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

The Lute Tablature panel can be used for entering French lute tablature directly on your score. The convention of using rhythms that are one half of the normal duration has been adopted. Therefore use a single-flag stem for quarter note, a double-flag stem for an eighth note, etc.

To enter lute tablure:

  1. Change your staff type to a 6-line staff (using the Staff Lines tab view in the Staff Attributes pane).
  2. Place the Entry Cursor at the beat location you want to begin.
  3. Choose the rhythmic duration of the notes to be entered by selecting one of the radio buttons along the top of the panel. Click the Insert Stem and Flag button if you want the rhythm to appear above the staff.
  4. Click the course (string) and fret number on the grid. The left side begins with open strings, and the top course is the top of the grid. The strings can be tuned using the sliders located at the left side of the panel or by typing a number into the text boxes. (Numbers can also be typed in for the 7th through 10th courses). Initially the strings are tuned from top to bottom: G3, D3, A2, F2, C2 and G1 with the lower courses being tuned to: F1, E1, D1 and C1. (As a reference remember that middle C is pitch number 60).

The Chord check box turns off Auto Increment, so you can build chords more easily, and the Cursor buttons shift the Entry Cursor to the right or left.

Each note will sound when it is entered, and the tablature can be played back using the Playback controls.

The lute panel also has a button - Convert Notes to Tablature hich can be used to convert selected notes into lute tablature. Only notes are converted to tablature notation since rests, dynamic markings, and other conventional symbols are not normally included in lute tablature. You will also have to add rhythmic indications after you have converted your notes to tablature.

You can also use the Lute panel to shift selected tablature notes to a higher or lower course (i.e. string). Shifting notes to a higher or lower course does not change the pitch of the note, but rather changes to a lower or higher fret letter on another string. For example, the note G3 can be played on the open top string (letter a on the top string) or it could be played on the fifth fret of the second string (letter f on the second string.) To switch between these options, you can select the note, and click on Shift Notes to Lower Course (to move to the second string) or Shift Notes to Higher Course (to move to the first string).

- If you prefer beamed stems instead of flags, enter notes (with stems up) above the staff, change the notehead to stems only (with the Note Attributes pane) and mute the notes (with the Performance Settings pane) so they don't play.

- Although you can cut and paste tablature, to alter the notes, you must remove the incorrect notes and re-enter them.

- To create lute tablature you must have the Tablature font designed by Lyle Nordstrum. This font is installed with NoteAbilityPro.

- While it is possible to change the tuning of notes while you are entering them, altering the tuning will not change the pitch of notes once they have been entered into the score.

See also

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