Finale Tricks: Cross-Bar Beaming

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One of my favorite composers is John Rutter. The issue with Rutter (for me) is that the vast majority of his work is for ensembles. I also am more of a chord player than a playing-what's-written kind of guy. So I find myself wanting solo arrangements and a score with chord notation.

I was using Finale to add chord notation to All Things Bright and Beautiful. Take a look at measures 69-72:

John Rutter, All Things Bright and Beautiful, mm. 69-72

Uh-oh. See that cross-bar beaming between measures 71 and 72? How the heck to do that? It isn't a simple button press, but it is pretty easy to do. It involves using the Speedy Entry tool's ability to add more beats to a measure than the time signature allows.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Click the Speedy Entry tool button.
  2. Within the Speedy menu, make sure that Jump to Next Measure is not checked.
  3. Enter the notes using Speedy Entry in the measure to the left of the bar line.
    1. Enter all notes that should be beamed together (those from the left side of the bar line and those from the right side of the bar line) in the measure to the left of the bar line.
      1. You will receive a warning message that the measure has too many beats. Select Leave the measure alone and click OK.
  4. Enter hidden rests as placeholders in the measure to the right of the bar line.
    1. Once the notes and rests are entered, we will have to manually move the notes. The hidden rests will serve both as rhythmic fillers for the measure to the right of the bar line, as well as markers for placing the notes when they are manually moved.
  5. Once the notes and hidden rests are entered, it should look something like this:
  6. Next, we need to alter the beaming so it appears as a compound meter instead of a simple meter.
    1. Still in Speedy Entry, move to the second note of the join or break point. In the above example, the beam needs to be broken between the E♭6 on beat 2 and the G6 on the subdivision of beat 2. So we would place the Speedy Entry cursor on the G6 on the subdivision of beat 2.
    2. Pressing the backslash key ( / ) will break the beam.
    3. What you have now should look something like this:
    4. We now need to join the beam between the G6 on the subdivision of beat 2 and the G5 on beat 3. Place the Speedy Entry cursor on the G5 of beat 3.
    5. Pressing the backslash key ( / ) will join the beam.
    6. What you have now should look something like this:
    7. Repeat the process of breaking and joining beams until things look the way you would like them to. In this case, this is what we end up with:
  7. Next, we need to move the “extra” note across the bar line.
    1. Click the Special Tools button.
    2. From the Special Tools palette, select the Note Position Tool.
    3. Click the measure to the left of the bar line. Handles should appear above each note in the measure.
    4. Grab the handle of the note that needs to be moved to the right of the bar line and drag it so that it is positioned over the hidden rest.
  8. You now have cross-bar beamed notes!