When the author of the Finale Productivity package died last year, it was a shock. Bill was a great guy to email back and forth with, and I’m sorry I didn’t save every email we exchanged. He was very insightful about how things should look, and how to be clear on with music notation. Bill developed templates, fonts, and processes for Finale and sold them to people who wanted to make their music “engraver quality”. One of the last projects he completed was a Articulations font which addressed the LACK of articulations available in a traditional (ie: Finale’s Maestro) font. Bill’s articulations font looks great with Maestro, and has a complete set of articulations that one would need for any modern music notation (scoops, bends, falls). It looks great.
Then Bill left us, and it seemed his invaluable package of fonts, templates, insights, and processes would be lost.
Luckily, the rights to sell it were bought by NPC Imaging and is available here. I think Bill would be very happy to see that his efforts are living on. And I hope there will be continued work on the package in the future.
Since it first came out, I was an advocate for the Jazz Font. I still have the 3.5″ floppy that I bought to use with Finale 3 something. The disc has 1995 written on it. Anyhow, now I see it all over the place. The Jazz text font people use with other fonts. Yikes! And the music produced using the Jazz font is hit and miss. Sometimes it looks good, sometimes not (except like Warner Bros professional scores, those look great). And then there is a variation called Swing Font from the same author, and we won’t go into that goofy looking Sibelius “jazz” font….all these “hand written” fonts don’t look hand written to me anymore. I hate coming into a rehearsal and having to deal with a bad font and poor formatting. I had a rehearsal about 2 weeks ago where someone brought in a Sibelius chart that could have been 2 pages in Finale, but was 4 in that goofy Sibelius jazz font. Looked like crap.
Having been exposed to a “better way”, I’m am leaving the world of the Jazz Font. Too many people use it, and, honestly, it isn’t as cool or as good looking as it once was.
I’ve rewritten my venerable “Zinn Practice Regimen” for sax using Bill Duncan’s Finale Productivity stuff. Amazing. There is no comparison. This new version is easier to read, looks better. Hell, it’s better than some books I have bought. Mr. Duncan is currently working on some Jazz Articulations to include in his package. Scoops, falls, bends and whatnot. Looking forward to it!
It’s been a good run Jazz Font, but, alas, time for you to be retired.