Create Rhythm Parts Using Alternate Notation

Create rhythm parts using alternate notation

Rick Smith
[email protected]
Sandy Run Middle School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:



Middle School




Computer Lab, Printer, Headphones Finale,


80 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students know how to use Finale notation software, and print.

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing

NAfME Standards of 1994: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating


The instrumental students will use eight measures of music from an existing piece that they are working on.


At the conclusion of this lesson: Students will be able to create rhythm parts using Finale’s alternate notation option.


Have students sit at a computer. Ask the students to open the Finale application on the desk top. Ask the students to enter a specified number of measures (around eight) using whichever notation entry tool they prefer. When students have completed the entry have them select the Staff Tool. Students can select all or any portion of the notation using Select Region, Shift-click, or Select all. From the Staff Menu choose Apply Staff Styles. Select the type of staff style desired. Using Alternate Notation, an instant percussion part or rhythmic exercise can be created. Please refer to “Finale-An Easy guide to Music Notation” pp.702-703 by Thomas E. Rudolph and Vincent A. Leonard, Jr.


Completed notation will be evaluated on the accuracy and relevance to the rehearsal and performance. Participation in the classroom discussion will be noted.

Follow Up:

Students create original rhythm parts.

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