Step by step playback

• Nov 5, 2016 - 11:54

Hello all. I usually compose for the piano. If for example I choose one note from the treble staff, I can sort of play the melody pressing repeatedly the right arrow key. It would be nice if I could also hear the left hand part at the same time. In the case of multiple instruments, such as say a symphony, this idea would be extended. Of course there is playback but this arrow key-method could provide an easier way to preliminarily check the harmonics in the piece. Thank you.


You can get an approximation of what you are looking for by slowing down the playback speed to a small fraction of the actual tempo. Open the Play Panel F11 and bring the slider over the word Tempo down as far as you like. The actual tempo embedded the score will be overridden during playback, and you can hear your harmonies slowly to evaluate if there's a clinker in there somewhere.

PS--You don't need to keep the play panel open once you've done this; you can close it (type F11 again) and then re-open it when you want to set your playback speed back to 100%.

In reply to by frfancha

Hmmmm. That's pretty slow. At a typical allegro of 120bpm, there are 480 sixtheenths per minute. 10% of that speed would play 48 sixteenths per minute, so each one would play for 1.25 seconds.

Cut it down to 1% and you have 4.8 sixteenth notes per minute, with each one playing for twelve and a half seconds.

And this is still a good idea in 2019.

Here are my suggestions for how user interaction might work.

There could be an option for "step-wise play back". Perhaps this could be implemented as a drop down menu associated with the play button. If step-wise play back is activated pressing the right arrow key would advance the cursor to the start of the next note and play all notes that start at that time using the duration set in the "play notes when editing" preferences. Pressing the left arrow key would back up the cursor to the start of the previous note and play all notes that start at that time. It will be up to the user to hit the cursor key in the desired rhythm.

There would be options for the scope of the step-wise playback, i.e options for specifying what the "next" note is and what gets played as follows:

a) whole score (the cursor is moved to the next note whichever stave it appears in, all notes in any stave starting at that time are played)
b) stave (the cursor is moved to the next note in the stave whichever voice it appears in and all notes in that stave starting at that time are played)
c) voice (the cursor is moved the next note in the selected voice and all notes starting at that time in that voice - i.e. the chord that the cursor is pointing to - are played)).

Current behaviour is limited to option c) above for voice 1.

It would also be useful to have the play duration available somewhere near the step-wise play back options so that for the purpose of step-wise playback it can be set to something other than the default duration currently set in the preferences for playing notes during editing.

I will head for the issue tracker with a suggestion in a few days, but I hope that others may like to contribute to a discussion here first to polish the proposal or point out potential difficulties.

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