Tom Rudolph


Notating Ghost Notes in Finale and Sibelius

Tom Rudolph

There are often times when you may want to indicate a “ghost” note in a part. These occur in jazz and rock and can occur in a vocal or horn part or rhythm section instrument. Ghost notes are suggested or implied and are much softer than normal notes. They are typically notated by placing parentheses around the note.

Check out the transcription of the beginning of Lee Morgan’s solo on Blue Trainon the Jazz Trumpet Solos site.  Notice the ghost note in bar three of the transcription.

Finale:  Notating Ghost Notes

To add a parentheses around a note, enter a left and right parentheses via the Articulation Tool.

  1. Enter the notation.
  2. Choose the Articulation tool.
  3. Click on the desired notehead.
  4. Choose the left parentheses, #38 in the Articulation Selection Window.
  5. After entering the left parentheses, click the notehead again and choose the right parentheses, #39 in the Articulation Selection Window.
  6. Drag each parentheses to the desired location.

Sibelius: Notating Ghost Notes

  1. Enter the notation
  2. Select the notehead(s)
  3. From the second Keypad Layout choose “Bracket notehead”

(Thanks to John Hinchey’s comment for suggesting the above Sibelius method)

Tom Rudolph
Tom Rudolph

Thomas Rudolph, Ed. D. is an adjunct instructor for Berklee Online. He has authored two online courses for Berklee Online and facilitates several other courses.


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