Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2 EN130 - Revision of 2013/05/29





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Handling documents and windows (2)

Subjects covered:

Watch also the following video:

Handling musical documents [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

We continue to explore the handling of documents and the various Pizzicato windows.

When you create a new Pizzicato document, it is placed by default into the My scores folder. Its name is made out of the date and time of the creation of the score.

When you close the document or exit Pizzicato, the files from that folder are automatically saved if you have modified them. Otherwise, they are deleted.

You can manage your documents inside this folder. Here are the main operations you can use to arrange your documents.

Except for Pizzicato Light, all other versions of Pizzicato will automatically save the document every 10 minutes and make two backup copies of the document in case something goes wrong. You can always find the backup files in the Backups folder of the main Pizzicato folder (for Window, you will find it in My Documents and for Mac, in the Application folder). You can modify this default behaviour. See the lesson on Automatic saving and backup.

The various Pizzicato windows [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

Since the first release of Pizzicato, many different windows have been developed to help you display and/or modify music documents. They are all available from the Pizzicato Windows menu, but according to the version you have, some of them are not available.

In the most recent versions of Pizzicato, the purpose is to gather the most useful features of Pizzicato into a limited number of windows, so that you do not need to open and handle many windows for various aspects of your work. Accordingly, the most important windows are the score view, the global view and the conductor view. The score view is present in all versions of Pizzicato, but the other two are only available in the more advanced versions of Pizzicato.

Here is a short description of each windows, in relationship to the Pizzicato version you have. Please note that most of these windows can also be open if you right click on the icon of a score and select the window you want to open for that score.

The score view and the global view [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

The score view is the default view when you open a document. It displays the content of the score, in music notation.

There are three modes in which you can view the score in the score view. According to the version you have, you can select the mode in the menu appearing in the upper tool bar of that window. The three modes are Page, Linear and Global.

The Page mode displays the score as it will be printed on paper. It is very useful when you work on the page layout of the score. You will learn a lot about the page mode in the lesson covering the page layout.

The Linear mode displays the score with all the measures one after the other on a horinzontal line, as a large system of staves that contains all the measures. You can scroll from left to right to select which part of the measures are displayed. This mode is useful when you enter the music or compose a music. At this step, you often do not need to worry about how it will be laid out for printing.

The Global mode is similar to the linear view, but several other lanes may be displayed, to help you in many aspects of music composition, arranging and sound rendering. This mode is the subject of a specific lesson about the global view and is only available in the more advanced versions of Pizzicato.


The instruments view [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

Open the Ex044 example. To get the instruments view, select the Instruments item of the Windows menu :

According to your MIDI configuration, the contents of some boxes may be slightly different but it does not matter now.

Each line represents the characteristics of a staff. It is here that you determine the name of the staff, the instruments used, as well as various other parameters which affect the way the piece will be played.

You can reach the other parameters by clicking on the icon which reveals a popup menu with a list of the available configurations. Select for example the Volume+ effects item from this menu. The view offers you a mixing table determining volume, balance and two effects (here reverberation and chorus) for each instrument :

This view is a little different from the others, because it does not have a zoom box and its size is fixed. It can be moved but not resized. Close this view with the close box.

The sequencer view [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

The word sequencer usually means a program or a device used to record sequences of notes (played directly on a musical keyboard), to work on them in various forms and to play them back. Most sequencers you find on the market let you see the musical recorded measures as an array of small blocks.

Pizzicato has a view which lets you display the measures in the same way, hence the name given to this view, the sequencer view.

Open the Ex042.piz document in the Examples folder. In the Windows menu, select the Sequencer item. The sequencer view appears:

This view behaves exactly like the score view: you can move it, close it, resize it or change the zoom level.

Its contents displays 4 measures in the shape of 4 small blocks in which notes are represented by horizontal lines. The length of the lines represents the duration of the note and the vertical position of the line inside the block represents the pitch (the high pitch notes higher than the low pitch notes). The melody is thus presented in a visual way in the shape of a curve which follows the pitch of the note.

The higher part has four buttons, respectively named H- H+ V- and V+. These buttons let you increase or decrease both horizontal and vertical sizes of the measures. For example, the H+ button increases the horizontal size of the measures. By clicking twice on V+ and once on H+, the sequencer becomes:

By clicking on the V- and H- buttons, the size decreases. These zoom functions thus let you adapt the sequencer view to the work you do. It is sometimes useful to look closer in some measures to follow a melody. On the other hand, to see the overall picture of an orchestra score, you can decrease the size of the blocks to the minimum in order to have the maximum number of measures visible on the screen.

Open the sequencer view of the Ex043 example. The 4 staves of 4 measures each are represented in the following way:

You can listen to the score with the space bar. A small cursor shows the current measure in progress, as for the score view. You may also use the buttons of the recorder, displayed to the left of the zoom buttons. Those buttons appear in almost each view and let you control the playing of the score:

Just to the right, a text box displays the number of the playing measure. The "..." button give you access to various play parameters. We will explain them later.

The piano roll view [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

To open this view, select the piano roll item of the Windows menu. The following window appears:

Increase this window with the zoom box (on Mac: "+" ). You will be able to observe all the notes of the 4 staves, placed in the same view:

You will notice that each staff is represented by a different colour for the notes. If your screen is smaller, it can happen that some are not visible. The pitches of the notes are measured with a musical keyboard on the left and it can be used to locate them. The digits from 1 to 4 located in the higher part of the window are the measure numbers.

In the higher part of the window you can see the same H- H+ V- and V+ buttons which have the same function as in the sequencer view. They let you resize the display of measures and notes. Try the 4 buttons one after the other so you can see the effect they produce on the display. Note that you can use the same button several times. If you want to increase the thickness of the note lines, you can for example click three times on V+.

This window is only used to view many instruments together on the same piano roll. You can not modify the music with this window. Pizzicato has another similar window, the graphic window, which is a full piano roll editor where you can enter and modify the notes directly.

The graphic view [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

The graphic view helps you to enter music in the form of small graphic bars that you can add, move or delete. It looks like this :

You can open it from the Graphic editor... of the Windows menu. For more information, see the lesson on the graphic editor.

The musical effects view [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

You can open it from the Musical effects... item of the Windows menu. It is used to add musical effects to the content of the measures, for each staff. It looks like this:

You can learn more about it in the lesson about the musical effects view.

Association of a comment [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

You can associate a comment to each musical score. Select the Comments item in the Windows menu. The following dialog box appears:

The text box lets you introduce personal notes, remarks or comments about the musical score. You can, for example, use it to specify the work that still needs to be done with the score or the explanations on its contents, etc.

These notes will be saved with the document and you can thus read or modify them again later. Close this dialog box by clicking OK.

The scrolling score view [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]

Open the Ex045.piz document.

The lyrics window [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Pro] [Guitar] [Choir] [Soloist]

This window is used as a fast method to enter the lyrics under the notes of a song or choir part. See the lesson on the lyrics for more information.

The chord progression window [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]

This window is used to enter or modify a chord progression efficiently. See the lesson on the chord progression window.

The main view and the conductor view [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]

The main view has been developed at the beginning of Pizzicato. You will still find some references of it in the course, but it has been presently replaced by the advantages of the conductor view and the new document manager. See for instance the lesson about working with the sequencer and the main view.

The conductor view is a musical desktop on which you can organize your scores and use the numerous tools to help the process of music composition. You will find a full description of it in the lesson about the conductor view and the following lessons.

The windows management modes [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]

Pizzicato has three ways of handling the score and conductor views on the screen. The default mode is oriented around the score view.

You can select the windows management mode in the Windows menu, under the Windows management... item.

Here is the description of the three modes.

All other windows are not affected by this window management mode, but they may be covered by the other windows.

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