Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2 EN826 - Revision of 2013/05/29


Composition Pro

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Composition tools - Music generators

Subjects covered:

Watch also the following video:

Basic principle [Professional] [Composition Pro]

The music generator is an object that can be created, modified and manipulated inside a document or in the library. Its purpose is to generate scores that can be used as building blocks in a music composition. The scores created are displayed like other scores, inside the node of the music generator and they may be seen, played and used by dragging and dropping them inside your composition. All kinds of criterias can be given to construct a music score generator and to influence the type of scores that will be generated. Let us start with a practical example.

The icon with some circles in it is the music generator icon. Its name is here Random notes. This generator has been designed to create 10 series of 7 random notes taken from the set [ C3 - D3 - E3 - F3 - G3 - A3 - B3] with each note being used only once in a given score.

The exact content may be different on your computer, because the scores are generated on a random basis. But each score will have 7 notes, in random order, with each of the 7 notes being used only once.

As compared to the normal scores that are used in a document, the icon of these generated scores have the same icon (2 notes with opposite stem directions) but with a blue background to differentiate them. These scores are only potential scores and they are in fact generated "on the fly" when you drag and drop them or when you display them as above.

This generator contains one musical structure represented by its main icon (top left) and it contains 7 scores, each one being a simple score with one specific note in it. The parameters you see on the right part of this window determine how the 7 scores will be used in that main musical structure. We will explain these parameters and the musical structures in the remainder of this lesson.

The musical structure [Professional] [Composition Pro]

A music generator is built on two basic blocs. The musical structure and the score. A musical structure may contain one or more scores and/or other musical structures.

A musical structure is like a folder. It can contain other folders and also scores. But it also has properties that determine how its content will be combined.

The scores used in a musical structure are only links to existing scores in the library. As you will see in a future lesson, the basic library of Pizzicato contain notes, chords, rhythms and various combinations of them. They form the basic elements of music and they can then be used in music generators to build more sophisticated music materials.

To use a score from the library inside a music structure is quite easy: you just drag and drop it from the tree library into the structure as displayed here above. Indeed, this dialog is not modal. You do not need to close it to continue to work with Pizzicato. You may even open several music generators and drag and drop scores and musical structures from one to the other.

We will create a new music generator that has the following purpose: create all combinations of drum scores, each one having some patterns of bass drum, cymbal and snare drum.

Here are the explanations:

For this example, we will leave these parameters to their default values.

Here are the explanations:

  • Full sequence: the items placed inside this musical structure are used in the exact order.
  • Inverted sequence: the items placed inside this musical structure are used in the reverse order.
  • Sequence of N item(s): the items are used as a sequence of N item(s). In this case and the following containing N, the value of N may be specified with an additional text box that appears below the popup menu when you select that option. Pizzicato will compute all possible sequences that contain N items.
  • Sequence of N item(s) w/o doubles: same, but the sequence may contain each item only once.
  • Random sequence of N item(s): N item(s) will be used, taken randomly
  • Random sequence of N item(s) w/o doubles: N item(s) will be used, taken randomly but each item may only be used once.
  • Simultaneous playing: In all the previous cases, the items were used in sequence, which means that they will be played one after the other. In this case, all items will be played simultaneously.
  • Simultaneous playing of N items: In this case, N item(s) will be played simultaneously. Pizzicato will work out all possible combinations of N item(s).
  • Simultaneous playing of N random items: Same, but the set of N item(s) will be choosen in a random way.
  • Exact rhythmic combinations: All possible sequences of the rhythmic values of the items will be analysed and only the ones with the exact total duration will be used. The duration is the one specified below the Maximal total duration title in the above dialog (see further).
  • Exact rhythmic combinations w/o doubles: Same, but one item may only be used once in any combination.
  • N notes combinations: All possible sequences of the items will be analysed and only the ones with the exact total number of notes will be used. N is specified in the same way as above.
  • N notes combinations without doubles: Same, but each item may only be used once in a combination.

The node is shown with its name and the type of combination that has been selected.

A structure inside a structure [Professional] [Composition Pro]

In our example, we want all combinations of basic rhythmic patterns of three percussion instruments. That is why we selected the Simultaneous playing as in each combination, we need one pattern of each instrument, played at the same time. We will now create a new musical structure for each instrument.

Parameters of a score [Professional] [Composition Pro]

Here are some other operations that you can use while working with the music generator:

Now let us see what is the practical result of our experimentation...

The generated scores [Professional] [Composition Pro]

This example is quite simple and shows the power behind this kind of tool. With some more imagination, you will be able to create very interesting musical structures for oriented random melodies, rhythmic patterns, instrumental setups, chords progressions and many more combinations of all the basic music blocks available in the Pizzicato library. Don't forget that you can also create scores and use them in the music generators. Possibilities are innumerous. You just need to imagine and put it in practice with the composition tools of Pizzicato.

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Composition Pro