Dear Musicians,

This is issue #73 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,

29, rue de l'Enseignement

Phone/Fax ++32 -
Visit our site:

Copyright 2008, Arpege Sprl, all rights reserved. 

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A corrective update for Pizzicato 3.3 has just been published on our site. You can download it in the Customer Services section, Free updates. It corrects a series of problems that have been observed since the publication of Pizzicato 3.3. It is of course a free update for registered 3.3 users. This is version 3.3.1.


The last two articles explained how to create a personal chord progression and how to easily build a rhythmic accompaniment on it. These two steps form a possible path to compose music.

We will now take the result of our preceding article to explore the various ways in which a melody can be composed based on a chord progression and accompaniment. Possibilities are numerous, but they all follow a basic rule.

Melody is characterized by the note pitches and by the way notes are assembled in time (rhythmic aspect). As we have here already an existing accompaniment together with chords, the freedom for the melody is no more infinite. It must stay in harmony with the existing accompaniment, regarding note pitches and rhythms as well.

In this article and the following, we will examine four practical methods that you can use to create a personal melody. We will examine them one by one, but when you will have learned them all, you will be able to combine them together:

  1. Work directly with the notes and rests tools, being guided by the colors of notes according to the current harmony
  1. Combine the Pizzicato libraries of elementary rhythmic patterns and elementary melodic phrases
  1. Use thousands of music vectors that can be applied on a chord progression
  1. Direct improvisation on the music keyboard, while listening to the music in loop

You can download the score example of last month (Reggae with 8 chords) at Click on this link with the right mouse button and select "Save target as..." then select the desktop and save it.

In each case, you need to add a staff for the soloist instrument. We will work on the score extracted from the above arrangement and add a staff.

Method 1 - Notes and rests tools, guided by colors

Here is an example of what it could be for the first few measures:

Listen to the file...

This first method helps you to start working. You can use the chords progressions and personal accompaniments that you have created with the previous articles and create melodies for each of them. Restart them again if the end result is not what you expected. Even great composers sometimes need to throw something away and restart it again. The idea is that they do not discourage themselves and they just go on. So do the same. Have a nice time!

Dominique Vandenneucker
Designer of Pizzicato.

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

Create scores larger than the A4 paper format

You can create scores larger than the A4/US Letter format with Pizzicato Professional. You need to fix the size of your paper. If you do not possess a printer which lets you print in the full size format you need, you can ask Pizzicato to print the different A4/US Letter pages to print your full page. Then you must assemble the pages together. You may in this way create a 1 meter large score if you want!

Let us take the example of an A3 score (twice the size of the A4, standard paper format). The easiest way will be to print two A4 sheets in the "landscape" mode. Here is how to proceed:

The first A3 score that you will print will help you to evaluate the distances and after that it will be easier. The easiest way to proceed is of course to use an A3 printer, but it is more expensive.

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

Accessing the Pizzicato 3 Help Menu on Windows

Sometimes, the Pizzicato Help menu does not work as expected. First, try to quit Pizzicato and remove the "HelpPrefs.dat" file, in the Pizzicato 3 main directory. Then start Pizzicato again. If the Help menu is still not working, you can directly start the "PizHelp" application, inside the main Pizzicato program directory. You can also create a shortcut to it on the desktop to reach it more easily.

French or international note/chord names

You may select the way notes are named. Go in the Options menu, Chords library... item. You will find in the upper right part of that dialog a selection to name the notes "Do, Ré, Mi,..." or "C, D, E,...". Select your choice and click OK. The chords will then be displayed accordingly, for all documents.

How to make jazz play more natural? (Beginner and Professional versions)

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:

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.

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

Bar lines and repeats

The various bar lines

The bar lines seen until now are vertical lines delimiting the measures on the staff.

To terminate a score, a thin bar followed by a thick one is placed on the last measure:

To separate several distinct parts of a score, a double thin bar may be used:

It is often used during a key signature change or between the various sections or movements of a score.

In some types of music (especially contemporary), one does not separate the staves in measures. The staff is seen as a support for notes, but the concept of time slicing in equal durations is no more used. Performance is often much freer or follows other criteria specified by the composer.


It is common to play several times some sections of a music score, such as for example a chorus or a theme which is played twice. One could simply write the concerned measures twice, but it would be a loss of space and useless work.

Let us take the simplest case. A given number of measures must be played twice. To specify that, a special bar line is placed on the left of the first measure of the passage and on the right of the last measure of it. They are repeat bar lines. Here is a practical example:

The measures from 2 to 5 (i.e. the measures located between the two repeat markings) must be played twice. The musician who reads this score will thus play the measures in the following order:

...To read the full lesson, see the lesson about bar lines and repeat on our site...

Music on the Web...
Links related to music

The commercial page...

With the publication of Pizzicato 3.3, a series of updates are available for Mac OS X and Windows, 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!