Stephen Wilcox

Stephen Wilcox

Stephen Wilcox received a B.M. in instrumental performance (tuba) and a B.M. in music theory from West Chester University, a M.M. in Composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Ph.D. in Composition at the University of Pennsylvania. Most recently, he has been creating online music theory courses for Rutgers University and working as an instructional designer at UC Berkeley.

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Monday Quick Tip: Take Finale Fonts Out!

Home/e-learning, Higher Ed, K-12, Music Notation/Monday Quick Tip: Take Finale Fonts Out!

[title size=”3″]Monday Quick Tip: April 14th, 2014[/title]
Most music educators have some sort of notation program cluttering up their hard drives; Finale, Sibelius & NoteFlight being some of the more popular. NoteFlight is a special case in that it runs entirely online, built in HTML5 (very cool). Finale and Sibelius however, live on your computer and use custom fonts to render our musical creations. What many people don’t realize it that these custom fonts  can be used in other applications.

Let’s take a few fonts outside the Finale “box”! 
Note: This should work with Sibelius fonts too.


[title size=”2″]Music Fonts in Word or PowerPoint[/title]
Here are three ways that pitches with accidentals can be notated in MS Word or PowerPoint.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 2.33.31 PM

In the last case, I switched to a Finale font, “Maestro Wide”. There are no special techniques involved. Your music fonts will appear in font selection dropdown.

It should be noted that Finale fonts tend to appear at the subscript level and need to be shifted to the superscript level. 

Here is another example:
Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 3.25.19 PM

In order to uses these fonts you will need access each font’s character set.
These character set tables will show you which keystroke combination produces which musical symbol.

 

[title size=”2″]Music Fonts in Adobe Photoshop[/title]
Here is an example of two Finale fonts in Adobe Photoshop.
Photoshop is particularly fun because you can change the color of each symbol and drag them around freely.
Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 3.35.15 PM
Here I marked the musical symbols created with the Maestro font in blue and with the Finale Numerics font in dark red.
With photoshop you can add musical symbols to literally any image. Photoshop also allows users to create images that are web ready (no font embed issues).

 

[title size=”2″]Final Thoughts[/title]

  1. Using music fonts adds a level of professionalism that is increasingly important in the digital age. Students simply expect polished products and technical savvy from their teachers.
  2. These fonts go into places NoteFlight can’t reach. (Again…NoteFlight is awesome)
  3. Sometime you just need a quick musical character on the fly.
  4. It’s free!  I can hear some of you saying… “well I don’t have Finale and can’t afford it”.
    All Finale fonts come with the free Finale trial version, and even after the trial ends, the fonts remain…!

PS. I would avoid downloading these fonts from font warehouse websites. It’s probably not legal and these sites have tons of malware.

By | 2014-05-16T16:37:55+00:00 April 14th, 2014|

About the Author:

Composer, Music Educator and Instructional Designer, Stephen Wilcox received a B.M. in instrumental performance (tuba) and a B.M. in music theory from West Chester University, a M.M. in Composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Ph.D. in Composition at the University of Pennsylvania. Most recently, he has been creating online music theory courses for Rutgers University and working as an instructional designer at UC Berkeley.

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