Creating nested tuplets can be tricky, but with proper planning, users can create a vast variety of complex nested tuplet figures, such as the following:


When creating nested tuplets, first determine the smallest note duration that is going to be used in the figure, and how many notes there would be if it were written without a tuplet bracket. So, for the above example, quarter notes are the smallest duration, and the figure has the equivalent of 7 quarter notes (three in the tuplet and two for each half note).


The first step to create this nested tuplet figure is to withhold the correct number of beats in Finale. To do that, create a quarter note septuplet starting with a half note:

  1. Use the Simple Entry Tool to add a half note.
  2. While that note is still highlighted, press OPTION+9 (Mac) or ALT+9 (Windows) to bring up the Simple Entry Tuplet Definition dialog box.
  3. Define the tuplet as 7 Quarter(s) in the space of 4 Quarter(s), and click OK. A septuplet containing 1 half note, 1 half rest, and 3 quarter rests will appear.
  4. Use the Selection Tool, and right-click (Mac or Windows) or CTRL+click (Mac) the bracket of the septuplet. In the drop-down menu, select Placement > Above
  5. Enter the tuplet as shown below.

    Note: In this particular example, mouse entry will not work unless you temporarily uncheck “Check for extra notes” within the Simple Entry Options. See the following article on how to do that:


Now, add the triplet on the three quarters.

  1. Select the Tuplet Tool and click the first quarter note. The Tuplet Definition dialog box appears.
  2. Define this as 3 quarter notes in the space of 2 quarter notes. You may also wish to select “Always use specified shape” and “Placement: Below”.
  3. Click OK.


Notice how the spacing seems off. Since the duration of the three quarters has been altered, the overall length of the figure is now shorter. By fixing this, one will then be allowed to fix the bracket for the outer tuplet:

  1. Select the Tuplet Tool and click the first half note. Handles appear on the outer bracket. 
  2. Double-click the handle under the 7. The Tuplet Definition dialog box appears. 
  3. Change the definition from 7 quarter notes in the space of 4 quarters notes to 3 half notes in the space of 2 half notes
  4. Click OK. The outer bracket and spacing will now be correct, as shown below.


This method will work for any configuration. In summary, the trick is to set up the initial, outer tuplet to reflect how many subdivided beats will be present in the entire figure, while making sure to start with the tuplet with the larger duration.