Little Tango: Sequences, Harmonizer, Advanced Uses
|- The Sequence Generators in Composer are very similar to
Wave Generators, which have already been dealt with in Tutorial 1. The
difference lies in that the Sequence Generators use as repeat element a
music fragment, which we will call sequence, and it should be written in an
external score editor such as
Sibelius. The score editor used must
allow exporting to
- As shown in the example, which contains the two sequences we will use in this tutorial, these have to be written in the first measures of the file and must always end with a simple double bar. The bars following the sequences will not be taken into account by DM-D. For users of the Finale program, the DM-D template files include one, "insec.mus", to be used directly in writing the sequences.
- Once they have been entered in the score editor, they must be exported to XML format so that DM-D can read the sequences. In Finale2006 and 2008, for instance, this tool can be found within menu File --> MusicXML. The file name must always be "insec.xml" and this file should be saved in the DM-D Working Folder (See step 1 of Tutorial 1).
|Step 2: First piece with
|- We are going to generate the first piece using the
sequences we have written. In the Composer programming sheet we have
completed in Tutorial 1, we apply the following modifications:
- The meaning of the above is as follows:
- Now, save changes, and set DM-D to composing. The result should be something similar to this (remember that it won't be the same, as we are using random values):
- As you can see, now the melody contains the melodic fragments of our sequences, in a random succession. They are separated by a quarter silence. This "Final silence" is one of the configuration boxes of the Sequence Generators. It is expressed in sixteenths, and its default value is 4. It may be modified from 0 (all sequences would appear one after the other without separation) to a high value.
|Step 3: Improving the
treatment of Sequences
|- The melody we have obtained before is not very interesting,
as it limits itself to repeating the sequences as we wrote them. Let us try
some ways of transforming these sequences and thus improving our melody. We
shall write the boxed expressions in the Composer programming sheet:
- The meaning of what we have written is as follows:
- Save file in BlockNote and activate Composer in DM-D. The resulting piece could be something like this:
- Let us look at some of the "effects" of our modifications:
|Step 4: Tango Bass
|- After obtaining a more varied melody, it is time to take
care of the bass, and make it more like a Tango bass. To do so, we will
apply the following changes to the Output Table:
- What have we achieved? On the one hand, we have divided the duration of the bass notes by 2. This means that their value will be half, one quaver, imitating the marked and dry style of tango basses.
- On the other hand, we have introduced a random value so that the reinforcing high notes occur only occasionally. This generates a sensation of rather surprising accents, also typical of the tango bass. Saving the file on BlockNote and activating Composer on DM-D the result should be something like this (remember it will not be exactly the same, because of the random values):
- At this point we have managed to create a sort of organised "small piece" with a defined form and theme, i.e. its "outline". However, as it does not respond to any specific harmony, it is probable that it "sounds wrong". Let us see how to apply harmony, it means, COLOUR, to our piece.
|Step 5: Use of the Harmonizer
|A - The basic use of the Harmonizer Module is quite simple.
Firstly we need to write the "Harmony sheet" with a score-writer that allows
exporting to XML, such as Finale or Sibelius. This sheet contains the "harmonic
colours" which we will use to "paint" or “fill in” our piece. For our Tango,
we shall write this harmony:
- The meaning of the Sheet is as follows:
B - Once the Harmony Sheet has been written, it should be exported to XML format, as described in step 1 of this tutorial. The file should be named "inarm.xml" and saved in the DM-D Working Folder.
- Now everything is ready to apply the harmonization. We do this with the "Harmonizer" option in the DM-D menu. Once the process has finished, a file named "outar.mid" is generated, containing the harmonized piece. If we open it in the score editor, something similar to this should appear:
- As you can see, the piece is very similar to the one that had not yet been harmonized, but its notes are adjusted to respond to the harmony we have indicated. In addition, the harmonizer is intelligent, and able to apply non-chord tones. With this, we respect the initial piece much more.
- The first piece we obtain will probably not be the best of all. If we wish to repeat the entire composition-harmonization process, letting the random values offer us different versions, we shall use the option "All" from the DM-D menu. We can try several times until we obtain one we like.
- Lastly, if we wish to obtain the exact piece that appears in the example and is played at the beginning of this Tutorial, we must write value 30566 in the field "seed" of the "Configuration" table in the DM-D Programming Sheet. This seed initialises the random numbers. When its value is 0 (default value), the seed is generated at random. When its value is between 1 and 65000, the piece will always be the same for the same number.
Advanced uses of DM-D
|- Throughout the 2 tutorials, we have described the basic use
of DM-D. However, DM-D allows more complex uses, which can be seen in the
Examples, which are also detailed in the
Documentation of the program, and
which we mention in summarised form: