For those composers wanting to use microtones in Finale, I have created the Accidentals font. (See the link in the Free Fonts section to download this).
There are a few different ways to do enable microtones in Finale – the most comprehensive yet difficult method is using the Custom Key Signature tool. The Custom Key Signature tool is one of those extremely arcane functions in Finale that seems to require a Ph.D. in cryptography to work out how to use it. Thankfully Owain Sutton posted an very clear method, as outlined below.
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2005 06:00:17 +0100
From: Owain Sutton
Subject: Re: [Finale] Microtonality and Glissandos
Ahhh, the delights of the nonstandard key signature. One of the most
user-unfriendly features of Finale… ::deep breath:: …
First of all, I’d start by installing the Accidentals font from here:
Go to Document Options – Fonts – Notation – Accidentals and change it to
Accidentals (24pt plain)
In the Key Signature tool, choose “Nonstandard..” instead of
major/minor. Choose ‘linear key format’ selected, click ‘next’ twice.
Click on ‘KeyMap’, and change to 24 diatonic steps for quartertones, or
48 for 8th-tones. Clicking on the black&white squares, you need to
change the arrangement to:
oxxxoxxxoxoxxxoxxxoxxxox (for quartertones)
oxxxxxxxoxxxxxxxoxxxoxxxxxxxoxxxxxxxoxxxxxxxoxxx (8th tones)
i.e. place three or seven ‘black notes’ where there’s an interval of a
tone in a major scale, and one or three for an interval of a semitone.
Click ‘Attribute’. This is where you set the symbols for each
accidental. Click on ‘Symbol Font’ and choose Accidentals (yes, you’ve
already done this in Document Options, but it can foul up if you don’t
change both of them).
Click on Symbol List ID. Start off entering ‘Alter Amount’ as zero, and
‘Characters’ as ‘n’, to enter the natural sign, and click ‘next’. Use
the PDF file which comes with the Accidentals font to choose which
microtonal symbols you want, and enter ‘Alter Amount’ = 1 for one quater
or eight step up, 2 for two steps, -1 for one step flat, and so on.
Enter the letter name corresponding to the symbol you want for each,
pressing ‘next’ each time. (You may also need to press ‘insert’ before
‘next’ – I’ve no idea why)
(Supposedly ‘AOrdAmt’ can help make playback correct, but it’s never
worked for me.)
Once this is done, you can use the “+ 1/2” and “- 1/2” options in Simple
Entry to raise and lower notes by the microtonal steps you’ve defined.
I hope this makes some sense. And I hope I’ve not made any errors here 😉