Finale, was Re: [linux-audio-user] NoteEdit-2.5.0 : Octaviation (va-lines)

Mikhail Ramendik mr at
Fri Mar 12 17:22:46 EST 2004


Chris Cannam wrote:

> You seem to have a bit of a misconception about what Finale is for.  
> It's a program for typesetting scores.  It can do pretty nearly 
> everything anyone ever put on a classical score, and it can be 
> adjusted to end up with pretty much any layout.  I don't _like_ it 
> very much -- in fact purely as a question of personal taste I think 
> it's a horrible program -- but it's certainly got a lot in it, and 
> there's absolutely no question that it supports a great deal more of 
> the field of score typesetting than editing software like NoteWorthy 
> or NoteEdit, neither of which is a WYSIWYG score typesetter at all.

Actually, there seems to be a general contention among many Linux
developers that non-WYSIWYG solutions produce better results (notably

The big problem I see here is that many of these developers (with the
notable exception of Joerg Anders who is present here) are more of the
"programmer" type and do not understand traditional musicians. I'm not a
musician at all, and if I had to enter scorelines myself I'd probably be
better off with Lilypond; but my wife *is* a musician with a traditional
higher musical education, and abhors the very idea of representing
notation as letters.

We may have different reasons for sticking to Finale, actually. I'm not
that interested in 100% WYSIWYG; I could do with visual notation editing
and tweaking the layout in a Lilypond file. 

Notepad is actually close to the target, and got much closer when it
learned about braces (thanks Joerg!). But I would need line wrapping (so
that more than one line of previously entered notes would be visible)
and certain neat automation (notably beams) before I could try switching
my wife to it from Finale. And unfortunately I'm not a good enough coder
to just grab NoteEdit source and hack it.

In all this note entry, playing is *not* the big issue. It's nice to
have, as it's a way to check what was entered (especially useful when
one imports a MIDI file). But if it plays imprefectly - never mind.

I'm afraid that NoteEdit is aimed differently. From what I unedrstand,
it's more of a score-based composing software. Well, Finale tries to be
both a typesetter and a composing thing at once - but then it *is*
bloated, and finding a reature is sometimes a long process. 

Come to think of it... if there are coders interested in starting a
project on notation editing/typesetting, I could involve a really
professional psychologist, and work on design specs (I'm a tech writer
so I know how to do those). But as for coding itself, I'm not even
trying, two-screen Python scripts is my top coding achievement these

(Or should I subscripe to LAD for this discussion? After all, Jamin was
born in LAD/LAU before my eyes, and now it's a usable thing as I
understand, so perhaps trying to get some development running is not
that bad an idea?)

> (Incidentally, it may be true that a lot of Finale or Sibelius users 
> might actually find they could do the same or better with other 
> software on Linux, depending on what they actually need.  

Some lack "this" thing, some lack "that" thing... I tend to think that
the best Finale replacement would not be a sole program but a modular
suite, as there are different features out there. 

Yours, Mikhail Ramendik

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