Tale of the Tailor

I’ve been wrestling with the new version of Finale all week, trying to get it to work as expected and/or advertised, so that I could get Blake Tells the Tiger the Tale of the Tailor orchestrated for this Tuesday night thing at Barnes & Noble.

We were asked to sing A Visit to William Blake’s Inn at the opening party for the new Barnes & Noble, so I said yes, and my intrepid octet has been working very hard to re-polish the work. I decided it would be as good a time as any to go ahead and orchestrate one of the two remaining pieces.

However, I didn’t count on the new Finale being such an incredibly opaque piece of software. I will not bore you with all the details, but it has been right up there with working on an actual Windows computer. I have three different Garritan libraries, and none of them were doing what they should be doing, in this case allowing me to notate the strings as playing pizzicato, and they actually do that in playback. Hadn’t been a problem before, but now it was. No combination of libraries or instruments worked. I was halfway through the piece when I decided I had to do something.

I decided that it must have something to do with opening a piece done in Finale 2007, the piano score (which actually had originally been done in Finale 2006) and copying melodic lines over to the orchestral arrangement. So I started a brand new file, which seemed to make the program happy. That was this morning. It took me all morning just to get back to the halfway point, just putting in the music I had already done.

Late in the afternoon, I tackled it again, and shortly before I had to pack up and go to our final rehearsal, I finished it. It’s clunky in more than a few spots, but at least it will work for Tuesday. Parts of it are already nice, but on the whole, I don’t feel I have as much control over the sound as I did with the Finale 2007 GPO. I’m sure the company would tell me that I have a lot more control, but what I’ve found over the years is that having all that control usually means that you are forced to dig deeper into the program’s innards to gain it.

At any rate, here it is.

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