OS 10.11.2
15" MacBook Pro, 2.8 Ghz Intel Core Duo, 4 Gb RAM
iPad running iOS 7
M-Audio Fast Track Pro Audio Interface, M-Audio Keystation 49e

Posted By : MCarlson - 6/27/2016 3:18 PM
Thank you, Thomas!

I will fiddle with all of those things. I think I can reduce the number of pages.

But I'm still puzzled by this: I keep playing around with the settings in DOCUMENT/PAGE/SCORE, and nothing ever changes in the actual movement. How do I get those changes to actually apply to the score as it is?


Mark Carlson
Finale 2014d
OS 10.11.4

Posted By : MCarlson - 6/27/2016 3:20 PM

Mark Carlson
Finale 2014d
OS 10.11.4

Posted By : RVS Lee - 6/27/2016 4:06 PM
did you see my note re: REDEFINE PAGES?

Posted By : MCarlson - 6/27/2016 8:24 PM
Aha! I did not. I'll try that now.

Mark Carlson
Finale 2014d
OS 10.11.4

Posted By : Zuill - 6/27/2016 8:42 PM
If you use the resize tool and right click on the first system, then choose Resize System (not Staff) you can change the Staff Size there, and select all the systems to affect the change.


"When all is said and done, more is said than done."
Win 7 64bit, 2011b, 2012c, 2014d, 2014.5 
Favorite Forum quote: "Please, everybody, IGNORE THE TROLL!"

Posted By : MCarlson - 6/27/2016 10:25 PM
Aha! That's very helpful!

I experimented with a different but shorter piece, just to make sure I wouldn't screw everything up, and I managed to reduce it from 18 to 11 pages. That's a good sign! I also resized the page to 90% and am awaiting the publisher's word on whether that makes it too small or is OK.

Thanks, everyone, for your help.


Mark Carlson
Finale 2014d
OS 10.11.4

Posted By : John Ruggero - 6/28/2016 7:29 AM
You have many non-standard things going on in your score besides the layout and might compare it to similar pieces published by publishers like Henle, Peters, Schirmer, Wiener Urtext etc. to see what is correct engraving practice. Hairpins, dynamics, and expressions are running into notes, dynamics are not centered between the staves, tempo markings don't line up, some rests are non-standard like the LH of measure 1 of the piano, the use of dotted rests in measures 8, 11, 18, wrong stem direction in the LH of 36 and 38, and it is sometimes unclear which hand plays which notes as at the end 73. Many engravers would prefer cross-beaming for at least some of the patterns that run between the hands. Gould's "Behind Bars" would be a good reference work to consult.

And unfortunately, one can't use Finale defaults and always get a first class result. For example, the shape of the default piano brace you are using is not pleasing, as you will see by comparing it to standard publications. They may be adjusted in the document options>piano braces so the "nose" is not so pushed in.

Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Finale 2014d (Finale 2011 as a backup) with GPO 4
Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2, Adobe InDesign CS4 SmartScore X Pro, JW Plug-ins

The better the composer, the better the notation.

Posted By : N. Grossingink - 6/28/2016 8:17 AM
I've been looking at your file and have been using it as sort of an exercise for my own editing and engraving skills. I hope you don't mind and thank you for posting it. I think the creativity you possess as a composer is very high, and I think this piece poses considerable challenges for the engraver.

John Ruggero has offered several good suggestions. There is one thing I noticed and would like to run by you. There are many cross-staff passages in 16ths and 32nds. You have the beams either above or below the staff. I'd suggest you consider placing these beams between the bass and treble piano staves (see attached, example #2). Question to the experienced engravers - Isn't this more or less standard procedure?

In the attached example #2 there is a glaring spacing problem - the notes on the bass staff need to be moved to the left so that the stems, not the noteheads are spaced evenly.


OSX Mavericks 10.9.5
Finale 2011c, 2012c for production work
Finale 2014.5

TgTools, Patterson Plugins, JW Change and Staff Polyphony, QuicKeys 4
Mac Mini 2.4 Ghz Intel, 8GB RAM
New Belgium Fat Tire Ale

1970—New York, New York: Times music critic Harold Schoenberg says, “Trombone players are like ministers—quiet, dull, very moral. Nobody ever heard of a rebellious trombone player.”

Post Edited (N. Grossingink) : 6/28/2016 7:23:19 AM (GMT-5)

Posted By : MCarlson - 6/28/2016 2:55 PM
Thanks, John Ruggiero. The file I sent was the one I was using to experiment with reducing the size, and I assure you that most of the things you mention are not present in my final copy of the score in its unreduced version. I have no idea, though, how those rests in the lh of the first measure crept in, but I never saw the measure that way before. All of the collisions you mention are absent from my pre-reduced version.

As for dotted rests, what can I say? I like them and, as a performer myself, find them easy to read and less cluttering than two rests that mean the same thing--providing they are not used in a way that syncopates the rests.

And I am not seeing what you mean by wrong stem directions in mm. 36 and 38. They look right to me. What am I missing?


Mark Carlson
Finale 2014d
OS 10.11.4

Posted By : MCarlson - 6/28/2016 3:05 PM
Thank you, N. Grossingink!

As I mentioned in my previous reply, the collisions of dynamics, hairpins, etc, are only present because I was seeing what it would look like to reduce the score. As for the two ways of notating the cross-staff arpeggios that you attached, I don't have a strong opinion, but maybe someone who is an official engraver will. Personally, I find these easier to read with the beams above or below, but that just depends on the specific situation, I think.

I wrote this piece in 1989-1990, and it was the first piece I copied using Finale. At a certain point, my attitude is that if it is legible and the performers don't have trouble, I'd rather go on to writing a new piece than keep re-doing the notation. The piece has been performed hundreds of times since its premiere 26 years ago, so I am going to leave that as is. But in subsequent pieces, I have done many cross-staff passages in which I have the beams are in the middle, like your example 2.


Mark Carlson
Finale 2014d
OS 10.11.4