Finale 27: The SMuFL Shuffle

Finale 27 was released on June 15th, 2021.

Many of the videos on this site were created using Finale 26, but unless otherwise noted, they are all still very relevant to version 27. The videos here will summarize the changes made in version 27 and will also serve as addendums to several of the categories that may have been impacted by those changes, particularly the addition of the SMuFL fonts.

You can also check out the official Finale 27 Review I did with Philip Rothman at Scoring Notes:

Finale version 27 review: SMuFL and MusicXML 4.0 support

And the Podcast:

Finale 27 and the SMuFL Shuffle

On 11/16/21, Finale released the first maintenance update, Finale 27.1

Check out the Scoring Notes review here:

Finale version 27.1: SMuFL burrows deeper

SS-1 Finale 27: The SMuFL Shuffle
First Looks at Finale 27

Welcome to Finale 27! In this video, I will give you a quick tour of what’s new in Finale 27. There is a new Sharing feature related to SmartMusic (2:37), some modest Bug Fixes (3:19), XML 4.0 (3:59), some improvements to the Instrument List and Percussion Layouts (4:57), and finally the main event: SMuFL Font support! (8:08)

Finale V27.0

Click here to visit the Steinberg SMuFL Font Hub

SS-2 Finale 27: The SMuFL Shuffle
What's in the SMuFL Fonts?

There are somewhere between 2000-3000 characters in the new “Finale Maestro” SMuFL font! In this video, I will give you a quick tour (as quick as I can!) of everything that’s in that font and readily available to you. If you need to be able to type characters (for scripts), you’ll have to use Unicode Hex Input, so I’ll demonstrate how to set up your Mac to be able to do that (13:06). I’ll also show you how to quickly switch between SMuFL fonts including 3rd-party SMuFL fonts which will now load directly into Finale (17:35). And finally, I’ll give you a look at the handwritten fonts in Finale including a new one that comes with Finale 27 called “Finale Ash” (20:44).

Finale V27.0

Click here to visit the Steinberg SMuFL Font Hub

SS-3 Finale 27: The SMuFL Shuffle
The Great SMuFL Divide

This video gets a little technical but is critical for anyone that uses Finale to collaborate with other people who may or may not have Finale 27. There are now two separate systems within Finale to handle SMuFL and non-SMuFL fonts and they’re somewhat incompatible with each other. So in this video, I will attempt to explain the differences and how to overcome the challenges of working between SMuFL and non-SMuFL files. It should be noted that forward compatibility is TOTALLY FINE in version 27! ANY file created before version 27 will open without issue within the non-SMuFL environment in Finale 27. It’s only backward (and sideways) compatibility that poses some new challenges. I’ll even show you a hack for using XML to overcome some of these backward compatibility issues (12:17).

Finale V27.0

SS-4 Finale 27: The SMuFL Shuffle
SMuFL Text Fonts

Finale 27 ships with new text fonts which also use the SMuFL format and contain some useful music characters that can be used in line with any text you create in Finale. The Finale Maestro Text font, which is actually a clone of Times New Roman, is particularly useful for this. I’ll show you how to create dynamics in line with text, all kinds of tempo equations, and how to put boxes around text using nothing more than just the Finale Maestro Text font. In addition, I’ll summarize what the other included text fonts are, and what they do or do not include.

Finale V27.0

3-6E Managing the Score Manager Lesson 6E (Basic)
V27 Update: Improved Percussion Instruments and Layouts

In Finale 27, there are some modest improvements to the instrument List, and the Pitched Percussion, Drums, and Percussion categories seem to benefit most from those improvements. I’ll walk you through some of the highlights of those changes. The bigger improvements really come with the Percussion Layouts. Many more have been added, and Finale now correctly calls on the right Percussion Layout when you add a percussion instrument (3:32). Within the Percussion Layouts themselves, the new SMuFL fonts play a significant role as now there are a lot more noteheads to choose from (7:39).

Finale V27.0

3-8 Managing the Score Manager Lesson 8 (Basic)
v27 Update: Improved Instrument List

There were some minor changes made to the Instrument List in the Score Manager in version 27, so in this video, I’ll walk you through some of the highlights.

Finale V27.0

4-3 Corralling Clefs Lesson 3 (Advanced)
v27 Update: SMuFL Clefs

The new SMuFL fonts in Finale provide us with a lot of new clefs to choose from. I’ll give you a tour of what exists and what you can do with them. In addition, this video takes a deeper dive into some of the technical aspects of the Clef Designer that I didn’t cover in the previous Corralling Clefs videos. Specifically, how accidentals in Key Signatures are oriented for each clef. This information is more relevant now that there are more clefs to choose from. The bottom line is that you have to be careful about which clefs you edit and how.

Finale V27.0

13-6 Acing Articulations Lesson 6 (Intermediate)
v27 Update: SMuFL Articulations

The new Finale Maestro SMuFL font provides a LOT of extra characters that can be used as Articulations. In this video, you’ll get a thorough tour of what’s now readily available at your fingertips. I will also discuss a shortcoming related to playback and Articulations introduced by the SMuFL fonts in version 27.0 (13:06). Hopefully, these playback issues will be resolved in an update soon, but for now, I’ll explain what’s going on and offer an idea for a workaround.

Finale V27.0

14-9A Outsmarting Smart Shapes Lesson 9A (Advanced)
v27 Update: SMuFL Smart Shapes Part 1

The new Finale Maestro SMuFL font includes a new Multi-Segment Lines category of glyphs that are really useful for creating a variety of useful custom Smart Lines. I will walk you through what’s now available and demonstrate a few nifty ideas for how to use them, including an accelerating trill (8:58).

Finale V27.0

14-9B Outsmarting Smart Shapes Lesson 9B (Advanced)​
v27 Update: SMuFL Smart Shapes Part 2

Version 27 changes the character used for the 8va and 15ma marking used below the staff. This creates an alignment issue with how the dashed line looks following those characters. Unfortunately, there are no settings to address those alignment issues, so in this video, I’ll look at some alternate glyphs that work a little better with the default octave lines in the Smart Shape palette. I’ll also show you how to create a custom line using the new 22ma and 22mb characters that now exist in the SMuFL fonts (5:26). In addition, I’ll discuss some playback problems with the SMuFL fonts for accidental trills, glissando, and pedal markings, (10:50), and show you some temporary workarounds until they can update Human Playback to play nicely with the SMuFL fonts.

Finale V27.0

15-10 An Expression Tool Expedition Lesson 10 (Advanced)
v27 Update: SMuFL Expressions

Expressions are probably the most obvious place where we can take advantage of the new SMuFL fonts in Finale, everything from accordion symbols, harp diagrams and all kinds of pictograms are now right at our fingertips in the SMuFL fonts. Some of the new SMuFL fonts have unique characters, so I’ll show you some of those (7:42). In addition, I’ll talk a little about using the new SMuFL text fonts in the Expression Tool (15:42).

Finale V27.0

SS-5 Finale 27: The SMuFL Shuffle
27.1 Bridging the SMuFL Divide

Five months after the initial release of version 27, Finale has released version 27.1, the first maintenance update in the Finale 27 cycle. Many of the improvements are related to SMuFL-compliant fonts which fix a few things that got broken in a rush to release version 27 but also add some new functionality that is really helpful. It’s now possible to directly convert non-SMuFL files to SMuFL files! (2:09). Human Playback now recognizes the SMuFL glyphs that it wasn’t recognizing in 27.0 (10:28). All native plug-ins, including the packaged TG Tools light plug-ins now work with SMuFL files (15:06). There are added Library files that take advantage of some of the new categories of SMuFL glyphs (16:02). And a few other miscellaneous changes and fixes have been made as well (23:36). There are still a couple of things I think are missing in this update (24:17), but (at least for me), they’re not exactly deal-breakers. All in all, this is a great update that fixes most, if not all, of the initial bumps in the road to a SMuFL compliant Finale.

Finale V27.1