Managing scores and windows

In this chapter we shall take a look at a number of miscellaneous features of varying importance.

Loading and saving VBR scores

To load one of the default blank scores go to 'File > Start new score > etc.' and chose one of the options listed.

To load an existing score either go to 'File > Load score' and browse the standard open file dialogue or alternatively just drag the file (or files) that you want to load onto the main window.

To save a Rhapsody file go to 'Score > Save > Save Rhapsody file|Save Rhapsody file as ...' on the score's own menu. The first option will save it under its original name without prompting, The second option opens a standard 'save as' dialogue box. Alternatively you can go to 'Score > Drag 'n drop...' which opens the following dialogue box:

Type a name into the textbox and then drag the VBR file icon onto (or into) the directory where you want the file to be stored. (Why isn't this the standard method of file saving, I wonder?)

Loading Rhapsody 4 scores

VBR will load Rhapsody 4 scores. Considerable changes have been made to the file format so conversion to the new format may take a few seconds. Moreover, any printing formats which were saved with the original score will be lost and some graphic elements may not be in their original positions so the new score must be edited carefully.

VBR will not save in R4 format.

Loading MusicXML scores

VBR will load MusicXML scores.

Loading and saving MIDI files

VBR will load MIDI files. To do this, just go to 'File > Load score' and browse the standard open file dialogue or alternatively just drag the file (or files) that you want to load onto the main window.

The process of transcribing a MIDI file into musical notation is not trivial. In the first place, a lot of information such as the kind of accidental used, how notes are tied, the positioning of rests, barlines and many other features of a musical score are simply not recorded in a MIDI file. Secondly, if the MIDI file was created 'live' ie by a musician playing on a MIDI instrument, the timing data in the file will bear little or no relation to the way the piece is notated and it will be virtually impossible to generate a usable VBR score. If, on the other hand, the MIDI file was created using a computer program, then there is at least a possibility that, with a great deal of editing, a usable score could be achieved.

Assuming then that you have such a file, when you load it into VBR, the following dialog box will appear:

On the left is a diagnostic box which tells you a bit about what the MIDI file contains. By scanning down this information you can at least see what sort of a file it is.

On the right are a number of selectable options. The first is the quantization level. Even if the file was generated by computer, there are a number of reasons why the timing information in the score is not metronomic. In order to eliminate unnecessary demi-semiquavers from appearing all over the place, you can set the quantization level to the shortest note that you think the file contains. You may have to load the file several times with different quantization levels to find the one that works best.

The number in brackets is a measure of the required accuracy needed for effective transcription. The smaller this number, the greater the accuracy required in the file. Note that, in order to transcribe triplets, a much greater degree of accuracy is required because the difference between say a quaver and a triplet quaver is very small (one sixth of a quaver in fact).

The second option is the annacrucis rest. Many classical pieces of music begin with an upbeat before the first bar. Sometimes, a MIDI file will include a suitable rest at the beginning (the MIDI files created by VBR are like this) but other files just plough in with the first note played. What this means is that, unless you tell VBR what rest is required at the beginning, all the barlines will be in the incorrect places - and many simple notes such as minims will be transcribed as tied notes. The chances are that you won't know what rest is needed until you have already transcribed the score so to save a bit of time, it is a good idea to check the 'First bars only' box until you are satisfied that the score you are generating is going to be usable.

There is one other option you should be aware of which is not shown in this dialogue box. This concerns the way enharmonic accidentals such F#/Gb are transcribed. To see how to set these options go to here

Duplicating and discarding scores

To duplicate an existing scores go to 'File > Duplicate score > '' and chose one of the scores listed. The duplicate score will appear in a new window with the title 'Copy of ...'

To discard a score go to 'Score > Discard' on the score's own menu. A prompt will be given if the score has been modified since it was last saved. Note that simply clicking on the close icon at the top of the window does NOT discard the score, it only closes that window on it. VBR differe in this respect from a number of other multiple document programs.

To discard all the scores do to 'File > Discard all scores' on the main window menu. A prompt will be given for each of the modified scores.

Opening and viewing scores

As mentioned above, if you close all the windows on a score, it is not deleted and you can open it again. You will find a list of all the existing scores under 'Open score > ...' in the main window menu. If you have several scores open or several windows on a single score you can organise the windows how you like by using the facilities provided in the 'Windows' menu on the main window.

There are a number of useful facilities provided on the 'View' menu in the score's own menu bar. 'View > New view' opens a new (linear format) window

'View > Enlarge view' and 'View > Reduce view' options simply changes the viewing scale to one of the several default values. These are chosen so that the number of pixels between the stave lines is an exact whole number. By default VBR use a scale of 44% which gives an approximately actual size view on a typical monitor. It has exactly 7 pixels between each of the staves. The largets scale (100%) has 16 pixels between stave lines.

The 'View > View other format' option enables you to open any of the other formats which you have previously created. For more details on creating formats see here. This option can also be found in the 'Format' manu.

When viewing formats other than the linear format, the last option 'View > Page layout > Side by side|End to end' enables you to position the separate pages either in pairs, side by side, as they will appear in a book, or end to end in a long column. This setting makes no difference to the way the format is printed, nor has it any effect on the linear format window.