Thank you for clarifying. I’ll agree that it’s an interesting situation. In the Finder, you can hold down option / alt to make a copy or just drag without the modifier to move whole files.
But in the case of a notation program, while sometimes you want to copy or move everything wholesale, this is actually only desired part of the time. And so, Finale and Sibelius have addressed this in similar but different ways with “filtering”.
In Finale and Sibelius, there is no actual “move” operation of notes; not the way this functions in the Finder, anyway. (Finale has a “delete after copy” which I guess you could call an implementation of a drag and drop type feature in Note Mover, but it is limited to a single bar and requires that each individual note be manually selected).
In Finale, dragging and dropping is the equivalent of copying to the clipboard, then pasting into the destination staff. But here, using the program’s default settings, “everything” is copied. Most of the time, the typical desired choice would be to copy a subset of the notation information. For instance, just the notes and dynamics without chord symbols or the music without system text like tempo marks. Or maybe the notes and other markings except dynamics if the same motif is to be restated at a different dynamic.
So the workflow in Finale is, go into the Edit Filter, choose what is going to be filtered / copied, then drag and drop. The other mechanism provided, as stated above, is to use Option / Alt Click - this provides the same functionality. Both of these require the Edit Filter to be set (an additional step) unless you are copying everything wholesale. Of course, if you are doing a series of similar edits, you don’t need to keep going back to the Edit Filter settings each time.
Additional Edit Filter moves to get there aside, I don’t personally use drag and drop in Finale; I use Option / Alt Click. I’ll explain in a moment.
In Sibelius, the filter works a little differently. Here, any object selected is already included in the filter. So, if you select a subset of notes in a bar along with dynamics, and phrase marks, but NOT, say, chord symbols or techniques, you can either copy to the clipboard and paste what is filtered to a new location, or do this in one step, using Option / Alt click.
In Sibelius, as in Finale, the Option / Alt. Click action is somewhat analogous to Option / Alt drag in the Finder, as it makes a copy of whatever is selected. (In Sibelius, if you select several different types of note attached text or line objects, hold down the option / alt key and press down the mouse button, it makes a copy of the selected objects in place.)
While one can’t move notes by dragging, one can select and move around text and line attached objects in either program. Of course moving text or lines already associated with a specified set of notes too far away from their parent music doesn’t really provide much practical use. Mostly the reason this “drag and drop” functionality exists in both of these programs is to allow finite placement adjustment of these ancillary objects in the score.
But I believe there is another possible reason why both Finale and Sibelius have implemented an Option / Alt click one step copy / paste model rather than drag and drop (other than a practical consideration of how different object types are handled in these two programs), which for me provides a good explanation of why I don’t miss it in either program using my (current) workflow.
At issue is the nature of how music notation lays out. For instance, in an orchestral score with 30 staves, the vertical screen real estate required to display staves of music notation properly is enormous compared to showing the little rows of data chiclets in a track overview of a sequencer.
Horizontal real estate is quite different, too. While you might be able to drag and drop across 50 bars or more in a sequencer, the notation program is displaying information really spread out by comparison (e.g. both vertically and horizontally, even in Scroll View).
Because you can’t always see the destination bars on screen for come sopra bars or whatever, you frequently lose that advantage the sequencer provides of being able to see where the material will be dropped in the new measure before you release the mouse button to complete the operation. In Finale’s defense, you can move the mouse left or right in either page view or scroll view as part of the drag operation, and pages or bars will scroll so you can get to the drop point. Works pretty well if the destination bar is on the next page. If it’s 100 bars downstream, this type of navigation is glacial.
Thanks for bringing up an interesting topic.