Non-linear Finale Work

Some time ago, Mark Adler (now the Notation Product Manager) from MakeMusic posted a re-creation of William Billing’s Connections on the Finale Blog.  I have never needed to create such as score, so I filed the information in the back of my mind.

This summer, I ran into Pete Mai, who runs Bonanza Ukuleles.  His wife fell in love with the ukulele, and he was a cabinet maker, so he thought: I can make my wife ukuleles!  So he did, and they realized that they could actually make their own ukuleles out of laminate countertops.  This summer, they started making hardwood ukuleles.  When I saw them at the Silver Creek International Ukulele Festival in August (near Two Harbors, Minnesota), they had the new ukuleles on hand, and it turns out that they can laser etch logos into the ukuleles.  This includes engaging a rosette.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that I would like to commission a ukulele for our choir’s program–which would have the choir logo as well as the school song around the sound hole.

And at that moment, Mark Adler’s post from 2012 came to mind.  I haven’t had time to work with the idea until today.  We are off school, and following Murphy’s law, I am fighting a cold that settled in on Wednesday after school (how wonderful to spend vacation days laying low because you’re sick).  Today I opened up Mark’s existing file and got to work.

Basically, the entire song utilizes the custom line tool in smart shapes, and was generally pretty easy to do.  Two things threw me for a “loop” (pun intended).  First, the text had to be edited within the custom line tool.  Second, there were a few shops and lyrics that just wouldn’t line up very easily.  I did send Mark a few e-mails during the course of the day, which helped me along the path.  One other tip…to align words, add another circle as an expression as an alignment line.  A special thank you to Mark for his help today!

The end result was our school song (tune is the Minnesota Rouser) in two formats: one with words, the other without.  I am going to use the one without words on the custom ukulele; I am going to use the one with words as a large poster and perhaps on concert programs, with the choir logo in the middle.

I would guess that 99% of Finale users will never attempt to make a circular score…but it is great to know that Finale can handle it!



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