Dear Musicians,

This is issue #42 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.

For your information, ARPEGE will be in holiday between 1 - 11 August


Dominique Vandenneucker,

29, rue de l'Enseignement

Phone/Fax ++32 -
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Copyright 2005, Arpege Sprl, all rights reserved. 

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Our preceding leading articles guided you regarding the training and the practice of musical composition. If your purpose is to compose music and to live from it, the following step will be useful to you. If you want to sell your music, it will be necessary to go through this phase: publish your music, make your productions known, create your network of relations in the musical world. Without that, nobody will know that you compose!

The approach will depend of course on the type of music you make. Do you produce film music, advertising music, original songs, classic, modern music...? According to your choice, the public will be different and the approach also.

Let us take the case of film music and more largely the advertising or accompaniment music. The practical applications are numerous. There are many different levels of success : from the local radio to Hollywood. Your success will depend on your musical competence but also on the way in which you will spread your music. Let us take two extreme examples.

The first case would be a person who by practice and inspiration would reach the level of music quality asked for success movies. But this person is not able to make his/her music known. And the adventure stops there. Result: its potential success will never be effective.

The second case would be a person not too much endowed, but who finally manages to compose. His/her music is at a lower level. But the person is very dynamic and expansive and makes his/her music known by all possible means. With numerous contacts, he/she obtains various contracts, in small productions or amateur movies, in documentary, in publicity... The success becomes such that the person can finally earn his/her life with music. He/she achieved the goal!

Thus musical talent is not all. It is necessary to make it known.

If you think of all the circumstances in which you hear music, you will realize that there is a lot of it. For each one of these musics, there is a composer who worked. The movie music, the documentary music, the advertising music, the basic music of an Internet site, the waiting music, the TV show music, ... all these musics constitute a request already present which, with a little imagination, could further be increased.

Music is a very aesthetic mean of communication. It can communicate an emotion, an atmosphere, a concept more effectively than 1000 words. Everybody knows that. Music is used to reinforce any communication whatever it is : contents and topic of a movie or an advertisement, personalization of a product, public image of a

Who are the possible customers? Potentially any company or association offering a service to the public. Each one of them could receive a music personalized for its product, a music for its Internet site, personalized telephone waiting music, a background music for its store... the advertising agencies need musics for their publicities, the amateur film clubs and scenario writers need musics for their movies, their documentaries...

It is not enough to offer a service, it is necessary to make it known. For instance, for 15 years now that I manage my company, I do not remember a proposal offering a personalized background music to me or music for my website or anything else like that. Certainly I am not the only one in that case. I conclude from it that it must remain a lot of ideas to exploit in this field. It is not because companies do not think themselves of getting a personal music that they would not be interested. By proposing the advantages of such a personal music, they could become very famous. Think about that !

If you just start to compose, you will need to train yourself in composing your first music pieces. As your music will acquire its own style, I advise you to create a presentation CD, on which you will gather your best musical works. You will be able to use this CD to present your style of music to commercial companies.

If you target general public, the objective will be to spread your music as largely as possible. The local radios will be able to help you there. Make you know as a composer, contact musical groups which could play your music, send your demonstration CDs s to disc producers, make your music play in local concerts... in short spread your music by all possible means. The difference between the failure and success will be made thanks to the imagination you will deploy to make your music known and to spread it.

Here also, Internet will be able to help you. Spend a few hours to read and seek what is done in the musical production field or the diffusion of independent artists works... It will let you feel and to see what is done and what is not done yet (then you will be able to innovate!).

In your actions, see big. Contacting two prospective customers is one thing. Contacting 1000 persons is better! What is the most successful approach? But also see it gradually. First contact some prospective customers, see how they react to your proposal and your music, correct your approach and then apply it on a large scale. It is useless to waste 1000 prospective customers by proposing a music not yet ready or badly presented.

Next month, we will go into a more practical approach of musical composition. The last leading articles explained you the general lines. The next stage will be to practice. We will execute several works of musical composition together, with Pizzicato 3. As our newsletter is also sent to a public which does not possess Pizzicato, we will create it so that these examples of composition can be worked out entirely with the demonstration version of Pizzicato 3. So be sure for the next month to have Pizzicato 3 installed (or reinstalled?) in demonstration on your computer, because you will be able to go to the active phase : compose music!

Dominique Vandenneucker
Designer of Pizzicato.

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

Creative use of an external MIDI keyboard

One of the innovations of Pizzicato 3 Professional is the introduction of the virtual keyboard. The goal of a virtual keyboard is to extend the simple musical keyboard playing possibilities and to have a set of multiples instruments on a single keyboard. This principle is common in many synthesizers and it is often called "performance". It is a set of sounds programmed on the keyboard and which can be used to play.

A virtual keyboard is a musical object that can contain several instruments. It receives as input the data coming from a musical keyboard connected to a MIDI port. If you do not have a musical keyboard connected to your computer, you will nevertheless be able to use the virtual keyboard, but in a more limited way because the mouse is not easy to use to play on a keyboard drawn on the screen.

The virtual keyboards let you configure a musical MIDI keyboard connected to the computer to play various prepared instruments. You can for example play chords which are then held while you play a bass, whose notes are doubled by a vibraphone 3 octaves higher for example. Another zone lets you play a melody, doubled by an oboe. This while having some keys reserved for percussion instruments. The whole set on one keyboard. It is you who program the keyboard.

To prepare and use a virtual keyboard with Pizzicato 3 (even in demonstration version), see page

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

Corrective upgrade for Pizzicato 3

A free corrective upgrade of Pizzicato 3 is now available. It is version It corrects various bugs found that could produce an error in the Pizzicato application. If you find any problem, please let us know, because we will publish corrective upgrades on a regular basis so as to satisfy the users of Pizzicato.

You may download it on page Warning, this upgrade is reserved for people who already have Pizzicato version 3.0 (demo or bought version). If you still have Pizzicato 1 or 2, this upgrade will be useless.

Unison : how to write two identical notes for different voices?

A unison is represented by two identical notes, sung for example by two different chorus-singers. To write these two voices in the same measure, usually you place the two notes at the same location, but with the note stems in different directions.

There is how to do that. After having placed the first note, if you click at the same location, you simply move the note. To add the second note, it is necessary to click a little higher or lower. The note appears and you can then drag it at the same height as the first.

Do not forget to introduce the voices one by one, so that the management of voices and stems direction is correct. Introduce initially voice 1, then the second voice and keep the automatic justification (box "J" in the toolbar of the score view) active.

Percussions map

The Professional version of Pizzicato lets you relate each percussion note to the right line of a staff. It is mainly useful to write and listen to the percussion instruments in a logical way. On most synthesizers, the percussion instruments are assigned according to the General MIDI standard. Considering the number of instruments which are found there, a percussion score written in this way is very difficult to read.

Various conventions of percussion notation require to be able to assign a given instrument to a line of the staff. For example, you decide that D (treble clef) corresponds to the bass drum, that the second line (G) corresponds to the snare drum,...

To assign a percussion map to a staff, open the instrument view and select the "MIDI Parameters" menu item. Check the box of the concerned staff, in the column "Pr." (Percussion). You get a table with each note of the staff, a menu allowing the selection of the percussion instrument to assign. See the lesson on the instrument view for more information.

Notice that this function is simply a reassignment of the notes heard compared to the pitches of the notes on the staff. You can use it to create surprising effects, such as for example creating a table reversing all the notes of the keyboard, so that while going up on the staff, the notes become lower pitch. Then try to listen to a Mozart's sonata...

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

Note stems

We have seen that half notes, quarter notes and all shorter rhythmic values have a stem. This vertical line starts from the right side of the note head and moves upwards, at least in the examples seen so far. Its length does not influence the note and is purely a question of convention, readability and esthetics of the graphical layout. According to the note head position on the staff, the stem can be oriented downwards. In this case, it starts from the left side of the note:

Generally, one acts so that the stem exceeds the staff the least possible while having on average the length given in this example. When the note is placed on the third line or lower, the stem is directed upwards. When the note is placed higher than the third line, the stem is directed downwards:

This is not a mandatory rule, because it does not at all influence the performance of the note. The same principle is valid for the eighth notes. When you draw rhythmic values with hooks, they also change orientation, but they stay on the right side of the stem. The hooks always point in the direction of the note. Here is an illustration:

...To read the full lesson, see the lesson on music notation aspects (1) on our site...

The commercial page...

With the publication of Pizzicato 3.0, a series of upgrades are available, according to the version you presently have. To know the prices and possibilities, see the order page 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!