Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2 EN824 - Revision of 2013/05/29


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Composition tools - Dragging and dropping scores

Subjects covered:

Watch also the following video:

Basic principles [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]

The "dragging and dropping" of musical scores is the basic principle of the new Pizzicato library system. With it, you will be able to build full music compositions very fast. It gives you the power to test and try music combinations very efficiently. Let us define precisely the drag and drop operation inside Pizzicato. It is the operation consisting of the 3 following steps:

  1. You click on a musical object with the left button of the mouse and you hold the button down
  2. You move the mouse to another specific location, while still holding down its left button. It is the "drag" operation. As you move the object, the mouse cursor may take two aspects. The first is a multidirection arrow which means that the current location of the mouse may accept the dropping of the object. The other is the sign of "no parking" for street cars and shows that the current mouse location may not accept the kind of object you are dragging. In that case, if you release the mouse button, no operation is performed.
  3. You release the mouse button, which is the "drop" operation.

According to the exact type of the object, the result is commonly one of the following:

This lesson will explain which object can be dragged and where they can be dropped. Let us first create a little score by using these principles, so that you can have a better insight of what we mean by composing music by dragging and dropping scores and musical objects.

A practical example [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]

Music libraries / Patterns by instruments / Individual instruments / Rhythms and arpeggios / Arpeggios in eigth notes / Arpeggio 1

This score is now part of your current document. It has been copied into the document and may now be modified without any effect on the original library.

A score has been created with a simple drag and drop and contains an arpeggio played on the piano. We can now continue to build that little score by adding other contents in it, with the same principle. The next operation is an important one, and has some specific features associated with it.

You will notice that the time position is displayed on the closest beat of the measure. If you hold down the SHIFT key, you may increase the precision to one 16th note (the unit changes : 120 = 1 x 16th note, 240 = 2 x 16th note, 360 = 3 x 16th note).

The new arpeggio score has been added at the end of the first one and the score now displays:

You should be careful to drop the score between the limits of the upper and lower lines of the staff, otherwise Pizzicato will create a new staff above or below the current staff, to place the contents of the score you drop.

Music libraries / Prepared structures / String quartet / 8th notes staccato / Violin+Alto+Cello+Ctb

and drag and drop it on the first beat of the first measure, but below the piano staff. The 4 string staves are then added to your score:

Several options may be specified to further determine how the drop operation should be executed. For now, we just want this score copied three times instead of one time, so in the text box entitled Use all rhythms fill in "3" and click on OK. The score becomes:

You will notice that the scores of the libraries are written in the C Major tonality. We can now drag and drop a chord progression inside this score. Locate the following node in the library:

Music libraries / Chord progressions / Measure 4-4 / C Major - 3 notes chords / 4 measures - 2 chords/measure /
C Major / 1 - 100 / 28/41

This chord progression contains two chords per measures. Drag and drop it on top of the first staff, on measure 1 beat 1. The score becomes:

At a first glance nothing has changed in the score, except that the chord symbols of the dropped chord progression have been added. In fact the score displays the C Major version of the score. To display the arranged version, click on the "C" (= Computed measures) check box in the toolbar of the score view, just to the right of the "..." button. The score now displays the following:

The yellow background shows that it is the arranged score. This feature is part of the score arranger function, that gets automatically activated when you drag a chord progression inside the score. A specific lesson will explain the score arranger features.

Instruments and templates / Basic instruments / Woodwind / Oboe

and drag and drop it on the first staff. Then play the score and you will hear that the instrument has been changed.

Music libraries / Effects / Volume / Crescendo - 2 beats - from 0 % to... / 80 %

By using this simple drag and drop function, and by learning to know the contents of the Pizzicato musical libraries, you have a powerful tool to test and try music combinations and apply effects, chords and instruments to your composition.

The musical objects and their icons [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]

Here is the list of the icons you will find in the libraries and their meanings:

You should accustom yourself to the above icons because they are the symbols used inside the music libraries of Pizzicato.

Creating, deleting and editing the musical objects [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]

If you click on a musical object with the right mouse button, a contextual menu appears. Depending on the object you click, you will find a menu item to:

You can also drag and drop most of the objects between various locations of the library, so as to create and organize new sections of the library, with the following general rules:

We suggest you to create all the libraries you want inside the prepared folder named My library. In this way, the original library is left untouched. It is indeed susceptible to be often improved by ARPEGE, so that in the next release you would not find the personal changes you did to the library. The My library folder will not be touche or modified by future versions, so you keep it even when you install a new Pizzicato release.

For a score object, you can specify which musical aspects are used when you drop it on another score or use it in a music generator. Right-click the score and select the Play options... menu item. In the lower part of the dialog, you will find 5 check boxes to specify if the score is used for Rhythms, notes, chords, instruments and/or effects. The corresponding icons will be displayed to the right of the score icon, to show which are active.

Using the objects in a document [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]

Here is the list of operations you can do with the musical objects of the library:

Here are some more drag and drop operations that may be useful:

The drag and drop options [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]

If you hold down the CTRL key at the moment you release the mouse button to drop a score inside an open score view, a dialog appears to specify additional parameters that will influence the dropping of the score:

The five check boxes entitled:

are initialized according to the icons found to the right of the score icon. You can modify them, depending on what is really present inside that score. You may for instance prefer to copy only the notes and rhythms of a library score, while not touching to the instruments specifications of your composition and you can then uncheck the transfer of instruments.

The four first check boxes have additional options:

  • Use all notes ... time(s) specifies how many times you want the full sequence of notes to be applied in the target score. Notice that this value will be modified automatically if you modify the equivalent value in the rhythm transfer options. This is indeed the more common option: if you want to play a sequence 3 times, you should play both rhythm and notes 3 times. This remark is valid for the two following options.
  • Use each note ... time(s) specifies how many times you want each note to be used before using the next note.
  • Sequence specifies if the notes will be used in the correct order, the reversed order or with a random order.
  • Add the symbols specifies if you want the chord symbols to be added in the target staff, displaying the chords that are added.
  • Enable arranger specifies if the score arranger will be automatically activated when dropping a chord progression into the score.
  • Multiply / divide durations by is used to multiply and divide the durations of the original chords before applying them to the target score.
  • Use the effects ... time(s) specifies how many times you want the full sequence of effects to be applied in the target score.
  • Multiply / divide durations by is used to multiply and divide the time scale of the original effects before applying them to the target score.

You may also add a label and a color to the block of measures that have been transfered. It helps to remember which block was copied. By default, the label is the name of the document, group and score.

To apply the drop operation, click on OK. You can also cancel the operation by using the Cancel button.

This lesson contains the most basic principles used to composition with libraries. Another lesson will soon explain you what you can find in the libraries. You should well understand the above operation, because they are the key to intuitive music composition with Pizzicato. Try each operation by yourself and read the lesson again. Then let your imagination work and you will find it quite powerful.

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