Transpose

Transpose replaces (or augments) the existing Finale Transpose function. (Utilities->Transpose...). It offers several improvements to the built-in function.

  1. By means of Saved Settings, you can have as many different canned transposition options as you wish available as menu items. These menu items can then be hooked to keyboard macros.
  2. It is a modeless dialog box, which means you can leave it open on your desktop for quick access.
  3. It fully supports Finale's Non-Standard Key Signatures function, including microtone systems that divide the octave in arbitrarily small numbers of steps. Common microtone systems include 24-EDO ("Equal Division of the Octave"), 31-EDO, 48-EDO, and others. The Transpose plugin works seamlessly with all of them.
  4. You can transpose enharmonically. This matters especially for microtone systems where enharmonic transposition is not the same as transposing by a diminished second.
  5. You can transpose by an arbitrary number of steps and then simplify the spelling: a powerful option that can supersede the dropdown menus in many use cases.
  6. It handles Finale's hard-wired limit of +/-7 alterations. The result will always be some spelling of the correct note, or else it will give an error message and leave the untransposable notes unchanged. (Errors like this can only happen in larger microtone systems such as 96-EDO, where Finale cannot represent 5 of the 96 pitches with any spelling due to the +/-7 limit.)
  7. It has options to affect only certain notes in chords, leaving the others unchanged.

To use the plugin, select a region and invoke the plugin. The Transpose dialog box appears.

Transpose

Direction: { Up | Down }. The direction to transpose. This works the same as in Finale's built-in Transpose dialog box.

Method: { Diatonically | Chromatically }. The transposition method. The Diatonic option works the same as Finale's Transpose dialog box. For standard 12-tone systems, the Chromatic option also works the same as in Finale's built-in Transpose dialog box. For microtone systems the Chromatic option produces equivalent results to those for 12-EDO. (Contrast this with Finale's built-in Chromatic Transpose function that produces unusable results with microtone systems.)

Simplify Spelling. Tells the plugin to respell the transposed notes with the smallest possible alterations within the key. For transposing instruments or hidden key signatures it may not always be the most obvious spelling. Any particular combination of direction of transposition and size of chromatic interval will cause Simplify Spelling to tend to prefer sharps or flats. For example, transposing up by a minor third will prefer flats. Transposing down by a minor third will prefer sharps. It is the opposite for major thirds.

Interval: The choices in the dropdown change depending on whether you choose Diatonic or Chromatic transposition. These options are identical to those of Finale's built-in Transpose function. However, the plugin offers an additional Chromatic option, Enharmonic. This option respells the note one diatonic step higher or lower, depending on the direction of transposition. It works in any tone system or scale.

Plus [x] Octaves. This is identical to the similar option in Finale's built-in Transpose dialog box.

Additional Alteration. For standard 12-tone systems, this value is almost identical to the "Alteration" field in the Other Interval dialog box. (See Recommendations below for an idea of why you might prefer it.) For microtone systems, Additional Alteration specifies steps within the microtone system. If you were working in 48-EDO, for example, a value of 4 here would transpose by a half step. The Additional Alteration amount is added on top of the interval chosen in the pulldown, whether it be a diatonic or chromatic interval.

Apply to Nth Note in Chord (from Top) [x]. Enter a number here to affect only one note in chords.

Opposite (Apply to All Other Notes). Checking this does the inverse of the previous checkbox. It causes the plugin to transpose all except the specified chord note.

Preserve Original Notes. Creates chords consisting of the original notes plus the transposed notes. This works the same as in Finale's built-in Transpose dialog box.

Saved Settings. Brings up the Saved Settings dialog box.

Other Interval

Both the Diatonic and Chromatic pulldown menus have an "Other..." option. These options match those in Finale's built-in Transpose dialog box.

Interval

Interval. The diatonic interval to transpose by. This is the same as in Finale's Other Interval dialog box.

Alteration. For diatonic transposition, alteration is always forced to zero. For chromatic transposition it specifies the type of chromatic interval. The numbers you enter here match exactly the numbers you enter in Finale's built-in transposition function, but it is important to emphasize the implications for microtone systems. This value specifies a type of chromatic interval, not a number of steps within the microtone system. Thus an Interval of 5 with an Alteration of -2 is always a doubly diminished fifth. That interval is the same interval in any tone system. If you wish to transpose by a certain number of steps within a microtone system, use the Additional Alteration field in the main Transpose dialog.

Recommendations

Use this plugin even if you do not have any interest in microtone systems. Much of the documentation on this page covers how to use the plugin with microtone systems. While the plugin fills a desperately needed hole in Finale for those systems, it was not  designed primarily with them in mind.

Make lots of Saved Settings for commonly used transposition functions. (That is why it has its own menu.) The original impetus of the plugin was to provide more canned transposition options than the meager four transposition metatools that Finale provides.

Leave the dialog open if you have the screen real estate to do so.

Combine Additional Alteration with Simplify Spelling. For many use cases you may be able to dispense entirely with the menus and radio buttons if you check Simply Spelling and use the Additional Alteration field. Set the plugin window to Direction: Up and Interval: (Perfect) Unison. Then you can simply enter the number of steps you want to transpose up as a positive number or down as a negative number. Let Simply Spelling figure out the spellings.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about the operation of Transpose, please feel free to contact me.