QuickScore Elite Tutorials

Starting Out

Getting Started  How To  Manual  MIDI and Audio

This tutorial will introduce you to QuickScore Elite and show you how to load files, enter and change notes in the Score Editor and change parameters in the Track Sheet.

Starting QuickScore Elite

Start up QuickScore Elite by selecting it from the Start > Programs menu

QuickScore Elite will appear on the screen. Inside the main window with its controls are three windows cascaded one on top of the other. The Score Editor is the topmost of these three windows. On the bottom of the main window are six more windows which are minimized.

We will be working with the Score Editor at first, so let's maximize it. Click on the button in the top right-hand corner of the Score Editor's window with the triangle pointing up (the maximize button). Now the Score Editor will fill the screen. The Score Editor lets you enter and edit music in standard music notation.

For the duration of the Score Editor tutorials we'll use System Edit view. If you don't already have System Edit view selected, from the View menu, click on System Edit to select System Edit view.

Entering Notes With the Mouse

Let's start by entering a few notes. Select the pencil icon from the Score Editor's toolbar by clicking on it.

Now click the mouse once around the first beat of the first bar. You can tell where the mouse is in time by the mouse time locator in the control area of the Score Editor. As you move the mouse, the time will change. When the time reads 1:1:0, this means the mouse is on the first bar, on the first beat and on the 0th (first) step. A quarter note should appear where you click the mouse. Move the mouse a little further along on the staff. Check that the time reads close to 1:2:0 (close to the start of the second beat). It doesn't have to be exact. Click the mouse again and another quarter note will appear close to where you clicked it.

We have been entering quarter notes, but now let's try entering some eighth notes. To do this you need to change the duration value in the durations palette in the main control area. Click on the eighth note to select it instead of the quarter note.

Now move the cursor near the middle of the first bar so the mouse time locator reads close to 1:3:0 and click in an eighth note. Move over half a beat or so, so that the mouse time locator reads close to 1:3:48 and put in another note. You should now have two eighth notes in the third beat of bar one.

Moving Music with the TAB Key

If you don't like where a note appears on the screen, you can move it with the TAB key. Click the right mouse button on the note to put the cursor on top of it. The cursor appears as a vertical line across the staff with ledger lines above and below it. Press the TAB key to move the note forward. Hold down the SHIFT key and press the TAB key again and the note will move back to where it was before. Note that all notes after the cursor will move back and forth by the duration value set in the durations palette when you press TAB and SHIFT+TAB.

Step Entry

Now let's try to enter some notes from your MIDI keyboard. (If you don't have a MIDI keyboard attached to your computer, you can skip this part.) Select the step entry icon (the little piano icon, third from the right, in the main control area) by clicking on it.

Now move the cursor to the first beat of the second bar. You can do this by clicking the right mouse button at the start of this bar or by moving the cursor with the left and right arrow keys. Let's enter some sixteenth notes, so click on the sixteenth note in the durations palette to set the duration value to sixteenths. Now play four notes one at a time on your keyboard. The four notes you played will appear as sixteenth notes on the first beat of the second measure. After each note is entered, the cursor moves over by a sixteenth note (the duration value) so you can enter another note.

Now press the SPACE BAR to play your piece. You can also play the piece by clicking on the play button in the main control area.

Moving Notes Around

Chances are you aren't completely satisfied with your piece just yet. Let's change some of the notes so they sound a little better. To do this select the NSEW tool (the one with the four arrows) from the toolbar.

Now click on a note and drag it around (hold the left mouse button down on the note, move the mouse and then release the button). You can drag it up and down to change its pitch or back and forth to move it around in time. Try changing a few notes this way. You can also use the other tools with arrows on them (the NS and the EW tools) to move notes. The NS tool moves notes up and down in pitch and the EW tool moves notes back and forth in time.

Saving Your Work

Now let's save your work to a file. Click on the File menu and select the Save menu item. Let's call this file MYFILE.QSD. Type "myfile.qsd" in the file name box and press OK. The first time you save a file you are always asked to name the file. Afterwards the file is automatically saved under the name you last saved it. If you don't save your work it will be lost when you quit QuickScore Elite or when you load a new file. Now that you've saved your work you can come back and work on it later.

Loading a New File

Let's load in a file that was already created. Click on the File menu and select the Open menu item. Select the file BRAND41.QSD.

You can select it by clicking on its name and then clicking on OK, or by double-clicking on its name.


When this file loads, let's play it to hear what it sounds like. (Press the SPACE BAR or click on the play button.) As the file plays the display will scroll by, letting you see what the music looks like. You can stop playing by pressing the SPACE BAR again or by clicking on the stop button in the main control area.

While you play, you can look at the music in different windows. Choose a different window if you like by clicking on the Window menu and choosing the window you want by clicking on the window's name in the Window menu. You can also change windows by pressing CTRL+TAB (holding down the CTRL key and pressing TAB) or by unmaximizing the Score Editor window by clicking on the maximize button in the top right-hand corner of the window and then clicking on another window. If you want to open a window that appears as an icon at the bottom of QuickScore Elite's main window, double click on it.

The Track Sheet

When you have finished playing, bring up the Track Sheet by double clicking on its icon at the bottom of the main window or by selecting it from the Window menu. In the Track Sheet, you can change some global settings for your tracks. You can name tracks, mute or solo them when you play, and change the output, channel and the initial program change, volume and pan.

You can also find and set initial settings for clef and transposition for each track as well as the initial key signature, time signature, beat and tempo for your entire piece. If you are using a GS-compatible sound module, you can change the bank for each sound you choose.

Changing Programs

Let's change the programs to something interesting. Click on the Program for track one and select something new. Press the HOME key to move back to the beginning of the piece and try playing again to see what your new program sounds like.

When QuickScore Elite first starts, the program names are set for General MIDI instruments. If you have a General MIDI synth or sound card the sound you get should sound like its General MIDI description. If yours is not a General MIDI instrument, the names won't correspond to the sounds in your instrument. You can change the program names by choosing Patch Lists from the Options menu and selecting a patch list for your instrument. If your instrument isn't in here, you can make up a patch list for it. See How to create a new patch list for details.

Setting the Volume

Now let's set the volume for all the tracks to a low value Let's try 50. Press the HOME key and the SPACE BAR to hear the effect. Try setting the volume to 127 (the maximum) and listen to the difference.


Feel free to look at the menus and at the other windows. Browse through some of the files that are included with QuickScore Elite and look at some MIDI files of your own, if you have any. (If you want to open MIDI files, select MIDI file in the List Type of the File drop-down list box at the bottom of the Open File dialog box. If you want to open QuickScore Elite's native files, select QSD file in this list box.) After you've opened a file or saved it, its name appears at the bottom of the File menu. You can quickly open this file again by clicking on its name.
When you want to leave QuickScore Elite, select Exit from the File menu.