Composing Music for Professionals and Beginners
Will Composing Music with Pizzicato Professional help you
write music… or write music better?
How about both?
Composing music is about expressing your ideas and emotions through sound. If a tool can help you do that better or faster, wouldn’t composing be even more fun?
So the very first question to ask is “How can Pizzicato help me write music”?
In addition to all the Music Notation tools, Pizzicato has a whole cadre of tools aimed exactly at helping you compose your music; even if you know nothing about music or composing music. Music notation is about writing notes on paper for musicians to use for playing a song. Music notation is, essentially, a set of instructions about how to play a piece of music. Composing music is the actual creation of that music. Composing music tools are tools designed to aid you in finding the music inside of you. They provide you with the means to discover what rhythms you like, what notes you want and what chords you need to make the rhythms and notes sound exactly the way you want them to. These tools will help you Orchestrate, Arrange, and Organize your musical inspirations into a complete song or score.
Basically, the music composition tools propose options, advise on solutions, arrange and add notes, chords, and rhythms in a way to help you create music. Even if you know nothing about music at all. We call it Intuitive Composition.
Music Composition Libraries:
Your Musical Construction Set For Composing Music
Pizzicato Professional, Composition Light and Composition Pro’s main music composition tools are based on the concept that music can be broken down into basic construction or song pieces made up of:
- and Themes (a Theme is the Rhythm plus the Melody)
And just like on a construction site, you can write music by creating and assembling these song pieces into a thousand different forms. So, just like you put a puzzle together by attaching puzzle pieces to each other, Pizzicato’s construction pieces can be attached to each other to create your song.
“In the field of composition, the range of software tools seems ,to me ,very reduced. Congratulations for filling this vacuum, also for the documentation which is remarkable.”
Part of the magic of Pizzicato is the included libraries. These libraries include Rhythms, Melody Fragments and Musical Chords. And best of all, they are completely changeable. You can modify them to create exactly what you want it to sound like. Thus, you can start with the basic musical structures and after your comfortable with the process, you can change them to suit your needs.
Pizzicato Will Help You Find The Chords
Chords are a foundation part of composing music; they provide the framework for all the notes played by the instruments. For the beginning composer chords may seem daunting. Do not fear, Pizzicato has a tool called Chord Analysis. As many people write a melody first, the Chord Analysis tool looks at the melody and suggests chords which fit your melody musically. You then choose the suggestion which fits your inspiration best.
Take some time, listen to the result and then, if you want, choose a different chord suggestion or even make changes to the melody and then listen again.
Musical piece by musical piece, you put a song together. That’s composing music in Pizzicato!
Pizzicato will give you many choices and you decide which one is best for you; the one that you settle on best reflects the atmosphere you want to communicate through your music.
If you would rather write a chord progression first, Pizzicato has a complete library of chords in its Chord Progression window or as Harmonic Spaces. Choose the chords you want, no matter how esoteric and Pizzicato places the chord in the score with the included guitar diagram above it if want it.
The smart link tools is an addition machine. It lets you take the rhythm from one place in a song, the melody from another place in the song, and, if you want, even the chords progression from a third place in the song and add them together to create a new section at a fourth place in the song called computed measures.
The most important thing to understand with the smart link tool is the original sources of the rhythm, the melody and the chords stay attached to the resulting computed measures. If you change any one of the source sections it will probably affect the computed measures. Below are some examples:
With a smart link, you can (colored measures are computed measures):
Reverse the melody to make a mirror image:
Speed up a melody to emphasize a theme:
Add a transposed second voice to a melody to create a quick harmony:
Create a random melody from some specified rhythms and notes. This makes it possible for you to create new puzzle pieces to write your song from, for instance:
Create a mirrored melody again for new construction pieces or to retain a rhythm but change the melody:
When composing music, this tool is so powerful because you can easily create many different possibilities quickly.
And remember when you modify the original, the computed sections automatically modify themselves using the rules you dictated in the original. This works even if there are 25 copies in a full orchestral piece. Thus, one added advantage is smart link a consistently repeated theme using exact copy rules and then if you change the original all smart links change the exact same way. This is particularly nice when your experimenting with a theme.
The Conductor View in Pizzicato Professional
As Pizzicato is Software made for composing music, it’s been designed to offer many different ways of composing music in an effort to “think the way you think”. One of the ways it offers is the Conductor View. Think of the Conductor View as a musical desktop. On this desktop you can have many different scores, such as melodic themes, percussion rhythms and a Chord progression. Because you may have many different scores in a music document, the Conductor View is the area to organize, manage, and to play those ideas easily and in various combinations.
The conductor view is an easy way to view, arrange and play scores (It doesn’t matter if the scores are a single measure or full orchestral scores):
On the Conductor View you can:
- Create and write new scores or musical ideas.
- Create “aliases” or exact copies or smart links copies based on other scores (for trying new ideas).
- Slow down or speed up the rhythmic play to stretch out or compress a theme, for instance.
- Loop a time section when you work on it.
- Edit the scores directly as music notation by opening the notation window with a double-click.
- Place all your scores into a Score Group to hear how they sound together as a song.
Using Score Groups to Quickly Arrange Ideas
One of the most simple yet powerful tools in the Conductor View is the Score Groups. A score group (represented below as the blue field on the conductor view) allows you to quickly group many scores together and play them simultaneously as an arrangement. It’s a fast way to use progressions, loops and repeated sections for composing music:
This window is a quick and sophisticated arranger. One very powerful feature of the Score Group is you can add a chord progression to it which then influences all scores inside of the Score Group and harmonizes them together. When composing music, this is a quick way to change the music and try new ideas without having to manually redraw the notation or write everything into new chords as you move ideas around.
Quick Instrument Selection
When you’re composing music and you’re feeling inspired, you’ll want quick instrument selection! The conductor view includes a library of various instruments and instrument sections. To add a Clarinet, for instance, just drag the instrument from the library and instantly a blank score prepared specifically for the Clarinet is created on the Conductor View:
Each Instrument family is color coded to make it fast and easy to identify the section you are looking for whether on the Conductor View or in the library. The music clefs and the characteristics of the instruments such as the left to right position in the orchestra, it’s range, the MIDI parameters,…) are instantly ready for you and added to the score from the instruments data base.
To quickly create a song template you just drag each instrument you want, one by one in the order you want them to the Conductor View. plus, you can modify or add instruments, full prepared sections or customized instruments to the library for adding them quickly to the score in the future. No other music composing program does this.
The Musical Libraries
The musical libraries lists of different instruments and dozens of patterns for that instrument. You can access them via the conductor view in Pizzicato Professional. For each instrument, the library includes dozens of various patterns; each consisting of one or more measures in length. These are all construction pieces you can combine to create your music. Additionally, if you make a new pattern you like, you can add new blocks to it (a block is simply a score).
These construction pieces can be used in the conductor view and in the score groups, as explained above, to help you build your rhythm sections just like putting a puzzle together:
To hear all the pieces at the same time you drag them into a score group and place them where you want them to start, all the while listening to the result as your work progresses:
Musical libraries make all the possibilities and more available to you, even if you’re a beginner.
A Summary of features in Pizzicato for Composing Music
If you have read all these pages, you have a good idea of what Pizzicato can help you achieve in composing music. These features are the result of over 18 years invested in research and development. We have created tools adapted to the needs of music composers, music engravers and musicians, both beginners and professionals.
It is a lot of musical power at your fingertips.
You have the power to use it the best way for you and your music creation!
“Congratulations and thanks for giving us a very good working tool which has already been of great help to me and will continue to be, I am sure. What is most interesting is to be able to directly communicate with the publisher of Pizzicato.”
Laurent Haye – Music teacher
at the Academy of Brussels
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©2015 Blair Ashby
Administered by Broadlands Media, Inc.
All rights reserved for all countries.
Pizzicato text, photos and manual used courtesy of Arpege Music sprl.
All Arpege Music information used with permission.
All information subject to change at any time without prior notice.