Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2 EN840 - Revision of 2013/05/29


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Composition tools - The music libraries

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Watch also the following video:

The musical libraries [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]

The music library is not itself a new software function not yet explained in the previous lessons. It is a set of Pizzicato documents that contain music structures and objects that can be used to compose and to structure music.

In this lesson, we will cover what the present libraries contain. The content of the libraries is going to grow with the next versions of Pizzicato. While working with Pizzicato, you will also be able to create you own library. You may also share your personal library with other people by sending the Pizzicato files to them.

The music libraries is a set of Pizzicato documents located in the main Pizzicato directory, inside the Libraries folder, itself found in the DataEN folder. Any document you add or change in this folder or in any folder included in it will be referenced by Pizzicato the next time you launch it. You may create any hierarchical set of folders and sub-folders inside the Libraries folder. But we recommend you to do that within the conductor view, as explained in the lesson on dragging and dropping elements of the libraries.

If you want somebody to share your personal libraries, just send him/her the content of this folder. To use it, (s)he needs to copy its content inside his(her) Libraries folder.

We are of course ready to receive pieces of your personal music libraries so that we can add them in the next release of Pizzicato.

The idea behind music libraries is not a set of finalized compositions to listen to. Valid elements of a library must be: a rhythmic pattern for one instrument or for any section of instruments (percussion, orchestra,...), melodic or rhythmic ideas or structures to develop, chords progressions, instrument combinations, a virtual keyboard setup, a music generator, an harmonic space or any combination of those elements. They may then be used by other Pizzicato users to compose and create their own finalized compositions. It is a set of musical construction blocks that anybody may then use to build his/her personal music compositions.

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

The techniques we will use here have been explained in the previous lessons on composition tools. They are assumed to be understood. If you encounter any difficulty in this lesson, please review the other composition tools lessons.

Music libraries / Patterns by instruments / Percussions / Bass drum / Prepared patterns / Bass drum 4

Music libraries / Patterns by instruments / Percussions / Snare drum / Prepared patterns / Snare drum 1

Music libraries / Patterns by instruments / Percussions / Charleston / Prepared patterns / HiHat 8

Music libraries / Patterns by instruments / Percussions / Bongos & congas / Prepared patterns / Bongos & congas 8

Music libraries / Patterns by instruments / Percussions / Bongos & congas / Prepared patterns / Bongos & congas 8

Music libraries / Patterns by instruments / Percussions / Snare drums / Prepared patterns / Tambourine 6

Music libraries / Patterns by instruments / Individual instruments / Basses / Basses - 2 notes / Bass 12

Music libraries / Patterns by instruments / Individual instruments / Continuous pads / 1/2 - Large position / Wide strings 7

Music libraries / Patterns by instruments / Individual instruments / Rhythms and arpeggios / Arpeggios in eight notes / Arpeggio 2

To do it, you must create an alias of some of the scores and you must resize the scores so that they are played several times. You may of course try another arrangement for this composition.

You should understand that the decisions we have taken here to select the various instruments and rhythm patterns are just arbitrary decisions. Taking other choices would have resulted in a completely different composition. With what you have learned here, you may now start to compose your rhythmic patterns by combining what you find in the libraries. You may also create new scores with different instruments and define yourself the content of the measures and use them in the composition.

You may vary the instruments of the above little composition, by selecting them from the Basic instruments folder of the library. For instance, in the Bass sub-folder, you will find several bass instruments:

Remember that you can drag such an instrument and drop it on a score by holding down the CTRL key. The instrument will replace the instrument of the first staff of the score. If you do not hold the CTRL key, the instrument is added to the score, which is not here what we want. We just want an easy way to test various sounds for a given score.

Another easy way to test different scores with minimal handling is that you may drag a score of the library and, while holding the CTRL key, drop it on one of the scores inside the group. The new score will automatically replace the previous one so that you do not need to delete it first. Warning: if the original score has aliases in the composition, they will be deleted.

Also, when you work some portion of the full composition, don't forget to use the green and red arrows to specify the section of the composition you want to play or loop. It is quite easy to test various possible sounds or patterns when Pizzicato plays it in loop. You have an immediate feedback to decide whether you like it or not.

We will now examine the content of the present Pizzicato music libraries.

The content of the libraries [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]

When you display configuration 3, the library is presented more or less as follows:

At the top, it contains one main document and two folders. Here is a summary of the content of the Pizzicato musical libraries as they exist in Pizzicato 3.5. The main folders are also displayed and available in configuration 3, 4 and 5. Explore them to see where they are.

This folder contains all the basic instruments definitions. They are classified inside sub-folders, by families, like the pianos, strings, woodwinds, brass,... For transposing instruments, you will find that the instruments are first defined without transposition and then you find the various corresponding transposing instruments. For instance in the Brass sub-folder, you will find the Horn and then the Horn in F. While composing with a computer, you do not need to worry about the fact that some instruments are transposing instruments. It is only if your score needs to be played by real instrumentists that you will have to take that into account, in the final steps before printing the scores and the parts.

The Percussions sub-folder needs some more comments. You will find all the individual percussion instruments inside the Individual instruments folder, which is the standard General MIDI list of percussions. You will also find most common instruments in the Classified instruments folder. We recommand using these because they are classified in an more natural way and some use specific grouped combinations, like the Toms. There are 6 toms in standard General MIDI and in the classified instruments/Standard drums [you can reach this folder with the key shortcut 'b' inside the conductor view], you will find one combined instruments with the 6 toms on one 6-lines staff. Same for the Hi Hat instrument (foot+closed+open).

You will also find there the Solo percussions (series of toms, woodblocks,... on the full range of the keyboard) and Chromatic percussion instruments as the Timpani, Vibes, Xylophone,...

This folder contains the main part the Pizzicato music libraries. It is classified into the following main sub-folders.

  • Papelmedia - This folder contains the audio files used by the Papelmedia library, as it is included in Pizzicato.
  • Samples - These are files used as various samples in the virtual synthesizers.
  • SoundFonts - Whenever you import a SoundFont file in Pizzicato so as to use the sounds contained in it, Pizzicato creates here a folder to store the various wave forms used in that SoundFont file.
  • Wave Forms - The basic oscillators of the modular synthesizer use these wave forms to produce their output.
  • Chords [you can reach this folder with the key shortcuts 'c' or 'a' inside the conductor view] - The chords are themselves classified into three folders.
    • Chords by scale - You will find here two folders, one with the triads and one with the 7th chords. Inside each folder, there is one music generator for each scale, including in it the chords corresponding to the 7 degrees of the scale.
    • Main chords - You will find here the most common chords, like Maj, min, 7, dim,... Each group contains that kind of chord for every note.
    • Other chords - This folder is similar to the above folder and list less common chords, also for each possible note.
  • Notes - The scores of this document contain only one note. It is a library that contains all the notes of octaves 0 to 6, as separated scores. They may be used to construct music generators for instance, in combinations with rests and rhythms.
  • Rests - This document contains the main rest values, each inside one score. They may be used to construct music generators for instance, in combinations with rhythms and notes.
  • Rhythm sequences - This folder contains documents, each one designed for a specific time signature. Inside one of the documents, you will find one or more music generators. They contain combinations of some basic elementary rhythmic values, for instances "Half notes + Quarter notes + Eighth notes". Inside that generator, you will find a classification of all possible combinations that fit the duration of the measure time signature, classified by the number of rhythmic values used. This part of the library contains thousands of basic rhythmic combinations and may be a source of inspiration to find and use specific rhythmic patterns.
  • Rhythms - This document contains the main rhythmic values, each inside one score. They may be used to construct music generators for instance, in combinations with rests and notes.
  • Scales - You will find here a music generator for each scale, each containing the 7 notes of the scales.
  • A minor - 3 notes chords - This document contains progressions of 4, 8 and 12 chords (1 chord / measure). The first folder containt 54 basic chords progressions each with 4 chords. The other two contains 1000 combinations of these 54 basic progressions. All these progressions are written starting in A minor.
  • C Major - 3 notes chords - Same as above, but for C major.
  • Major tonalities - 3 notes chords - Same as above, but for all other major tonalities.
  • Minor tonalities - 3 notes chords - Same as above, but for all other minor tonalities.
  • Measure 4-4

This is a similar folder, but prepared for a 4/4 measure time signature instead of 3/4. Some folders have 2 chords per measure.

  • Various progressions

It contains 2 series of prepared chord progressions, one with triads and dominant and the other with 7th chords.

You can easily adapt the time signature while you drag and drop it, with the drag and drop dialog options regarding the time scale.

  • Chorus - You can use fixed values from 0 to 100 % of chorus level.
  • Modulation - You can use fixed values from 0 to 100 % of modulation level.
  • Panoramic - You can set a fixed panoramic position or also move from one position to another.
  • Pitch bend - Various effects are prepared for 1, 2, 3 or 4 beats duration. They include up+down, up, down, oscillation and the suppression of the pitch bend effect. Most are available at 25, 50, 75 and 100 % of the pitch bend range (which can be 2 half tones or 12 half tones, depending on the pitch bend range parameter of the synthesizer).
  • Reverberation - You can use fixed values from 0 to 100 % of reverberation level.
  • Tempo - You can use fixed values from 40 to 380 beats per minute or you can accelerate or slow down in a wide range of tempo.
  • Velocity maps - A velocity map is a set of 16th note each with a specific velocity level. When applying that velocity map on a score, the velocity is copied into the original notes of that scores (without touching the other specifications of the notes). You can see it as a set of various accents placed to give a "feeling" to the music. The groups are drawn with a graphic rough approximation of where the accents are. The best way to have an idea on its content is to click on the various velocity maps to hear where the accents are placed. Each map is available with various levels of velocity.
  • Velocity - You can use fixed values from 0 to 100 % of velocity level and you can create crescendo and decrescendo by multiples of 10 %.
  • Volume - You can use fixed values from 0 to 100 % of volume level and you can create crescendo and decrescendo by multiples of 10 %.
  • Components - These are modular blocks that can be used while constructing a modular synthesizer. They are building blocks more than predefined sounds. You will find here envelopes, generators and various filters. See the lesson on the modular synthesizer for more information.
  • Papelmedia - SoundFont version - This Papelmedia library version keeps the original SoundFont format. It may sometimes have a better rendering for synthesized instruments, but needs more computing power to play in real time or export an audio file. The SoundFont synthesizers is not editable by Pizzicato.
  • Papelmedia - This version of the Papelmedia library is in the form of an editable sample reader. It needs less computing power and its quality is as good as the above one. We encourage you to use this version of the library. Moreover, a series of improvements have been made in this version, compared to the original library.
  • Sampled sounds - You will find presently a series of original percussive effects, that you can use as a percussion map on the staff (each note of the staff corresponds to one percussive sound).
  • Synthesized sounds - You will find here a series of virtual instruments constructed with modular synthesis. You can modify them. See the lesson on modular synthesizers.

This folder is initially empty. You may create in it all the documents you want, keep track of your composition libraries and work with them as you want. We recommand to use this folder instead of modifying the original libraries, so that when there will be updates available of the original libraries, you can download them without losing your own library parts.

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