New Vision Concepts
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The main screen consists of 3 textboxs which contain a file name, device/tempo/time signature settings and the music notes. It also has a graphic control which displays a piano with 31 keys - starting a few keys below middle C.
Click a key on the keyboard to play and record the note. New notes are added at the end of the current melody. Users can manually edit the recorded notes.
The toolbar buttons on the main screen are helpful in editing the music.
Music can be entered as one long string of notes which wraps at the edge of the screen or it may be entered a multiple lines of notes.
Finally, text such as comments or lyrics can be embededed in the music. Start and end comments with an asterisk. This is most useful when putting the lyrics immediately below the corresponding music.
As music is played, the played notes are underlined, making it easy to follow the playback.
While the displayed keyboard contains only 31 notes, users may manually enter notes up to two octave in either direction of the octave containing middle C.
The user can specify which key (quarter note or eighth note) is recorded when a key is pressed. If a different key is desire, the user can manually edit the note.
Also, a setting is available which enables Music Composer to detect the amount of time a user presses a key and to use that to selected the note to be recorded.
All recorded notes are composed of a pitch, note and octave.
|Pitch||corresponds to the notes on a keyboard A-F. Sharps are writen as A#, C#, D#, F# and G#.|
|Note||possible notes are 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16, corresponding to whole, half, quarter, eigth and sixteenth notes.|
|Octave||the octave of a note is written as a period followed by the position of the octave relative to the octave containing middle C. The first octave to the left is written as ".-1", then ".-2". Octaves to the right are written as ".+1", then ".+2". The octave containing middle C is written as ".0".|
To simplify the number of characters needed to write a note, values considered "defaults" need not be written down. Defaults are described in this table:
|Pitch||there are no defaults. The pitch must be provided|
|Note||a quarter note is the default, although an EZReader setting can change the default to an eight note. If a note is followed by "+", the note receives half again its value.|
|Octave||the octave containing middle C is the default octave. It is written as ".0"|
Here is an example of how hiding default values can simplify recording notes:
Hiding default values provides the most benefit when working with keys from the middle C octave.
Rests are written simply as R1, R2, R4, R8 or R16.
Here's a simple "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" melody containing several notes:
And written with defaults hidden, the music notes reduce to this:
Music Composer can be used to insert bars into a melody, or the user may manually enter bars themselves.
Other features will likely be added to the note structure as the Music Composer grows in capabilities.
The toolbar icons perform the following functions:
Pressing Enter while focus is on the textbox containing the file name will save the file.
The currently opened file is automatically saved when exiting from Music Composer.
Files are automatically saved when leaving Music Composer and then automatically reloaded in the next session.
This toolbar eliminates having to click the menu icon to get to a new row of icons but at the expense of a more visually complicated toolbar.
A file contain a song title, the device chosen to play the music, the tempo, the time signature and the music notes. Content of a file looks like this:
A list of available files can be displayed as in the following image:
A file may be selected from the list to be opened, renamed, or deleted. A new file may also be created.
Music files must end in ".mus", but the extension is not displayed in the list.