Dear Musicians,

This is issue #101 of the Pizzicato musical newsletter. It is intended to help you to better know and use Pizzicato. You will find in it various articles about Pizzicato, its use and aspects, but also references to the music course and links to other music related sites.

You may send us any information to publish about music (performances, festivals, exhibitions, music training sessions, Internet links,...). You may also tell us any difficulty you have with Pizzicato so that we can explain the solutions in the next issue. This letter is for you.

We hope you will enjoy reading it.


Dominique Vandenneucker,

29, rue de l'Enseignement

Phone ++32 -
Support ++ 32 -
Fax ++32 -
Visit our site:

Copyright 2012, Arpege Sprl, all rights reserved. 


Read all previous editorials on page

As promised, in this article we will finish our tutorial composition, by adding a more regular rhythmic section.

Let us take the document as it was at the end of the last article. You can download it here:

We will begin by adding a small bass section.

Then, duplicate this section as previously explained and transpose it one minor third down. Rename it Layer 5 - Bass A-2 and extend it so that it is played twice. You should now get:

On the musical viewpoint, this phrase is structured on the main notes of the current chord, which is (for part A-1) a chord with G-C-D (suspended fourth; it is a transition chord supposed to resolve on the major chord G-B-D, but that can also be used without this standard resolution and that has its own special color).

Notice that this phrase starts on the third beat and produces an unexpected particular but interesting effect.

We will now add a more regular percussion section , starting at measure 21, together with the bass measure.

Listen to the rhythmic section alone and also to the global result. It will reinforce the beginning of the measures and mark all upbeats with the tambourine. The second part of the composition should now look like this:

The score group that you can handle in the conductor view, as we just did it, helps you to easily structure a composition. Its main advantage is that you can easily move and reorganize your ideas. You can put some score out of the group temporarily, duplicate them, modify them, play them,... up to the moment when you like the composition.

You can then get the full score of it by dragging the small green square located at the top left corner of the group and by dropping it under the group, in the conductor view. A score is then created that combine all scores present in the group;

By viewing the global score, you get:

You can then export it as an audio Wav file as explained in the previous article, by using the sound library of Pizzicato. The result becomes:

Listen to the example

You can also download the Pizzicato file with the full example here:

You can continue the example in various ways:

With this article, our tutorial composition based on sound layers is finished. I hope that you will be able to use them in your personal compositions and arrangements and that with these articles, you will have learned to better know or discover various aspects of Pizzicato.

For the next tutorials, I suggest several choices and I would like to know your opinion about them:

  1. A tutorial on how to use rhythmic voices and special cases while entering music in multiple voice measures.
  2. A tutorial on the page layout tools.
  3. Discovery and tutorial on the basics of counterpoint, a musical composition technique aiming at writing two or more melodies together.
  4. A tutorial about sound synthesis, or how to create personal sounds usint Pizzicato.

Please send me an email to tell me your preferences and I will take it into account for the next articles.

Dominique Vandenneucker
Designer of Pizzicato

Pizzicato in US and Canada

You can always contact Blair Ashby, at Broadlands Media, Inc. for any information you need on Pizzicato and the way to use it.

Located in Denver, Colorado, Blair is the official representative of Pizzicato for the United States and English speaking Canada.

You can visit the site and buy Pizzicato directly at

email: Phone 303-252-1270

Aspects and applications of Pizzicato...
Discover the various aspects and applications of Pizzicato

Encoding notes with Pizzicato

With Pizzicato, you may enter notes in various ways:

The efficiency of each encoding method largely depends upon the complexity of the score. For a simple score, where the same rhythm happens over and over or with a simple rhythm, you may enter notes very fast with a music keyboard. But as the score complexity increases, as the rhythms become more various and complex, the efficiency of the use of a music keyboard decreases. Inversely, if the score becomes too complex, you will even lost time using the music keyboard because you will need to make lots of corrections after the real time recording.

You may find further explanations on the following pages :

Encoding notes with the mouse and keyboard shortcuts : and the following lessons

Encoding notes with the MIDI keyboard :

Real time recording with the metronome : and the following lesson.

Tips and advices for Pizzicato...
Frequently asked questions about Pizzicato

Encoding notes without stems in a measure - free measures

To create a free measure with notes without stems, you can disable automatic justification (except with Pizzicato Light) and freely place whole notes in the measure. With Pizzicato Professional and Notation versions, you can then change all the note heads in a quarter note head or another symbol (by selecting the measure and going in the "Change the notes head" item of the "Edit" menu). With the Beginner version, you can use quarter notes and reduce the stem height to zero. Pizzicato Professional (and some other versions) also lets you create free measures. Select the measures and in the Measures parameters item ("Edit" menu), check the "Measure duration" check box and select "Free on the basis of a" with the value of a quarter note, for example. By keeping the automatic justification, Pizzicato will align the notes correctly and you will be able to listen to the result according to the number of beats present in the measure.


Two notes are enharmonics to each other if they bear a different name and correspond to the same sound and to the same key on a musical keyboard. F# is enharmonic to Gb.

The enharmonic tool is located in the Notes and Rest palette: b#. It enables you to change a note to its enharmonic, with a simple click. Its shortcut is the "9" key. By placing the mouse cursor on a note and by using the "9" key, the note goes through its various enharmonics. Thus, the C note will become D bb, then B # and then C again.

This tool is practical in particular when you have transcribed a MIDI file in music notation and if some accidentals do not correspond to the logic of the music passage tonality.

Recording several voices on the same staff

Using the musical keyboard, you can record several rhythmic voices on the same staff. Here is how:

For more details, see the lesson presenting the real time recording (

The beginner's corner...
Musical basics and access to the Pizzicato music course

Music notation examples

We will examine and listen to some examples of the notation of sound characteristics, so as to illustrate the theory learned in a previous lesson.

Note pitch - example

With Pizzicato, open the Ex001.piz file, located in the Examples folder. The following score appears:

It shows you a staff with 3 measures. The playing instrument is the piano. The sign located at the beginning of the staff is called a clef. We will explain this in the following paragraph. You can observe 9 notes distributed in the 3 measures. From left to right, these notes are placed more and more high on the staff, which corresponds to increasingly high pitch notes. Listen to the sound result by pressing the space bar. One after the other, the 9 notes are played by the computer. A small black triangle follows the play and the notes are coloured in red one after the other.

What is a clef?

The possible pitch range of notes largely exceeds the 9 notes played in the above example. In other words, it is possible to play notes much lower than the note placed on the first line of the staff or much higher than the note placed on the fifth line. As we will see further, it is possible to place additional lines on which to place higher or lower notes. Here are examples:

This technique is nevertheless limited to 3 or 4 additional lines below or above the staff, because using more lines makes the score difficult to read. By placing a clef at the beginning of the staff, the pitch of all notes can be changed. Let us see this in more detail.

We had seen that the sound consists of air vibrations. The higher the sound, the more vibrations there is and the higher the note is placed on the staff.

To locate a note on the staff, it is not enough to say that it is lower or higher than another. It is necessary to establish a precise reference on which everyone can agree. This reference is established by placing a clef at the beginning of the staff. There are several reference systems for notes and each one is marked by a different clef.

The most current clef is the treble clef (or G clef). With this clef, a note placed in the second line spacing corresponds to a sound making the air vibrate 440 times a second...

...To read the full lesson, see the lesson on Music notation examples on our site...

The commercial page...

EarMaster 5 - Interactive Ear Training Software

Have you ever thought about what might be the difference between a good musician and a REALLY good musician?

The answer is very likely to be Ear Training!

Ear training is the process of connecting theory (notes, intervals, chords, etc) with music (the sounds we hear). The more you will exercise to recognize this connection, the more you will appreciate playing music, because you will learn to understand what you play.

For more information, go to

You can buy EarMaster at

Pizzicato on Facebook

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Pizzicato upgrades

The upgrade to Pizzicato 3.6 is available for download on page:

We regularly release corrective fast upgrades on the same page.

If you have an old version of Pizzicato, a series of upgrades are available for Mac OS X and Windows, according to the version you presently have.

If you bought Pizzicato 3.4 or 3.5, you may download Pizzicato 3.6 for free. The reference is the license number. All users whose license number is greater or equal to 19000 can upgrade for free by going to the upgrade section on our website and download version 3.6. See page Install it and validate it with your original license/serial numbers.

Otherwise, to know the prices and possibilities, see the upgrade order form on our site:

In the menu "You have", select the version you presently have. The page will be redrawn and will show the possible upgrades and their prices. To buy an upgrade, fill in the form and validate it.

We are at your disposal.

Our purpose is to place music in everybody's hands

and to bring people to more musical creativity

Use Pizzicato and make music!