In an earlier chapter (microtonal
adjustment) we saw that it is possible to change the pitch for a
to make it match a frequency other than the 12-step equally tempered
Please refer to that chapter to see how microtonal
adjustment values can be calculated in order to match the required
By combining this feature with a rules set,
it becomes possible to build a staff that automatically plays in
tuning system besides 12ET.
Using a predefined template in an alternate tuning
Some document templates in alternate tunings are
provided in the software.
When starting a new document with File>New, open the Alternate
template folder and select a template.
Notes inserted in the score will play in the alternate tuning system
Using a predefined rule set
for alternate tuning
If you wish to apply an alternate tuning system to a
staff that already exists, you can load the rule set that defines this
tuning. To do this,
select "Edit rules" from the staff menu, then the staff you want the
tuning to be applied to.
Note: If you want several staves in a same document to use an alternate
tuning, you will have to repeat this procedure for each of those
Then, click "Load set" and open the "Alternate tunings" folder located
in the Melody/Harmony folder on your hard disk.
Select the rule set file (.lex) you want to apply and OK.
From now on, all notes in this staff will be played
according to the new
Some demo files are provided in "Demos"
subfolder of the "Alternate tunings" folder.
You can load them with File>Open.
Building a custom rule set
for alternate tuning
Suppose you want all thirds in a staff to be
pitch-shifted by 16 hundredths
of a semitone from the 12ET scale.
Here is what you need to do:
This simple rule set -- only one rule -- will change pitches for any
note (E in C major scale).
Select Staff>Edit rules
Type in a name for this rule (for example "third")
If you do not want the word "Third" to be written under notes on score,
also select "Display name: never"
Select "All shapes" and "All colors"
Deselect "All pitches"
In the Pitch area, insert an E (or type in E in the edit box). E is the
third for a C major key signature.
Select "For all octaves" (so that all E will be affected, whatever
their octave may be)
Select "Follow key signature" (so that it applies to thirds -- not E --
the key signature is not C major)
Select "Default instrument" (so that this note is played using the same
instrument as other notes in the staff)
Click "Special" and specify a microtonal adjustment of 16, just as
in the microtonal adjustment chapter
You can save the rule set here by clicking "Save set" (but this rule
will be saved anyway along with your document)
If you want other notes in the scale to be altered, you just have to
add another rule. If the note to be altered can be accidented, the
enharmonics" option in the rule set panel lets you tell the program to
apply a different rule to enharmonics (several ways to write the same
using accidental symbols).
Using this feature, you can build a rule set that applies a different
rule to C sharp and D flat, for example, and therefore build a scale of
up to 21 different notes.
Playing an alternate tuned
The same restrictions we saw in microtonal adjustment
also apply to alternate tuning: when using Midi output, only write
"solo" staves (no chords), and be careful that no other staff uses the