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In celebration of Finale's 20th Anniversary, MakeMusic has announced the imminent release of the next major version of the music notation software for Windows and Mac OS X.

Finale 2009 includes major workflow improvements among its many new features plus full VST and AU plug-in support. The Garritan Aria Player is also included FREE and is fully integrated into Finale 2009.

Below is a list of some of the new features and fixes in brief. Shipping is expected to begin July 21st. You can pre-order for $600; upgrade and academic pricing is available.

New Features:

  • Categorized Expressions: Finale's new Expression categories allow all markings of a similar type (e.g. dynamics) to share font, positioning, and staff list settings.
  • New Expression Positioning: Expression positioning is now part of every expression category's definition, and can also be assigned individually.
  • Drag-apply Expressions: You can now click and drag over multiple staves to apply expressions en masse.
  • Simplified Staff Lists: Staff lists are now part of expression categories, which makes editing, copying, and assigning expressions that apply to the full score easier.
  • Easier Metatool Assignment: You can now assign several metatools at once in the Expression Selection dialog box.
  • Attachment Indicators: Each expression is now equipped with an indicator that displays its attachment point on the staff (relative to the beat or measure). Expressions can now be dragged to different beats, measures, or staves to change their attachment point.
  • Selection Dialog Box Zooming and Resizing: New "Zoom In" and "Zoom Out" buttons, and resize functionality have been added to Finale's selection dialog boxes for easier navigation. Some dialog boxes that benefit from this are the Expression Selection dialog box, Articulation Selection dialog box, and Shape Selection dialog box.
  • Multiple Page Viewing and Editing: Finale now displays more of your score at once with multiple pages accessible for convenient editing.
  • Finalescript 2.0: Finale's scripting language is now capable of calling virtually any command, whether in a dialog box, menu, or list. Press any button, check any check box, or enter a value into any text box. With an integrated dictionary and dynamic text coloring, creating powerful scripts is easier than ever.
  • Updated Human Playback: Human Playback Enhancements include user interface improvements, compatibility with the Aria player, a new technique set supporting Finale 2009's open VSTAU abilities, and additional fixes and improvements. Plus Human Playback options are now found in Finale's MIDI menu, making access to different styles – as well as techniques and preferences – much more accessible.
  • New Aria Player: The Garritan Aria Player is included FREE and is fully integrated into Finale 2009. It offers superior sound, more control, and a vastly improved user playback experience.
  • Full VST/AU Instrument Support: Use any VST instrument plug-in and accompanying instrument libraries.
  • Improved Playback Performance: With new ASIO drivers, Finale's playback engine has been retooled to allow for higher playback quality.
  • Updated SmartMusic Accompaniment Creation: Creating SmartMusic Accompaniments (.SMP files) has never been easier with improvements to both Finale's saving mechanism and SmartMusic's interpretation capabilities.
  • Updated Music XML: With support for MusicXML 2.0, +90 new features and a more transportable compressed file format, sharing documents between notation programs and between different versions of Finale is more accurate than ever.
  • Tapspace Virtual Drumline Sounds: Finale now includes a library of performance-quality marching and concert percussion sounds by Tapspace.
  • Garritan Sounds: Additional Garritan sounds include baritone sax, vintage electric piano, electric guitar, electric bass, vibraphone, handbells, mellophone group, baritone group, additional marching percussion cymbals, and more.
  • Enhanced VST/AU plug-in management: Now specify which VST/AU plug-ins load, eliminating conflicts and assisting troubleshooting.

Fixes in Finale 2009:

Exercise Wizard:

  • The session specific Items To Copy no longer affects the Exercise Wizard (i.e. if notes are not selected to be copied, the exercise will no longer be empty [no notes present]).

Expressions:

  • Copy Multiple no longer causes Expressions to be duplicated.
  • The Begin Playback at 'Position in Measure' setting of the Expression Assignment dialog box now functions properly.
  • Default file extensions are no longer uppercase.
  • The "Allow Individual Edits Per Score" setting no longer causes expressions to jump when selected or nudged.
  • The mouse cursor is now hidden while dragging Expressions.
  • Unnecessary full redraws no longer occur when using the arrow keys in the - Expression Selection dialog box.
  • Unmodified keys (i.e. D) no longer modify objections in the selection dialog box.
  • In an overfilled measure, you can now assign expressions to beats outside the normal time signature.

Human Playback:

  • Fermatas no longer hang some files during playback with Human Playback.
  • Human Playback now considers tempo when applying tempo changes to "rit." expressions.

Miscellaneous:

  • The Mass Edit Tool can no longer be accessed by using the traditional tool palettes.

Ossia:

  • Ties in the source measure are no longer ignored in ossia measures.

Page Layout:

  • Scrolling no longer deselects Page Layout handles.
  • Horizontal scroll now works at low view percentages.

Page View:

  • Show Postscript Preview no longer only shows one page.

Playback:

  • The window frames for VST plug-ins are no longer resizable.
  • With HP set to None, Measure expressions with key velocities no longer playback incorrectly.

Scroll View:

  • Setup Wizard's default time signature is now 4/4 (instead of C).

Setup Wizard:

  • The mnemonic for the Measure control no longer indicates the letter A.

Selection:

  • The Expression Designer in Finale for creating SmartMusic Marker Expressions no longer uses the 1-100 scale for IA instead of 1-10.
  • A warning appears no longer while trying to do a SmartFind and Paint function recommending you turn on partial measure selection.
  • Selection between optimized staves no longer produces unexpected results.

Smart Shapes:

  • Custom Smart Shapes no longer cause certain files to hang.
  • Slurs attached to notes with articulations no longer draw and print with unduly high slur contours.

Staff Tool:

  • Staff styles are no longer duplicated on Paste Multiple.
  • Applying a staff style no longer causes manuscript paper to be absent from pages 2 and up.
  • Chord symbols on staves set to a chromatic transposition are now transposed properly.
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