NEWS: Finale 27 and SMuFL

The next version of Finale, version 27, has been announced, and headline features include support for SMuFL fonts.

That’s welcome news for the uptake of SMuFL, and it may even mean that Finale’s fonts will be available in SMuFL versions, which would make them usable in Dorico. (A while back someone was asking how to use Maestro in Dorico, because their publisher insisted on it.)

Rumours of a SMuFL version of Maestro have persisted for several years, after MM accidentally released some pre-release documentation onto the interwebs.


Wow! I do hope Maestro SMuFL is right around the corner.

XML 4.0 should be a welcome addition, especially when Dorico supports it. But I especially liked the last in their list of new features: “Quality-of-life updates and bug fixes”. What might they be promising us? Collision avoidance? Unlikely, as Elbsound has released a plugin for this (for anywhere between 83 and 333 euros). Quality of life counselling? Could have used that when preparing scores in Finale while on a deadline…


Vaughan, I thought the same thing: “Funny that bug fixes are a ‘flagship’ feature.”


Maestro is actually a light version of Bravura nothing else…since they were based/designed from the same source.

Still, I’ve had several jobs that have requested Maestro specifically, and I’ve had to fake it by substituting the clefs and a few of the more conspicuous items, and hope the rest wasn’t noticed. So a SMuFL Maestro will be a welcome change.

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Since MusicXML is now also open source, I hope that Dorico 4 will be able to take advantage of whatever new functions MusicXML 4 will add to Finale 27.

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MusicXML has been open source since its inception, hasn’t it?

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It may have been widely available, but IIRC it was given over from MakeMusic to a central standards group control (W3C) about the same time SMuFL was.

One of the Chairs of the MusicXML W3C committee is … (checks notes) … Daniel Spreadbury.

And in the same way, MakeMusic’s Michael Good, the creator of MusicXML is also on the SMuFL Committee.

So I think it’s fair to say that MusicXML will continue to be supported in Dorico, as will SmuFL in Finale.

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No doubt they will implement it eventually. Whether or not the new(ish) features of XML4 will make it into D4 is anyone’s guess, but there’s no doubt Dorico will continue to evolve its support and integration of XML. It is an industry standard that allows other users to migrate their catalogues into Dorico and become new customers, and allows their current customers to share data with those outside the Dorico ecosystem.

There’s a great scoring notes podcast with Michael Good that aired in the last month or so. It’s worth a listen. ‎Scoring Notes: Michael Good, the inventor of MusicXML on Apple Podcasts

“Maestro is actually a light version of Bravura nothing else…since they were based/designed from the same source.”> Blockquote

You are the music font specialist but I see differences such as, for example, the shape and length of flags on shorter notes and wonder about the “common source” for Maestro and Bravura and how closely Maestro and Bravura are modeled on it or each other.

Also, I was hoping to compare your “Soli” font with others on Elbsound’s “Music Font Comparison” but was unable to do so and wonder if there are plans to make this possible in the future. Thank you.

Yes, I can see every little difference too, but in general they look the same except of weight. Bravura has more rounded corners compared to Maestro etc…

Mike, I will email you both fonts for comparison.

Yeah, I was going to query this. Font nerds tend to notice subtle distinctions that most people pass by, so your suggestion that “Maestro is a thin Bravura, nothing else” was surprisingly broad. While there are some similarities, you make it sound like they just imported Maestro into FontLab and applied a bold stroke.

Music fonts all stem from a small range of prototypes. You couldn’t just hand in some pages in Bravura and say “Don’t worry, it’s just a fat Maestro”.

You misunderstood the meaning of what I wrote. When you look at the source on which both Maestro & Bravura were based on, then after 10 sec you will tell me that Bravura looks bolder than maestro witch’s in my opinion objective observation, BUT! IT DOESN’T MEAN what you said, that the team just picked Maestro than applied a bold filter and Bravura is being born then. I was taking about the quick observation made at a glance. I believe that many glyphs differs in both fonts, even if I remake my jazz fonts or even my engraver Soli and Tutti fonts from scratch, I won’t get the same results : nodes, shapes, curves etc…! Things will tend to differ somehow.

I’m basically a jazz pianist, teaching jazz harmony and theory, font design is my passion beside other passions since 20 years ago… I can imagine the hard work spent behind Bravura to make it the best looking music font ever, this is my humble opinion, I love the way how Bravura is being designed and I tend all the time to study it again and again. I never liked Maestro font at all, before Bravura I liked Petrucci so much, why? I don’t know, question of taste! nothing else :wink:

p.s: “make it sound like” doesn’t mean at all “how it sounds really”, make a font from scratch from zero, then one day you will catch what I wrote above.

Out of curiosity, what is this source design?

Notaset is the inspiration for both Maestro and Bravura.

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In the meantime Make Music posted some more details on their blog about SMuFL Support in the next Finale version:

I find this quite interesting:

… SMuFL support: Adds nearly ten times more characters to Finale’s default music font, reducing the need to create your own symbols …

and this

… To realize these enhancements, we’re doing more than merely making Finale capable of using SMuFL fonts. We’re also including updated SMuFL-compliant versions of the MakeMusic fonts that you’ve come to rely on for decades—Maestro, Broadway Copyist, Jazz, Engraver, along with a newly-added handwritten font—each with an expanded range of characters and delivered in a modern format for maximum compatibility.

6 new SMuFL fonts all probably expanded to 10 times more characters is not bad.

Though I created for my own work SMuFL versions of Finales fonts I may think of updating my older Finale version just for the sake of the SMuFL fonts.


Wow! In that case, I’ll definitely … download the demo. :wink:

As a former Finale beta-tester, I’ve had the Maestro SMuFL version for some years.
Like most fonts, there are some nice glyphs and some awful ones. Engraver is a nicer font, overall, IMO.

Jazz is hideous, even by handwritten standards. The fermata looks like a Scots Guard’s bearskin hat.

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