Dear Musicians,

This is issue #94 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/Fax ++32 -
Visit our site:

Copyright 2011, Arpege Sprl, all rights reserved. 


Read all previous editorials on page

Pizzicato will be present at the Frankfurt "Musikmesse" (Germany), from April 6 to 9, 2011. This is the most important show of music instruments, live music, music production and marketing, and one of the most important place to meet the worldwide music industry. You can meet manufacturers, distributors and music professionals.

We will be present in Hall 3.1, stand A11. Our Polish distributor, the EXCLUSIV company, will be with us, as well as Marco Aragona, the inventor of the Music Typing Keyboard, adapted to Pizzicato. Come and visit us!


This month we will finish our music composition didactic example. You can download the file of the last version here:

Right-click on that link and select "Save target as..." to save the Pizzicato file. You can use this file even with the demo version of Pizzicato, so you can follow the example and do the exercise.

Releasing tension...

The last chord of our example is a diminished seventh, with many "tensed" intervals:

B dim = B + D (minor third) + F (False fifth) + Ab (Diminished seventh)

The next measure, according to our original plan, must release the tension, so as to make a transition to the calmness of measures 10 and 11.

One way of doing it, is by the use of a chord called Suspended Fourth (Sus4). The structure of that chord is a fifth or seventh chord, where the third is replaced by a fourth. It does not have a major or minor character (as this character is given by the third). Here is one example:

Listen to the example...

In this example, there is a seventh in it. The chord gives an impression of transition to something else, a sort of instability that must be resolved with another chord.

The fourth may go to the third, that can be major or minor. Here are two examples of possible resolutions, in major and in minor:

Listen to the example...

But we can also use it as a transition chord, with the only purpose to release the atmosphere to prepare a return to calmness. We will use the following chord:

A - D - E - G

You can fill in the composition, on measure 9, as follows, for the strings and the piano:

Listen to the example...

The fact of using eight 16th notes followed by a half note will create a break, a feeling of waiting for something. To improve the rendering, you can create a velocity crescendo on the piano notes and a volume decrescendo for the last two beats of the strings measure. By using the tools of the global view, here is how it would display (respectively velocity and volume curves):

Increasing tension on the rhythmic part

We still need to fill in the percussion instruments for the part with increasing tension and release, from measure 5 to 9. The basic principle, already explained in previous letters, is to add rhythmic harmonics. This is done by making the same rhythm more dense (by adding notes between the other notes) and/or by adding instruments. In this composition, we decided to use the Hi-Hat and the congas.

There are numerous possibilities. I suggest to try some of them yourself before continuing to read...

++++++ Pause: Try to make some examples yourself. Don't skip it !!! +++++++

Here is our version, from measure 5 to 9:

Listen to the example...

Back to calmness

For the last two measures, we can simply duplicate the first two measures, so as to come back to the original calmness of the music.

You can download the full example here:

You can listen to the final result here:

Listen to the example...

This is the end of our music composition example, explained in detail to cover the various phases of a music composition, from the general conception with an idea or specification, to the selection of instruments, the changes of atmosphere, chords, rhythms and up to the sound rendering and the final score. You can re-examine all this in the archives, starting at letter 89:

I suggest that you go through this method a few times, using personal ideas and developing them.

I wait to meet you at the Frankfurt MusicMesse in April!

Dominique Vandenneucker
Designer of Pizzicato.

Pizzicato in US and Canada

You can always contact Blair Ashby, at Aunyx Productions, 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

Volume or velocity crescendo ?

Nuance symbols influence the note velocities. Contrary to the volume, which can be changed while the note is playing (crescendo on a tied note for example), the velocity parameter does only influence the note attack. Once the attack is played, the velocity of this note cannot be changed anymore.

The main symbols palette includes two types of crescendo. The standard crescendo is using velocity, but it has no influence on a tied note, as explained above.There is no problem to use this with a series of 16th notes for instance. The velocity will progressively increase for each note.

If you want to create a progressive crescendo on held notes, you have to use the volume crescendo (on the palette it is drawn in blue, with a little "v" letter for Volume). This one will progressively modify the volume and the crescendo will be heard correctly.

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.

Empty document manager ?

If the document manager does not display the documents, the main Pizzicato folder has probably been moved or modified. Go in the Options menu, Restore preferences... then click the Document management check box and click OK. The default paths will be corrected.

Copying lyrics from one line to another

With the Professional, Notation, Choir and Beginner versions, you can use the lyrics fast encoding window to copy identical lyrics lines. First, encode the first line. Then select the whole text ("*" symbols stands for notes without lyrics) and copy it. After you click "Apply", go for example on line 2 (menu in the upper part of the window) and paste the lyrics in the text area. The same copy/paste can be made from your text editor, if you already have the lyrics in text format. You will just have to separate the syllables with "-" and everything will be all right.

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

How to learn the keyboard with Pizzicato?

To learn how to play a musical score with the keyboard, we will use the following aspects of Pizzicato:

You must well understand the handling of the first four aspects. For the musical libraries, we advise you to read the composition libraries (1) lesson to have at least an outline of what they are. If later you wish to personalize the exercises and really understand what happens in this lesson, we highly advise you to read all lessons about musical composition libraries.

You must also understand the content of the main music lessons, in particular the lessons speaking about notes, rhythms and the musical keyboard layout.

  1. The keyboard learning exercises will be done each time with the following steps:
  2. You lay out the Pizzicato screen so as to see the score, the keyboard and the recorder. You select the sound to play.
  3. Using the musical libraries, you select notes and rhythms for a given difficulty level. Pizzicato generates the corresponding exercises.
  4. You ask Pizzicato to play the exercise in order to see and hear the correct way to play it.

You play it at the same time than Pizzicato, by observing the score and the keyboard window and by listening and observe if your version is the same as the Pizzicato version. You correct your performance by comparing and adjusting. Once this exercise is under control, you come back to point (2) with another exercise.

The regular practice of these steps will increase your ability to play a musical score. The rest of this lesson will explain you each step in detail...

...To read the full lesson, see the lesson about learning the musical keyboard 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

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Pizzicato upgrades

A corrective update of Pizzicato 3.5.3 is now available for download on page:

If you already have Pizzicato 3.5, you can download the fast upgrade 3.5.3 in the second part of the above page.

If you have an older 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 3.3 or 3.4, you may download Pizzicato 3.5 for free. The reference is the license number. All users whose license number is greater or equal to 15589 can update for free by going to the free update section on our website and download version 3.5. See page Install it and validate it with your original license/serial numbers.

Otherwise, to know the prices and possibilities, see the update 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!