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9.4. Write a Song in Rosegarden (Tutorial)

When using Rosegarden's notation editor, the application may accidentally leave some notes playing longer than it should. You can fix this, if it bothers you, by pressing the "panic" button in Qsynth. If you are using another synthesizer with a panic button, it should server the same function.

9.4.1. Start the Score with a Bass Line

  1. Start QjackCtl, then Qsynth, then Rosegarden.
  2. For this tutorial, we'll be using the default "Fluid R3" SoundFont, but you can use any General MIDI SoundFont.
  3. Setup Rosegarden in JACK for MIDI use only.
  4. From the Rosegarden menu, select 'Edit > Preferences'. Click the "MIDI" tab, then the 'General' tab, then select "Send all MIDI controllers at start of each playback". This will ensure that the MIDI synthesizer (FluidSynth for this tutorial) uses the right patches.
  5. Create a new segment.
    1. Click on the "Draw" tool on the toolbar (it looks like a red pencil), or press 'F3' on the keyboard.
    2. In the first track, click-and-drag to select the area over the first two bars.
    3. When you release the mouse, there should be a rectangle that says, "Acoustic Grand Piano," or something similar.
  6. Double-click on the rectangle to open the default MIDI segment editor. It should be the notation editor.
    1. Change the clef. Click on the bass clef on the toolbar at the left side of the editor window. Then click on the existing clef to replace it.
    2. Switch to the note-inputting tools as required. They're located next to the clef tools, in the toolbar at the left of the notation editor window.
    3. Input three quarter-notes on c, two eighth notes on c and g, two quarter-notes on e-flat, and four eighth notes on d, f, d, and g.
  7. You'll probably make a few mistakes. The easiest way to fix a mistake is to erase the note/s and re-input the correct note/s. You can use the eraser tool for this. It's located on the top toolbar of the score editing window, to the left of the capital "T," and to the right of the red pencil. It looks like a red and white rectangle, which represents a standard white eraser.
  8. Listen to your creation by clicking on the 'play' button in the transport window. The playhead won't stop until you stop it, even though the visible playhead (the vertical line) will stop.
  9. Close the notation editor - you don't need to click the 'save' button, because Rosegarden will automatically keep your changes.
  10. You should save the file, though.
  11. Click the "Select and Edit" tool, which looks like a mouse cursor on the toolbar. You can also select that tool by pressing 'F2' on the keyboard.
  12. Select the segment you just created by clicking on it.
  13. Create a copy of it by holding the 'Ctrl' key on the keyboard, as you click-and-drag the segment.
  14. Place the copy in the same track, immediately after the first segment.
  15. Create a few more copies like this.
  16. Use the transport to move the playhead to the start (click the button that looks like a vertical bar with a single-direction arrowhead pointing towards it).
  17. Name the newly-created track by double-clicking on its name. A window will pop up, allowing you to rename the track. If you don't know what to call it, try "Bass line."