QuickScore Elite Tutorials

Score Editor Tutorial - Notes and Formatting

Getting Started  How To  Manual  MIDI and Audio

In this tutorial, we will enter some music in a file that has already been created, edit the music and then use some of QuickScore Elite's formatting features to change the way the music appears on the page.

To start, load QuickScore Elite and load the file FUGUE10.QSD by clicking on the File menu, selecting the Open menu item and then double-clicking on FUGUE10.QSD in the file window. This piece is Fugue 10 from the Well-Tempered Clavier by J. S. Bach.

Let's start by maximizing the Score Editor. Click on the button in the top right-hand corner of the Score Editor's window with the triangle pointing up (the maximize button). Now the Score Editor will fill the screen.

Print Preview Mode

To see the titles for the piece, click on the page icon in the Score Editor's control area.

You now see the piece as it would appear when it is printed. This is called Print Preview mode. You can't edit when you are in Print Preview mode. Click on the 100% icon beside the page icon and the whole page will exactly fit the window.

You probably won't be able to see each individual note (the display will be greeked) but you can see the complete layout of the page. You can scroll through the piece or play the piece in this mode.

Moving with the Scroll Bar

Let's go back to Edit mode. Click on the page icon again to do this. Now we are going to move to bar 79 to do some note entry on this bar. Click on the scroll box in the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the window and drag it along the scroll bar by keeping the button down and moving the mouse. As the scroll box is dragged, the time display in the main control area will change, reflecting the time of the bar the scroll box is on. When the time display reads 79:1:0 release the mouse button. The display now shows bar 78 and bar 79.

(The bar numbers in the score display are one less than what the time display shows. This is because in the piece the first bar is a pickup bar and bar numbering has been set to start at the second bar).

Erasing a Block of Music

We are now going to erase the music in the top staff of bar 79 and reenter it again to get an idea of entering music with two different voices on the same staff. To erase the music, click the mouse on the top staff at the middle bar line. Hold the mouse button down and drag the mouse to a point after the last note in the bar. Release the mouse button. Now the music you dragged over with the mouse should be highlighted in reverse video and an edit menu should drop down.

Select Cut [Note] from the menu. The highlighted music should disappear.

Using Undo

You can undo and redo your edits by clicking on the Edit menu and clicking on Undo and Redo. Give it a try even if you cut out the bar exactly the way you wanted to. Now select Redo from the Edit menu. Your notes should be erased again. The undo feature is extremely useful if you make mistakes or you just want to see what things look like before and after doing an edit. If you didn't properly erase your music, you can click on Undo again and try it again.

Entering Music with Different Voices

Now we are going to put the music back in by hand to get an idea of how this is done. We'll start by selecting the voice. The voice palette is to the far right of the Score Editor's control area. It is initially set to Def. (meaning the default voice), but you can change it to voice 1, voice 2 or grace notes. Notes entered on voice 1 all have the stems pointing up. Notes entered on voice 2 all have the stems pointing down. Grace notes are all small size notes. We want to enter two separate voices in this bar, one with stems up, the other with stems down, so we will enter them as voice 1 and voice 2. We will enter the top voice first, so choose 1 (for voice 1, with stems up) from the voice palette.

Entering Triplets

Before we start entering notes on voice 1, we want to set the duration value to eighth note triplets because we will be entering triplets. Click on the eighth note in the durations palette at the far left in the main control area and then click on the duration qualifier button (the button with the two eighth notes on it) to set it to triplets. There should be a group of triplet eighth notes shown on the button now.

Step Entry

Finally, select the step entry icon (third from the right in the main control area) by clicking on it.

OK, now we are ready to enter the first voice. If you have a MIDI keyboard attached to your computer you can use step entry to enter the notes. Otherwise you can enter them with the mouse. Step entry with the mouse is similar to step entry with the keyboard. Instead of using the keyboard, you click the right mouse button at the height you want the new note entered. The only difference is that you can only enter notes in key with the right mouse so you have to change notes that need accidentals afterwards. We'll go over step entry with the mouse first.

Move the cursor so it is exactly at the beginning of bar number 79. Make sure the time display in the main control area reads 80:1:0. (Remember that the time display does not match up with the numbering of the bars in the score display because the piece starts numbering from bar two. The first bar is a pickup bar.) Now let's enter the notes. Move the mouse to the level of the note you want to enter and click the right mouse button. Follow the music shown in the graphic on page 25 to put in B6, E5, G5, and C6. Move the cursor with the RIGHT ARROW key four spaces and put in A5 and D6. If you are step entering using the keyboard instead of the right mouse button, you can enter C#6 and D#6. Otherwise you will have to change these notes.

Changing a Note's Pitch

To change the C6 to a C#, select the NS tool (the one with the up and down arrows) from the toolbar. Click on the C6 with the left mouse button and keep the button down. Now press the UP ARROW. The note will be raised to a C#. Release the mouse button. Click on the D6 with the left mouse button and keep the button down. Now press the UP ARROW. The note will be raised to a D#. Release the mouse button.

All the notes we entered are still eighth note triplets. We have to put in their real durations. Do this in one shot by selecting all the notes you entered (do this the same way you did to erase the notes earlier) and choosing Make Legato from the edit menu that appears. Now all the notes will be extended to the beginning of the next note.

Let's put in the second voice now. Select voice 2 by clicking on the 2 in the voice palette at the far right on the Score Editor's control area. We only have two notes to put in. Move the cursor back to the beginning of the bar and press the RIGHT ARROW key once to move over by one triplet eighth note. Now change the duration value to a half note, because we are going to put in two half notes. Click the right mouse on E5 and then F5. If you are using the keyboard, play these notes on the keyboard instead.

If all went well, you've put the notes back the way they were before you erased them. Click on the step entry icon again to disable step entry for the moment. This lets you play your keyboard without the notes ending up in your piece. Of course when you want to step enter music again from the keyboard, select the step entry icon again.

Spacing Barlines and Notes

Now select the spacing tool. This is the last tool in the palette.

You use the spacing tool to move bar lines around and move notes around on the page without affecting their position in time. If notes are on top of each other or covering up other symbols, you can rearrange them with the spacing tool. Move the mouse so that it is on top of the middle barline. Click the left mouse button and hold it down. You should see the barline selected. If you don't, try again with the mouse a little to the left or the right. When you've grabbed the barline move it around with the mouse. Release the mouse button and the music will respace itself with the barline in its new place. Grab a note the same way you grabbed a barline. You can move the note back and forth the same way, although you can't move the note too far away from its original position. Remember that moving notes with the spacing tool won't affect the timing of the notes.

Moving Rests and Ties

Let's move some rests and ties up and down just to see how this works. You do this using the Display Bar dialog. The Display Bar dialog is used for making changes that will only affect one bar. Make sure the cursor is on bar 79 and select Bar from the Display Menu. The title of the dialog should read "Display Bar 80 Track 1".

Change the Rest Levels settings for voice 2 from 4 to 6. Change the Tie Offsets for voice 2 from 0 to 2. Click on OK. Now you should see the eighth note rest at the beginning of the bar shift down two spaces and the ties for the notes in voice 2 also go down two spaces. In this case there is no point doing this, but sometimes rests or ties are on top of other music or symbols and it can be useful to move them. You can play with the levels of rests and ties but when you're finished, put them back the way they were and we'll go on to something else.

Now let's go back to Print Preview mode. Click on the page icon to do this. Move back to the beginning of the piece by pressing the HOME key

Bar Numbers

Note that the first bar has no number above it and the first bar on the second line is numbered 3, instead of 4. This is because the first bar is a pickup bar. Let's look at the Bar Numbers dialog to see how this has been set up. Click on the Display menu and select Numbers and then Bar from the submenu that appears to the right of the menu. Note that bar numbers are shown on every line, the first numbered bar is the second bar and the bar numbers are displayed above the staff. You can experiment with changing these settings if you like.

Page Numbers

Let's look at how page numbers have been set up. Click on the Display menu and select Numbers and then Page from the submenu that appear to the right of the menu. Page numbers are displayed starting on page 1, starting at number 1 and they are at the top right-hand corner or each page. You can experiment with changing these settings if you like.


Now let's look at the titles. Click on the Display menu and select Titles and then Score from the submenu that appear to the right of the menu. (We are looking at the titles for the score, not for each individual part.) Note the title which appears at the center of the page at the top, the composer which appears at the right at the top and the footer which has been set at the right of the page. There is nothing defined for the header or the copyright. You can experiment with the titles if you like.


Now let's look at some formatting options. Select Page from the Display menu. This brings up the Display Page dialog. Note the indentation of the first system is set to 10 spaces. (One space is about equal to half a character width.) Change this value and watch how the indentation of the first system on the first page changes.

Staff Spacing

Now let's change the staff spacing. Bring up the Staff Spacing dialog by clicking on the Set Staff Spacing button. You can move the bottom staff closer to the top staff by clicking the mouse on it and dragging it up and down. When you press OK, you will see the effect on your score. When you're finished dragging the staff around, you might want to set the staff spacing back to the default by clicking on the Default Spacing button.

Setting Up Braces

Now let's change the braces. Open the Braces dialog by clicking on the Braces button in the Display Page dialog. Lets change the bracing style to a bracket. Select track 1 and track 2 by dragging over the 1 and 2 in the Track list box. They should be highlighted in blue. Now select the Bracket from the Brace Type list box. Now you will see the curly brace in the window replaced by a bracket. If you like what you have done, press OK and the changes will show up in your score.

Display Quantization

Let's experiment with the display quantization, to show you how this affects the score display. Note that you have duple 16th notes and triplet eighth notes, sometimes both in the same bar. Click on the Display menu and choose Score. The Display Score dialog is where parameters that affect the whole piece can be changed. If you change something here and you set it to something else before using the Display Bar dialog or the Display Track dialog, the changes that you made before will be wiped out.

Note that the quantization is set to Triplet/32nds. This means that triplets and duple values as small as 32nd notes can be displayed at the same time. For fun let's set this to eighth notes and see what the display does. Click on the Quantization Amount drop-down list box and select 8th. Click on OK.

That wasn't very nice, was it? Now the smallest resolution of notes you can see is eighths, not what we want at all. Set the quantization back to Triplet/32nd so we can get our notes back.

Using Engraver Spacing

There is one more thing that we will look at now in the Display Score dialog. This is engraver spacing. Note that Use Engraver Spacing is set to Yes, right now. Engraver spacing is used by the Score Editor to space music so that it looks good visually. Without engraver spacing, spacing occurs by time, rather than appearance. Crowding of music sometimes occurs, because you always put music occupying the same amount of time into the same amount of space. For example, eight thirty-second notes take up the same amount of space as one quarter note. The thirty-second notes are crowded together and the quarter note is all by itself. When you use engraver spacing, you assign the amount of space notes of each duration take up. For example, you can have thirty-second notes taking up only half as much as quarter notes. Your music will generally look better if you use engraver spacing. Change Use Engraver Spacing to No and see how this affects the appearance of the music. Afterwards, change it back to Yes.

Automatically Spacing Music

Finally, we are going to let QuickScore Elite respace our entire piece. Click on the Display menu and choose Space Music. QuickScore Elite will recalculate the bars per line and the positioning of bar lines automatically, based on the density of the music. Note that the music spacing is set to 16, which is the default. The display of notes shows how many 16th notes would optimally be fitted onto one line. Let's try spacing our piece a little tighter. To do this, change the density of the music to 20 and click on OK. Wait a few seconds while QuickScore Elite recalculates everything. Now click on the 100% icon and go to the end of the piece by pressing the END key. Now we have the piece on six pages, but the music doesn't exactly fill the last page. Let's go back to the Space Music dialog and change the density of the music to 16 again. Click on the OK button and wait a few seconds while QuickScore Elite recalculates everything. Go to the end of the piece by pressing the END key. This is page 8 and it is completely filled, which is what we want to see.


This concludes the first score editing tutorial. The next tutorial will show you how to deal with text, lyrics and symbols.

Starting Out

Score Editor Tutorial - Notes and Formatting

Score Editor Tutorial - Text, Lyrics and Symbols

Setting up for Sequencing

Piano Roll Editor Tutorial

Controller Editor Tutorial

MIDI Mixer Tutorial

Song Editor and Event List Tutorial

Recording MIDI Tutorial

Recording Audio Tutorial

Audio Mixer Tutorial