Menu Items & Controls

Piano roll:

  • the piano roll is used to place notes to your sheet.

pitch / interval / chord:

  • set pitch one octave up or down (buttons remain active until they are deactivated by clicking again)
  • increase or decrease selected notes for a semitone
  • change accidental; depending on your key signature you may need to set your note a semitone lower or higher to get the correct accidental for the scale
  • interval / chord mode (button remain active until it is deactivated by clicking again)
    • alternative: [number] key for interval up, [Shift]+[number] for interval down
    • select single pitches within an interval or chord [Shift]+[↑] or [Shift]+[↓]

note / rest / duration:

  • change selected note(s) to rests or vice versa
  • double the value of the note/rest
  • halve the value of the note/rest
  • add a dot to a note/rest
  • remove the dot from a note/rest

music writing controls:

  • status / refresh button: indicates if the editor is ready to use or your work is being processed.

note/rest/object selection / navigation

  • navigate left [←]
  • navigate right [→]
  • go to the next staff [↓]
  • go to the next bar
  • go to the previous bar
  • add previous object to selection [Shift]+click
  • add next object to selection [Shift]+click

notes pitch menu

  • add/remove sharp/flat accidentals
  • add grace note [Shift]+[G]
  • remove grace note
  • slash grace note (grace note must be added and selected before)
  • change to ghost note (x note head)
  • set selected notes one octave up / down
  • change selected notes to rests and vice versa [R]
  • change accidentals / enharmonic spelling; depending on your key signature you may need to set your note up or down a semitone to get the correct accidental for the scale [Shift]+[E]
  • add/remove courtesy accidental [Shift]+[F]

notes / rests duration menu

  • double the value of the note/rest [.]
  • halve the value of the note/rest [,]
  • add a dot to a note/rest
  • remove the dot from a note/rest
  • add tuplet (3, 5, 7) [Ctrl]+[3][Ctrl]+[5], [Ctrl]+[7]
  • remove tuplet [Ctrl]+[0]

articulations menu

  • add articulations to selected note(s); another click changes the position of the symbol (above/below a note); remove a symbol by clicking again

micro tuning menu

micro tuning; used for Eastern music or some unconventional rock and electronic music

stems / beams menu

  • break beams (ungroup notes) [X]
  • add beams (group notes) [Shift]+[X]
  • invert stems [Shift]+[B]

repetition menu

  • add / remove repetition

clefs / staves menu

  • change clef (treble, bass, tenor, alto)
  • add a new staff
  • change order of the staff (move staff up or down)

dynamics / text menu

  • add/remove dynamics symbols

playback menu

  • add/stop playback

voicing menu

  • add new voice (V1-V4)
  • switch between existing voices (V1-V4)
  • remove selected voice including all its notes

Basic usage and commands

  • The arrow keys [↑][→][↓][←] will navigate you to the different notes
  • Letters [A] – [G] on the computer keyboard add/change the note to those pitches
  • The Piano Roll is an alternate way of entering music
  • The controls to the right of the Piano Roll are some frequently used functions for entering music
  • [Insert] or [Ctrl]+[i] adds a new, blank bar/measure (before the selected one)
    [Delete] or [Ctrl]+[D] deletes selected bars/measures
  • Undo previous actions with [Ctrl]+[Z]
  • The main menu is located between the Piano Roll and the music sheet window. It consists of two lines.The icons in the first menu line expand to icon groups that contain most of the functionality of the Notation Editor. The second menu line brings up other submenus or diaglogs that do basically what the buttons say
  • The „refresh” icon in the first menu line changes its status dynamically:
    • Green: the Editor is ready to use
    • Orange: the Editor is processing your input or renders the music sheet
    • Permanently Orange: the Editor is stuck in a process
      • Try to click on the refresh button and wait a few seconds until it changes to green.
      • If this does not help, make notes what you have done in the last few minutes, try to save your current work via „File->Save Answer“ (if necessary); You should be forwarded to your saved answer where you can click on „Edit Answer“ to go back to your work
      • Last option: go back to the Notation Editor and refresh your browser window. The system will try to restore the latest saved status of your work or reloads the original template (Please note that all unsaved data will be lost during the browser refresh!)

Selecting Objects

Almost all operations in the Notation Editor act on the selected notes and symbols. You can select these objects in different ways:

  • With the computer mouse
  • With the keyboard’s navigation keys
  • With the navigation keys next to the Piano Roll or with the controls in the menu bar

You can select multiple things with the keyboard navigation keys, by selecting 

[Shift]-[///], just like many applications. There is a similar control for selection in the menu bar. Some operations, like changing the pitch for example, act on all the selected notes.

Sometimes a selection of one line affects all the bars/measures in the system. 

When you change the key, for instance, the selection determines where the key change starts. If you have multiple bars/measures selected, it applies to those bars/measures, and then changes back to whatever it was before.

Note Entry / Pitches

There are a few ways to enter notes in the Notation Editor. You can click on the Piano Roll keys, or you can enter notes directly from your computer’s keyboard.

Notes from the keyboard: the keys [A] to [G] will add/change the note on the staff in/to the corresponding pitch (A-G).

Enharmonic spelling / accidentals: You can change the enharmonic spelling (adding accidentals) with [Shift]+[E] (E for enharmonic).

With [Shift]+[F] you will get a courtesy or cautionary accidental (F just comes after E).

Intervals / Triads / Chords: you can add intervals, triads or chords by using the number keys along the top of your keyboard. The [3] makes a third, the [4] makes a fourth, and so on.

[Shift]+[„number“] will give you the interval down.

Note that the interval starts from the highest note for intervals going up, and the lowest note for intervals going down. You can select individual pitches in the chord using [Shift]+[↑] or [Shift]+[↓]

This is similar to how modifiers like dynamics are selected. Once you have the pitch selected, you can do all other changes, like the enharmonic spelling.

There is currently no way to remove a single pitch from an interval, triad or chord. If you want to collapse an interval, triad or chord, just type a letter A-G on the keyboard, and it will be replaced with a single note.

Notes from the Piano Roll: You can simply add/change notes by clicking on the keys of the Piano Roll.

The octave of the note is based on the clef, so for treble clef, the „C“ is middle „C“. You can change the octave of the note, and move the pitch up and down. 

The first group of buttons to the right of the Piano Roll affect the pitch. The icons for „Octave up“, „Octave down“ and „Interval/Triad/Chord“ will stay enabled when you click on them. To disable them, just click on them again.

Note Entry / Duration

Note duration is done by changing the length of an existing note. Usually, doubling the duration or cutting it in two, or adding a dot to a note. You can also create tuplets for uneven sets of notes (3, 5, or 7).

The second group of buttons to the right of the Piano Roll set or change the length of the note.

Technically these buttons act as „double or halve the note length value“ and „add or remove a dot“.

Changing note length with the keyboard: You can change the length of notes using the 

[,] and [.] (comma and period) keys, which halve and double the note lengths, respectively.

When you increase the length of a note, the Notation Editor always „borrows“ from the next note in the bar/measure that is eligible. So when you have four crotchets (quarter notes) in a bar/measure and want to double the first note, the first end second crotchets will be collapsed to a single minim (half note) and the third and fourth notes stay as they are.

If the Notation Editor can’t honor the request, it does nothing. For instance, it can’t remove the dot from a note with no dot, and it can’t extend beyond the length of the bar/measure.

You can create tuplets from the keyboard by typing [Ctrl]+[3][Ctrl]+[5] or [Ctrl]+[7] for triplets, quintuplets, and septuplets. You „untupletify“ a tuplet by [Ctrl]+[0].

Note Entry / Multiple Voices

The Notation Editor supports multiple voices. You can create up to four voices, which is usually sufficient for SATB scores.
You can add and switch between voices by opening the „V0“ menu item and select V1 – V4.
V“ dissolves the selected voice including all its notes.

Please note: the voices V1, V2, V3 and V4 are separate for each staff. For example, for SATB, use V1 and V2 in the treble clef (SA) and V1 and V2 in the bass clef (TB).
The combination V1 and V2 in the treble clef and V3 and V4 in the bass clef will not work because the system expects values for V1 and V2 in the bass clef, but these would be missing in this example.

Accordingly, V3 and V4 are only necessary, when you have to write:

  • more than 2 parts on 1 staff
  • more than 4 parts on 2 staves
  • and so on…

Rest Entry

The Notation Editor processes rests from notes; so you can not add a rest or rests directly.

To add a rest, just select a note at the position where the rest should appear and type [R] on your keyboard. This command converts the note to a rest.

To convert a rest back to a note, just type [R] again. The conversion always applies to all selected notes.

Rest Entry / Duration

While converting a note to a rest with [R] the duration of the original note is adopted.

However, there may still be times when you need to adjust the length of a rest. Simply select the appropriate rest and „double“ [.] or „halve“ [,] its value (or add/remove dots) just as you do with notes (see Note Entry / Duration).

Sometimes you may recognize that the beams are not drawn correctly when you have converted a note to a rest from grouped notes. To release the rest from the group just select the rest (and the previous or next note where the beam comes from; if necessary) and break the beam by typing [X] on your keyoard.

Beams & Stems

The Notation Editor processes beams and stems automatically, whenever it can.
But sometimes you need to adjust the beams or stems when you have a pickup bar/measure or when you are working with multiple voices, for example.

  • Add beams (group notes): [Shift]+[X]
  • Break beams (ungroup notes): [X]
  • Invert stems: [Shift]+[B]

You can also find these functions as buttons in the menu bar.

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