Tips on using

capella is an extremely flexible tool. While many music settings can be accomplished quickly and easily through the score wizard, there are some settings that while easy are not obvious, or where the idea may not have occurred to you. The Tips tabs below give you advice on how to do things you thought impossible or that had not occurred to you.

If you use capella a lot you can save time by using shorcut keys. Click here to get a PDF of them from p196 in the user guide.

 

composersteacherssingersplaybacklayout/fonts etc.

for composers

Do you want to work in a single line of music? You can do this if you have Page Layout View switched off. When you switch it back on you will return to the start of the line of music.

Using the automatic wrap around feature you can then either click ‘Optimum’ or specify the number of bars you want per line of music. Or you can chop it up manually, if you prefer.

The tenor clef in SATB scores and how to use Score Templates

If you produce four part vocal scores you will need the octave treble clef for your tenors. To get it you have to go into the Score Template and look under ‘Additional Clefs’ (the so called ‘common clefs’ in this the top of this window do not include this, the tenor clef listed there is a C clef).

Until we can have the octave tenor clef more accessible the quick way to start a score containing the octave treble clef is to use a Score Template.

To open a score template go to FILE | NEW and select ‘From Template’. You will see your capella files. When you open an appropriate score you will see a single stave – this is intentional! To insert the staves press CTRL+ENTER. If you prefer using the mouse click on INSERT | STAVE. In the window which comes up you can click on the ‘Select all staves’ button or tick the staves that you need at this point.

for music teachers

The tenor clef in SATB scores and how to use Score Templates

If you produce four part vocal scores you will need the octave treble clef for your tenors. To get it you have to go into the Score Template and look under ‘Additional Clefs’ (the so called ‘common clefs’ in this the top of this window do not include this, the tenor clef listed there is a C clef).

Until we can have the octave tenor clef more accessible the quick way to start a score containing the octave treble clef is to use a Score Template.

To open a score template go to FILE | NEW and select ‘From Template’. You will see your capella files. When you open an appropriate score you will see a single stave – this is intentional! To insert the staves press CTRL+ENTER. If you prefer using the mouse click on INSERT | STAVE. In the window which comes up you can click on the ‘Select all staves’ button or tick the staves that you need at this point.

If you need more staves in your new score, press the System Template button and expand the template.

It has always been possible to print large, single notes – with no stave lines – in capella (but apparently this is not possible in other similar programs!).

The instructions below show you how to do it.

  • Press File | New | Empty Score
  • Ctrl+M to open the Score Template. In the Spacing tab, under Stave Line Spacing, enter a number such as 15. In the Clef tab click No clef. In the Stave Lines tab click ‘Delete stave line’ and click on all five stave lines to delete them.Press Ctrl+M to return to the score. Set ‘no time signature’ and enter the notes you need. You will need to have colour information switched off, because otherwise you will see the tempo setting.
  • If you want ta, ta-te etc. underneath the notes enter these as text.
  • If you set the zoom for Whole Page you will see how large the notes will print out on an A4 page.
  • If you want to save this as a bitmap image you will be able to open the file in Windows Photo and Fax Viewer. If it makes it more flexible for printing elsewhere, you can save it as a TIFF file.
To get the notes on the stave placed regardless of note duration go to FORMAT | SCORE FORMAT | Note Spacing tab and move the slider bar.
  • This is useful if you want to produce teaching material, for example if you are asking pupils to insert barlines. It is of course easy just to switch off the time signature by selecting No Metre, however the relative spacing of the notes will still be logical, making it visually quite easy to spot where the barlines should be inserted.

for singers

Lyrics are entered by typing underneath the notes in your score. However by using the Lyrics dialogue box you can improve the result. To open this window press EXTRAS | Lyrics | Edit in Window. The work below is all done in the Lyrics dialogue box, after the lyrics have been written in the score.

1. When a word or syllable continues underneath two notes it is necessary to put an underline character after the end in order to centre the syllable. You might wish to show the underline, but depending on the spacing the underline can sometimes display as a small mark. When you remove the underline in the Lyric dialogue box the word will still be centred correctly and there will be no underline.

2. In music where a word is spread over several notes the hyphens will be spread evenly. If you wish to see a hyphen underneath each note enter your word by typing in the score (for example ‘alleluia’ spread over eight notes). Then go into the Lyric Entry window. To centre a hyphen underneath a note use a [ \ ] before the [ – ] (). You will probably have an extra hyphen, this should be deleted. In this example, in the Lyric window you will see Al-/-/-/-/lu-/ia which gives equal spacing of the hyphens. Change to Al/\-/\-/\-/lu-/ia and you will see a hyphen beneath each note.

3. If you want to add a hyphen after the last syllable (rather than between syllables) you will need to add a dummy letter after the last syllable to get the spacing right. You can delete the dummy letter after adding the hyphen. Use the same technique to continue an underline to the end of the music.

If you run a choir the free Capella Reader can help you. Using the Reader your contacts can playback and print any of your capella scores. Unlike having the score as an MP3 or a MIDI file, they can also see the cursor following the notes as they play. You can send an email out to all your fellow musicians with the Reader attached or a link to the Reader.

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adding subtlety to playback

You can improve the musicality of playback from capella by making small changes to the score file specifically for playback. A score created in this way would not be suitable for handing out as sheet music, we are talking here about the result on playback. For example, you can add short rests to create tension or drama before a musical phrase. You wouldn’t put this into your printed score because the performer would automatically know how to create this effect from the performance instructions on the score.

In addition, it is worth spending time experimenting with the Capella-Tune dialogues. As an example of the things you can do with Captune; if you put a staccato symbol over notes you an define two separate qualities of the one symbol. You can define the ‘attack’ and the duration of the notes. The attack varies the intensity – in effect the volume – of the note.

In capella playback notes have a default duration of 95% of the note value. This is to give a normal, non-legato sound. Another point you can experiment with is tempo. If you use the ‘Extrapolate’ option in tempo and go between, say, 80 and 120 over a run of notes, you will see a little green tempo number over the top of every note. This shows that each note has been assigned an individual value. You will need to have colour information switched on in order to see this.

controlling layout

capella produces a professional looking layout automatically. But there are occasions when you may want more than the automatic layout or the changes you can make through the menus.

capella does an excellent job of laying out scores in an elegant and readable manner, however there will be occasions when layout needs manually tweaking:

  • Two few or two many bars across the page. Click on EXTRAS | Score Wrap Around. Here you can set a specific number of bars or you can ask capella to automatically wrap around at an appropriate number of bars. This will vary the number of bars across the page depending on the number of notes in the bars and the note size.
  • Notes clash with notes in adjoining voices. Put the cursor to the left of a note, hold down [J] and press right or left keyboard arrow.
  • Repositioning accidentals. Hold down CTRL and click on an accidental. When it is highlighted, hold down [J] and use right or left keyboard arrows. [J]+[HOME] return it to the default position.
  • Changing stem length. With the cursor to the left of the note, hold [N] and use the up or down arrows. [I] plus up or down arrow will change the direction of the note stem.
  • You can change note and barline position by adding placeholders. These are notes/rests with no value and they are invisible. Use [SHIFT]+[CTRL]+[W]+[U]. To keep placeholders inside (on the left of) a barline you will need to click on the Appoggiatura button and select ‘passing appoggiatura’. Call this dialogue by highlighting the placeholders, clicking FORMAT | Notes/Rests | General tab.
  • Notes overflowing the right side of the page. capella has a default setting for the number of notes it will place horizontally within a page of music. If you find you have notes overflowing the right margin of the page this will usually be because you have imported a file from an earlier version of capella. There are two ways to correct the overflow. The Score Wraparound feature (EXTRAS Score Wrap around), or right mouse clicking on any part of the score page and selecting ‘Score’. In the Note Spacing tab click ‘Allow extra compression of notes along the stave’.
  • If you want to do more major tweaking – for example two lines of music alongside each other, or vertically aligned barlines across lines of music – look at the From User to Expert section of the Help files.
  • capellaPro6 (2008) and 7 used the XML format to save capella files. The advantage of this is that XML is a text format, not a binary format. This means that all your capella files – if they are saved using the .capx option – can be edited in a text editor. If you are wondering why this may be useful, one example would be globally changing the font throughout the score. To look at the capx file you need to do the following. Rename .capx to .zip and now you can unzip the file. This will give you a file called score.xml. You can edit this in any text editor (such as NotePad). The best way of doing this is to globally search for and replace references to the feature you want changing, such as the font, for example. When you have changed and saved score.xml you need to rezip the file and rename it to something appropriate with the .capx extension. You can then open it in capella to check the changes. Although many changes are much more easily done directly in capella, if you have a look at the xml file you may see opportunities to make changes you otherwise thought impossible.
  • Creating your own default template. If you nearly always write a specific type of music, for instance if you always use SATB on two staves, create this layout and then save it to the folder ‘Program files/capella-software/capella 7/template’ with the name ‘Standard.cap’. Every time you start capella you will now get an empty score of this design.

Fonts

On the downloads page under Support materials you will find a zipped file containing 12 additional fonts and instructions on how to install them.

Associated with changing the fonts is the ability to change the way the stave looks. This is done in the capella.dat text. See how to change the thickness of stave lines, note stems and barlines or the default plain text font. See here