To tell the performer the bar division, two numbers
are placed like a fraction after the clef.
The upper number expresses the number of beats
in a bar.
The lower number expresses the length of these
beats (in fractions of a whole note).
For example, a 3/4 bar comprises three beats each
worth a quarter note.
For more information read the Time
A chord is always related to a scale
and is made of at least three notes :
A C major chord, notated C is made of :
A chord of D minor
flat fifth, major seventh, diminished ninth will be notated Dmb5/7Mb9
and made of :
This notion is specific to Harmony and
Melody, and does not exist in regular musical theory.
A ghost rest graphically shows the time remaining
in a bar. You can transform ghosts rests to rests by using the staff menu
(black triangle in the staff margin), option "Change ghost rests to rests".
The first inversion shifts the root to
the next octave. The third then becomes the bass note of the chord.
The second inversion shifts the root and
the third to the next octave. The fifth then becomes the bass note of the
The same principle can be applied for the third
and fourth inversions (of course, these inversions only make sense
if the chord has four or five notes).
Thus, a chord of C major 7th, in accordance with
its inversions, will comprise :
fundamental state :
C E G Bb
1st inversion :
E G Bb C
: G Bb C E
3rd inversion :
Bb C E G
It is also possible to make a lower inversion,
i.e. shifting notes to the next lower octave.
Here is a summary of the relative order of notes
according to the chord inversion.
F = Fundamental (root), 3 = third, 5 = fifth,
7 = 7th, 9 = 9th.
Octave Octave Octave
. F 3 5 7 9 .
1st inversion .
. 3 5 7 9 F
2nd inversion .
. 5 7 9 F 3
3rd inversion .
. 7 9 F 3 5
4th inversion .
. 9 F 3 5 7
1st lower inv. . 3 5 7 9 F
2nd lower inv. .
5 7 9 F 3 .
3rd lower inv. .
7 9 F 3 5 .
4th lower inv.
. 9 F 3 5 7 .
For more information, refer to the Key
See also the modal array in the
Frequently Asked Questions chapter
- Note pitch
There are 7 notes, which can be written in two
D, E, F, G, A, B (English notation)
or Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si (Latin
This series of notes forms an ascending scale
of sounds from bass to treble. An octave is
the distance between two notes with the same name in two consecutive series.
The vertical position of the note on the staff
indicates which degree of the scale defined by the
signature corresponds to the note.
If the note is preceded by the # sign (sharp),
the note value is raised by one semitone, as are any other notes of the
same degree in the bar.
If the note is preceded
by the b sign (flat), the note value is lowered by
one semitone, as are any other notes of the same degree in the bar.
Finally, the "natural"
symbol before the note cancels the effects of previous sharp or flat.
It is also possible to use triplets (their
duration is equal to 2/3 of the written note)
- Notation :
Notes are written on a staff
Notes in the same column are played at the same
To beam the notes together, select them
with the lasso tool and choose "Beam" in the "Edit" menu.
Beamed notes indicate to the performer that
they will be played in the same "phrase". In this case beams replace
When different notes are beamed together, determining
their respective duration becomes a little bit more complex. For example
It is equally possible
to place signs indicating that no note is to be played during an interval
of time. Such signs are called rests.
For a major scale:
a semitone is the interval between two successive
keys on a piano keyboard (including black keys), or two successive frets
on a guitar neck.
A scale can start from any note (C, D, E...).
The first degree, called tonic, gives its name
to the scale.
The E major scale will comprise :
E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D#
In the intervals between the degrees can be found
3m minor third
1 and a half tones above the tonic
b5 flat fifth 3 tones above
5+ augmented fifth
4 tones above the tonic
7 minor seventh
1 tone below the octave
With a treble (G) clef, the first (bottom) line
is an E.
With a bass (F) clef, the first line is a G.
On the left of the staff, beside the clef, are
the time and key signatures.
The numbers are fret positions. 0 means an open
string, 1 the first fret, etc.
The instrument neck is displayed with its sixth
string (bass) at the bottom.
Tablatures can also be calculated for several
Harmonicas (diatonic, chromatic…) in any key.
A triplet divides a note into three equal parts;
a ternary division.
Three notes in a triplet have the same value as
two notes outside the triplet. Thus, three quarter notes in a triplet are
equal to one half note.
In fact, a triplet is simply a 3:2 tuplet.
For example, if you define a 5:2 tuplet, and you
are using eighths, this means that 5 eighth notes will be played in the
time normally taken by two eighth notes.
On the score, only the first digit is shown to
indicate a tuplet. Thus, if you see a 5 drawn above a note, you can't determine
whether it is a 5:1 tuplet, a 5:2 (the notes are twice as long) or a 5:4
(four times as long).
Only examining the number of beats in the bar
can clear up this ambiguity!