Dear Musicians,

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.


Dominique Vandenneucker,

29, rue de l'Enseignement

We wish you a nice musical year 2012 !

Phone ++32 -
Support ++ 32 -
Fax ++32 -
Visit our site:

Copyright 2012, Arpege Sprl, all rights reserved. 


Read all previous editorials on page

Let us continue the tutorial composition that we started in our letter number 96. See the newsletter in the archives section of the site:

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):

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.

Assembling the elements

We will now assemble the 3 sound layers into a sequence of 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.

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:

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.

Dominique Vandenneucker
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

email: 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

email: Phone 303-252-1270

Aspects 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.

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.

Tips and 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"

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.

The beginner's corner...
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.

...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

You can buy EarMaster at

Pizzicato on Facebook

Join us on Facebook by clicking here.

Pizzicato upgrades

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 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!