|Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2||EN350 - Revision of 2013/05/29|
Changing the time signature
Watch also the following video:
Changing the rhythmic content of a measure [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
Create a new document and open the Main Palette. Select the time signature tool
Click on the first measure. The following dialog box appears:
This dialog box lets you specify the rhythmic content of a measure. The first text box indicates the numerator of the measure. It is the number of beats included in that measure. Except for Pizzicato Light, Beginner and Composition Light, this box may have a succession of numbers with the "+" sign between them to create composite measures (3+2 for example).
The following text box (denominator of the measure) indicates the duration of each beat. The most current value is "4" which means that each beat equals to a quarter note. "8" indicates that the beat is equal to an eighth note. "2" is for the half note and "1" is for the whole note. "16" is used for the sixteenth note, "32" for the thirty-second note and "64" for the 64th note. The most common values will be 4, 8 and 2. Any other value will not be correctly interpreted by Pizzicato when playing the score.
- Fill a "3" in the first text box (numerator) and "8" in the second box (denominator). Click OK. The score becomes:
Pizzicato automatically assigned the same time signature to both staves. It is indeed very rare to simultaneously have different time signature. When it is the case (experimental music for example), you can change the time signature of only one staff by checking the box Only this staff in the dialog box (this option is only available in Pizzicato Pro, Notation and Composition Pro). In such a case, Pizzicato will fit the content of the various measures so that each measure will be played with the same duration. This is the same as changing the tempo for each track so as to have the same total duration.
On the other hand, it is rather common to change the time signature during a piece of music. Let us see for example how to go to 4/4 in the second measure.
- Place the mouse cursor at the beginning of the second measure (staff 1). Type the upper case letter "T". It is the shortcut of the time signature tool. The dialog box appears.
There are two very widespread conventions to represent (4/4) and (2/2) time signatures. The first is written with a "C" and the second with a crossed "C". By default, Pizzicato uses these conventions. To disable them, uncheck the corresponding checkbox in the dialog box.
- Fill in "4" in the Numerator and Denominator text boxes. Click OK. The score becomes:
The 4/4 is represented with C for the 2 staves.
In the time signature dialog box, a multiple choice (radio buttons) specifies up to which measure the change must be done. The default choice is Up to the next change, which means that the new time signature is valid up to the next time signature introduced. The first choice fixes the new time signature up to the end of the score, while the second specifies it for a fixed number of measures that you can determine using the text box.
Starting each time with a new document, realize the two following scores (the second one can not be created with all versions):
Up beat and incomplete measures [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
Often, the first measure of a score contains less beats than the others. The music starts for instance on the last beat of the first measure and this is called an Upbeat. This measure is usually written as such, without filling the measure with rests. A 4/4 measure that would only contain one quarter note should be played and displayed as a one beat measure. There are other cases, for instance when repeat signs are crossing a measure boundery, where a measure should be displayed and played with a different number of beats than the natural content of that measure.
Pizzicato Professional gives a full control over the measure parameters, but with Pizzicato Beginner and Professional, an easy function can be used to handle that situation. Here is how to create an incomplete measure:
- Fill in the notes or rests in the measure
- With the right mouse button (ALT+click on Mac), select the Measures and staves menu item, then choose Incomplete measure or upbeat.
This measure will then be played correctly.
If you go again in the above menu for that measure, you will see that the Incomplete measure or upbeat menu item is now checked, which means that this measure has an incomplete duration. To reset the measure to its real duration, just use that menu again.