|Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2||EN255 - Revision of 2013/05/29|
The music typing keyboard
Entering music faster [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
The music typing keyboard is a hardware keyboard specifically designed to enter music. It is a way to enter music faster and more efficiently than ever. You can test the idea for yourself by using the window that represents the keyboard.
The real keyboard is available from now on, with the release of Pizzicato 3.6. You can buy it directly on our Arpege Music site or through our authorized resellers and distributors.
It connects to the PC through a USB cable and directly activates the keys that you can see in the music typing keyboard window.
Please note that at this point (November 2011, publication of Pizzicato 3.6), the real keyboard does not yet work on MAC computers. We hope to make it soon available on Mac too.
You can open the window representing this keyboard, in the Windows, Music typing keyboard menu item:
As you can see, the layout and the shape of the keys are somewhat different than a normal computer keyboard. The above yellow keys are used in combination with the orange keys to enter the pitch and the duration of notes. Several other keys help you modify or fill in many other aspects of music notation.
The real hardware keyboard is shown here:
Notes and rhythm [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
The main idea of this keyboard is oriented around the central set of keys, colored in yellow.
The selection of pitch is horizontal, similarly to a piano keyboard (higher pitch to the right, lower pitch to the left). By default, you see that the note name is displayed in the upper left corner of these keys. Each line has the same notes: C, D, E, F, G, A, B. You will notice that between E and F, a key is used as a rest.
The three lines of yellow keys are the same regarding the pitch, but offer different durations. By default, the central line corresponds to the quarter note (or rest). The upper line is twice the duration of the central line, by default the half note (or rest) and the lower line is half the duration of the central line, by default the eighth note (or rest). The rhythmic value is shown on the lower right part of each key.
This keyboard is used in Pizzicato as a specialized application of the MIDI cursor tool (see the previous lesson).
When you buy the keyboard, you receive a guide explaining how each key works for entering music. Each key of the real keyboard corresponds to a key of the screen keyboard. To use the screen keyboard, you must click on the keys with the mouse. This can help you understand how the keyboard works, but obviously only the real keyboard can help you to reach a faster speed to enter music, as you can use your ten fingers to be more efficient.
When you connect the USB keyboard to the computer, start Pizzicato and go in the Options, Connecting a music typing keyboard... menu item. A dialog box appears. Check the box to activate the use of the keyboard. Then type several keys of the real keyboard so that Pizzicato can locate its keyboard identifier. Then click OK. If you do not have the real keyboard, it is better to keep it disabled in that dialog box.
After activating the keyboard as described above, when you next open a document or restart Pizzicato, you will see the following additional icon in the tool bar of the score window:
By clicking on this icon, you activate the note entry mode through the music typing keyboard. Notice that the window keyboard will not automatically be open. Indeed, this window is not usefull when you have the real keyboard, as you have it in front of your eyes and in contact with your fingers, so the score can occupy the whole window. However (mostly at the beginning), you may display the window also, with the Windows, Music typing keyboard menu item.
- Once this mode is entered, the MIDI cursor appears, but it takes another form than explained in the lesson about the MIDI cursor:
- This little blinking line shows approximately the octave of pitches you can currently enter with the keyboard. Click on the first yellow key of the central line (or directly on your music typing keyboard): the C note appears on the staff:
- A number is shown just below the note names on the yellow keys, in the keyboard window. It shows the current octave of the notes.
- There is an automatic progressive octave change, as you type in the notes. For instance, you will notice that after typing the C3 key, the keyboard now displays the last two notes (A and B) in dark yellow and their octave number have changed to 2 instead of 3. The other 5 notes stay the same, with octave 3. This means that you can now enter a C, D, E, F or G note and that it will be in the same octave than the last C note you entered. But if you use the A or B keys, the octave will be just below the last C.
- This automatic octave shift is based on the last note you entered and is adapted so that most of the time you have the correct octave for the notes you need. Enter the following notes on the central line: G, A and B, each time watching how the dark yellow keys display octave changes, as well as the vertical position of the blinking rectangle. Then start again on the left part, with the C, D and E notes. You get the following:
- By using the upper or lower line of keys, the pitches are the same, but you get another rhythmic value (half note or eighth note).
- To enter a rest, use the fourth yellow key on each line.
- By default, the rhythmic values are (from top to bottom line) the half note, the quarter note and the eighth note. You can shift these values permanently by using the two orange keys below the yellow keys. These two keys display at any moment the ryhthmic values that they will force on the three main lines of keys. Click for instance on the left one, then on the right one. You can see that the rhythmic values displayed in the central keys are updated accordingly. Notice that the blinking cursor takes each time a specific form, so that you can easily see what is the current central line duration.
- If you only need one isolated different rhythmic value, you may use the SHIFT 1 and SHIFT 2 keys to modify the current rhythmic value. These two keys are available to the left and right of the main set of keys and they display respectively one and two large up arrows. Click on one of them and you will see the the upper and lower rhythmic values are temporarily changed while you hold that key down. The SHIFT 1 key multiplies the duration ratio by 2 and the SHIFT 2 multiplies that ratio by 4. While holding down both SHIFT keys, the ratio is multiplied by 8. The SHIFT keys are not useable without the real keyboard, as with the mouse you can only click one key at a time on the screen..
- If you want to force the pitch octave, you can do so by using the two orange keys just to the left and right of the main yellow keys. The left key displays a staff with a down arrow, as well as the octave number that will be used if you press it. Similarly, the right key displays a staff with an up arrow and the octave number that will be used. Click on both of these keys to see how the octave numbers are changed on the yellow keys.
These are the basic functions for entering notes and rhythms. We suggest you to explore these various keys and enter a few measures of notes and rests, with different rhythms and octaves.
Using this keyboard window with the mouse of course does not give you a fast method to enter music. You must however imagine that with a real, physical keyboard showing these keys, all your fingers can be used to enter notes. After some training period, you will reach an efficient and fast method to enter music on a computer.
A series of exercices are available in configuration 2 of the document manager (blue buttons above the left part of the window, showing the documents), in the folder entitled Music Typing Keyboard. The exercises are progressive. There are existing melodies and an empty staff so you can enter the notes in it as an exercise with the keyboard. You will find some fingering advices in them.
Other aspects of entering music [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
Here is the description of several other keys related to entering the notes.
- The accidental (flat, natural and sharp) keys just above the yellow keys are used as follows. When you click on one of them, it displays itself in yellow, which means that the next note will have this accidental. When you click a note, the accidental is applied to it and the accidental key is displayed again in white, to say that it is no more active. When you use the flat or sharp key twice, you get the double flat and double sharp accidentals. A third press on that key cancels the accidental.
- The chord tool (left to the flat key) is used to add more than one note to a stem. To enter a chord, enable this key, then enter the notes of the chord. You will notice that the blinking cursor stays in front of the front, until you release the chord mode. If you need to enter several chords in sequence, you can use the ENTER key to switch to the next chord.
- To the right of the sharp key, you will find the tie tool, that is applied to the last note entered, or to the note just next to the cursor. If you apply it again, it changes the tie orientation. If you apply it again, it removes the tie.
- The next key is used to flip the stem up or down. It is applied to the last note entered or to the note just next to the cursor.
- The next key lets you split apart or attach together eighth, 16th,... note stems.
- The next key is used to enter triplets. Press this key then enter for instance 3 eighth notes. They are added automatically as triplets. Then disable this key.
- The voice key "V 1-8" is used to shift between rhythmic voices. For instance, you can first enter 4 quarter notes in a measure. Then, switch to voice 2 using this key and you can enter a second voice for instance with 4 other quarter notes. It controls in fact the voice menu that you can find in the score window menu bar, on the left.
- The backspace key can be used to delete the last entry. Combined with the SHIFT 1 key, all notes before the cursor (in that measure) are deleted. Then, if used again, the previous measure is deleted.
- The DEL key is used to delete the note right next to the cursor. Combined with the SHIFT 1 key, the whole measure is deleted.
- The 4 arrow keys below the numeric keypad can be used to move the blinking cursor back or forward, as you edit the content of measures. The up and down key are used to go from one staff to another, if the score has more than one instrument playing together. When the left or right arrow keys are combined with SHIFT 1, the cursor moves to the previous or next measure. Combined with SHIFT 2, the cursor goes respectively to the first and last measure of the score. The up and down arrows are used to go from one staff to another, when the score has more than one instruments playing.
- On the bottom left part of the keyboard, you will find three symbols that can be attached to a note: Staccato, Accent and Tenuto. They can be applied to the last note you entered or to the note next to the cursor. Using the same key again removes that symbol.
- To the right of the two keys used to change the rhythmic values, you have the dotted note/rest key. When you hit that key, the last rhythmic value entered will be modified with a dot attached to it. You can also use it to add a dot to the note/rest next to the cursor.
- The LOCK key is used to automatically add the above symbols or a dotted value, to each note you add. When you press that key, the following dialog box appears:
You can use the function keys or the mouse to enable/disable these symbols. You can use the ENTER key to validate or F8 to cancel. If you keep at least one these symbols active, then the active symbols will be automatically applied to each new note. press the LOCK key again to cancel this automatic feature.
- The "p f" key is used to add a nuance. When you press that key, the following dialog box appears:
You can then select one of the nuances with the arrow keys, the function keys or the mouse. Once added, the symbol can be moved simply with the mouse.
- The "n" key is used to enter irregular groups (tuplets in Pizzicato). When you press this key, a dialog box asks you to specify the tuplet:
From there on, the notes you enter are tuplets as defined above. By pressing the key once more, you disable the tuplet mode. If you use it with the SHIFT 1 key, Pizzicato opens the full specification dialog box for a tuplet.
- The next key (with two small 16th notes) is used to enable/disable the grace note mode. All notes you enter are then grace notes.
- The next key is used to enter slurs. Two methods are possible. If you enter the notes and slurs together, press this key after adding the first note of the slur. Then enter the notes and the slur will follow the current note. Press the key again to stop the slur. A rest will automatically stop the slur.
You can also first enter the notes, then place the cursor at the beginning of the slur and press the key. You can then move the cursor to the last note. The ENTER key may be used to stop the slur and start a new one.
- The key with the slashed grace note calls the following dialog box, which provides various grace notes that you can add to the current note or the note just next to the cursor:
Use the ENTER key to validate or F12 to cancel, or one of the function keys or the left/right arrow keys to select a grace note.
- The key next to the right is used similarly to select a trill or mordent:
Similarly to the nuances, you can adjust the graphic position of these symbols by dragging them with the mouse.
- The following key is used to enter a tremolo. Start with a note, then use this key and then the second note. The tremolo sign is then automatically adjusted. If you want the lines of the tremolo sign to touch the note stems, combine the key with SHIFT 1.
- The next two keys are used to enter the octava signs (8a and 8b).
- The next key adds an arpeggio sign to the current chord or to the chord just next to the cursor.
Additional functions [Light] [Beginner] [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro] [Drums and Percussion] [Guitar] [Choir] [Keyboard] [Soloist]
The following functions are also available through the typewriting keyboard.
- When pressing the clef key, the following dialog box is used to select a clef (according to the Pizzicato license you have, some keys may be missing):
To select the clef, you can use the function keys, the mouse of the left/right arrow keys.
If you press this key while holding down SHIFT 1, then the Pizzicato standard clef dialog box appears.
- When clicking on the key signature key (with 3 flats or 3 sharps), the following dialog box is used to select a key signature:
To select the key signature, you can use the function keys, the mouse or the left/right arrow keys.
If you press this key while holding down SHIFT 1, then the Pizzicato standard key signature dialog box appears.
- When clicking on the time signature key (3/4), the following dialog box is used to select a time signature:
To select the time signature, you can use the function keys, the mouse or the left/right arrow keys.
If you press this key while holding down SHIFT 1, then the Pizzicato standard time signature dialog box appears.
- The ENTER key can be used to add one measure next to the current measure. Combined with SHIFT 1, two measures are added. Combined with SHIFT 2, 4 measures are added. Combined with SHIFT 1 and SHIFT 2, 8 measures are added. Notice that for this last combination, you need to press the SHIFT 1 and SHIFT 2 to the left of the keyboard, otherwise the electronic part of the keyboard prevents that key combination.
Twelve function keys are also provided and they correspond to practical shortcuts of Pizzicato features.
- F1 - Cancels the last operation; combined with SHIFT 1, redo the last operation that was cancelled.
- F2 - Disables/Enables the use of the music typing keyboard inside Pizzicato. When the keyboard is disabled, this is the only key that may still have an effect, as it enters the music typing keyboard mode again.
- F3 - Start/Stop : plays the score starting at the current measure, or stops the score if it is already playing.
- F4 - Increases the zoom value on the screen. Combined with SHIFT 1, decreases the zoom value.
- F5 - Duplicates the content of the current measure into the next measure. If the current measure is empty, the content of the previous measure is duplicated into the current measure.
- F6 - Starts selecting content of the measure. Two modes are available. The first is used by pressing F6 and then continuing to enter notes and rests. The content is selected as the cursor moves forward. The next mode is to set the cursor at some position, press F6 and then move the cursor to the end of the selection. The selected part is displayed on a light red background.
- F7 - Copies the selected content into the internal clipboard of Pizzicato.
- F8 - Pastes the content of the internal Pizzicato clipboard into the current position of the cursor. The F6-F7-F8 keys are commonly used in that order: F6 to select, F7 to copy and F8 to paste.
- F9 - Switches between Linear/Page/Global view mode (according to the Pizzicato license you have, some versions do not have all these modes).
- F10 - Decreases the number of measures in the current system, by shifting one measure down through the other systems up to the end of the score. Combined with SHIFT 1, increases the number of measures in the current system.
- F11 - Decreases the number of systems in the current page, by shifting one system down through the other pages up to the end of the score. Combined with SHIFT 1, increases the number of systems in the current page.
- F12 - Adds a new instrument (a new staff) below the current staff. This is applied to the whole score. With SHIFT 1, deletes the current staff in all systems for the whole document.