Composing New Music

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Composing New Music

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Notation Composer is an ideal tool for composing. Whereas most music notation programs focus on the printing aspect of music that has already been composed, Notation Composer focuses on the actual activity of composing and arranging music. Notation Composer offers many ways that you can quickly record or enter the notes of your musical ideas. In a rapid interactive process, you can improvise musical ideas on your music keyboard, or enter the notes on the screen. Then, immediately play back your work in progress, and refine your musical ideas with convenient editing tools.

Here are some typical steps you might take in composing or arranging music with Composer:

B816Create a new song file, with a specified meter, and instrument sound.
B816Set the tempo for the final performance speed. You can temporarily adjust the tempo to a slower value (as a percentage of the normal tempo), if you want to record at a slower pace.
B816Set the metronome sound, or turn off the metronome if, for example, you have already laid in the percussion staff.
B816Start recording. Improvise your musical ideas at a music keyboard, or on your MIDI guitar or other MIDI input device.
B816Stop recording. Composer will immediately transcribe your performance to notation, using the best MIDI-to-notation transcription available in any music software.
B816Play back your improvisation to hear which parts you want to keep and which parts you want to discard.
B816If desired, completely record a section as another "take" on top of the previous one. If you want to go back to the previous one, use the Undo command.
B816If desired, save multiple takes on additional staves that you can clone from the recorded staff with a single Clone Staff command.
B816If you want to change just a section of a part, then select that region of the score with the mouse, and then "punch in" a new recording for just that section.
B816If you do not have keyboard skills to improvise the music live, then use the Step-Time Entry Method, where you can quickly enter notes from your music keyboard at your own pace.

-- OR --

With your mouse, add notes on the screen. With the Sequential Note Entry Method, you will usually not have to choose a note duration before you add the note with the mouse. When you add a second note, the duration of the first note will be automatically adjusted to end at the beginning location of the second note.

B816Copy and paste one section of the song to another, and to other staves.
B816Correct individual notes that you performed with an unintended rhythm or pitch, and delete unwanted notes.
B816Build up the song with multiple instrument staves. While you record the part for a new instrument, let Composer play back the already recorded instrument parts as accompaniment.
B816Use the Band-in-a-Box® plugin (available as a separate license purchase) to create accompaniment parts.  The Band-in-a-Box® plugin has a wide variety of music styles to select from, and you can easily try out different styles, and "mix and match" different instruments from different "takes"  to create your own unique composition.

After you have prepared a rough draft of the composition or arrangement, you can refine the performance in many ways:

B816Change the exact timing (attack and release times) of individual notes, or several at a time.
B816Change the exact loudness of individual notes.
B816Mix the volume and pan levels of staves throughout the song.
B816Edit the tempo throughout the song with graphical drawing tools, or numerically.
B816Add or edit pitch bends, sustain pedal on/off events, and other MIDI controller events, using intuitive graphs that are drawn on top of the notes.

You can also refine the printed score in many ways:

B816Add lyrics.
B816Add annotations, such as accent marks, dynamic marks, hairpin crescendo marks, tempo marks, free text, and slurs (phrase marks).
B816Format the score with choices for:

--  font faces and sizes for different types of annotations

--  page size and margins

--  page title, header, and footer

--  horizontal and vertical spacing

--  line (system) breaks and page breaks

--  formatting templates that you can prepare for reuse

B816Produce individual instrument or vocal parts. Extracted parts are always kept fully integrated with the conductor's score, so that changes in either an extracted part or the conductor's score are always faithfully replicated in the other.