Finale (software)

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Basic data

developer MakeMusic, Inc.
Publishing year 1988
Current  version 26.2 ( Windows )
December 4, 2019

26.2 ( macOS )
December 4, 2019

operating system Windows , macOS
programming language C ++
category Music notation program
License proprietary
German speaking Yes
Klemm Music Technology
(German distribution)
Dieterich Buxtehude's cantata Der Herr ist mit mir (BuxWV 15), written in Finale 2006 (Mac)

Finale is a music notation program from the US company MakeMusic . It is available for the Windows and macOS operating systems.

The program is used to create and print scores or individual parts and masters all common tasks of classical music notation . The entered music can be played via the sound card via MIDI , the supplied Garritan sampling library or via the VST interface with other sampling libraries. The program also has a film window that shows the film to be dubbed synchronously with the music entered. Import and export functions for MP3 , EPUB , WAV or MusicXML files complete the options. In German-speaking countries , Finale is distributed by Klemm Music Technology.

Range of functions

Finale has different work views. The note window can be displayed as a sheet, a roll or the so-called studio view, which is based on the look and feel of sequencers . To set characters or to edit the musical text, a corresponding icon must be selected from the sidebars for each step . The tool-oriented workflow, as we know it from Photoshop , is criticized by some users as being unintuitive, especially when compared to competing products. On the other hand, there is a wide range of options and additional functions, also in the area of ​​multimedia connections. In addition to a mixer and a film window, Finale has numerous note fonts and supports the VST standard.

Product family

Depending on the requirements and needs, there are different editions of Finale, each with different functions. Some features are listed that differ from the next lower version.

  • Finale (unlimited staves, no restrictions)
  • Finale Allegro (up to 32 staves, different staves, free placement of time and key changes, conductor's score) - discontinued
  • Finale PrintMusic (scanning of sheet music, 24 systems at the same time, performance marks can be inserted, drum notation, more options for influencing the page layout, import options from other music notation programs)
  • Finale Songwriter (additional options for input such as keyboard or MIDI, output also in MP3 formats, simultaneous recording and playback, chord symbols and fingerprints can be inserted) - set
  • Finale Notepad Plus (like Finale Notepad, but with extended MIDI support) - discontinued in 2007
  • Finale Notepad (simple notation can be written)
  • Finale Reader (for reading, playing and printing sheet music only) - discontinued in 2012
  • Finale SongBook (previously: Finale iPad Music Viewer) (reading scores on iPad only), 2012–2014

useful information

The original and first version of Finale appeared in 1989. The initial program writer and programmer was Phil Farrand, who worked for Coda Music . Net4Music later bought the software and renamed itself to MakeMusic some time later . Up to Finale 3.7 the version numbers of the releases followed the classic designation, from then on the publisher switched to year numbers as identification and brought out a new edition of Finale every year, starting with Finale 1997. In 2012 it was announced that the annual rhythm would be interrupted and it 2012 will not be a 2013 version.

Finale 2004 can also be run under Mac OS X for the first time , but it was not until Finale 2005 that Finale should be delivered for the first time in a hybrid version for Windows and Mac OS. In 2005 the slimmed-down version Finale Allegro appeared for the first time. Finale NotePad was chargeable in the 2009-2011 versions. In the meantime, Finale Reader was a free way to view Finale files. In 2010, the Notepad plus and Allegro variants were discontinued.

The 2012 version was published in autumn 2011 and offers innovations such as the ScoreManager, support for text in Unicode format, direct creation of PDF files from the program, an updated note assistant ( wizard ), improved sound management and a more extensive one Garritan Library. The version Finale NotePad 2012 is offered again for free.

In 2012, MakeMusic's company balance sheet was in the red for the first time, which is why changes to the company structures were targeted in the interests of shareholders . Against this background, the takeover offer of a financial investor with the sum of $ 13.5 million was accepted. MakeMusic has since been a subsidiary of the venture capital company LaunchEquity Partners.

In a report published in March 2014 posting within the MusicXML -Community which covered computer science - luminary L Peter German to the fact that the new file format had been changed from Finale 2014 and encrypted to customers in the future to its own product to bind because the Internal changes made during the major release would not speak any comprehensible, technical reasons. MakeMusic did not deal with the content of the criticisms made by Deutsch. As part of a move of the postings from a previously existing mailing list to a newly established forum, L Peter Deutsch's related posts were deleted.

On August 7, 2014, MakeMusic published a press release that it was merging with Peaksware . Peaksware is also a subsidiary of LaunchEquity and produces software for endurance training that is used by athletes.


version publication Remarks
1.0 1989 First version
1997 (3.7) 1997 Designation for the first time after year of publication
2004 Spring 2004 Native Mac OS X support
2005 Windows and Mac OS version now on a distribution CD / as a single setup
2006 Summer 2005 Garritan Personal Orchestra and SmartScore Lite integration, new Studio view, TempoTap
2007 Dynamic individual part excerpts
2008 Better clipboard support, video integration, mixer, audio export and import, drum groove, band-in-a-box plug-in, improved guitar tabs, practice assistant
2009 Multi-page view, improvement of human playback , improved workflow
2010 New format support for graphics import, easier chord input, new graphics export, VST / AU support for external sound libraries
2011 Improved lyrics input, new drums and percussion features
2012 Fall 2011 Score management with easier instrument change, Unicode support, PDF export function, MusicXML 3.0, larger Garritan library, direct layout in the score
2014 January 2014 New forward and backward compatible but encrypted file format, improved collision detection with polyphony, new icons and graphic elements in the user interface, ...
Version 25 August 2016 64-bit program code, Rewire support, input of transposing instruments
Version 26 October 2018 Extended chord libraries, new templates, intelligent placement of articulations, intelligent behavior of legato slurs, tremolos and stems ...
Interface in version 1.0 (1989)


The Finale music notation program can be expanded with plug-ins . For example, the score scanning program SmartScore can be integrated via an interface. Medieval realizes ancient styles of notation. The TGTools enable simplified commands (such as the setting of repetitions with repetitive cycles ). A band-in-a-box plug -in also existed from 2008 to 2016 . With its help, an instrumentation could be generated automatically for a melody voice provided with chords. Other available extensions are Braille Music Kit , Classic Transposition , JW Plug-ins , JW Lua , Perfect Layout , Tuplet Copy , Tuplet Mover , Staff Sets , Patterson Beams and Settings Scrapbook .


Users were able to distribute files created with Finale directly via the platform. This, from the manufacturer MakeMusic! operated platform, was shut down on October 1, 2002.

Another option was later offered to exchange notes created with Finale: the Finale Showcase, known in German as Finale-Schaufenster. This platform, operated by the English manufacturer MakeMusic on its product website, was switched off at the beginning of 2013 as part of a complete redesign of the website.

Finale served as a notation software also as the basis for film music, for example in the 2008 Oscar-winning films such as Ratatouille , Michael Clayton , Sweeney Todd - The Devilish Barber from Fleet Street , Elizabeth - The Golden Kingdom , The Golden Compass ; as well as Oscar-nominated films such as Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End , Death Train to Yuma , The Sound of the Heart , Cursed and Transformers .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Website of the manufacturer. In: Retrieved May 17, 2017 (English).
  2. a b Download Center. In: Retrieved January 20, 2020 .
  3. Finale product comparison. (PDF; 242 kB) Overview of the differences between the individual final programs. Klemm Music Technology, accessed December 13, 2012 .
  4. Finale blog from January 18, 2012
  5. Finale support article from December 4, 2014 ( Memento of the original from August 3, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Finale blog from May 29, 2012
  7. Finale blog from January 17, 2012
  8. Get Filings: MAKEMUSIC, INC. - FORM 8-K - EX-99.2 - PROPOSAL FROM LAUNCHEQUITY PARTNERS, LLC - July 16, 2012 , accessed on April 23, 2014 (Report on the takeover offer from LAUNCHEQUITY PARTNERS, LLC)
  9. The next Web: MakeOffer: Investor LaunchEquity proposes to buy music tech firm MakeMusic for $ 13.5m , accessed on April 23, 2014 (blog report about the takeover of MakeMusic)
  10. Michael Good: Songs and Schemas - Finale 2014 File Format (November 15, 2013), accessed April 23, 2014 (English)
  11. L Peter Deutsch: Finale 2014. a final word. (No longer available online.) In: MusicXML Mailing List. MakeMusic, Inc./Michael Good, March 14, 2014, archived from the original on April 7, 2014 ; accessed on March 16, 2014 (English): "MakeMusic has now (post-acquisition) apparently encrypted the Finale .mus file format specifically in order to prevent third parties from importing it. No technical rationale for this aspect of the format change has been offered, despite my having requested one from Michael twice on this list. (...) Users of Finale can reasonably be concerned that (1) there is a significant chance of MakeMusic not being in business relatively few years from now, and (2) because of the format change, any work they create in Finale 2014 and later formats may become permanently unreadable. "
  12. Make Music: MakeMusic Joins Peaksware , accessed August 7, 2014.
  13. Popular Finale Features. MakeMusic, accessed July 27, 2012 .
  14. ^ RPM Seattle Music Preparation: Plugins And Plugin Suites For Finale Productivity. 211, accessed May 8, 2011 .
  15. MakeMusic! Inc. Announces Deepening Alliance with Hal Leonard Corporation and Music Sales Limited. In: September 30, 2002, accessed August 16, 2017 .
  16. ^ Scott Yoho: Important Finale Showcase Announcement. In: Finale blog. January 7, 2013, accessed on August 16, 2017 .
  17. Finale Plays a Leading Role in Oscar-Winning Films ( Memento from October 4, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (English).