Dear Musicians,

This is issue #36 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, CD publications, 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,

!!! Warning : ARPEGE MUSIC has moved !!!
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A work overload and the moving of ARPEGE to its new premises have somewhat postponed our regular information letter on Pizzicato and computer music technology. We resume then from the last point covered : the universal method, in 10 points, to compose music successfully.

In the framework of step 1 ("A regular listening to various musical styles") and the previously exposed underlying reasons, let us present our theoretical inspiration model for musical composition. The basis of it is founded on the fact that each musical element or structure may produce an effect on the auditor. This set of effects may be described as a personal music data base. The idea is to propose a theoretical and practical model to help people compose and structure music.

An important difference may be noticed between music and writing. A word has a precise meaning. The word "cat" represents without doubt the animal everybody knows. It may of course contain an emotional meaning for someone or even for a larger group of persons. Therefore, by selecting words, building phrases and structuring a book, the writer will be able to arouse emotions in the readers, in addition to the basic meaning of the words of a book. Using the context of the words, personalizing the written expressions, (s)he will then be able to transmit what (s)he feels to the readers.

In music it is slightly different because a music note, a chord and a rhythm have no precise and well defined meanings. Unlike words, they are not symbols representing a physical object or a precise idea. Therefore, they do not transmit a meaning in themselves, but sound impressions that may be felt by the auditor. According to his life and music experiences, the auditor may assign meanings and emotions to it. The message is here transmitted on the emotional and esthetical level and no more as a symbol representing something very precise. The musical language hits another sphere of influence than pure signification. A pure signification, as in saying "Yesterday I ate chicken for dinner", is not a communication that could be translated into music so that the auditor could clearly understand this message while listening to it. There is no dictionary where you will find "chicken = C#+F#". Significations will however be transmitted in the frame of the composer's creative imagination, but they will stay in some way always dependant upon the real life experience of the auditor. Love, speed, enthusiasm, big spaces, sorrow, sea, woods,... may all be expressed in music in a thousand different ways. The composer is able to arouse those ideas and impressions in the auditor by various means and sound effects.

Each musical construction, as small as it can be, may then be felt, experienced and understood on a conceptual, emotional or esthetical level by the auditor.

Conceptual as for instance an ascending scale of notes will transmit the concept of going up and a descending scale will transmit the idea of going down, of something that falls. Irregular and scattered notes could transmit the idea of disorder and confusion,...

Emotional as a sequence of slow minor chords, transmitting an atmosphere of grief and graveness. Or an entertaining rhythm which arouses enthusiasm.

Esthetical because a musical structure may simply be beautiful in itself, above any meaning or emotion. It can be admired and fill one with well-being.

Even if the perception of a sound effect is relative to each person, you will notice that numerous musical constructions are experienced in a similar way by numerous persons. By musical construction, I mean : a few notes, a chord, a rhythm, an instrument sound, a sound effect or any combination that can be recognized as such.

The full set of musical constructions and their corresponding effects experienced by a person makes up a personal music data base. Each one of us has one, according to one's own life and music experience in listening to music. As you listen to music, you experience the effects of it. For instance, if the violin is associated to plenitude, you will experience that while listening to violin music. The data base works in one direction : the musical structure produces the associated effect.

By listening to lots of music, the new musical structures produce new effects that the auditor files intuitively in his/her increasing data base. The context of listening, the frame of mind at that moment, the personal taste are all associated with the effect.

To compose is to use one's own data base in the other direction : you want to create an effect in the auditor, you search in your data base what musical structure would be able to create the effect. By combining the musical structures of your data base, by supplementing them with your own creativity, you will create a piece of music that is specific to you and that will express what you feel, what you want to communicate as a concept, an emotion or an esthetic.

On this basis, we could then build some sort of a dictionary with the most largely recognized sound effects, where the novice composer would be able to feed his/her personal music data base.

The present version of Pizzicato already offers some basic tools to build musical structures : the composing help system of musical libraries, found in Pizzicato Professional. A more general and more friendly-user system is under construction. Such a system could very well be useful to help people compose music while offering them a technical mean to develop their musical ideas and stimulate their inspiration. And that is the purpose of Arpege.

Dominique Vandenneucker

Designer of Pizzicato.

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 :

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

How do you extend the line associated to a repeat sign over several staves ?

As Pizzicato does not automatically handle symbols over several measures yet, the answer is to create a symbol "bracket with 1" that does not contain the second vertical line and also a bracket without the first vertical line. Here is how to do it with Pizzicato Professional.

1. Duplicate the "bracket + 1" symbol, by simply drag it inside its tool palette (graphic symbol palette)
2. Double-click the symbol you get and click on "Create/modify..."
3. In the dialog that appears, click on the right vertical line and once it is selected, delete it with the delete key (the key to delete the last character)
4. Close this window and click on "OK"
5. Do the same with the simple upper bracket, in the same tool palette, by removing the left vertical line

You may then place the new "bracket with 1" on the measures of the first staff and use the second duplicated symbol to continue the repeat line on the next staff.

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

In the Beginner and Professional versions, you may 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.

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

Composing music (2)

We will first learn how to use an accompaniment style. We will then study how a style is structured and how you can modify it or create a new style.

Using the accompaniment styles

Pizzicato contains 20 documents with musical libraries oriented towards styles of light music:

They are available in the File menu , Open template… item in the Accompaniments sub-category. As an example for this lesson, we will work with the Rumba style. Open this document. Its main view appears as follows:

This structure is the same for all styles. Only the instruments and the library contents are different. The basic idea of an accompaniment style is as follows: each instrument of the group plays the rhythmic and melodic structures repeated in a regular way (on 1 or 2 measures or more). At every instant, the notes played by all instruments are coordinated by a chord progression which is the same for each instrument. This common chord progression leads all instruments in an harmonious way.

Let us take the simplest case to start. A chord progression is provided as an example for each style. By holding the Control key , double-click on the Example score. The sequencer view opens...

...To read the full lesson, see the lesson Music composition (2) on our site...

Music on the Web...
Links related to music

The commercial page...

You have Pizzicato Light...

To discover music in an interactive way, Pizzicato Light is quite enough. With it, you can write exercises and little scores. The main limit of the program is the way you can structure the score and also the number of measures and staves you can use.

If you want to create and print custom scores, you may update to the Beginner and/or Professional versions. Consult the 5 pages which describe the possibilities added by those versions:

You will also find a table with the differences between the various versions of Pizzicato, on page

Have a look at our new order page, with updates at low prices. Click here to find out...

 You have Pizzicato Beginner...

The professional version could bring you the following advantages:

Consult the 5 pages which describe the possibilities added by this version:

There is also an electronic upgrade for a very interesting price. Click here to find out...

You have Pizzicato Professional...

You just need to wait for the next version...    In the meantime, a lot of things are still to be discovered in this version and this letter will help you to do so. Ask us any question so we can answer in the next issue of this letter. You may also suggest us new functions to add in the next release of Pizzicato. We listen to the users as best as we can.

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!