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Staff rules
multi-instrument staves

Standard staves only use one instrument each. Thus, all the notes of a given staff are played with the same instrument.

With Harmony version 6.0 and Melody version 4.0 it is now possible to relate several instruments to a single staff.

You can decide, for example, that on a staff playing the violin instrument, some notes will be played with the cello.

Any regular staff (treble, bass, or C key) can be related to several instruments, but the greatest benefit is that it makes standard drum staves possible.

To differentiate notes played on different instruments, a link is made between the graphical display of the note and the instrument. This link, completely user-defineable, is called a rule.

Note : 
If you have used a previous version of Melody or Harmony, this new feature will not bother you. Everything you may have learned about the normal functioning of staves and instruments remains true. Previous "drum staves" are simply called "grid drum staves" from now on, to avoid confusion.

What is a rule ?

An unlimited number of rules can be associated with each staff. Rules will define which instrument notes are played on.

A rule is defined by :

The criteria for falling within the scope of a rule can be :
Note : 
If several criteria are defined for a rule, a note will follow this rule only if all the criteria are met. 
If a note is subject to several rules, the first rule in the list is applied. 
It is better however not to define ambiguous rules (in this case, add another criterion).

In the above example, we have defined that diamond head notes will be played on the Piano instrument, and square head notes will be played on the Clavecin (harpsichord).
The caption is automatically written below the first note that follows this rule.

Rule sets can be saved in independent files, and reloaded. The extension for these files is .Lex. Thus, you can define the most commonly used rule sets and apply them on demand to your staves.

How do I edit the rules associated with a staff ?

In the Staff menu, select Edit rules, or in the staff pop-up menu, select "Edit rules". The rule definition window opens. (Keep in mind that you are editing rules for this staff only. You can have as many staves with rules as you want in the same document.)

At the top of the window, you can see the rule set for this staff. Click on an item in the list to edit the rule.

You can move an item up or down the list (and so alter its priority) by Command-click (Macintosh) or right-click (PC).
The big dot to the left of a rule name indicates whether it is currently used by any notes on this staff. If you change a rule's criteria, any notes that are subject to it will automatically be adapted to the new criteria when the rule editing window is closed.

Beneath this the Delete and Add buttons delete or add a rule to the rule set.
The Purge button deletes unused rules from the rule set.

At the bottom is found the definition of the rule: its name, criteria, associated instrument and optional parameters.

Note : 
If you define two rules with identical criteria, they will be displayed in red in the rule set to help you track them.

Advice : 
If you define rules that are related to note color, remember the coloring tool enables to color notes according to their pitch.
In the same way, FaSoLa (shape note) mode change the note head shape according to its pitch. 

Important If you change a rule's criteria while one or several notes are already following it, these notes will be adapted to follow the new rule. 

Example of use

On a regular staff playing the "Piano" instrument, we are going to add a rule so that red note play with an "Organ" sound.

A rule applying to red-colored notes has been defined, to output an organ sound. All other colors have no rule defined, so will be output on the regular instrument for this staff, i.e. piano.
When you want to insert a note to be played on the organ instead of the piano, select the colour red in the Note display tool palette (last icon).
Switch back to black to insert notes for piano again.
Important From Melody Assistant 5.1 and Harmony Assistant 7.1, a default effect processor can be related to each instrument. In case of staves with rules, the whole staff uses the effect processor defined in the default instrument (can be edited by clicking the  icon in the staff margin).

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