Managing Finale’s Score Manager


This video series is part of Conquering Finale, a regular feature on Scoring Notes, with new installments released periodically.

Managing Finale’s Score Manager

Lesson 1

This video takes you through the Launch Window and the Setup Wizard. In addition there’s a basic overview of the File Info part of the Score Manager where you can manipulate titles and other text information in your score.

Lesson 2

The basics of the Instrument List in the Score Manager. Learn how to add, delete and change instruments and their names as well as rearrange the score order in a variety of ways plus a few other helpful tips.

Lesson 3

A look at staff attributes in the Instrument List.

Covered in this video: Color Noteheads, Custom Transpositions, Staff Lines and First Clefs.

Of note, I will look at the particular problem that arises when an instrument transposes into the key of F sharp when you want it to be in G flat.

Hot Tip! Transpose to F sharp or G flat

For transposing instruments you will occasionally run into the problem where the part ends up in F# where Gb might make more sense.  This video will walk you through the steps in order to force Finale to make that instrument transpose into Gb instead!

Lesson 4

Mute, solo, pan and mix as well as change sounds and even whole VSTs right from the Instrument List. There are also a few creative ideas for manipulating the sounds in different layers in a staff.

Lesson 5: Change Instruments

Changing instruments in Finale is actually quite simple! This video will show you everything from start to finish about Finale’s Instrument Change function. There are just a couple of ways to actually make an instrument change and several things to understand about what’s happening under the hood (in the Score Manager and in the Aria player).

There are also a couple of problems that occur in specific circumstances (automatic double barlines at instrument transposition changes and key cancellations for unpitched percussion), and a few other limitations with the Instrument Change function to know about. All of this is covered in this one video.

Hot Tip! Multiple transpositions for the same part

Learn how to create multiple parts with different transpositions linked to a common, generic line from the score. This tip will be especially useful to educational arrangers who often have ensembles with unique configurations of instruments. In this video I walk through how to manipulate the Manage Parts… window and the Score Manager to turn a single Bass line from the score into parts for String Bass, Tuba, Bassoon, Bass Clarinet and Bari Saxophone all linked together!

Lesson 6: Percussion

Coming soon!

Lesson 7A: Tablature Staff Attributes

Setting up a TAB staff in Finale is not too tricky ,but there are a few options available which will give you some control over certain aspects of the Tablature Notation Style. This video will walk through adding TAB staves as well as all the options available for those staves and a few other tricks worth knowing when setting up a TAB staff.

Lesson 7B: Fretboard Instrument Definition

Finale will allow you to set up any fretted instrument that you would like with any number of strings, frets and whatever tuning you want using the Fretboard Instrument Definition dialogue box. These custom fretted instruments will have implications for how the TAB staff works as well as how the Fretboard Diagrams are created. This video will walk you through this process by demonstrating how to set up a standard guitar tuned down a half step. Finale also supports diatonically fretted instruments like the Dulcimer so I’ll walk you through setting that as well.

Listen to the podcast episode

On the Scoring Notes podcast, David MacDonald and Philip Rothman talk with Jason Loffredo about preparing music for the world of musical theatre and his Conquering Finale video tutorial series, which can help you better master that sophisticated software, whether you’re a new or long-time user. Listen now:

Scoring Notes
Scoring Notes
Conquering Finale with Jason Loffredo



  1. Waldbaer

    I thought I knew the score manager and think it’s one of the parts of Finale, that are easier to grasp IMO. But the Hot tip Multiple Transpositions is just great – I never thought about that before and directly forwarded it to some music teachers that use Finale. ;-)

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