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Re: [HD] Songwriter or Finale

To: Hammered Dulcimers <hdlist@hammered-dulcimers.org>
Subject: Re: [HD] Songwriter or Finale
From: Gibboney Vicki <dvgib@atlanticbb.net>
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2013 15:15:57 -0400
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One annoying feature is trying to get more staves on the page.  I want a fit to 
page function.  Another is fitting measures on the first line when there is a 
pickup measure.  And I've never been able to enter notes with my midi keyboard. 
 The notes jumble into odd values (16th, 32nds, etc.)  I guess I can work 
around other "problems" which I can't think of right now.  I guess I don't know 
what I'd be missing if I didn't move up to Finale from Songwriter.  Maybe not 
much that I would need.
Does Finale support tablature for mountain dulcimers?  (3 lines, not 6 as for 

On Aug 1, 2013, at 2:52 PM, Roland De Fleur <rolandefleur@gmail.com> wrote:

> I had hoped I would not have to write such a review ... but here goes.
> I've been a user of Finale since v1.0 on my Mac IIx. For most of that time 
> the program has been fantastic for meeting the demands of almost everything 
> imaginable in the music notion and scoring realm. They have gone through some 
> management and marketing changes along the way as one would expect for what 
> is now a 22 year old company. I use it primarily for orchestral, brass band 
> and wind ensemble arranging of church music. I recently added SmartScore 
> which is one of their partners for the ability to scan music and convert the 
> scanned image into finale formatted music.
> The program is fairly well integrated, although the past few years they seem 
> obsessed with adding more Gittaran voices instead of relying on the user 
> having a synthesizer available for midi realization beyond just basic midi 
> sounds. But that field has evolved as well thanks to DSP and the VST plug-ins.
> Finale as a program adds a lot of 'intelligence' to the raw midi information 
> to manage expressions and notation layout. The good news is this makes things 
> behave better on screen and in print, the bad news is it gets stripped off 
> when converting to other formats or you need to add it if you import files 
> from others.
> The strongest competitor is Sibelius which began as a rather basic annotation 
> program but provided an API that appears to be easier for users to create 
> features they need beyond the program at a faster rate than the Finale users 
> ...
> What doesn't work:
> There is no facility to provide autoharp strumming annotation to music
> The program *still* has problems with centering whole notes around other 
> notation in a measure (they act like they have a stem on their RH side)
> Full tablature notation is supported as well as an extensive percussion 
> library. I have never been able to get the percussion notation to work 
> correctly with the midi output (get the right 'sound' on the right staff 
> line). Perhaps that is just me.
> Page layout has greatly improved from years ago. It is now much easier to 
> nest music notation in a text/MSWord document, but I believe they are still 
> 'invisible' in Word and only appear when printed.
> I have always used the full version of Finale, not the starter packages. The 
> application to view .mus files is free, but it is an application rather than 
> a browser plug-in.
> For anyone using music notation programs to respond to your needs, we need 
> more information about *how* you are using the software. These programs have 
> become Swiss-Army-knives due to marketing-feature-creep so if you want to do 
> many different things this will work well. If you only want to do limited 
> things in the music world, you may find other programs simpler to understand 
> and use as long as you don't expect more of them than their feature set.
> If all you are doing is producing lead sheets, Finale Songwriter *should* 
> work just fine.
> What limitations of Songwriter do you hope to eliminate by upgrading?
> Oh ,and Finale is really good at reminding you to upgrade to the newest 
> version every year for $100 whether it fixes the problem you reported or not. 
> They only allow discounted upgrades from the past two versions of the 
> software.
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