Application Suite: Maestro



Maestro enables you to transcribe music in standard musical notation and play it through the computer's own sound system. It also provides some simple editing facilities. The following description assumes that you are familiar with musical notation.

  Install Maestro on the icon bar in the usual way (by double-clicking on its icon in the Apps icon on the iconbar). You can open the Maestro window by clicking on the Maestro icon on the icon bar.

The best way to get started with Maestro is to load one of the tunes supplied. To do this, double-click on one of the tune icons in the Tunes directory, or drag it onto the Maestro icon on the icon bar. The window that appears looks like this:

The Maestro window is divided into three horizontal panels, with the stave in the centre. Above and below the stave are toolboxes containing icons for notes, rests, clefs and other symbols.

To play a tune, click MENU to open the main Maestro menu. Click SELECT on Play to start the music. As the music plays, the score scrolls across the screen, this scrolling only affects the central panel. Click Play again to stop the tune, another bar or so will play before the music stops. To return to the beginning of the score, use the horizontal scroll bar.

Before setting up your own score, try out the following editing procedures on one of the tunes supplied on the disc.

Editing the score

Adding and deleting notes and rests
To add a note or rest, select the value you want by clicking on its icon in the pane above or below the score. The selected item will appear with a frame around it. When you move the pointer onto the score window, a 'trial icon' appears, which moves around as you move the pointer. When the item is in the position you want, click SELECT. To get rid of the trial icon without adding a note or rest to the score and without selecting an alternative trial icon, press MENU, move the pointer off the Menu and press SELECT.

Notes may be placed anywhere; above and below each stave they will create their own ledger-lines. In the case of notes with stems, the stem trails behind the trial icon. If the pointer is moved downwards, the stem will be above the note, if upwards, the stem will be below the note

Rests will appear only in their valid positions, in the centre of the stave.

To delete a note or rest, select the icon for the same value and position the trial icon exactly over the item you wish to remove (it doesn't matter whether the stem goes the same way or not). When it is in the right place, the trial icon will appear to blot out the original item. Click SELECT and the item will be deleted.

Adding dots, accidentals, bars and ties
Select a lengthening dot in exactly the same way as a note or rest. Move the pointer over the note you wish to lengthen and click SELECT. To delete a dotted note, you do not have to delete the dot separately: delete the note and the dot will disappear too.

Select and place accidentals, bars and ties in the same way: like notes and rests, they will appear only in valid positions. A bar will be inserted across all the staves in the score when you click on one of them.

The tie character is of a fixed length, but when placed between notes of the same pitch, a single note will sound, with a duration equal to the two notes added together.

Adding clefs and key and time signatures
Clefs may be selected and placed like other items: they will appear only at the beginning of a bar.

Key and time signatures must be selected before they are positioned on the score. This is done using the Maestro menu, and the process is described in the appropriate section below

The Maestro menu

As in any application, clicking MENU on the Maestro window will display the top-level menu.

  • The Save procedure is exactly the same as for other applications such as Edit or Draw. Save a score by dragging the Maestro icon into the directory window where you want to save it, or by typing in the full pathname and clicking on OK.
  • File gives you some information about the file you are working on.
  • Print allows you to print your score on the printer.
  • Clear removes the current score from the stave but leaves the Maestro window on the screen.
  • Staves displays a box where you can enter the numbers 1. 2 3 or 4 (others are not accepted), and an option +percussion. Clicking on this option will add a single line percussion stave; when it is selected, the menu item is ticked. Click on it again to remove the percussion stave.

  • Instruments presents you with a full window containing a line for each voice on each normal stave you have selected, and a single line for the percussion stave (if selected). If you click on Instruments, the window will stay on the screen.

    There is a maximum of eight voices available. If you have selected more than two staves, they will be distributed roughly equally between staves. You can scroll this window vertically in the normal way. The following properties can be set for each voice:

  • Voice - Repeated clicking of ADJUST takes you through the instruments available. SELECT takes you backwards through the options available.
  • Volume - The volume of each voice can be set separately. Click SELECT to reduce the volume by one 'notch' and ADJUST to increase it To set the overall volume, use the Volume option on the main Maestro menu.
  • Stereo -The position of each voice can be changed independently to any one of seven positions, so as to create a spread or stereo image when the music is played through more than one speaker Click SELECT to move the voice to the left and ADJUST to move it to the right.

If you have installed a MIDI expansion card in your computer, the Instruments box will have an extra column headed MIDI. The line for each instrument contains a figure I by default, indicating that it will play on MIDI channel number 1. Click on this number to change the channel number for each instrument. In addition, when a MIDI card is installed a MIDI only entry is added to the set of voices that appears when you click on the voice entry; choose this entry to prevent any sound being played through the computer's own speaker.

  • Volume enables you to set the overall volume on a scale from ppp to fff.
  • Tempo allows you to set the tempo on a scale from largissimo to prestissimo.
  • Time signature presents you with a small box containing a time signature. Position the pointer over the upper number; successive clicks cycle the values from 2 to 16. The lower number can take values of 2, 4, 8 and 16 only.

To assign a time signature to a score (or to add a new time signature in the middle of a score):

  1. Make your choice using the Maestro menu.
  2. Choose the '4/4' icon from the Maestro window.
  3. Position the pointer where you want the time signature to appear.
  4. Click SELECT.

The selected time signature will appear on all staves.

To delete a time signature select the 4/4 icon. move the pointer onto the time signature and click SELECT.

  1. The Key signature menu tree is displayed by choosing the Key sig. option.

The Key signature menu tree first asks you to choose between major and minor keys. Taking the major path offers you a set of key signatures with C at the centre, 'flat' key signatures grouped above and 'sharp' signatures below. For minor keys, A is at the centre.

To place a key signature at the beginning of a score, or at the beginning of a bar:

  1. Make your choice using the Maestro menu.
  2. Choose the 'key' icon from the Maestro window (the trial icon will appear in the form of the selected key signature).
  3. Position the pointer where you want the key signature to appear.
  4. Click SELECT.

The selected key signature will appear on all staves.

To delete a key signature, select the key icon, move the pointer onto the key signature and click SELECT.

  1. Goto presents you with a box into which you type the number of the bar you wish to move to.
  2. Play starts the tune playing from the point displayed on the screen. To stop, click on Play again.

Setting up your own score

The preceding description of the Maestro menu options gives you the information you need to set up your own score. However, for the sake of clarity, the following section sets out the steps to take in their most convenient order (though they can be changed at any time). The menu options are shown in bold type.

  1. Choose the Staves you want.
  2. Choose your Instruments, and their volume and position.
  3. Select your Key signature, and place it on the score by selecting the key icon and dragging it into the correct place.
  4. Select your Time Signature, and place it on the score by selecting the 4/4 icon and dragging it into place.
  5. Choose the Volume and Tempo you want.

You are now ready to start placing notes on the staves to construct and play your own music.


This documentation is copyright 3QD Developments Ltd 2013 and may not be reproduced or published in any form without the copyright holder's permission. RISC OS is subject to continuous development and improvement as such all information is provided by 3QD Developments Ltd in good faith and is believed to be correct at the time of publication E&OE. 3QD Developments Ltd cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of any information provided as part of the RISC OS Documentation.

HTML document version r23142 (3rd November 2015)