This is issue #98 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.
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Read all previous editorials on page http://www.arpegemusic.com/editoriaux.htm
Let us continue the tutorial composition that we started in our letter number 96. See the newsletter in the archives section of the site: http://www.arpegemusic.com/editoriaux.htm
As a reminder, the principle that we want to illustrate is the sound layers. We break a music composition into one or more sound layers that evolve and are structured and organized.
For this kind of work, the conductor window of Pizzicato is very well adapted. Our composition started with the following:
And the sound result was:
Listen to the example...
You can download the corresponding Pizzicato document here, so that we can continue the example together (even with Pizzicato demo version): http://www.arpegemusique.com/download/compo-96-EN.piz
Creating a background
The two scores used are short melodies that can be repeated. Let us add some chord that wil express the harmony, with string instruments. We will use the notes G, C and D, which will sound good with the choosen melodies (as they have many notes in common with the chord).
It is a "suspended fourth" chord (also written as sus4 ), which introduces some tension compared to the simple major chord (G, B, D). The tension may be "released" by moving the fourth (C) to the third (B), as displayed here:
Listen to the example...
But the resolution of that chord is not obliged and we will switch later between two such chords, to make the music tension evolve and keep the interest of the auditor by introducing some change.
- In configuration 3 (blue buttons in the upper left part of the window), choose Basic instruments, Strings, Ensembles, Strings (ensemble) and drag this instrument in the conductor view, outside the group called My composition.
- Double-click the blue rectangle that appears and the corresponding score is displayed.
- Right click on that same rectangle and select Rename... and change the name of this score to Layer 3 - Strings A-1.
- Add 3 measures with the measures and staves tool (double-click the first measure in the score and select Add 3 measures then OK).
- In the first measure, use whole notes to add the following chord (one octave lower compared to the above example, so that notes of the melody and chords are better distributed):
- Then, use the copy/paste function (click here for more details) to fill in the next 3 measures with the same chord. Tie the notes together so that they will sound during the 4 measures with no interruption. Do that with the tie tool (click here for details). You will get the following:
- Listen to the result. You will notice that the volume level reaches its maximum almost immediately and does not vary during the 4 measures. It is somewhat rough, even more if the other two melodies appear at once also. The auditor does not have the time to appreciate each sound layer individually if they appear almost all together. We will create a fade in and fade out level for the strings, using the first and last measures.
- In the tool bar of the score window, before the recorder, select "Global" instead of "Linear". Then click on the second icon of the 5 similar icons displayed here and the control curve of volume will appear under the 4 measures:
- The volume is represented by the light blue area. We want a volume starting from zero and increasing along measure 1. To do that you can freely draw the curve in the area of measure 1, for instance:
- To get a more regular curve, you can draw a line from one point to another. Click in the area while holding down the CTRL key. Move the mouse and you can see a temporary line following your motion. Release the mouse and the curve is applied. You can do the same to have the volume go back to zero in the last measure:
- Now listen to the effect of the volume curve.
Assembling the elements
We will now assemble the 3 sound layers into a sequence of 8 measures.
- Increase the size of the group called My composition so that you can drag another sound layer in it and so that it can cover 8 measures in width. Do this by dragging the lower right corner of that group.
- Increase the width of layer 1 so that it covers 8 measures.
- Move and increase the width of layer 2 so that it starts at measure 5 and stops at measure 8.
- Drag layer 3 at measure 1 and increase its width so that it covers 8 measures.
To increase the width, drag and drop the small square located at the bottom left corner of the layer and move it to the right. Move it at least to the double of its size as it will only increase its size by multiples of its original size.
You should now have:
Listen to the result. According to your sound card or material, it can happen that the levels of the instruments must be adapted. Here is how to do it.
- Right click in the group background (not on a score rectangle) and check the option Play in loop. Start the playback of the group and it will play in loop.
- To adjust the level of one of the score, click on the small note located at the left top corner of the rectangular score:
The score content is then displayed in the score view. By activating the global view, you can click on the icon shown here which displays the controllers of this staff:
- For both melodies, we had modified the velocity of notes to make them more dynamic. So as to not modify this, you can adjust the level by using the volume controller here above.
- For strings (layer 3), we have already used the volume to create a progression. You can use velocity to adjust the general level. Please note that velocity only has an effect when the note is started. If you modify it, you will not hear the effect of this modification until the note is played again during playback.
Here is an example of the result you can get: Listen to the example...
The next steps will be the addition of a percussion line, secondary melodies, a general transposition, an independent bass, and a new assembling of this material into a longer and more interesting sequence.
We will continue next month, but you can already work on it and let your musical imagination go. The purpose of these articles is to help you develop your creative abilities in music.
Designer of Pizzicato.
Pizzicato in United Kingdom
You can always contact Andrew Ullmann at Pizzicato Music limited, for any information you need on Pizzicato and the way to use it.
Located in Leeds, Andrew is the official distributor of Pizzicato in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.
You can visit the UK site and buy Pizzicato products directly at www.pizzicatomusic.co.uk
email: email@example.com Phone 0113 2018850
Pizzicato in 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.music-composing.com
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 303-252-1270
and applications of Pizzicato...
Discover the various aspects and applications of Pizzicato
Automatic slurs handling
Since the release of Pizzicato 3.6, an automatic slur handling feature is available. Be sure that the option Automatic adjustment of slurs is checked in the Additional options... article of the Options menu. Here is how it works.
- Select for instance the upper slur tool, in the main symbols palette.
- Click on the first note head (start of the slur). Pizzicato displays a dialog asking you to click on the final note head of the slur.
- Click on the last note head of the musical phrase. The dialog disappears and the slur is computed and displayed.
This is working whether the last note is in the same or in another measure, but also in the case the measure is in another system on the page. The slur is then broken into several slurs, for instance:
If you modify the page layout, the slur is still attached to these two notes and is automatically recomputed.
advices for Pizzicato...
Frequently asked questions about Pizzicato
Searching the Pizzicato manual for specific expressions
To search for specific terms in the Pizzicato manual, you can use the Google advanced research options, by specifying the domain name of the Pizzicato manual. This is done by adding the expression ":site" followed by the domain name you want to search.
For instance if you want to find information about the percussion clef, simply type the following expression in Google:
"percussion clef" site:www.arpegemusic.com/manual36/
You will find the links to the pages of the manual that contain these words.
Shortcuts for begin and end of the score
Pizzicato has two shortcut keys that were often asked, to go to the beginning and the end of the score. The shortcut keys are respectively 'b' (begin) and 'e' (end).
Modifying a tempo symbol
The tool palette with tempo symbols contains different quarter note or half note tempo values. These values can be easily personalized. Place a tempo symbol in the score and then click the score while holding down the CTRL key. A dialog box lets you define the tempo value. When you click "OK", the symbol is adapted in the score.
Musical basics and access to the Pizzicato music course
Composing music (4)
In this lesson, we provide you exercises to stimulate inspiration by creating melodies, rhythms and instrumentations. We will use the chords progressions made during the previous lesson. You can also use progressions from the Chords library - 3.piz document located in the Libraries folder.
Melodies and rhythms
A melody is a succession of notes played by an instrument. A melody is often made by musical sentences alternated with rests. We often speak of a voice, by analogy with the singing human voice. With each note of a melody, a rhythmic value is associated and specifies the duration of the note.
Just as for a chord, a melody will use the notes of a tonality at a given time. When several voices are played together and with different notes, they form a chord. The notes of a chord can indeed be played by different instruments.
- Open the Chords by tonality.piz document as well as the document containing the chords progressions made during the preceding lesson. Drag Score 1 to 5 as well as the whole note rhythm into your document and then close the Chords by tonality.piz document.
- Open the Score 1. Drag the Whole note rhythm in the first measure and do the same with one of your chords progressions based only on 3 notes chords. The chords appear in the measures.
- You may notice that the chords notes are very close. It is called a tight position of a chord. You can move the notes down or up by one or more octaves in order to get a large chord position. Drag for example the middle note of the first chord one octave higher and listen to the result. The chord keeps the same type but seems more open, has a wider sound spectrum.
- The Pizzicato original chords are all in a tight position. By creating chords progressions, the 3 or 4 chord notes are abruptly moved all together to go from one chord to the other. It is called a parallel movement of voices. This movement is limited to the view point of the sound effects. As each voice does the same movement, it quickly becomes monotonous and annoying. The exercise which follows will help you improve the chords progressions so as to create several independent melodies formed by the notes of the chords. For each chords progression of your document, do the steps which follow...
...To read the full lesson, see the lesson Music composition (4) 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 www.arpegemusic.com/earmaster.htm
You can buy EarMaster at https://arpegemusique.com/acheteren.php
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The upgrade to Pizzicato 3.6 is available for download on page:
We regularly release corrective fast upgrades on the same page.
If you have an old 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 3.4 or 3.5, you may download Pizzicato 3.6 for free. The reference is the license number. All users whose license number is greater or equal to 19000 can upgrade for free by going to the upgrade section on our website and download version 3.6. See page www.arpegemusic.com/clients3.htm. Install it and validate it with your original license/serial numbers.
Otherwise, to know the prices and possibilities, see the upgrade 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!