|Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2||EN490 - Revision of 2013/05/29|
Graphic and MIDI symbols
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Palettes, tools and symbols [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
In this lesson, we will learn how to add symbols in the score. These symbols have a graphic aspect used to specify how the score must be played, such as for example nuances, tempo markings, accents Moreover, most of these symbols directly influence your synthesizer or sound card, in order to produce the correct sound effect.
As you certainly noticed, the Tools menu contains many tools palettes. The first two contain tools to handle staves, measures, rests and notes, as well as tools intended to create or modify the characteristics of the score.
By selecting an item in this menu, the corresponding palette opens. You may then select a tool or a symbol in order to use it in the score.
The tool palettes starting from the third contain graphic and MIDI symbols. These symbols are formed by a picture or a text area that can be associated to a note, a rest or a measure. This is done in the score view. It is an indication for the performer on how he must play the score.
Most of these symbols directly operate on your synthesizer, as a performer would execute it. These influences are done via the MIDI connection. This is why they are called Graphic and MIDI symbols.
Graphic and MIDI symbols are gathered by families in the various palettes starting from the third. The way to add, move, modify or erase them is common to all of them. Their characteristics are different. We will see some examples. The explained principles are valid for the other symbols.
Adding a symbol in the score [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
- Start from a new document and complete the score to obtain:
- In the Tools menu, open the Main symbols palette:
- Select the tool. Click on the head of the G note in the second measure. The symbol is placed below the note:
Listen to the score with the space bar. When coming to the G note, your synthesizer starts playing more loudly, as required by the double forte symbol.
- In the same palette, select the tool and place your cursor as follows:
- Click and a symbol of crescendo appears:
As you did not click on a note to add it, this symbol is associated with the measure and not to a note as for the previous symbol.
- Open the Main Palette. Click on the tool. It is the reference marks tool. The score is redrawn and becomes:
Both symbols are surrounded by a red rectangle which indicates the external outline of the symbol. It will help us to move the symbol. A small green line connects the FF symbol to the G note. It shows that this symbol is associated with this note, because to add it, you clicked on the note. The crescendo symbol does not have this line, which shows that it is associated with the measure. Remember this difference because it will be very important so that the sound effects occur correctly.
These red and green reference marks will not appear at printing. On the screen, they are present only when the reference marks tool is activated. Notice that as opposed to most other tools, the reference marks tool can be activated independently of other tools. If you click again this tool, the score is redrawn without the reference marks. The shortcut of this tool is the ":" sign (two dots superimposed). By typing it on the keyboard, you activate the reference marks. By typing it again, you disable it.
In most cases, it is better to associate a symbol with a note or a rest than with a measure, at least regarding the sound effects produced with the synthesizer. Here are the differences between the two cases:
- When you move a note associated with a symbol, the symbol is moved with it and thus remains attached to the note.
- When you erase a note, the symbols associated with it are also erased.
- When the symbol is associated with a note, the exact start of the sound effect is the note start. Otherwise, according to the symbol, the start time is either the beginning of the measure, or a proportional estimation based on the position of the symbol in the measure. This last case is rather vague because it depends on the exact contents of the measure, with the result that the start time of the sound effect is not always as expected. The double forte of the example exactly starts at the beginning of the G note. The crescendo of the example, not being associated with a note, will start somewhere between the first two notes.
- Some symbols are not, by nature, related to a specific note. It is the case of a tempo indication for example. In this case it is better to associate them with the measure.
With Pizzicato version 3.6.1, you can also automatically apply articulation symbols (accent, staccato,...) on a selection of measures and/or individual selected notes. To use this, you must first select the measures or notes and then select the Apply symbols... item from the Edit menu (or from the contextual right-click menu on the selection) and the following dialog box appears:
Click on one or more of the symbols and validate the dialog box. The symbols are then automatically applied to the notes of the selection.
By default, Pizzicato will continue to check the positionning of articulation symbols, for instance when you justify the measures, change the page layout,... If you want to disable this, you can uncheck the Automatic adjustement of articulations box in the Options, Additional options... dialog box.
Erasing a symbol [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
To erase a symbol, one of the symbol tools or the arrow tool must be selected. Place the mouse arrow inside the crescendo symbol on the score:
Use the erase key of the keyboard. The symbol disappears.
Moving or resizing a symbol [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
One of the symbol tools or the arrow tool must be active.
- Click on the double forte and move it to the right and lower. The symbol follows your movement:
By releasing it, the symbol is fixed.
- Select the tool and click on the C note in the first measure. You get:
- Move it a little lower so that it is not superimposed on the note.
When the reference marks are visible, some symbols, as this one, have a small red square in the right lower corner of the rectangle. This square is intended to resize the symbol. We will widen this symbol so that it occupies all the width of the measure.
- Click with the mouse arrow in this small square and drag it to the right. The symbol widens gradually by following your movement:
By releasing it, the symbol keeps its size. This principle is also valid to modify the height of the symbol. You just need to drag downwards to increase it and upwards to decrease it.
Some symbols may also be shifted in oblique. It is the case of the crescendo and decrescendo symbols. To modify the orientation of the symbol, click while holding down the Control key and drag slightly downwards. The symbol is inclined by following your movement:
You can also go up so that the orientation is aligned with the notes:
Select the tool and click on the second measure first B note:
Slurs form a special case. When the reference marks are visible, three small squares are located at the two ends and the center of the slur. When you drag the left end, the slur moves. When you move the right end corner, it follows your movements and changes the slur shape:
Drag it down to the low C. By dragging the central square, the two ends remain fixed and you can modify the curve aspect:
By default, since version 3.6, when you click on the first note, the program asks you to click on the end note of the slur and the adjustment is made automatically, even if the end of the slur is on another system.
Select the tool and click on the third measure first C note:
This symbol can be moved vertically but is horizontally fixed.
Listen to examples 55, 56 and 57. They use various symbols. Listen to the sound result while observing the graphic symbols. These sequences are intended for a synthesizer or a sound card with GM (general midi) standard.