Publishers often display a cautionary or courtesy accidental in scores and parts. This occurs when an accidental is in one bar but not in the next. The rule in music is an accidental is cancelled by the barline. However, it is common to include cautionary accidentals.
Process: Global and Manual
The fastest option is for Finale and Sibelius to automatically apply cautionary accidentals. Then, if needed, I will add the cautionary accidental manually one at a time. Both options are described below.
Sibelius Cautionary Accidentals
(Finale steps below)
Global Settings (Sibelius)
In Sibelius, the global settings are located in the House Styles > Engraving Rules > Accidentals. Currently, the Sibelius 7 default setting is to have the cautionary accidentals appear without parentheses.
So, I change the settings so the courtesy accidentals are placed automatically in parentheses.
Entering Cautionary Accidentals Manually (Sibelius)
There are times when the global settings will not apply a cautionary accidental. For example, if the same note appears a measure or bar later. In these cases, you will need to apply the cautionary accidental manually:
- Select the note
- From the last Keypad, choose the “Bracket Accidental” option.
Finale Cautionary Accidentals
Global Settings (Finale)
Finale uses a plug-in to apply the cautionary accidentals to some or all of the score. I usually apply the plug-in when the score is complete and ready for page layout adjustments and/or printing.
- Choose the Selection Tool
- Select the entire score: Edit > Select All
- Choose Plug-ins > Note, Beam, and Rest Editing > Cautionary Accidentals
- Make the adjustments to the plug-in window. These are the settings that I use.
- Apply the Note Spacing options.
Entering Cautionary Accidentals Manually (Finale)
There are times when the global settings will not apply a cautionary accidental. For example, if the same note appears a measure or bar later. In these cases, you will need to apply the cautionary accidental manually.
Below are the steps to enter a cautionary accidental from the Finale manual.