REQUEST: Swap 'Accent' and 'Marcato' buttons

This is a small quality of life request. Please let me know if this is something that is different in the classical world to the jazz world but my understanding of accents is that a horizontal accent > is a long accent similar to tenuto -, whereas a tall accent ^ is a short accent similar to stacato ..

Therefore, it would make the most sense to swap the accent and marcato buttons so that the ‘long’ and ‘short’ accents are positioned next to each other. Alternatively, the right hand side of the accents could be re-ordered to read: tenuto, staccato, staccato tenuto, staccatissimo.

I think this would also be beneficial for newer arrangers to clearly distinguish the differences in playing these accents.


It can be a bit hard to see, but the articulations are grouped vertically: on the left, there are two groups (articulations of force, with accent and marcato; and articulations of stress, with stress and unstressed), and on the right is a single group of articulations of duration (staccato, tenuto, staccatissimo, staccato-tenuto). So we could I suppose swap the accent and marcato icons around, but I don’t think it’s ever occurred to me that they should be the other way around! I’d be interested to hear what others think about this.

Hey Daniel, thanks for your quick reply. I think the vertical groupings are great. This horizontal allignment is definetely an edge case. I think most people would not have that much opinion on it.

As a general rule in Big Band or jazz arranging there is no point having a tenuto and accent or staccato and marcato together. Since the type of accent already specifies the length it adds unnecessary clutter to the page. However, many people will add both in a variety of styles (whether ‘correct’ or not), so obviously I wouldn’t want to suggest having these markings cancel each other out. But my hope would be that this small change may help at least a few arrangers / engravers!

The question is: if you change the icon layout, do you change the key shortcuts too? Currently, these are in the same physical configuration as the icons.

I imagine that once most people have become familiar with note entry, they will use the keys, rather than icons.

The keys can be customized, of course: but lots of people will already be familiar with the current setup.

As they say on the Finale forums: “You can’t change it now, people have got used to it.!” :rofl:


Mostly agree with the second half of that statement, but definitely disagree with the first, especially with arrangements written before 1975 or so, where quarters are often assumed to be short. All of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington transcriptions follow that convention for example, so it’s pretty essential to be able to combine tenuto and accents.

That said, I can’t recall the last time I ever used that panel anyway. Are you using it on a iPad? On a desktop/laptop you can program whatever shortcuts you want for articulations, so there’s not really a need for that panel to ever even be visible:

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