|Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2||EN370 - Revision of 2013/05/29|
Using key signatures
Watch also the following video:
Selecting a key signature [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
In this lesson, we will learn how to add a key signature on the staff and how to change it during a music work.
Start with a new document and open the Main Palette.
- Select the key signature tool. . Click in the first measure. The following dialog box appears:
All the options of this dialog box let you select the key signature and the areas of the score which will be affected by it. Some options are present only in Pizzicato Professional, we will explain it later. Let us see how you can select the key signature.
By calling this dialog on the first measure, the key signature has neither flats nor sharps. Otherwise, the default key signature is the one present in the preceding measure. The vertical scroll bar located next to the right of the measure lets you add accidentals.
- The upper arrow adds sharps. Click this area. The dialog box measure becomes:
- Now the key signature has one sharp. Each click in this upper area adds a sharp, up to a maximum of 7 sharps. Click 6 more times in this area to get:
- The bottom arrow removes a sharp and when no more sharps are present, a flat is added. Click 7 times in the bottom arrow. All sharps disappear. Click once again. A flat appears in the key signature:
- By clicking 6 more times, the unit will have 7 flats:
To remove flats, click the upper arrow. A flat disappears each time you click. When there is no more flat, you get the starting situation again and another click adds a sharp. Notice that the small block located between the two extreme arrows moves to indicate the position. With 7 sharps, it is located at the top, with 7 flats it is located at the bottom and the central position indicates that there is neither sharps nor flats.
- The right side area indicates the name of the scale corresponding to the number of flats or sharps. You can also directly select a scale in the scale popup menu and accidentals will be adjusted according to the scale. Select for example the A scale :
- Click OK. The score becomes:
Notice that the two staves automatically take the same key signature.
By default, Pizzicato changes the key signature for all staves at the same time. There are 2 cases where it is necessary to have a different key signature for each staff: for the transposing instruments in a score with several instruments and for more contemporary works, where different key signatures are sometimes used simultaneously to create musical effects. Only Pizzicato Professional lets you manage that, by the Only this staff option. By checking this option in the key signature dialog box, only the current staff changes. The choice of the scale also lets you select the Major, Minor or neutral mode. This choice will also influence the way Pizzicato will do a transcription of notes directly played using the musical keyboard.
- The Transpose notes check box is used to transpose the notes according to the new key signature, which is useful if you transpose the full score for instance. You change the key and the tonality of the score is adapted accordingly.
- The Do not adapt the notes check box is used so that Pizzicato will not change or adapt the accidentals of the existing notes. If you check it, the score will sound differently after the key signature change, as the notes pitches may be different.
Changing the key signature during a music work [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
It is rather frequent to change the key signature during a music work. To do this, call the key signature dialog box on the measure where the change must occur.
- Select the cursor tool by typing the ESC key. Place the mouse cursor on measure 2 of the first staff. With the keyboard, type upper case letter 'A'. It is the shortcut for the key signature tool. The key signature dialog box appears.
In the lower part of it, a multiple choice offers you 3 options:
The first, Up to the end of the score, changes the key signature starting from the current measure up to the end of the score. If the score has other key signatures after this measure, they will be replaced by the new one.
The second option, During measure(s), lets you introduce the number of measures in which the new key signature must be effective.
The third option, Up to the next change, is selected by default. It lets you add the new key signature up to the next change. If there is no other key signature in the following measures, the new one will be valid up to the end of the score.
You also have a multiple choice which lets you select the mode of the scale (major, minor or neutral). This choice influences the transcription of the accidentals. By default, the mode is neutral.
- Add 2 flats and click OK. Your score becomes:
Notice that Pizzicato automatically added 3 naturals in front of the 2 flats. It is a manner of indicating that the 3 sharps of the preceding key signature are cancelled. However, in the next system, only the two flats are displayed.
- Call the key signature dialog box on the fifth measure (first measure of the second system). Select 4 flats. The score becomes:
As the key signature change occurs in the first measure of a system, Pizzicato already displays the new key signature at the end of the previous system, so that the performer is not surprised while arriving at the following system. It is known as a courtesy key signature. It is automatically placed by Pizzicato, on an extension of the staff lines, beyond the last measure of this staff.
Arbitrary key signatures [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
In most cases, accidentals follow the order automatically managed by Pizzicato. In other words, when a key signature has only one sharp, it is always an F.
It can be useful to create a key signature which does not follow this order, for example to create more contemporary works, exploring sets of notes which exceed the usual framework of tonality.
Place the mouse cursor on measure 3. Type 'A' on the computer keyboard. In the right part of the dialog box, a multiple choice lets you select the type of key signature. By default, it is Standard, which corresponds to the automatic order of accidentals. Click now on the other choice : Free. The left part of the dialog box becomes:
A palette with the 5 accidentals appears on the left of the measure. To add an accidental, select it on the palette and click in the measure, where you want to place it.
- Place two sharps to get:
After adding an accidental, you can move it by clicking and dragging it. To erase it, select the X cross and click on the accidental.
- Click OK. The score becomes:
When you create an arbitrary key signature very similar to a standard one, you can first place for example 4 sharps with the upper arrow, then select the Free type. The 4 sharps remain and you can add the accidentals you want.
Exercises [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
Starting each time with a new document, create the following scores (the second is not possible with all versions of Pizzicato):