|Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2||EN828 - Revision of 2013/05/29|
Composition tools - The score arranger
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Basic principle [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]
We have already explained the real time arranger, in association with the harmonic spaces. The real time arranger takes every note played by Pizzicato and before playing it, modifies the note so that it fits a given chord. The result is that the score is not the original one, but a very similar score, that fits perfectly the notes of the chord. This is called "arranging".
The real time arranger does this as notes come in. It does not have a way to forecast how long the note will play. It only knows when it starts. So the real time arranger is not subtil enough to predict for instance that a note will be very short and could then be interpreted as a passage note (transition note) that does not necessarily need to fit the chord perfectly. So melodies will have a tendancy to be distorted through the real time arranger.
The score arranger is not in that "fast working" frame of mind, and it may analyse the musical context a little bit further to create a better arrangement of the score. Moreover, it has a set of rules that may be modified to create more specific behaviours according to the type of music you write.
The score arranger uses the smart link function in a transparent way for the user. So it is very easy to use. You saw an example of it in the drag and drop lesson. We will see here how it works, how it is related to the chord progression and how you can use the rules or modify them.
The basic idea is that the score exists in two versions, the original score and the arranged score. The original score is the one you see when the measures have a white background and the arranged score is the one with a slightly yellow background. You can switch between both versions with the "C" check box (which means originally Computed measures in the lesson on smart links) that you can find in the tool bar of the score editor.
The arranged score is a copy of the original score, but modified by the chord progression according to a set of rules. Any modification done to the original score triggers the re-computing of the arranged score (at least the part that was modified).
Using the score arranger [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]
- Start Pizzicato with a new document and open the conductor view. In configuration 3, locate the following score:
Music libraries / Prepared styles / Fox-trot / Rhythm
and drag it on the music desktop (conductor main area). Open the score and drag again the same above item to the right of the second measure. You have now a score of 4 measures. This score is written in C.
- Open the chord progression dialog box (Windows menu, Chord progression... item). As explained in the chord progression lesson, add the 4 following chords so that the chord progression dialog looks like this:
- Now click the Arrange the score according to the chords check box. The check box entitled Recompute all is used to force Pizzicato to recompute the arrangement of the score. It is not needed here because it is the first use so Pizzicato will compute everything. The popup menu entitled Harmony used is the selection of the set of rules that will be used while arranging the score. Click on OK. The chord symbols have been added above the first staff. Now click on the C check box and the score will display the arranged version:
You will notice that the percussion staves have been automatically excluded from being modified by the arranger.
- Open the Instruments view in the Windows menu. Select the configuration named MIDI Parameters (on the upper left triangle inside that window). The four following columns are related to the score arranger:
- Arranger - This menu contains the following choices, that are used by the arranger to apply specific rules:
- Automatic - The arranger estimates itself what kind of voice this staff represents.
- Bass - The voice is a bass voice (monodic)
- Melody - The voice is the melody (monodic)
- Other voices - The voice is an middle voice, between melody and bass (monodic)
- Chords - The voice may contain chords or polyphonic parts.
The default value is Automatic, but you may modify it to influence the way the arranger works.
- Fixed - When you check this box, the arranger will not modify this staff. However, it will take it into consideration to arrange the other voices, for instance when it tries to balance the notes of a chord.
- Lower note - This is the lower range of the instrument and the arranger will avoid using notes lower than this one. If the score was designed with the instrument library, the range has been assigned for that instrument. Otherwise, the default range is the full MIDI range.
- Upper note - This is the upper range of the instrument and the arranger will avoid using notes higher than this one. Same remark as above.
- At any time you may modify the chords or the original version of the score and the arranger will again compute the arranged measures.
Two additional menu items have been added in relation to the arranger (and also to the smart link function). These are in the Edit menu and you can use them for the full score or for a selection of measures:
- Fix smart links- This menu copies the arranged versions of the selected measures (or all measures if none are selected) into the original measures and then removes the arranged versions. It then disables the score arranger. The result is that you have one normal score with the final arrangement version.
- Remove smart links - This menu removes the parameters and computed version of the score so that only the original measures are kept. You should also disable the arranger in the chord progression dialog box, otherwise the computed measures will be recreated whenever you modify the chords or the score.
The harmonic rules [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]
The score arranger uses a set of rules to arrange a score. Open the Harmony library... of the Options menu and the following dialog appears:
This dialog lists the available sets of rules in the bottom list (harmony list). When you click on one set of rule, you see the list of the rules in the upper list and when you select one rule, you can see its various options on the right part of the dialog. Click on the Standard set of rule. This is the set of rule used in the score arranger by default.
The button below, entitled Add, Delete and Duplicate are used to manage the sets of rules. You can create a new set, remove a set or duplicate a set to modify it.
The first text line on the right is a comment on the rule, it can be modified. Then there is the type of the rule in a popup menu. Depending on the type of rule, you have For each rule you can specify the influence factor, which will moderate the use of the rule. If you set it to 100 %, then the rule should never been violated and if Pizzicato can't find a solution, the corresponding notes will be replaced by rests. Here are the descriptions of the various types of rules and their parameters.
With this rule, you can determine the range of the voices. The default rule is to use the ranges of the various instruments, as defined in the instruments view. But you may also specify the upper and lower range here for the bass, melody or other voices. You may create more than one rule of this type to define all ranges.
- Intervals between voices
With this rule, you can define the minimal and maximal intervals between the voices, in half tones.
- Balance of the notes of a chord
This rule forces the arranger to use the various notes of a chord (if they are present in the current chord), according to the number of notes it has to arrange. Above this rule, there is the principle that the third and seventh intervals will be preferred to the 5th.
- Melodic intervals
With this rule, you can orient the kind of melodic intervals that will be used by the arranger. You may define this for any voice. The rule is to give a list of half tones intervals, separated by commas and to specify if an interval may be lower or equal, greater or equal or not equal to the given list of intervals. As an example, if you do not want a false fifth to be used in any melodic voice, specify "6,-6" in the list and select May not be equal. The minus sign means a interval 6 half tones down. As for the other rules, you may create several rules of the same types and different characteristics.
- Parallel and direct intervals
You may specify here which parallel or direct intervals are forbidden. Specify between which voices and the list of forbidden intervals. By default, parallel and direct fifth and octaves are forbidden.
- Arranged range
This rule gives the range interval up and down the original note (the note from the original score) around which the arranger may replace the note. For instance, if you set this to 2 and 2, the arranger will have only a margin of 2 half tones up or down the original note.
- One note movements
When this rule exists, Pizzicato will favour one note movements over more wide movements.
- Opposed movements
When this rule is present, Pizzicato will favour opposed movements of voices (one voice up, the other down).
- Low intervals
This rule helps you to avoid too lower intervals. The list must contain two numbers per intervals. The first number is the interval and the second the lower pitch (MIDI value) at which this interval may appear. You may have a list of more than one pair of interval/note, separated by commas. For instance the 7,36 value means that a fifth interval may not be placed lower than C1 (MIDI value 36).
You may specify here the preferred direction of a given note (down or up), either as a reference to a chord or to the degree of the associated scale.
- False relations (chromatism between voices)
The presence of this rule implies that Pizzicato will avoid false relations, i.e. chromatic movements between two voices, like C in one voice and after that C# in another voice.
- Various options
This rule gives the value of three parameters. The first is the Chord anticipation duration given in units (480 units = one quarter note). This means that if a note is played that duration before a chord change occurs, that note will already use the next chord.
The next parameter is the note duration limit under which a note will not need to fit the chord notes but only the associated scale notes. By adjusting this duration to the type of music you compose, you may avoid that continuous melodies become arpeggios too easily.
The last parameter is Use the closest note. This parameter forces all arrangements to use the closest note that fits the current chord or scale.
You should know that Pizzicato presently uses these rules only to go forward. The first chord is analysed and all possible arrangements are listed. Then these possibilities are evaluated according to the rules and the best compromise is used to write a solution in the score. This solution is the final one. Then Pizzicato goes to the next chord and do the same, taking into account the previous chord when necessary (resolution, parallel 5th ,...) and once again finds all possible solutions and evaluates which one is the best compromise. If there is an impossible or bad solution, Pizzicato will presently not back up and modify the previous chord, but it will use the less worse case or none if a rule must be 100% verified.
You may try to define rules that are more or less adapted to a kind of music and in general make some experimentation with them. Notice that the arranger is not limited to a few voices and may also be applied to a full orchestra. This may take a bit longer for Pizzicato to arrange, because the number of combination are more numerous, but it should work correctly.
A practical application of the score arranger would be the following:
- You create a melody. Then you analyse the chords with the chord analysis tool of Pizzicato. The chord progression is then established.
- In the instrument view, you fix your melody so that the arranger will not modify it.
- You add one or several staves for accompaniments intruments and in each one you fill in a constant note (a whole note).
- Then you enable the arranger and Pizzicato will suggest you the accompaniment voices that fit with the chords and with your melody.
The scales associated to the chords [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]
When Pizzicato arranges a score, it first makes an analysis of the scales that may best fit the chord progression. For this it uses the scale definitions that are defined when you choose the Scale library... item of the Options menu:
You can define additional scales here. They will be used by the arranger. The left list is the existing scale list. When you select a scale, you may change the number of notes and the note pitches, the associated degree and also an importance factor, which stresses the main notes of the scale and is used to find which chord fits the best with it. The Delete and Add buttons are used respectively to delete and add a scale. By default, this dialog contains the most common scales and it is not necessary to define or modify the scales. Click Cancel.