|Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2||EN824 - Revision of 2013/05/29|
Composition tools - Dragging and dropping scores
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:
- You click on a musical object with the left button of the mouse and you hold the button down
- 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.
- 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:
- The original object is moved to the new location.
- The original object is copied to the new location.
- The original object is used or referenced in some way by the target object (the target object is the one located at the destination, where you release the mouse button and the source object is the object you are dragging).
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]
- Open a new document and open the conductor view. In configuration 3 of the document manager, expand the Music libraries node so that it displays the following:
- To make a reference to a node of the library (and this is valid for the rest of these lessons), we will refer for instance to the above selected node by giving its full path, like this :
Music libraries / Patterns by instruments / Individual instruments / Rhythms and arpeggios / Arpeggios in eigth notes / Arpeggio 1
- Point the mouse cursor on the first icon of the selected node, which is a double note with stems in opposite directions. This icon represents a music score. You will immediately see its content displayed in a floating window, as an easy way to explore the library. Just drag the mouse (without clicking) over the various score icons and the display of the contents of these scores is temporarily displayed.
- As music is mainly a question of hearing and not so much seeing, you may click on any score icon and the score is played in loop so that you can easily get an idea of its musical content. The loop playing continues until you keep the mouse cursor inside the score icon and stops whenever the mouse cursor leaves that area.
- Do some experimentation and have a look and hear the content of the above score icons.
- Now drag the above selected icon and drop it into the main area of the conductor view. You get:
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.
- Open the score view by clicking on the first icon (one note icon) and the score is displayed:
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.
- Click on the Arpeggio 3 node and drag it slowly over the beginning of the above piano score, and release it when the mouse cursor is to the right of the full measure, so as to add it after the end of the existing measure. While doing so, you will notice a red temporary display in a floating window, showing you the potential location where the content would be added if you release the mouse button:
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:
- This operation may also be done on any beat of the measure. For instance add two empty measures after the two above measures. You can use the measure & staves tool or with the contextual menu, right-click on the last measure and select Measures and staves, Add one measure after... Do it twice so as to have two empty measures.
- Now drag the Arpeggio 4 node of the library and drop it when the red display shows Measure = 3 - Beat = 3 - Unit = 0. To do that, just drag over the third measure and drop it on beat 3. The score becomes:
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.
- We will now add a string quartet basic accompaniment to this little arpeggio melody. Find the following node in the library:
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:
- Repeat this action again, but drop it on the second violin measure and hold down the CTRL key while releasing the mouse button. The following dialog appears before the operation is executed:
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.
- Now, lets us replace the first instrument by an oboe. Locate the following node in the top left tree:
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.
- Here is a last example. We would like to create a crescendo for the strings, starting from no volume and reaching a normal volume at the end of the 4 measures. Locate the following node of the library:
Music libraries / Effects / Volume / Crescendo - 2 beats - from 0 % to... / 80 %
- Select the 4 measures on the 4 string staves (type "s" to activate the selection tool, then click on the first violin measure and then, while holding down the SHIFT key, click on the fourth measure of the Double bass).
- Drag and drop the above node on the first measure of the violin. Then listen to the score and you will hear that the 4 strings play a crescendo through the 4 measures.
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:
- - A Pizzicato document. It can contain scores, folders, groups of scores, virtual keyboards, instruments, music generators, harmonic spaces and other musical objects.
- - A folder. There are two kinds of folders. The folders that correspond to Windows directories (or Mac folders) may contain only other folders, Pizzicato documents or Midi files, SoundFont files, STY files, musicXML files and NIF files. The folders that are inside a Pizzicato document may contain other folders, virtual keyboards, instruments, music generators, harmonic spaces and other musical objects.
- - A score. You can find a score either in a Pizzicato document or in a score group. A score is a set of staves and measures, with their contents and their instruments specifications. You can display and play a score. To the right of a score icon, you can find one or more of the following icons, each representing a specific aspect of music that will be used if you drag and drop the score in your composition:
- - The rhythmic values present in the score will be used
- - The note pitches present in the score will be used
- - The instrument specifications of the score will be used (clef, number of lines, transposition, associated sound,...)
- - The chords present in the score will be used
- - The effects present in the score will be used (volume, velocity, pitch bend, patches, tempo and other MIDI controllers)
- - A group of scores. It can only contain scores. You can have a group of score only in a Pizzicato document.
- - A coloured square is an instrument. It can be found in a Pizzicato document or inside folders of a Pizzicato document.
- - A virtual keyboard (do not confuse it with the instrument aspect icon, which is only found to the right of a score icon). It can be found in a Pizzicato document or inside folders of a Pizzicato document.
- - An harmonic space. It can be found in a Pizzicato document or inside folders of a Pizzicato document.
- - The definition of a chord. It can be found in a Pizzicato document or inside the folders of a Pizzicato document.
- - The definition of a scale. It can be found in a Pizzicato document or inside the folders of a Pizzicato document.
- - A music generator. It can be found in a Pizzicato document or inside the folders of a Pizzicato document. A music generator may contain scores and folders, but the scores are displayed with a blue background ( ) because they are only potential scores, that are created on the fly when you try to use it. To the right of a music generator, you can find the same 5 icons found after a music score. They show you in one glance what you will find in the scores generated by it.
- - A music vector. It can be found in a Pizzicato document or inside the folders of a Pizzicato document. It is a musical object capable of generating a melodic structure that can be adapted to a chord or scale progression. It can be dragged and dropped inside the measure of a score and will then generate its notes in that score.
- - A virtual instrument. It is an audio synthesizer or sample reader that you can drag in a measure so that the notes are played with this instrument.
- - An audio WAV file. It can be edited with the audio window by double-clicking it. You can also drag it in a measure so that the sample is played with the notes.
- - A MID file. It can be imported into a Pizzicato score with its contextual menu (right click).
- - A musicXML file. It can be imported into a Pizzicato score with its contextual menu (right click).
- - A NIFF file. It can be imported into a Pizzicato score with its contextual menu (right click).
- - A STY file (Yamaha style). It can be imported into a Pizzicato score with its contextual menu (right click).
- - A SF2 file (SoundFont file). It can be imported as Pizzicato virtual instruments with its contextual menu (right click).).
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:
- Add a new object in a folder
- Remove an object
- Rename an object
- Modify the content of the object (often this is also achieved with a double-click on the object icon)
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:
- You can drag a folder containing objects, or an object itself, into another folder, either within the same Pizzicato document or between different Pizzicato documents. If you do it within a Pizzicato document, the object is moved and if you want to duplicate it, you can drag and drop it while holding down the CTRL key. Between Pizzicato documents, the object or folder is copied
- A group of score may be copied into another Pizzicato document.
- You can also drag and drop between the library (upper tree) and the current open document (lower tree), in both directions, but only from and to a Pizzicato document of the library.
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:
- or - You can drag and drop a score:
- inside the main area of the conductor view. A copy of that score is added to your document.
- on a given measure, inside a score editor. The contents of the dropped score will replace or be added to the visible score, starting at the measure and beat you specify by the mouse location. Only the aspects of music shown with the 5 above mentioned icons will be used.
- after the last measure. Additional measures are added and the contents is copied into the score.
- above, between or below staves or a staff. The contents will be added, creating new staves as necessary and copying the various aspects shown by the icons.
- - You can drag and drop an instrument:
- inside the main area of the conductor view. A new score is created, with the given instrument specifications.
- on a score rectangle inside the conductor view. If you hold down the CTRL key also, the instrument replaces the first instrument of the score. Otherwise, the instrument is added on a new staff below the last instrument of the score.
- inside a measure of the score view. The instrument replaces the one present on that staff.
- above, between or below staves or a staff. The instrument is added, creating a new staff at that location.
- - You can drag and drop an harmonic space inside an existing group of score of the main area of the conductor view. Or you can drag and drop it directly on that main area and a group of score will be created. See the lesson on the harmonic spaces and the real time arranger for more information on this object.
- - - - You can drag and drop scales, chords and music vectors inside the measures of a score. See the lessons about the scales and chords and about the music vectors.
- - You can drag a virtual instrument directly into a measure to assign its sound to the notes that follow. You can also drag it in the conductor view, on a score rectangle or above, between or below a staff. In each case, a new staff is added, assigned to that sound.
- - You can drag an audio WAV file directly into a measure to assign this sample to the notes that follow.
Here are some more drag and drop operations that may be useful:
- When you have a selection of measures inside a score view, you may drag and drop it (clicking on the first selected measure and staff to drag it):
- inside the main area of the conductor view. A new score is created, with only the selected measures.
- on any measure of any score view. The content is copied as a standard copy/paste operation.
- When you have a selection of measures inside a score view, you may drag and drop it while holding down the SHIFT key (clicking on the first selected measure and staff to drag it) and this selection may be dropped exactly like a score (see above), including in the same score. The advantage to a standard copy/paste is that it may use the drag/drop dialog box and also that a measure can be copied across bar lines, which makes it a way to re-beam music in another time signature. In this way, you may also file a selection of measures into the library.
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:
- Transfer rhythms
- Transfer notes
- Transfer chords
- Transfer the effects
- Transfer the instruments
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:
- Transfer rhythms
- Use all rhythms ... time(s) specifies how many times you want the full sequence of rhythms to be applied in the target score.
- Use each rhythm ... time(s) specifies how many times you want each rhythm to be used before using the next rhythm.
- Sequence specifies if the rhythms will be used in the correct order, the reversed order or with a random order
- Multiply / divide durations by is used to multiply and divide the durations of the original rhythms before applying them to the target score.
- Transfer notes
- 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.
- Transfer chords
- 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.
- Transfer the effects
- 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.