Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

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MowingDevil
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Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by MowingDevil » Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:21 am

Say you'd like to have an instrument's staff begin a few measures in rather than have bars of rests, how would you go about this? Here's an example where I've hidden the bar lines & staff lines for a few measures but the treble clef is left hovering over at the start. What I'd like to do is have the clef begin where the staff lines and note starts.
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

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Bill Stevens
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by Bill Stevens » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:15 pm

From the manual:

To hide a portion of a staff

Choose the Staff tool icon and select the measures that you want to hide. See Selecting music for more information on selection methods.

Choose Staff > Apply Staff Styles To > Score and Parts or Current Part/Score. The Apply Staff Style dialog box appears.

Select Force Hide Staff (Cutaway) and click OK. All the staves in the selected region are hidden.

Alternatively, you can right/CONTROL-click the highlighted region and choose Force Hide Staff (Cutaway) from the context menu.
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by miker » Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:19 pm

Why?
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Michel R E
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by Michel R E » Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:47 pm

I understand the notation you want, but sadly, it is very frustrating and annoying to try and achieve in Finale. It's doable, but requires so much work-around and fine-tuning that it's simply not worth the trouble.

However, all I can say is... it's a "contemporary music" affectation that really brings nothing to the score as far as clarity is concerned. Every conductor I've worked with has stated categorically that they hate this sort of stuff.

If at all possible, I'd highly recommend sticking to considerably more standard methods of notation.

N.B. just for sh*ts and giggles, I took a page from a VERY tonal work and redid the notation to this type of thing, and at first glance anyone would assume they were looking at a very heavily avantgarde piece of music. The effect was quite funny. As far as I'm concerned, if that isn't ample demonstration that this type of notation is really not required, then nothing is.
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by N Grossingink » Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:51 pm

https://music.stackexchange.com/questio ... hat-have-n

This has been done for most of the last 100 years. It has been and still is a bit uncommon.
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by Michel R E » Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:58 pm

I didn't say it was wrong.
Only repeated what I've been told time and again by various conductors I've worked with.
It brings no actual clarity to the reading of a score.
It doesn't make entrances clearer, despite any misconceptions.
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by N Grossingink » Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:57 pm

Michel R E wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:58 pm
I didn't say it was wrong.
Only repeated what I've been told time and again by various conductors I've worked with.
It brings no actual clarity to the reading of a score.
It doesn't make entrances clearer, despite any misconceptions.
I wasn't getting on your case. You brought up some good points and have the advantage of working with performers of your music.
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by RVS Lee » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:05 pm

Two quick notes -
If you want to include Clefs/TS's where the instrument appears rather than at the beginning of a score system, that would be handled in Measure Attributes, rather than Staff Styles...

With respect Michel, I appreciate your point that notation should always be as simple as possible. (Arthur Weisberg would regularly berate composers on that subject...) However, in works where durations are not tied to a barline (or common pulse) a cutaway notation can indeed be easier to read. I find this especially true of scores using horizontal lines to indicate duration or repetition; they tend to blend into the empty staff lines.

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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by Bill Stevens » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:05 pm

Back in the previous millennium, before the days of computers and indoor plumbing, we used to actually cut away our cutaway scores, using a razor blade or an Xacto knife. Then those pages would be sent to New York City for printing. I ran into the masters for one of those scores recently. It looked like it had been gnawed by mice.

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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by ebiggs1 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:12 pm

I was just examining a score (and old score) done like that. I would never do it myself.
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by Michel R E » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:54 pm

The real difficulty in achieving this result is that Finale places a clef (when inserted anywhere other than the 1st measure of a system) after the barline. In this case you need a clef on a tiny bit of staff that just passes that barline, to the left.
THAT is the part that is annoying to achieve.
You have to insert rests of values that let you select part of a measure, leaving only enough of the staff showing so that your clef is on a bit of staff, but not too much staff showing.

So the issue is purely one of clef placement on those "indented" staves.
Maybe there's a trick to doing it, that is simpler than the approach I took?
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by Peter Thomsen » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:54 am

Michel R E wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:54 pm
The real difficulty in achieving this result is that Finale places a clef (when inserted anywhere other than the 1st measure of a system) after the barline. In this case you need a clef on a tiny bit of staff that just passes that barline, to the left.
THAT is the part that is annoying to achieve.
You have to insert rests of values that let you select part of a measure, leaving only enough of the staff showing so that your clef is on a bit of staff, but not too much staff showing.

So the issue is purely one of clef placement on those "indented" staves.
Maybe there's a trick to doing it, that is simpler than the approach I took?
In that situation my preferred solution is a shape created in the Shape Designer.

The vertical distance between staff-lines is 6 Points.
Look in the Document Options to see the thickness of staff-lines - and note the line thickness.
Then, in the Shape Designer, draw five equidistant horizontal lines, with thickness as staff-lines, at a vertical distance of 6 Points.
Add the clef to the shape.
Attach the shape as a shape expression, or as a shape articulation.
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by Michel R E » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:05 am

Peter Thomsen wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:54 am
In that situation my preferred solution is a shape created in the Shape Designer.

The vertical distance between staff-lines is 6 Points.
Look in the Document Options to see the thickness of staff-lines - and note the line thickness.
Then, in the Shape Designer, draw five equidistant horizontal lines, with thickness as staff-lines, at a vertical distance of 6 Points.
Add the clef to the shape.
Attach the shape as a shape expression, or as a shape articulation.
excellent suggestion.
lots of work at the start, but once it's done, it's there to be used at will.
EDIT**************************************************************************************
It took me about a half hour to get this done.
I don't know if the OP would require brackets at the beginning of staves for pairs of instruments. I tried getting that to work, but it's 3 in the morning and my brain isn't entirely functional at this time.
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by David Ward » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:50 am

Michel, please forgive my off-topic curiosity, but I see that amongst the French instrument names you have bassoon: I've always seen the French name for the instrument as basson without the second ‘o’. Is yours a specifically Canadian spelling? Or?

On topic, I think some years ago I wanted a cut-away of the type under discussion in an opera score to highlight the entry of some on-stage instruments in the middle of a very large system, but found it too much hassle to get right.
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by Michel R E » Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:54 am

David Ward wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:50 am
Michel, please forgive my off-topic curiosity, but I see that amongst the French instrument names you have bassoon: I've always seen the French name for the instrument as basson without the second ‘o’. Is yours a specifically Canadian spelling? Or?

On topic, I think some years ago I wanted a cut-away of the type under discussion in an opera score to highlight the entry of some on-stage instruments in the middle of a very large system, but found it too much hassle to get right.
LOL, non, you are correct... this is a half done score I used to do my little test.
the instrument names were the defaults that Finale put in, I put the new names in French.
There's a completed score of this work where everything is corrected.

and the only place I've used cut-off scores is in my violin concerto, where the cadenzas are in the different movements. I figured since the measures of the cadenzas were not included in the measure-numbering, it would look better if the orchestra just "stopped" (I couldn't stretch it out so that the orchestral music finished at the last measure of a system).
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by Anders Hedelin » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:40 pm

It should be possible to add brackets as shape expressions. Attached to one of the visible measures and then relocated with a negative number in "Edit Expression Assignment".

I'm not sure the brackets would look well to the left of the measure stubs lacking a left barline, but it might be worth a try.
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by MowingDevil » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:07 am

Michel R E wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:05 am
Peter Thomsen wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:54 am
In that situation my preferred solution is a shape created in the Shape Designer.

The vertical distance between staff-lines is 6 Points.
Look in the Document Options to see the thickness of staff-lines - and note the line thickness.
Then, in the Shape Designer, draw five equidistant horizontal lines, with thickness as staff-lines, at a vertical distance of 6 Points.
Add the clef to the shape.
Attach the shape as a shape expression, or as a shape articulation.
excellent suggestion.
lots of work at the start, but once it's done, it's there to be used at will.
EDIT**************************************************************************************
It took me about a half hour to get this done.
I don't know if the OP would require brackets at the beginning of staves for pairs of instruments. I tried getting that to work, but it's 3 in the morning and my brain isn't entirely functional at this time.
Good job there Michel. I noticed some lines don't blend well w/ the staff in terms of thickness or alignment (when I zoom in a bit). Would it be possible to just add a clef in the shape designer w/o all the lines (then overlay it onto an existing staff)? Peter, how do you add the clef to the shape? I'm not very experienced in the shape designer part of Finale.

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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by Michel R E » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:53 am

The lines in my shape should be identical to those in a staff. I used the exact same settings. They looked fine on my screen while in Finale, regardless of the zoom.

if you don't mind the clefs being on the "wrong" side of the barline, you can easily have the clef appear to the right of the barlines of those staggered staves.

while the initial clef at the right side IS on the right side of the left barline, it looks somehow "wrong" to my eye on the indented staves. which is why I would go with a bit of staff sticking out to the left.

You can have a tiny bit of staff showing, by judiciously placing invisible rests in the measures preceding the staggered entrance, but honestly it is a REAL pain in the oboe to get the exact right amount of staff to fit the clef.
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Re: Staggering an instrument's entry (visually)

Post by Michel R E » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:02 am

David Ward wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:50 am
Michel, please forgive my off-topic curiosity, but I see that amongst the French instrument names you have bassoon: I've always seen the French name for the instrument as basson without the second ‘o’. Is yours a specifically Canadian spelling? Or?

David, I just realized (days late, I know) why the bassoon part had English names: I use a staff style to put my instrument names. When preparing this small example, I simply removed all the staff styles of the woodwinds, inadvertently leaving Finale's default English names showing.

(for staff names, I use invisible font for the name of each staff, BUT letting the numeral show... so "(invis)flûte(/invis) 1", then "(invis)flûte(/invis) 2".
My group bracket ONLY says "Flûte". So you get a bracket with "Flûte" set between the staves, and a numeral for each staff.
The group name shows always.
Then if the instruments are consolidated on a single staff (for example flutes 1 and 2), I have a staff style that ONLY places 1/2 on that staff, hiding the default numeral (the numbers 1 over 2, spaced to fit exactly on the edge of the bracket and centred to the single staff).

So in the example I'm attaching to this post, the flutes and clarinets are using their "default" staff names (invisible instrument name, visible number), and the bracket with the instrument name.
Meanwhile, the oboes and bassoons are consolidated onto single staves, the default numeral is replaced with the staff style "1 over 2", and the group name remains visible.

I have multiple staff styles like this, for example horns 3 & 4, three trumpets sharing a staff 1/2/3, and one staff style that consolidates bass trombone with tuba: Trmb.Basse/Tuba.
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