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I often prefer entering notes using a computer keyboard, but when there are intervals in chords, like in music for piano, it's much easier and faster to use a MIDI keyboard. So let's start by setting up a new score. I'm going to go to the File menu and choose New > Document Setup Wizard. I'll choose the Engraved Style and Next. And then I'll choose the Keyboard category and Piano (No staff) is my instrument. Click the Add button, and then click the Next button to move on. In the score Information area, I type the name of the tune, which in this case is Twinkle, Twinkle.
And I will add a subtitle. I'm going to call this Variations On A Theme. Then for Composer, this is kind of like what Mozart did, so I will call this Ala Mozart. Then I will click the Next button to move on. Our time signature is in 2 4, and we are in the key of F, so I am going to click the down arrow once to get the key signature, and I will go ahead and add in a tempo, with both text and with a BPM at 110. And there is no pickup measure, and I'm not really worried about the number of measures in this--we can add those later-- so I will go ahead and click the Finish button.
It only takes a second, and it has gone ahead and created a grand staff. And I am going to briefly go into the Finder window here and I am going to open the Example file so that we can use that. Now, once I've got that in the score, I am going to go up to the Window menu and I am going to choose Tile Windows, and I am going to put these both into Scroll view. So let me click this bottom one and I will go Command+E on the Mac to do that; that would be Ctrl+E on a PC. And I will go up to this other document and do the same thing.
And now I want to zoom in a little bit so I will use the Command+Equal key to do that. Make that a little bit bigger. And I will go down to the bottom staff and do the same thing. So now I am ready to enter the notes. So I am going to choose the simple Entry tool. And this is actually pretty simple. So all we need to do is choose a value on the num pad. Remember, 5 is a quarter, 4 is an eighth, 6 is a half note, so on and so forth. So I will choose 5 to get started. And then all I need to do is play the notes on the MIDI keyboard to add them.
There is the F chord, now the D minor, and I will switch up and I will play the A minor and F, and the B-Flat chord, and back to the F chord. I made a mistake there. Often the easiest thing to do is just to undo that last action, so I will go Command+Z; that would be Ctrl+Z on a PC. And I will press a 6 so that when I enter that note I get the right duration. Now, if I want to add the notes in the bass staff, there is a couple of ways that I can get down to that staff.
The obvious one would be just to click in the staff, but a little faster would be to use your Command key and press the down arrow; on a PC that would be Ctrl+down arrow. And if I want to go back up to the treble clef, it's the same thing: Command+Up Arrow or Ctrl+up arrow on a PC. And I will just use my left arrow to get me back to the first measure. I will press 5 for a quarter note, and now I can add the bass line just by playing the notes. Hit a 6 and add that last F. So you can see, adding notes within Simple Entry is very, very easy using a MIDI keyboard.
So let me go back up to the upper staff. I am going to arrow over to reset my position, and now I will press 5, and I can enter the next chord. And just to demonstrate that I can add chords using the computer keyboard, I am going to go ahead and enter an F. And then before I enter the next note, I can actually add notes onto that F. All you need to do is remember the interval. So if we look above, it looks like I need a third above the F. That's going to be the A, so I will press 3 to do that, and that's in the QWERTY area of the keyboard, not the numpad.
So that adds the third above, and now the next note is a second above the A or for the B-flat, so I will hit a 2. On the next chord, I will go ahead and I will enter the B-flat, and this time I am going to add the notes below that. To do that all we do is hold the Shift key down and press the number for the interval. So I will go Shift+3 for the G and then Shift+5 to add the C. So we can do this on a computer keyboard; it's just a lot faster using the MIDI keyboard. And I am going to quickly add the rest of these chords.
And then I need to add a rest. So I can either press 0 on the computer keyboard to do that--and that would be in the numpad area--or I can simply play another note or chord and then type R to convert it into a rest. So go ahead and take a minute to add the chords and the rest of the notes up to this point. As you can see, using a MIDI keyboard to enter notes is useful, especially when you need to enter chords. Two-handed entry--one hand on the MIDI keyboard and one hand on the computer keyboard--takes a bit to get used to, but with some practice you will find it's easy.
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