Recent Fun with Finale

Ah yes, Finale. Drag and drop notes while banging your head on the desk.

I did make some good progress while working on a project for church. The goal was to make a version of “Thanks for the Memory” that was created to honor our former choir director. I wanted to keep the tune and rhythm as close to the original as possible, but I did have to make some changes. I got stuck several places, but because the project was so important I actually RTFM’d and searched for the answers online. Here’s some notes.


Quick way to add measures, one at a time


Get rid of an extra page



I want it to start playback where I was working, rather than going all the way back to the beginning.

This dropdown menu also allowed me to vary the amount of swing. I wrote the melody with straight eighth notes, but it did not sound that way when sung by Bob Hope!



I wanted to use piano rather than the cheesy Vox setting they gave me when I set the staff up as “voice”.






Software to write MIDI files in Python

MIDIUtil is a pure Python library that allows one to write muti-track Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) files from within Python programs. It is object-oriented and allows one to create and write these files with a minimum of fuss.

MIDIUtil isn’t a full implementation of the MIDI specification. The actual specification is a large, sprawling document which has organically grown over the course of decades. I have selectively implemented some of the more useful and common aspects of the specification. The choices have been somewhat idiosyncratic; I largely implemented what I needed. When I decided that it could be of use to other people I fleshed it out a bit, but there are still things missing. Regardless, the code is fairly easy to understand and well structured. Additions can be made to the library by anyone with a good working knowledge of the MIDI file format and a good, working knowledge of Python. Documentation for extending the library is provided. If you don’t have a good understanding of MIDI (and don’t want to acquire one), feel free to request an addition.