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This chapter will explain the writing of music in tablature, and tell you all you need to know to use tablature in Harmony-Melody


The classical notation of musical notes on a staff requires the performer to relate the written note to the way of playing that note on his instrument.

In tablature, notes are written in a simpler way that shows directly how to play them on the instrument. It eases the work of the performer.

Two kinds of tablature can be used in Harmony-Melody : tablatures for fretted string instrument (Guitar, Bass, Banjo...), tablatures for Harmonica (diatonic and chromatic) and for diatonic accordion (Harmony Assistant only)

Note : Harmony-Melody can  automatically compute tablatures for various instruments : Guitar, Bass, Lute, Harmonica, Accordion... You can even define your own instruments, save them into independant files, and share them with other users.
To ask Harmony-Melody to compute and display a tablature, select the "Staff>Tablature" menu, then the staff and the instrument. Tablature is calculated and displayed according to the existing standard staff. Any change to the standard staff will result in a corresponding change to the associated tablature.
You can also create a new staff and define it is a tablature staff.
Some standard templates also include predefined tablature staves.
Creating a tablature

In Harmony-Melody there are several ways to display a staff with a tablature :

  • Standard staves do not have an associated tablature. To add a tablature to a standard staff, select Edit tablature in the staff contextual menu or click on the little "Tab" icon in the staff margin, and select the kind of tablature you want to use.
  • Standard staves with associated tablature display notes in the classical way, and also display the associated tablature. When you insert a note, tablature is computed again. To avoid this, select "Priority to tablature" in the staff contextual menu. The staff becomes then a "Tablature" staff with a visible classical staff.
  • Tablature staves with associated standard staff staff appearance is the same as the one above. You can not insert notes into the classical staff, however,but only into the tablature. You can switch back to a standard staff with associated tablature by unselecting "Priority to tablature" in the staff contextual menu. The tablature will then be recalculated.
  • Tablature staves display the tablature only. You can then activate the classical staff display by modifying the staff display mode  (staff contextual menu); you get then a tablature staff with an associated standard staff. You can also change the staff type, to get a standard staff with an associated tablature.
  • Summary :
  • Tablature can be associated with a standard (classical) staff, it then displays notes in tablature format according to the existing notes in the standard staff.

  • To associate a tablature with an existing staff, select "Staff>Tablature" then the target staff
    You can insert notes into either the standard staff or the tablature, but fingering is automatically recomputed.
    If you need a specific fingering to be displayed on the tablature, you must use a Tablature staff or switch the staff in "Prority to tablature" mode (staff contextual menu)

    In a tablature staff, or in a staff in "Priority to tablature" mode, notes can only be inserted into the tablature. Fingering is not recalculated and remains exactly as you inserted it. To create a tablature staff select "Staff>Add a staff" and change its type to "Tablature" by using "Staff>Change staff type"

    Note : Regular notation can still be displayed. This can be made through the tablature display option window. 
    The following chapters are a detailed description of all the tablature types which can be managed by Harmony/Melody.

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