MUSIC ENGRAVING IS like conventional page-layout and typesetting: a lot of effort goes into producing an effortless-looking result. Computers offer handy programs for both types of publishing, but the market for music-engraving software is limited by the specialized requirements of the job. You have to know music, for one thing: both the standard rules of reading a score and the specialized rules for writing and – most particularly – setting up a publishable page.
|Version 3 for the Mac, which|
looked pretty similar to the
IBM PC's version 2.
Finale for the PC is a year-old product that has been around longer still in Macintosh form. The recently-released PC version 2.0 smooths speed and notational problems of the first release (bug fixes and fewer redraws are among the changes) while offering a few enhanced features. It’s a high-end product that answers all professional needs.
But it’s a bear of a program to learn. Out-of-the-box ease of use isn’t a requirement for this kind of application, and the ten or twelve hours you’ll spend mastering its basics are an acceptable part of the price you pay for computer convenience. When you consider how long it took you to learn music in the first place, the time spent exploring Finale will seem like a pleasant interlude.