Dulcimer Tablature Panel
  1. Choose Tools in the menu bar.
  2. Choose Dulcimer Panel... from the Tools menu.

The Dulcimer Entry panel can be used for entering dulcimer tablature in your score. The entry panel can be used to enter either 3-string or 4-string tablature with the highest pitched string appearing at the bottom.

To enter dulcimer tablature:

  1. Change your staff type to a wide 3-line or 4-line staff (using the Staff Lines tab view in the in the Staff Attributes pane of the Music Images panel). For the tablature numbers to appear at the correct location you use the 3 and 4 lines staff types that use double staff spacing. Since you cannot specify alternate staff types in the document setup, you will have to change the staff type after you created your document. The example below shows a regular 5-line staff and the wide 3-line dulcimer staff:

  2. Place the Entry Cursor at the beat location you want to begin.
  3. Choose the rhythmic duration of the note (i.e. tablature number) to be entered by selecting one of the radio buttons along the top of the panel. If needed, tuplets can be set using the tuplet indications on the control panel.
  4. Choose whether you want to have stems (flags and beams)appear above the tablature, below the tablature, or to not have stems appear at all. In addition you can check the Extend stems check box to have your stems extend to the tablature number. The example below shows the effect of the various settings:

  5. Choose whether you would like the tablature to be centred on the line, to erase the line, or to appear above the line by selecting one of the three options:

  6. Click the button on the fretboard grid that corresponds to the string and fret number you want. The left side of the grid begins with the open strings, with the highest pitched string at the bottom of the grid. (The strings are tuned from top to bottom: A1 (midi:45), D2 (midi:50), A2 (midi:57), D3 (midi:62). The pitches of the open strings can be altered using the sliders at the left side of the panel - midi pitch numbers (i.e. middle C3 = 60) are indicated. The tablature number you have chosen will appear on your score at the correct location on the 3 or 4 line staff. Each note will sound when it is entered, and the tablature can be played back using the score Playback controls.

The example below shows a D Major scale in both conventional notation and in dulcimer tablature.

To build chords, you can use the Entry Cursor arrows on the panel to move back to the previous note position or you can drag the Entry Cursor directly on the score beore entering the next tablature character.

The Form Slur button can be used to create a slur between tablature numbers. Select the numbers you want slurred, and click on the Form Slur button. Tablature slurs are only intended to occur on the same string.

The Form Tie button can be used to create a tie between tablature numbers that are the same (i.e. the same string and fret). Select the numbers you want tied, and click on the Form Tie button. The duration of the first note is altered to include the duration of the second note. The example below shows a slur followed by a tie.

- The font used for the tablature text can be set in the Text/Font pane of the Inspector Panel.

- For maximum flexiblity, the dulcimer tablature numbers are separate images from the stems/flags. The stems/flags are simply muted notes without noteheads or ledger lines - they can be adjusted freely (as any note can be.) This means that stem lengths, beam angles and stem positions can all be altered using normal editing procedures. However, when you copy and paste tablature flags, you should use the Exact Paste method to insure that the noteheads and ledger settings are retained when pasted into the score.

- Tablature numbers can be adjusted left and right, but not up and down, and the number cannot be changed. If you have entered the incorrect tablature number, select it and remove it, then enter the correct number.

- If you prefer shorter stems in your tablature rhythms, you can change the default stem length in the Graphics pane of the Inspector panel.

See also

© Keith A. Hamel 1998-2005 - All Rights Reserved