Composer offers many methods for adding notes to a score, to suit varied preferences among a wide variety of users, as well as to suit different needs that you may have at different times.
Overall, there are three different physical devices you can use to enter notes in Composer, and using each of these various devices there are alternative methods you can use for entering notes:
1. With the mouse:
|(a)||Point and click the mouse to add new notes, choosing their durations from the Note Duration Palette.|
-- OR --
|(b)||Point and click the mouse to add new notes in the score from left to right, such that the duration of each note is determined by the location of the next note. This Sequential Note Entry Method is particularly useful if the notes have frequently changing durations. You will not have to select different duration values from the Note Palette, because the duration of each note automatically extends to the beginning of the next note, whether that next note is a 32nd duration later or, say, a dotted quarter note duration later.|
2. With the computer keyboard:
Use only your computer keyboard to enter notes, by typing the duration of the note you wish to add, such as "8" for 8th note, "16" for sixteenth note, or "41d" for a quarter note with one dot. Use the, , , and keys to determine the position of the note to be added. Then hit the key to add the note. If you tend to prefer using the computer keyboard over using the mouse, you will like this method.
3. With a music keyboard that is connected to your computer via a MIDI cable:
|(a)||In synchronization with Composer's metronome, record your performance on your music keyboard in real time to quickly enter the notes. Perhaps you will want to record your performance at a slower tempo which you can later set to a faster speed.|
-- OR --
|(b)||Use your music keyboard instead of the mouse to determine the pitches of notes; but enter the notes at your own pace, without regard to a metronome. This is called Step-Time Recording, as opposed to real-time recording.|
|(c)||Use both your music keyboard and computer keyboard together. Point the mouse in the score at the location where you want to add a note or chord, and play it on your music keyboard. Hit the key one or more times to advance the cursor that many positions in the Beat Ruler. The next time you play a note, the duration of the previous note will terminate at the location of the newly added note. This method combines Step-Time Recording with the Sequential Note Entry Method.|
The topics that follow explain all of the many methods of entering notes. You'll almost certainly find one or more methods that suit your preferences.
TIP: For a quick overview of the above methods of adding notes, see the tutorial step on Adding Notes to a New Song.