Editing Drum Notes

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Editing Drum Notes

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Most types of percussion instruments do not have discrete pitches. However, in Composer they have pseudo pitches.

If a staff is specified as a 5-line drum staff, then note drum notes might look something like this:


Each drum instrument has a distinct pseudo pitch.


NOTE: Starting in Notation Composer version 2.0, accidentals for pseudo drum pitches are now represented with distinct drum noteheads.  The editing_drum_notes notehead is for no accidental; the upward pointing triangle DrumNoteHeadTriangleUp notehead indicates a sharp; and the downward pointing triangle DrumNoteHeadTriangleDown notehead indicates a flat.  For example, the General MIDI pitch for Side Stick is C#, indicated in the above example with the upward pointing triangle DrumNoteHeadTriangleUp notehead.


Usually, you will not want give a percussionist a drum part with such pseudo pitches. If you have imported a MIDI file with such a percussion staff, then you can use the Split Drums command, to produce individual 1-line staves for each distinct drum instrument, as illustrated here:


In creating a new drum staff, you have the choice to create either a 5-line staff drum staff with pseudo pitches for multiple drum instruments, or a 1-line drum staff for just a single drum instrument. For details, see Changing the Instrument Sound of a Staff.

If the staff is a 5-line drum staff, then you add drum notes with the mouse, and assign them the pseudo drum pitches, just like normal note pitches. For example, you can drag the pseudo pitch of a drum note with the mouse, or change it by typing P+UpArrowKey or P+DownArrowKey. As you change the pseudo pitch of the drum note, Composer will audit the sound so that you can hear what type of drum instrument is associated with the pseudo pitch.

If the staff is a 1-line drum staff, then it has a specific pseudo pitch that you cannot change by moving the note up or down.

You can enter drum notes via a music keyboard via real-time recording or Step-Time Recording. You can associate various drum instruments with different keys on your music keyboard, independently of the pseudo pitches. This enables you to play the drum notes on your music keyboard using keys that are most convenient for you to play while recording a drum part. For more information, see Managing Drum Note Lists.

For a given 5-line or 1-line drum staff, you can specify what notehead shape will be used for the notes in the staff. By default, the notehead shape is an editing_drum_notes. You can assign a different notehead shape among these choices: editing_drum_notes1, editing_drum_notes2, editing_drum_notes3, editing_drum_notes4, or editing_drum_notes5. You can also change the notehead shape of individual notes, as described in Editing Notehead Shape.