Music Software Newsletter
Newsletter #112 - 29 November 2013 - Music Software for Everyone
Dear Musicians,

Here is our next newsletter about the Pizzicato music software and its applications.

I take this opportunity to remember to you that the fastest way to access technical support is through email, as in 99% of the case, I asnwer emails within 24 hours during working hours.  You may also try to call at ++32 87 55 23 60 but I am not always available.

I wish you a nice reading of this newsletter.


Dominique Vandenneucker
Designer of Pizzicato

All Pizzicato Music Software

Table of Content

What are the reactions to music?...

Tips and advices on Pizzicato...

Music Course for Beginners - Transposition...

Which Pizzicato version would fit your needs ... ?

Discover in 10 minutes why Pizzicato is so different than other music software:

Pizzicato video

Watch the video!

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Read all previous articles on page http://www.arpegemusic.com/editoriaux.htm

What are the reactions to music?

In music, all relates to vibrations. Sound is a vibration that occurs in space, through time. A vibration is something that starts from one point, moves away from it and comes back to that same point again. The whole cycle is often repetitive but not necessarily.

Let’s define a musical object. A musical object can be a single vibration, a series of similar vibrations or a complex set of interrelated vibrations.

A music object is not a theoretical concept. It is the most real thing you can perceive with your ears. It may be used to classify and organize the components of music. It can be a single bass drum beat, a long melody played by a violin, a single short impulse or even a whole symphony.

A music object is basically something on which you can put your attention and perceive as a whole.

If you look at a house, you can perceive that house as a single object. But you can also decide to perceive it as a set of smaller objects (walls, windows, doors,…) on which you can also put your attention. It is the same for music. You can think about a whole symphony as one object or you can decide to examine its parts and put your attention on one or more smaller musical objects.

But it is not enough to describe music and try to understand it only as a combination of musical objects, as this would omit the fact that these objects interact with the person perceiving the music.

We can find several scientific studies explaining how sound is transformed into nervous impulses and travels along such and such nerves and how other complexities of the anatomy of the human body are working. In our theory, we are not interested in these complexities. What we want to understand is what really happens when the music reaches our awareness.

Sure, the structure of the ear and/or the nervous system may affect or filter the sound that is received in the ear before it reaches our awareness. But except for a major failure of the anatomy of the auditory system, we all have the same type of sound filtering system.

Let’s call the point which becomes aware and reacts to music, the perception unit. Where he is located and how he perceives the sound is not important for our purposes. Some will associate the perception unit to the spirit, the soul, the spiritual being, the part of God that is inside us. Others will say that it is a specific part of the brain or a mental representation or a structure built in the mind. Even if I personally favor the first options, it really has no bearing on our theory, so let’s keep neutrality and take the following definition :

The perception unit is the unit that becomes aware of the music and that reacts to it.

 How the perception unit reacts to music is at least as important as the analysis of the physical structure of musical objects. If this interaction did not exist, this would mean that everybody would like or dislike all types of music in exactly the same way. As this is not the case, we must take into account what the perception unit does (or does not) with the combination of musical objects, as only this can be responsible for the large number of different reactions people have about various styles of music. So this will be the next point to investigate.

What is the difference between the perception unit and a microphone ? The microphone will have a totally predictable reaction: it will transform the sounds into electric signals. The perception unit may react to the music according to its own willingness.

The main problem when we try to understand music beyond the structure of musical objects, is that we have a large canyon to cross between the subjective and objective aspects of music. The purpose of this music theory is to establish some bridge between the two.

Observing others or oneself listening to music, it becomes quite obvious that people react to the music, whether externally by moving their body according to the rhythm (dancing, following the beat, expressing emotions,…) or internally by feeling various emotions or even pure aesthetic experience.

The microphone keeps a passive role while recording the music. The human being reacts by doing something actively with the music he perceives.

Saying that the perception unit likes or dislikes the music may be true but this is only a label describing his general attitude toward the music and does not explain what is really happening.

So what is the perception unit really doing with the music, that may be responsible for so much different reactions?

Most of the time, something that looks complex is in fact a series of simple principles that combine themselves in an infinite number of ways. Look at the atomic particles. There are mainly 4 different particles (electron, proton, neutron and photon) and they make practically everything you can see in the universe. Let’s try to find some of the simple actions that can easily be observed when we listen to music and how they can combine together to account for the apparent complexities of the reactions to music.

The perception unit is at least reacting to music in the following six ways. He may be doing other things too, but these can easily be observed and experienced.

1 – The perception unit tries to recognize what he already heard. 2 – The perception unit tries to compare musical objects. 3 – The perception unit tries to establish proportions between the musical objects he perceives. 4 – While listening to musical objects, the perception unit tries to predict what will happen. 5 – While listening to musical objects, the perception unit also expects to be surprised. 6 – The perception unit associates the musical objects to something he has experienced in the past.

In each of the above reactions, the perception unit may or may not succeed in doing so. For each reaction, the degree of success can go from 0 to 100 %, according to the willingness and abilities of the perception unit and to the structure of the musical objects he perceives.

More details on these 6 reactions soon. In our theory, they will form the main bridge between the subjective and the objective sides of music. If we can measure them on the objective side and compare them with the subjective aspects of music, then we may reach some interesting conclusions and let more people in on the road to music composition.

If you have ideas or comments on this subject, I would be happy to hear about them!

Dominique Vandenneucker
Designer of Pizzicato.

Music Software Newsletter
Tips and Advises on Pizzicato

See also the frequently asked questions on page http://www.arpegemusic.com/clients4.php

Measure numbers

You can display the measure numbers, by double-clicking with the arrow tool in front of a staff. In the dialog box, check "Each measure" or "Each system". You can apply this to one or more staves. When the numbers appear in the score, you can move them. In the same dialog box, you can define the first measure number. Pizzicato will use it to begin to count.

In some Pizzicato versions, a more powerful tool helps you to manage multiple rests or irregular numberings. By selecting a measure, go to "Measure parameters..." in the "Edit" menu. The "Measure numbering" frame lets you assign a given number to each measure. The measures that follow will continue the counting accordingly. You can for instance number the measures of several exercises which are on the same page, assigning number 1 to each first measure of a new exercise. To create a 5 measures rest, use the frame "Measure duration", to create a measure to count and specify the number of measures to count. While playing, Pizzicato will count these measures before playing the next one.

How to make jazz sound more natural?

In jazz, it is common to play a series of 8th notes by delaying slightly each off-beat note. It gives the effect of a triplet made of a quarter note and an 8th note. To create this effect, you can of course encode the notes in triplets, but you can also use the "Swing" function. Here is how to do it:

  • Write your notes as 8th notes
  • Select the measures where you want to put the swing effect
  • In the "Edit" menu, select the "Data modification" item...
  •  In the left part, click the "Swing" choice [-100 to +100 %]
  • In the right part, click the "Fix the value to" choice and fill in the text box for example with value 100
  • Click on OK
 Listen to the result and you will hear that the notes are shifted. You can moderate the effect by choosing for example a value of 50. A negative value will produce the reverse effect. A -100 value on two 8th notes will correspond to a triplet made of an 8th note and a quarter note.

How do you number measures not starting from "1" ?

You can change the number of the first measure, by a double-click in front of a staff with the measures and staves tool or the arrow tool. By default, this number is "1". If you set it to 110 for instance, the number of the first measure will be 110 and the following measures will be numbered 111, 112,...

You will also find the case where the first measure is not numbered for instance when the score starts with an incomplete measure. Set the first measure number to "0" and it will not be numbered. The second measure will then start with number 1.

Order Pizzicato

Order one of the Pizzicato versions today on our secured site by clicking here.

Free upgrades

Buying one version of Pizzicato gives you the right to about 3 years of free upgrades.

If your license number is superior to 19000, you can download the lastest upgrade 3.6.1 Rev 1 for Mac and Windows by clicking here.

Advanced upgrades

At any time, you can upgrade to a more advanced version of Pizzicato, for a special upgrade price. See the upgrade order page by clicking here.

We are looking for...

... collaborators, partners and distributors, in any country, for the development of sales channels of Pizzicato. Write to:


Pizzicato in the 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 www.writing-music.com email: info@writing-music.com

Music course for Beginners

Read the full Pizzicato music course on page http://www.arpegemusic.com/manual36/EN090.htm


The idea is to modify a melody or a whole passage of a musical work in order to play it higher or lower in the sound scale. In the lesson on key signatures, we had listened to a melody starting with C and then to the same melody starting with E. It is an example of transposition. The melody was transposed two notes higher.

It is frequent to use transposition when composing a musical work. You can transpose a whole melody or some notes. It is a current composition tool because you can express several times the same thing while adding a change to it.

The simplest transposition is an octave change. For example, all notes are played one octave higher. They keep the same name. Open Ex027.piz. The first two measures contain a small melody which is transposed one octave higher in the next two measures:

Listen to the sound difference. The second melody is easily recognized as being the same one as the first, but it is played higher.


To specify a transposition, intervals are defined. The example above is a transposition of one octave, because there are 8 notes on the patch from the original melody to the transposed melody (C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C). Here are the names of intervals with the number of notes contained in each:

Unison 1 note
Second 2 notes
Third 3 notes
Fourth 4 notes
Fifth 5 notes
Sixth 6 notes
Seventh 7 notes
Octave 8 notes
Ninth 9 notes
Tenth 10 notes
Eleventh 11 notes

Speaking about a third for example, one counts the note names contained in the interval, without taking into account the number of half tones. C and E form a third, because there are three notes in the interval: C, D and E. By counting the black and white keys, there are 4 half tones...

...To read the full lesson, see the lesson about transposition on our site...

With Pizzicato Composition Light:

  • Discover intuitive music composition

  • Music composition for everyone

  • Music course to help you compose your music

  • Only about $49 !


Pizzicato Composition Light

With EarMaster Pro 6, improve your music abilities:

  • Interval singing
  • Interval identification
  • Chords identification
  • Rhythmic dictation
  • Reading and playing rhythms
  • Rhythmic imitation and rhythmic precision
  • Melodic dictation

Logiciel Earmaster

The Pizzicato Music Software range of products
What version of Pizzicato would fit your needs?

1. Pizzicato Light is an introductory version to learn music, make exercises, write small scores (1 or 2 pages) and use basic MIDI and audio recording features. You can start practicing the music keyboard and make your first steps into music composition. [20 euros as a package, 15 euros as a download]

Note: The reference prices are in euros. To see the price in other
currencies ($US, $CA,...) go to the following page and select the

2. Pizzicato Beginner is a general purpose score editor, that contains most of the tools you need to write, print and listen to music scores for the choir, solo instrument or small orchestras up to 16 instruments playing together. [99 euros as a package, 67 euros as a download]

3. Pizzicato Notation is a full score editor that offers you all the notation features found in any other Pizzicato versions. It contains all the tools you need to write, print and listen to music scores, from the soloist to the full orchestra. [199 euros as a package, 129 euros as a download]

4. Pizzicato Guitar contains all the tools you need to write sheet music for the guitar or other fretted instruments like the banjo, the bass, etc. You can use a tablature or TAB, or a standard staff. A guitar fret board window helps you entering the notes and you can create chord diagrams. [39 euros as a package, 29 euros as a download]

5. Pizzicato Choir helps you write and print nice sheet music for the choir. Learn to sing your voice while Pizzicato plays the other voices. Increase your knowledge of music theory with the full music course included. [39 euros as a package, 29 euros as a download]

6. Pizzicato Soloist contains all the tools you need to write music for a solo instrument. You can print nice solo sheet music, whether for the brass, woodwind, string instruments or any solo instrument written on one staff. [39 euros as a package, 29 euros as a download]

7. Pizzicato Drums and Percussion is specifically designed for music notation of drums and percussion instruments. You can use up to 8 staves, each one with 1 up to 16 lines to which you can assign a percussion or drum instrument. [39 euros as a package, 29 euros as a download]

8. Pizzicato Keyboard contains all the tools you need to write music for keyboard instruments like the piano, the organ or the synthesizer, with up to 4 staves. [39 euros as a package, 29 euros as a download]

9. Pizzicato Composition Light introduces the concept of intuitive music composition for a small budget. This is where you can start exploring music composition like never before, up to 8 instruments. [49 euros as a package, 39 euros as a download]

10. Pizzicato Composition Pro offers you the most advanced tools for intuitive music composition, with no limits to the number of instruments. [149 euros as a package, 99 euros as a download]

Finally, Pizzicato Professional contains every function available in the 10 versions already described. You can use all the features for music notation as well as all the tools for intuitive music composition and combine them in the same software. [299 euros as a package, 195 euros as a download]

Get Pizzicato today and enjoy its features
for your music activities

Order Pizzicato right now by clicking here...


Godelieve Cuylits, clarinetist (Belgium) - "I transpose, reduce scores and help our conductor to write his own arrangements on paper"


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