Tutorial: Adding Annotations

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Tutorial: Adding Annotations

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In this step of the tutorial, we will "dress up" a score with several types of annotations, which offer the musician reading the score instructions and suggestions for performing the music:

B816accent marks
B816dynamic marks
B816hairpin crescendo marks
B816tempo marks
B816slurs (phrase marks)

The procedures for adding each of these types of annotations are presented here in less detail than other procedures in this tutorial. By now, you probably have already developed a sense for how things work in Composer. So, you will likely be able to predict how to accomplish most tasks, such as adding annotations.

We will start with an excerpt from the main theme of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. The starting file RhapsodyInBlueWithoutAnnotations.not will include only the notes, and no annotatons. We will add one of each type of annotation listed above. To see what the completely annotated score looks like, you can open and view the file RhapsodyInBlue.not.

prcarrow To open the starting file for this step of the tutorial:

B816Choose the Open command in the File menu, and open the file RhapsodyInBlueWithoutAnnotations.not in the directory \Program Files\Notation\Songs (or on Windows Vista \Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Roaming\Notation\Songs).

prcarrow To add an accent mark:

1.With the mouse, navigate to the Accent Palette.
-- OR --



Technically, some of the symbols in the Accent Palette are not accents. Rather, these marks are annotations that are displayed immediately above or below notes.

2.In the Accent Palette, choose the type of accent you wish to add.

You can add two accents for the same note or chord by selecting two symbols in the Accent Palette.

3.Choose the Accent Palette option that determines whether the accent is displayed at the notehead tutorial__add_annotation2 or at the end of the stem tutorial__add_annotation3.
4.Click the mouse somewhere near (on top of, above, or below) the note or chord where you want to add the accent.


5.To add more accents of the same type, click the mouse at other notes and chords. To add more accents of a different type, select a different accent from the palette, and then continue clicking the mouse where you want to add those accents.

prcarrow To add a dynamic mark:

1.With the mouse, navigate to the Dynamic Mark Palette.

-- OR --



2.In the Dynamic Mark Palette, choose the first letter of the type of dynamic mark you wish to add.

-- OR --

Type the shortcut for the dynamic mark. For example, the shortcut for tutorial__add_annotation6 is "mf". The shortcut for tutorial__add_annotation7 is "f1", and for tutorial__add_annotation8 is "f2".

3.Specify whether the dynamic mark should be placed tutorial__add_annotation9 above the staff, tutorial__add_annotation10 below the staff, tutorial__add_annotation11 between two staves, tutorial__add_annotation12 above a note, or tutorial__add_annotation13 below a note.
4.Click the mouse where you want to add the dynamic mark.

prcarrow To add a hairpin crescendo mark:

1.With the mouse, navigate to the Crescendo Mark Palette:

-- OR --

Type"<" for a crescendo, or ">" for a decrescendo mark.


2.In the Crescendo Mark Palette, click the Crescendo Mark tutorial__add_annotation16 button or Decrescendo Mark tutorial__add_annotation17 button.

This step is not necessary if you typed "<" or ">" in the previous step.

3.Click the mouse where you want the beginning of the crescendo mark to start. Do not release the mouse button yet.


Composer will add a new crescendo mark, which will initially extend to almost the barline of the same measure.

3.While still holding down the mouse button, drag the end of the crescendo mark to the left or right. Then release the mouse button.
4.Adjust the position of the crescendo mark by dragging the red tutorial__add_annotation18 handles.

Other options are available in the Crescendo Mark Palette for vertically centering the crescendo, or extending the start or end of the mark to an adjacent measure which is perhaps on a different line (system) or page of the score.

prcarrow To add a tempo mark:

1.With the mouse, navigate to the Free Text Palette.

-- OR --



2.Click the mouse where you want to add the tempo mark.

Composer will display a blinking text cursor.

3.Type the tempo mark text, and optionally use any text editing keys, such as DelKey and BACKSPACE, in the same way that you edit lyrics.


4.Optionally, click buttons on the Free Text Palette to increase tutorial__add_annotation21 or decrease tutorial__add_annotation22 the font size of the text, or to make it bold tutorial__add_annotation23 or italic tutorial__add_annotation24.

-- OR --

Type CTRL+PlusKey or CTRL+MinusKey to increase or decrease the font size, and CTRL +B or CTRL+I for bold or italic.

5.Hit the ESC key when you are done typing and editing the tempo mark text.
6.To move the free text object, unselect it first by typing ESC or clicking elsewhere in the score. Then click the mouse on the text, and without releasing the mouse button, drag the text to a new position.

It is also possible to mix music symbols with normal text in free text objects. For example, you can create a tempo mark that looks like this:


For instructions, see Mixing Music Symbols and Normal Text.

prcarrow To add a slur (phrase mark):

1.With the mouse, navigate to the Slur Palette:

-- OR --

Type SHIFT+S. If the Sustain Pedal Palette is displayed first, type SHIFT+S a second time for the Slur Palette.


2.To add a slur across several notes:
B816Click the mouse where you want the slur to start, but do not release the mouse button yet.
B816Drag the end of the slur to the last note that should be under the slur.
B816Start and end the slur above the notes to draw the slur above the notes. Start and end the slur below the notes to draw the slur below the notes.
B816Release the mouse button to complete the addition of the slur.

Composer will automatically fit the slur to the contour of the notes above or below, and will adjust the start and end of the slur to appropriate positions relative to the first and last notes under the slur.


In many cases, you will likely find Composer's automatic placement of the slur quite acceptable. However, if desired, you can adjust the start and end position of the slur, and the shape of the slur.

3.Adjust the position and shape of the slur by dragging the red tutorial__add_annotation27 handles.

Try dragging the four red tutorial__add_annotation28 handles to get a feel for how they work. For details, see Changing the Shape and Extent of a Slur.