The measure number matrix in Finale


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

The measure number matrix

Lesson 1 (basic): Measure Number Regions

In this, the first of 6 videos about measure numbers, I’ll explain exactly what a Measure Number Region is, and get into depth into how to use the top portion to define measure numbers in whichever way you need to. I’ll demonstrate how to make the measure numbers skip and how to create lettered measure numbers including things like 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d etc.

Lesson 2 (basic): Measure Number Visibility

The second part of the Measure Number Region Dialogue Box is all about where the measure numbers appear in your score and parts both vertically (which staves get the measure numbers) and horizontally (how often they’re shown). The “Show On” options (3:34) deals with the vertical visibility and the “Show on Start of Staff System” and “Show on Every:” options (6:44) deal with the horizontal visibility. There are options for positioning and enclosures for measure numbers as well. And finally there are options for where and how to show measure numbers or measure number ranges on Multimeasure Rests (20:43)

Lesson 3 (intermediate): Show, Hide and Position Measure Numbers

There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to showing, hiding and maneuvering individual measure numbers in both the score and the parts. Covered in this video is:

  • 0:35 – Force showing measure numbers where there ordinarily wouldn’t be one
  • 6:38 – Using the Always Show and Always Hide feature for measure numbers
  • 8:30 – Force showing an enclosure on any given measure number
  • 11:16 – Restoring defaults
  • 13:01 – Linking and Unlinking measure numbers and all the complexity involved with that!
  • 17:24 – Tips for manually moving measure numbers to avoid conflicts
  • 19:59 – A super helpful pro tip for dealing with adding new Measure Number Regions when there are measure numbers that have already been manually adjusted
  • 23:02 – The Rehearsal Mark Expression that is the measure number and how that affects the actual measure numbers themselves

Lesson 4 (intermediate): Measure Number Plug-ins

There are two very important plug-ins that will help immensely with measure numbers in Finale. I don’t usually spend this much time on plug-ins in the category videos but I thought these two were important enough to warrant a special video. The first is the JW Measure Numbers… plug-in which will make the process of creating and editing regions a LOT easier once you know how it works (0:26). The second plug-in is Patterson’s Copyist’s Helper… plug-in which I find invaluable for manipulating the positioning of measure numbers (14:00). These are both 3rd party plug-ins that you will have to acquire but they’re well worth it in my opinion! Here are the links:

Lesson 5 (advanced): Measure Number Styles – Time/Other

In Finale, it’s possible to show elapsed time as measure numbers using the Time… style for the Measure Number Region (0:23). In addition to showing you how to do this, I’ll show some practical ways to use this. There’s also an Other… option which gets a little technical (8:23). If you want to count measure numbers in base 8, this is how you’d do that. But manipulating this in the right way will actually allow you to display measure number zero if you need to (14:34)

Lesson 6 (advanced): Common Setups for Measure Numbers

This is a bit of a long how-to video to help you understand how to achieve several different common looks for measure numbers in your scores and parts. Feel free to skip ahead to a particular style to see how I recreated them from scratch.

  • Henle Style (1:07)
  • Circled Every 10 Bars (4:27)
  • Piano/Vocal (7:38)
  • Orchestral Scores
    • Boxed in Various Locations (13:05)
    • Boxed with a Horizontal Line (18:59)
  • Broadway/Hollywood Parts (23:43)

By request: Arrows for Measure Number Skips

This request comes from Mike Ruckles who is wondering if I can come up with a good way to create the little arrows that often can be found before a measure number when there are skipped numbers. The most obvious solution is to use an Expression, but I think I came up with a better solution for this that avoids all the headaches that using an Expression for this would cause.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel and/or sign up for the Mailing List so that you can submit your own request!

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


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