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Creating Autoharp Tab

Harmony Assistant has an integrated palette for creating autoharp tab based on a melody notated on a standard staff.

Quick start

1.  Notate the melody on the main staff as you ordinarily would.
2.  To access the Autoharp Tab palette, select Scripts=>Notation=>Staves=>Autoharp Tab.
3.  Select the staff that contains the melody, then click "Create TAB" and voila!  You will see a new staff that has blue rests corresponding to each note on the main staff.
4.  To insert a tab symbol, choose it from the palette, then click on the rest in the tab staff that corresponds to the note in the main staff to which the tab should apply.
5.  Many of the tab symbols are "pitch-sensitive" -- they will attach themselves to the staff in the position that indicates the pitch of the note to which the rest corresponds. To adjust the positions or sizes of the
various symbols, edit them as you would any other "ornament". Click on the "select" tool, then double-click the tab symbol to open the "Note Options" palette.  Select the "Effects" tab if it's not already selected and adjust the tab symbol position and size as needed.  See below for additional tricks and tips.
6.  After you have finished creating your tab, click "Hide Rests" checkbox and voila!  The blue rests disappear, leaving nothing but beautiful autoharp tab.

Additional notes

1. The "bracket" tab symbol is a modified "slur" that behaves just like a standard slur. It can be re-sized by dragging the three "grab nodes" that appear when you are in "select" mode and move the cursor over the symbol, or re-positioned by grabbing the entire symbol (away from a grab node but inside of the symbol border) and dragging. To adjust the position and size of the bracket more easily, try zooming in to 200%.

2.  The "bracket" has several different types of "appearance".  It doubles as both the squiggly "slide" symbol and the "dotted bracket".  To change the bracket appearance, double-click on the bracket symbol to open the"Note Options" palette, select the "Slur" tab (if it is not already selected) and use the "Bracket appearance" drop-down.

3.  If you are changing the size of a symbol, do not forget to select it in the text box before choosing the new size.  Changes in this mode only apply to text that is selected, so if you do not select the symbol, it will seem that no change has been made.

4. There is no practical limit to the number of tab symbols that can be attached to each blue rest.  This is very useful if you need to create a "wide pinch" or other special notation that may require a combination of several symbols.  Just attach the symbols you need and drag them to the proper location (or edit the position using the "Note Options" palette) if the standard position is not appropriate.

5.  Sometimes you may find that you have written out the notes on the main staff and started to create your tab, but then need to add a measure on the main staff or change the timing of some notes.  The tab staff will not automatically change when you make a change to the main staff.  To adjust the blue rests to match the revised main staff, click "Adjust TAB" on the autoharp tab template and once more voila!  The blue rests will match up to the revised notation in your standard staff.  You may have to re-adjust some of the tab symbols previously inserted, but most should relocate automatically.

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