You must be a logged in member of the SongTrellis site to use your Workscore.
Before you login you must become a SongTrellis member. We use your login id and password to identify your workscore and to prevent other members from viewing it. Your workscore music won't be made public until you decide that you want to publish it.
Once you've logged in for the first time, and refreshed this window you will see an empty score displayed in this panel of that page. The controls on the left that will help you invent your melodies work best when you have already entered a chord sequence into your score.
There a three ways to acquire a chord sequence for your new compositon:
- Write a chord progression into your workscore: type chords into the score by naming their root, chord type and duration using Workscore Chord Entry. You can acquire chord sequences pretty easily from fakebooks, tablature or other sources of sheetmusic.
- Invent a new chord progression using your workscore: find chords for your sequence via Chord Entry By Grid.
- Copy a progression from an existing piece of music and move it to your workscore: open a chord sequence listed in The Changes and use the Excerpt Service to select an interesting part of the sequence for that tune. Use the Copy to Workscore buttons at the bottom of a Request Excerpt window to copy the selected chords to your workscore.
To record a new note for the melodies you invent, the Workscore Composer needs to know the pitch on which the note will sound and its duration.
The array of control groups that are arranged in the left panel of the allow you to specify the pitches and durations of the notes that you add to your melody.
The topmost grouping of controls on the left specify the durations of the next melody notes that you enter into your workscore. If you select the Duration radio button, your next new notes will be created having the duration that is currently selected in the duration dropdown menu control. If you select the Rhythm Pattern radio button, a repetetive cycle of durations will be used to select the durations of the new notes you enter. The particular cycle that will be used is named by the Rhythm Pattern dropdown menu control.
This control group also contains a Scale durations check box that has two type-in fields to the right of it. If you have this group checked, whatever fraction you type-in to the type-in fields will be mutiplied by the currently selected duration to produce a duration that has been transformed by the specified scaling factor. Using these scaling factors you can, for example, divide a particular duration into seven equal parts using a fraction of 1/7 or ask for the duration of 9 eighth notes by applying the fraction 9/1 to an eighth note duration selection.
The second control grouping on the left, provides an automated method for finding pitches for the newest notes of your melody. Pressing the Improvise New Idea button, will invoke a large store of randomly selected melody generation rules to produce new notes for your melody. You can quickly audition this new idea and decide if it adds anything that sounds attractive to the end of your melody. If it sounds good to your ears, you can press Improvise New Idea again to further extend your melody or invoke any of the other pitch generation rules provided in the Workscore Composer window.
If the proposed idea does not fit your idea of the piece, you can press the Delete Last Idea button to entirely remove the last idea from the score, so that you can press Improvise New Idea or any other available pitch generation method. The idea is to very quickly test a number of ideas to zero in on one that provides an interesting continuation or contrast to what has come before. The author (Dave Luebbert) frequently finds what he needs to extend his own compositions within five or six attempts using this feature.
Frequently, the generated idea will sound good up to a particular note in the phrase, and everything following will not seem to fit. You can count the number of notes that don't fit from the generated idea and press the Delete button to erase the proper number of notes from the end of the idea.
As your score lengthens, it becomes more and more onerous to have to listen to the entire score after and edit is performed. The third control grouping on the left side of the page, allow you to choose smaller sections of the score for playback. The radio button options available allow you to choose how many bars should play. The options available allow selection of the notes of the last idea with its accompaniment, the last four bars of melody, the last eight bars of melody and the entire score.
The fourth grouping of controls provides five different methods for finding pitches for the next notes in your melody and two methods to correct note pitches after you've entered them into your score.
The SongTrellis Music Editor, which performs the edits requested by the Workspace Composer, knows which chord would play as accompaniment at any moment in a score and knows the scale that usually sounds best with a chord of that type built on its particular root note.
The Next Chord Tone control group allows you to enter the note that is the chord tone immediately above orbelow the last pitch at the end of the current melody. The Next Scale Tone control group allows you to enter the next tone up or down from the last melody note from a scale that works with the chord that would play at that instant in the score. In both groups, pressing the Up button causes a pitch above the last note to be selected and the Down button causes a pitch below the last melody note to be selected.
Using the Next Chord Tone and Next Scale Tone groups, it is possible to quickly scribble out a melody that uses a flow of equal durations or durations derived from a repeated rhythm pattern very quickly and which harmonizes well with the backing chord progression.
The Interval Up/Down control group allows you to specify an interval size via a dropdown menu. If you press the Up button, a note will be entered which is the specified interval size up from the last note in your score. If you press the Down button, a note will be entered which is the specified interval size down from the last note in your score. This control group makes it incredibly easy to create any imaginable interval sequence in your score. This would be invaluable if you are working with the "Slonimsky Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns".
The Enter next note on scale group allows you to enter your next melody note on a particular scale step of the scale that fits the accompanying chord. When you press the Enter button, a note is entered whose pitch is on the specified scale step closest to your last melody note. If the note should be in a different register than the one chosen by the command, you can ask for the notes pitch to be transposed an octave lower or higher. This feature allows your melody to leap to disparate chord or scale steps when you use the Next Chord Tone or Next Scale Tone operators.
The Enter notes on pitches group provides a type-in field which allows you to specify a sequence of pitch names for the next notes you will enter in the score. You can type a sequence of comma delimited pitch names into the type-in field. For example, typing "C,Db,E,F#,G,Bb" and pressing enter will cause the specified six notes to be entered in the octave range that was used to record your last melody note. They will have the durations specified by the currently selected Duration or Rhythm Pattern operators. If your notes are entered in a diferent octave tange than you intended, you can use the Transpose last note an Octave Up/Down operators to transpose them into the correct register.
The Transpose last note a half step Up/Down and the Transpose last note an octave Up/Down control groups allow you to transpose the last note in your melody up or down by the specified interval size. This is valuable when you are considering different harmonic possibilities for a new note's pitch. You can try a particular pitch, and of it doesn't work with your score, you can try other pitch alternatives that are higher or lower than your original choice.
By default, the Workscore Composer maintains an insertion point at the end of your melody, so that all of the editing operations that are executed apply to the end of melody. The bottom-most control group allows you to change the selection on which the transpose operations act. When you press the Make Selection Starting At radio button, the text of Transpose last note by half step, Transpose last note by octave, and the Interval Up/Down groups is redrawn to read Tranpose selection by the specified interval. This allows you to revise piches in the middle of your melody. You specify the notes to be selected by specifying the bar number, beat number and beat fraction that locates the first note to be selected, and the number of notes to the right, including that first note, that should be selected.