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The Score menu

Some of these commands work on the currently active staff; others apply to the entire score.

Add staff below active staff.

Adds a new staff just below the active staff.

Delete active staff.

Removes the active staff. This is undoable.

Merge another staff with active staff.

After choosing this command you'll be asked to click the mouse anywhere within the lines of the staff you want to merge with the active one. The contents of the other staff will then be copied into the active staff, combining with the notes already there. This is a good shortcut for creating a multitrack staff. For a good example, see any of the Bach Chorales in the Music Library - we created the keyboard reductions in those windows by merging the upper two and the lower two staves.

Lock active staff (identifies it as cantus firmus).

The cantus firmus is evaluated differently from other staves, since you aren't expected to change it. Melodic rules will not be applied to the cantus firmus, though its notes are of course considered for the way in which they combine with other voices. This command allows you to specify a voice as the cantus firmus, just as Counterpointer does when providing an exercise.

When doing an exercise using generated materials you can use this command to determine which voice will carry the generated cantus firmus. For example, you might have chosen Second Species, three parts, and the exercise came up initially with the c.f. in the bass. You'd like to try one in which the c.f. is in the middle voice. So click anything in the middle staff to make it the active staff, then use this command to make the middle staff the locked c.f. staff. Now when you press the Next Example button the new exercise will be generated with the c.f. in the middle voice. If you want to change the clef of any staff, do so (by selecting the existing clef and choosing a new one from the clef box) before locking the staff, of course. The c.f. will be generated in a range appropriate to the clef that is present in the staff when you press Next Example.

Unlock active staff.

Unlocks the active staff; it will no longer be considered a cantus firmus during evaluation.

Transpose all or selected (real).

A "real" tranposition is an exact one: the tranposed melody sounds exactly like the original, but begins on a different pitch. When you choose this command you'll be asked to pick a new starting note for the passage. Like the other transforms this command acts on either all the notes in the active staff, or if any are selected just on the selected ones. The command will not calculate a new key signature; for the purposes of counterpointer it is assumed you just want to alter the pitches in the current context. The "Transpose entire score" command can be used to change the entire piece to a new key.

Transpose all or selected (tonal).

A "tonal" transposition keeps the direction and shape of the melody, but some intervals will come out slightly different because it keeps to the notes of the same key. For example, the major third C-E if transposed tonally to begin on D will become a minor third, D-F. Tonal tranposition is a very common device for varying melodic passages - the listener hears something very similar, but not quite the same.

Invert all or selected (real).

Turns the passage "upside down" - an upward major third becomes a downward major third, and so on. Because this is a "real" transformation it may leave the key.

Invert all or selected (tonal).

This turns the passage upside down, but doesn't leave the key. This is, like the tonal tranposition, a common device for varying a melodic passage while retaining a connection with the original.

Reverse all or selected.

Turns the melody pitches around backward ("retrograde"). As with the other transforms, this affects only pitches, not rhythm.

Reverse all or selected, with real inversion.

Combines real inversion and reverse. This will usually cause the music to leave the current key.

Reverse all or selected, with tonal inversion.

Combines tonal inversion and reverse. This will take you pretty far from the original melody, yet there's still a connection, and the pitches will all still be within the key whatever their new order.

Transpose entire score.

You'll be asked to choose either a new starting note for the active staff, or a new key from the Key choice tool. If you choose a starting note, Counterpointer will calculate a new key signature as appropriate.

Set note spacing.

Set the number of screen pixels (dots) used by a quarter note. The default setting is 35, which looks good for most music, but you may want to tighten that up if you need to squeeze more music onto a page. Changing this number to 25 will make quite a difference. We recommend that note spacing should be your first choice for adjusting the spacing of music. After you have this setting as you like it, you can make further small adjustments by dragging barlines to squeeze or expand a measure, or by using the Spreader/Shrinker tools to add or remove space after a note. You can also use the arrow tool to drag barlines left or right, which will compress or expand individual measures.

Justify (to print even at right).

You'll always want this on when printing, but we suggest that you turn it off when editing music, because editing is easier without it. With justification on, you'll find that sometimes when you make an editing change the notes will all move a little as they adjust themselves to come out even at the right side of a page. It's like working with a justified word processor; sometimes a word will be bumped down to the next line and the others in that line will spread out. With justification off you'll know exactly what the minimum space is, for example, between two notes that carry lyrics. Justification may add to that space but it will never subtract from it.

Set measure numbering...

Provides various measure numbering options.

Set Tempo... Sets the tempo for the score, using a system similar to what you'd see on a metronome. The tempo window displays a range of different tempi. You'll notice that each choice has underneath it a small note symbol - that tells you the value of the shortest note that the computer will be able to play with the highest accuracy at the given tempo. This is due to the timing system used - when playing fast there may be certain speeds at which the time used by the smallest note doesn't come out even. But for most music this won't be noticeable; the differences are small.

Connections between staves...

Brings up a window that lets you choose whether to start or end a brace or bracket at the currently active staff, etc.

Clear error marks

If you're saving a piece to print you'll probably want to clear any of the red score markings put in by the Evaluate button.

Use fixed measures in exercises (allows doing the last measure first)

With fixed measures you'll see that measure lines are already "filled in" for you, with blank space separating each barline. This allows you to enter the last measure first. It's often good, for example, to prepare your final cadence and then write the rest of the parts so that they lead up to that. With this feature turned on, all exercises involving a cantus firmus or Roman numerals or figured bass will begin with measures prepared in advance. You will not be able to enter or delete barlines when using fixed barlines, but you can still use the arrow tool to drag a barline left or right, if desired, to squeeze or spread apart its contents.

Mark nonessential tones with a blue square

In the course of evaluating your counterpoint, Counterpointer analyzes the harmony and tries to determine which tones can be classed as "nonessential" (not part of the analyzed harmony). There can be some ambiguity in harmony, so this marking can be useful in helping you to understand how Counterpointer came to a certain decision. If you find the extra marks distracting just leave this off.

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