Entering Notes with the Mouse
  1. Choose the Insertion tool from the NoteAbilityPro Tool palette.
  2. Select the desired note duration from the Note palette or type the corresponding Command.
  3. Move the Entry Cursor to the correct staff and beat position and click on the mouse button to place the note on the page.

For notes to be entered on the page, the Insertion tool must be selected, and the Entry Cursor should be placed at the desired staff and beat location. Notes are entered according to the Current Command (as displayed in the Score Controls). Commands can be entered by typing on the keyboard, by selecting an image in the Note Palette (which is also located in the just above the score), or by selecting the image from the Image List panel in the Info menu.

There are three different categories of notes:

  1. Regular notes which are entered at the beat position indicated by the Entry Cursor.
  2. Graphical notes which can be placed anywhere in the measure (regardless of where the Entry Cursor is)
  3. Grace notes which are smaller version of Graphical notes.

The Commands for regular notes are:

CommandImageBritish TerminologyDuration
ddouble whole noteBreve8.0 beats
wwhole noteSemi-breve4.0 beats
hhalf noteMinim2.0 beats
qquarter noteCrotchet1.0 beat
eeighth noteQuaver0.5 beats
ssixteenth noteSemiquaver0.25 beats
tthirty-second noteDemisemiquaver0.125 beats
xsixty-fourth noteHemidemisemiquaver0.0625 beats
zone-twenty-eighth noteSemihemidemisemiquaver0.0625 beats

Graphic notes commands have a prefix of "&" (eg &w, &h, &q). Grace notes have a prefix of "g" (eg. gw, ge, gs). Graphic notes are only used in instances where the notation requires notes that to be unmeasured. Likewise, grace notes can be positioned freely in front of or after regular notes.

- Add Grace Slash and Remove Grace Slash menu items (in the Modify/Notes menu) can be used to add or remove a slash to a grace note

- A Build Grace Chord menu item (in the Modify/Notes menu) can be used to create chords out of individual grace or graphic notes.

Rests use the same sequence of commands with a prefix of "r" (eg. rw, rh, rs) and graphic rests have the same sequence of commands with the prefix "&r". As an alternative, rests can be entered without the "r" prefix by using Command-r (or the Insert Rest button on the Control panel). This short cut allows you to insert rests of the same duration as the last note without changing the Command. In the example below, the Command was set to "q", then two notes were entered followed by Command-r then another note.

When entering regular notes or rests, commands can combine any of the duration characters (d, w, h, q, e, s, t, x, z, and .) to create a sequence of tied notes or repeated rests. Thus the command "q." will create a dotted quarter note while "qe" will create a quarter note tied to an eighth note.

It is also possible to indicated simple tuplet values in the command -- "q3e5" will create a triplet quarter note tied to a quintuplet eighth note. (A number 2 - 9 following a duration is interpreted as a tuplet value). Some examples of commands and the results should make this clear:

Command Duration Notes
h. 3.0 beats 1/2 note (dotted)
qes 1.75 beats 1/4 tied to 1/8 tied to 1/16
hhe4.5 beats1/2 tied to 1/2 tied to 1/8
w.e.6.75 beatswhole (dotted) tied to 1/8 (dotted)
qqqe3.5 beats1/4 tied to 1/4 tied to 1/4 tied to 1/8
req1.5 beats1/8 rest followed by 1/4 rest
q3he33.0 beatstripet quarter followed by 1/2 notes followed by a triplet eighth note

Normally, notes values will be entered as indicated by the series of durations even if the ties contradict the normal beat divisions of the measure. If you want ties to be automated so that they always conform to standard beat divisions in the measure change the Tie Rule preference (in the Rules tab of the Preference Panel).

Thus, if you are on the fourth beat of a measure and you want a note that lasts 4 beats, type the command "qh." (or "qhq" if you want the half note at the beginning of the second measure to be tied to a quarter rather than entered as a dotted half.)

If you type the command "w" a whole note will be place at the fourth beat of the measure:

Although this may not seem to be a useful procedure at first, it allows you far more flexibility than if NoteAbility always calculated the tied groups. For example, creating triplets across a main beat or a barline is easy to do in NoteAbility. Here, quarter notes were entered with the triplet button checked.

If this is not desired, the commands could be set to combinations of "q" and "ee" to create:

- When notes and rests are pasted (with the Paste Into menu command), the durations are automatically recalculated and notes are grouped according to the normal beat divisions. To retain the same sequence of note and rest values use the menu command Paste Exact.

In the next example the command "eh.e" was used to enter a note at beat 1.5:

If Auto Increment is on, the Entry Cursor will move forward when a note or rest has been entered. If Auto Beam is on, notes are automatically beamed when a beat group has been completed. If Auto Format is on, the system is formatted whenever the Entry Cursor moves from the end of one system to the beginning of the next. These setting can be turned on and off from the Preferences panel.

- To move the Entry Cursor back to the position of the previous note (in order to build a chord), click the Step Back button in the Control panel (or type Command-g).

Tuplets (i.e. triplets, quintuplets and other groupings) are set with the check boxes on the Score Controls. The tuplet remains active until the check is removed. (E.g. if an eighth note is selected and the triplet check box is selected, triplet eighths will be entered.) Once a complete triplet group has been entered, the triplet number (with a bracket if necessary) is added. The stages of entering a beat of triplet eighths are:

- Tuplets can be hidden, and triplet brackets and ratio indications (eg 3:2) can be shown or hidden using the Modify/Tuplets menu items.

Accidentals can be added to the last note entered several different ways:

  1. clicking on the accidental buttons in the Accidental pane in the Music Images panel,
  2. by clicking on the Accidental buttons in the Score Controls:

  3. by using the menu items in the Modify/Accidentals menu which have the following command shortcuts:

    Command - 2Add Double Sharp
    Command - 3Add Sharp
    Command - 4Add Natural
    Command - 5Add Flat
    Command - 6Add Double Flat
  4. by right-clicking (or Control-clicking) the mouse on the score window in order to bring up the score pop-up menu, then selecting the Add Sharp, Add Natural, or Add Flat menu items.

Normally redundant accidentals (after the first accidental on that pitch in the measure) are not shown. If you want the accidental to be shown, use the Force Accidental menu item (Command - 1). In the example below, the F natural in the last beat is considered to be redundant, so it only appears if the accidental is forced.

If you prefer an accidental behaviour other than the normal "classical" behaviour of accidentals (i.e. accidentals are considered to carry through the current measure, then you can select a different Accidental Rule from the Rule tab of the Preferences panel.

See also

© Keith A. Hamel 1998-2005 - All Rights Reserved