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Tutorials: How to set FTS up to compose music for the Lambdoma

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Go to the tasks folder, and start up the Lambdoma task.

Switch off the drone.

Make sure you have a virtual midi cable installed to relay the notes from your notation software to FTS.

Select one of your virtual midi cables from the In menu in FTS, e.g. Midi Yoke or Maple Sound, like this:

Lambdoma select maple in.png

Set your notation software to use the same device for Midi output. Here is how it is done in NoteWorthyComposer:

Lambdoma select maple out nwc.png

How to set up FTS to retune your score

In the In As menu in FTS - choose how you want to interpret the staff notes. The option to play Lambdoma notes from consecutive white keys is the easiest one to start with.

Lambdoma play from white keys.png

With this option the score will be easiest to read. It can use just the white keys of the keyboard to play the Lambdoma. Every four lines and spaces of the score plays a complete row of the 8 by 8 Lambdoma.

No accidentals are used.

There is no connection between the displayed notes and the actual notes you hear. Instead, the line which is usually interpreted as middle C will play the first note in the fourth row of the Lambdoma (assuming you have everything set at its preset settings in FTS). The space above that, which normally plays D, plays the second note in the fourth row, and so it continues in that way all the way up the staff.

However, a keyboard player can read the score as is, using a suitably tuned musical keyboard. There is no need for a keyboard player to learn anything to play the score, it is possible just to play it straight off using the familiar hand / eye coordination - only the pitches you hear are different. Because of the similarity with scordatura scores for string instruments etc, I call this a Scordatura keyboard score, to coin a word and for want of a better name.

How to set up the score in your notation software

For the single quadrant Lambdoma, and the option to play from white notes, just set up a normal Treble + Bass score.

Since a range of 64 white keys is needed, or a little over 9 octaves, many ledger lines will be needed in a normal score. To reduce the number of ledger lines, you can set it up with an extra treble clef transposed up two octaves - and an extra Bass clef transposed down two octaves.

Like this:

Lambdoma test.png

This example (once retuned in Tune Smithy) will play a single chord for all the notes in the first column of the eight by eight Lambdoma - then it plays the notes in each row one after the other, using the sustain pedal to hold down all the notes for each row before it goes on to the next one.

What is the C# for? - two ways to show the Lambdoma on a standard score

Look closely at the score and you will see a grayed out C# before the first bar. This note is sent via midi - but not shown on the printed score.

Since the Lambdoma is two dimensional, there are two ways you can show the notes on a standard score - row first or column first. Neither is better than the other - it depends on what you want to do. Sometimes it is more convenient to be able to play successive notes in the same row easily, and at other times more convenient to play successive notes in the same column.

So, a way has been provided to make it easy to switch between the two.

To play rows first, place a C# in the score before the notes to play.

To play colums first, place an Eb in the score.

The C# and Eb don't sound, they just act as keyswitches to switch between the two ways of playing the Lambdoma. As with this example you could hide them from a printed score.

It is best to put one or the other before the first note of the score to make sure your score is always played the same way - as the user of FTS change that e.g. if they have been playing the Lambdoma from a music keyboard beforehand.

Also in FTS, make sure you have In As | CAPS LOCK swaps rows and cols for music keyboards switched off, otherwise the score will play differently depending on the state of the caps lock key.

... (to be completed, with images, and sound clips)

Save a Tune Smithy Project

Once you have everything set up as you like, you need a way to get back to it quickly at any time in the future when you retune the same score.

The easiest way to do this may be to save a Tune Smithy project with the same name as the score, and in the same location, so that the two are always together.

You save the project in FTS from File | Save As Project File

How to compose for the full four quadrant Lambdoma

First set up FTS to play notes on the four quadrant 16 by 16 Lambdoma using the "Entire 16 by 16" button.

This has 256 notes, too many to be able to notate them all using the 128 notes in a single midi channel.

The notes for each quadrant have to be sent to FTS on a different midi channel - so set up your score to send notes on channel 1 for the first quadrant, channel 2 for the second and so on.

In FTS, as before choose

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