Using the Beat Ruler

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Using the Beat Ruler

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The previous topic, Adding Notes with the Mouse, introduces using the Beat Ruler for adding notes. This topic describes more details about the Beat Ruler.

The Beat Ruler has an appearance similar to that of a normal desk ruler. It is drawn in the background behind the notes and rests in the measure where the mouse is currently pointing:


As you move the mouse from one measure to another,the Beat Ruler follows to the new measure.  The red to-be-added RedNoteSprite note "snaps" to positions in the Beat Ruler. This snapping behavior of the note helps you gain certainty about where it will be added when you click the mouse.

At any time you can change the resolution of the Beat Ruler so that the Beat Ruler marks are as small as 64th notes, or as large as 8th notes. If you are adding triplets or quintuplets, the Beat Ruler resolution will automatically, temporarily, be set to the triplet or quintuplet duration. If you find that the Beat Ruler marks are so close together that it is difficult to position the mouse at the correct beat position, you can stretch the Beat Ruler. These procedures are described later in this topic.

You may want to add notes between the minor beats indicated by the Beat Ruler. Although you can change the resolution of the Beat Ruler, usually you will not find that necessary. When you add a note with a duration that ends in between two minor beats of the Beat Ruler, Composer will automatically add a rest. You can then add a note to replace some or all of the rest. The location of the rest serves as an additional subdivision of the Beat Ruler, as illustrated here:


If you need to add a note in between two ruler positions that is spanned by a rest, then you can first divide the rest. The division of the rest will provide you a place to subsequently add the note between the Beat Ruler beat positions. For details, see Dividing and Combining Rests.

If you are adding triplet or quintuplet members, the Beat Ruler marks will temporarily change to triplet or quintuplet increments.


prcarrow To change the Beat Ruler resolution to 8th, 16th, 32nd or 64th:

1.Navigate to the Note Duration Palette, or type SHIFT+N.
2.In the Note Duration Palette, click the Beat Ruler Palette button.


-- OR --

Type "ru" for ruler.

That will take you to the Beat Ruler Palette:


3.Click some resolution value, such as 16th note intervals, illustrated here:


prcarrow To automatically, temporarily, change the Beat Ruler resolution to a triplet or quintuplet resolution:

B846When you select a triplet or quintuplet note duration in Add Mode, the Beat Ruler resolution will be automatically set to the triplet or quintuplet note duration:



prcarrow To stretch the Beat Ruler marks farther part, or to compress them closer together:

1.Navigate to the Beat Ruler Palette, as described above.
2.Click the Increase Ruler Spacing BeatRulerIncreaseSpacingButton button or Decrease Ruler Spacing BeatRulerDecreaseSpacingButton button one or more times.


-- OR --

3.Choose one of the commands in the Spacing Between Ruler Marks submenu of the View menu.  One of these commands is Specify Minimum Pixels Per Ruler Mark.

-- OR --

4.        Type S+RightArrowKey or S+LeftArrowKey to increase or decrease the ruler resolution.  Type S+ENTER to set the ruler resolution to the default.