The Big Finale

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Finally, Finale notation harp tricks and tips to make your arrangements look as good as they sound

—by Rachel Green

Arranging is one of those survival skills every harpist needs in their backpack. Much like a hiker needs to know all the tricks to start a fire in varying environments, a harpist needs to be able to arrange and notate all kinds of music. With the proliferation of online music outlets, it’s easier than ever for harpists today to publish their arrangements. But the hand-written notation you scribble out five minutes before the gig doesn’t cut it beyond your music stand. You want your arrangements to look as professional as they sound.

Your arrangement is almost complete, but you’re stuck. You have entered the notes into Finale and added dynamics, slurs, and tempo markings, but you aren’t quite sure how to notate the special techniques that are unique to harp music. Let’s unlock those harp notation secrets and get your score ready to share with others.

Here are some specific tips for how to create scores with harp notation. The steps in this article were written using the latest version of Finale (Finale 25), but most of the following tips and tricks should also work for earlier versions.

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Stay tuned for Sibelius

Never fear, Sibelius users, we haven’t forgotten about you. Look for an article on Sibelius notation secrets for harpists in an upcoming issue of Harp Column.

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