The Grid User Manual

Page 1



1 . U S E R I N T E R F A C E . . . 2

2.1 Reference number (X: field)

2.2 Title (T: field)

2.3 Composer (C: field)

2.4 Arranger (A: field)

2.5 Meter (M: field)

2.6 Basic note length (L: field)

2.7 Tempo (Q: field)

2.8 Key (K: field)

3.1 Note Input








Note value



2 . H E A D E R . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

3 . N O TAT I O N. . . . . . . . . . . 6

3.2 Expression and Articulation










Other markings


Special markings for percussion


| 1. USER INTERFACE | This is the editor of The Grid:


Stacked/Side-by-side button

Select your favourable ‘Preview’ and ‘Input ABC notation’ position

2. Preview

Preview your scripts in Grid Notation format


Input ABC notation


Lock/Unlock button

Input your script in this area Enable/disable editing in ‘Input ABC notation’

| 2. HEADER | The following is a short example of a grid score. A typical grid score contains 2 sections - H E A D E R (containing background information of the composition) and N O TAT I O N (containing notes and markings).

To start creating your Grid Score, you have to begin with the H E A D E R , which indicates all the necessary information about your music. All these fields are to be typed in the Input ABC Notation box, in the following order: X: � Marks the start of the header T: . . [Others optional fields, e.g. C:, M:, Q:, etc.] . . K: � Marks the end of the header *Please be reminded that X:, T: and K: fields are compulsory to complete the H E A D E R section, while the rest are optional - to be added just when you need them.


The guideline for each field is as follows:

2.1. Reference number (X: field) (compulsory)

This is a reference number of your composition for easier sorting and picking from millions of your creations. Just put a number in this field (even if you don’t need it!) and it does not appear on the Grid Score.

Example: X: 1 2.2. Title (T: field) (compulsory)

This ‘T’ refers to the title. Name your creation here!

Example: T: My First Creation 2.3. Composer (C: field) (optional)

C refers to the composer - put down your name here creator :)

Example: C: Chris Wong 2.4. Arranger (A: field) (optional)

For any music arrangement, write down the name of arranger here.

Example: A: Aaron Leung 2.5. Meter (M: field) (optional)

This field is for the meter. You may freely use any time signature here, including the common time ‘C’.

Example: M: 3/4 2.6. Basic note length (L: field) (optional)

The L: field refers to the basic note length. Here, you have to define the ‘unit of duration’ for each letter (‘note’) you will write in the N O TAT I O N section below. For instance, if you put down 1/8 in this field, each letter in the N O TAT I O N section will represent a quaver (i.e. 8th note). It works the same for L:1/4 (each letter as a crotchet), L:1/2 (each letter as a minim), etc. (*The duration of note will be further explained in the next section of this guideline.)

Example: L: 1/4

2.7. Tempo (Q: field) (optional)

This field controls the tempo. Although the software displays the ‘beat-per-minute (bpm)’ (e.g. 120) only, you are still free to add the note value (1/4) for your own reference in the N O TAT I O N section.

Example: Q: 1/4=120 2.8. Key (K: field) (compulsory)

K refers to the key of your creation. You can choose any major or minor in this field.

Example: K: Amin Combining and inputting all the field examples above, the following results can be obtained: (*The header will NOT appear immediately until you have finished creating your first measure of the N O TAT I O N !) X:1 T: My First Creation C: Chris Wong A: Aaron Leung M: 3/4 L: 1/4 Q: 1/4=120 K: Amin


| 3 . N O TAT I O N | After creating the header, you can continue to work on the notation section.

3.1. Note input 3.1.1. Instrumentation The number of parts and instruments can be selected here. You can input the command V:1 name="part" under the header to add any instrument/voice. The V refers to the voice. The number refers to the order of part(s), while the name of the part (most likely an instrument) can be typed inside the “double quotation marks�. These commands can be stacked on top of each other, forming multiple parts. Example: V:1 name="Violin" V:2 name="Oboe" V:3 name="Bass"

3.1.2. Pitch After inputting the instrumentation as mentioned, add the opening of part(s) as shown below. Example: V:1 name="Violin" V:2 name="Oboe" V:3 name="Bass" [V:1] [V:2] [V:3] Then start typing the letter names of your desired notes according to different parts. The spacing between notes does not affect the notational outcome (but of course, a tidier notation always means easier to follow and double-check!). Barlines can be inserted with simply a | symbol. (* Note value will be covered in the next section) Example: [V:1] c c e g




e c

[V:2] c c c e




c c

[V:3] c c c c


g, g, c c

For notating notes which stretch more than an octave, upper case (capital) letters, CDEFGAB, are used to denote the bottom octave, continuing with lower case letters for the top octave, cdefgab. Alternatively, you may use the following signs immediately after a note: A comma ( , ) for a note that is an octave below Example: c, for a low c note A closing quotation mark ( ’ ) for a note that is an octave higher Example: c’ for a high c note

An example of extended range notes (in Solfège):

It is noteworthy that your notation can be completed in either ‘part-by-part notation’ or ‘full notation’ (*For full notation, systems are separated by a ‘%’ sign). Both of the following examples lead to the same notational outcome: Full notation example:

Part-by-part notation example: [V:1] B C'/2 D'/2 B2 B/2 C'/2 D'/2 B/2 A [V:2] G G D G G/2 F/2 F [V:3] G4 G B D


| || | || | ||

[V:1] [V:2] [V:3] % [V:1] [V:2] [V:3]

B C'/2 D'/2 B2 G G D G4


| | |

B/2 C'/2 D'/2 B/2 A G G/2 F/2 F G B D

G || G || G ||

3.1.3. Accidentals The symbols ^, = and _ are used (before a note) to notate respectively a sharp, natural or flat. Double sharps and flats are available with ^^ and __ respectively. Example: [V:1] C ^C =C _C |


3.1.4. Note Value The duration of note relates closely to your defined basic note length (L: field) in the H E A D E R section. If you have put down 1/8 in the L: field, each note (letter) is a quaver (i.e. 8th note) long. The other note length sticks to the following rules: For note durations that are longer than the defined basic note length, add a number immediately after the particular notes. The number indicate how many times as long as the defined basic note length. For example, in the case of L:1/8, C represents a quaver, C2 represents a crotchet while C4 represents a minim and so on. This rule also works for note durations that are shorter than the defined basic note length, in which the added number will be a fraction. For example, in the case of L:1/8 again, C/2 represents a semiquaver while C/4 represents a demisemiquaver and so on. Dotted rhythm can be created by using a > to mean 'the previous note is dotted, the next note halved' while < to mean 'the previous note is halved, the next note is dotted'. Example: [V:1] C>D C<D

3.1.5. Barline Apart from the common barline | , in addition, |: and :| represent the start and the end of a repeated section respectively. Example: [V:1] C D E F|: G F E F :| G2 E C | B C C2 |

3.2. Expression and Articulation The brief introduction above should be enough for the basic operation of The Grid. This section will further cover some special markings.

3.2.1. Articulation The articulation is marked before a note. The corresponding representations are as follows: Articulation


ďš’ d


. e.g. .D



!tenuto! e.g. !tenuto!D



!>! e.g. !>!D

ďš’ d


H e.g. HD

Pipa tremolo

!pipatremolo! e.g. !pipatremolo!D


Example: V:O name="oboe" [V:O] .c !tenuto!B !>!c HC |


3.2.2 Dynamic The dynamic can be categorized into five levels. They are represented by different colours in grid notation, according to the following table:


Dynamics (texts)


Maximum sound level

!ff! e.g. [V:1] !ff! D E F G

Moderate sound level

!f! e.g. [V:1] !f! D E F G

Medium sound level

!mf! e.g. [V:1] !mf! D E F G

Weak sound level

!mp! e.g. [V:1] !mp! D E F G

Minimum sound level

!p! e.g. [V:1] !p! D E F G


!<(! , !<)! e.g. !<(! d1e1 !<)!


!>(! , !>)! e.g. !>(! d1e1 !>)!

cresc., decresc., dim.

s: cresc. | e.g. [V:1] B E E | s: cresc. |

Example of adding/changing a dynamic level: [V:1] !ff! c d e f | g f e f | !p! g2 e c | b, c c2 |

Example of a crescendo and diminuendo: [V:1] !<(! c d e f | g f e f !<)!| !>(! g2 e c | b, c c2 !>)!|

Example of a dim.: [V:1] c d e f | g f e f | g2 e c | b, c c2 | s: | | |dim. |


3.2.3 Tempo You can add tempo markings by inserting a line below first voice and type s:, which is followed by your desired tempo marking. Tempo

Tempo markings

Tempo alternations

Prestissimo, Presto, Allegro, Moderato, Andante, Adagio, Larghetto, Largo


e.g. [V:T1] B E E | s: Moderato |

e.g. [V:T1] B E E s: accel. accel., rit., fermata, rubato

Example: [V:1] c d e f| g f e f | g2 e c | b c c2 | s: Presto

| |

Use _ to align to note e.g. [V:T1] B E E | s: Moderato _ accel. |

3.2.4. Ornaments Ornaments are inserted by marking before a note. The symbols are listed in the following table:





T e.g. TD


Upper mordent

P e.g. PD


Lower mordent

M e.g. MD



!turn! e.g. !turn!D


Inverted turn

!invertedturn! e.g. !invertedturn!D

Example: V:O name="oboe" [V:O] TC/2 PA/2 ME !turn!F !invertedturn!D |


3.2.5. Other markings The following table displays some additional markings that can be useful: Other markings X


Indefinite pitch

Expression texts

Rehearsal marks

Cantabile, Dolce, Legato


Tap the 1st strip of C chord for one beat


X (as a note) e.g. [V:T1] B E E s: dolce

| |

e.g. [V:T1] B E E s: A


For all smart chords, use the following structure “{Chord Name}”[{Note and its duration}]{Tap or Swipe Instruction} e.g. “C”[C4]{1}

6 2


5 1


5 1

6 2





Play C chord for one beat, swipe up from the 2nd to 6th strip of the bar

e.g. “C”[C4]{2/6}

Play C chord for one beat, swipe down from the 5th to 1st strip of the bar

e.g. “C”[C4]{5/1}

Play C chord for first half beat from 2nd to 6th strip, then play G chord for second half beat from 5th to 1st strip Play C chord for one beat in pizzicato (for string instruments)

e.g. “C”[C4]{2/6} “G”[G4]{5/1}

!+! e.g. !+!”C”[C4]

3.2.6 Special markings for percussion The percussion (both Western and Chinese) has a separate system of notation. By typing “drum”/“CKit” in the beginning of the voice symbol (e.g. [V:drum]), you can start typing the English/Chinese characters as the notes of corresponding drums, according to the following table: Drum *Type “drum” in the beginning of the voice symbol (e.g. [V:drum])


Bass Drum



Snare Drum



High Tom



Mid Tom



Low Tom






Crash Cymbal



Ride Bell




Chinese Kit *Type “CKit” in the beginning of the voice symbol (e.g. [V:CKit]) Da Gu

Pai Gu 1


Pai Gu 2 Pai Gu 3 Pai Gu 4 Pai Gu 5 Da Luo Xiao Luo Bang Zi 1 Bang Zi 2 Bang Zi 3 Bang Zi 4 Bang Zi 5 Da Bo Xiao Bo Example: V:drum name="drum" V:drum2 name="drum2" [V:drum] B K B/2 B/2 K | [V:drum2] B K B K |

冬4 冬3 冬2 冬1 旁

Notation 同 e.g. [V:Ckit] 同 同 同 同 | [V:Ckit2] 同 同 同 同 | 冬 {5} 冬 {4} 冬 {3} 冬 {2} 冬 {1} 旁


局 {1}


局 {3}

局2 局4 的

局 {2} 局 {4} 的


Principal Investigator

Dr. Chi-hin Leung is a Hong Kong composer and music educator who was awarded the Gold Medal (Innovative Grid Score for Electronic Orchestra) from International Invention Innovation Competition in Canada, the Special Prize from the Romanian Inventors Forum, Bronze Medal (The Grid and Grid Notation for Music Education) from the International Specialized Trade Show for "Ideas - Inventions - New Products", the champion from Hong Kong Handbell Festival Composition Competition and many. Leung’s compositions are featured by international music festivals and published by renowned publishers and labels which include Schott Music (Germany), MOECK (Germany), Donemus (Netherlands), Edition HH (U.K.), PARMA Recordings (U.S.), From the Top Music (U.S.), Oxford University Press (China) and Hong Kong Composers’ Guild. His works have been featured by ISCM World New Music Days, UNESCO International “Arts for Peace” Festival, International Rostrum of Composers, International Electronic Music Week, World Choir Games, International Handbell Symposium, ISME World Conference on Music Education, Asian Composers League Festival, Asian Recorder Festival, Asian Saxophone Congress, Singapore Saxophone Symposium, Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival Vienna, Taipei Traditional Arts Festival, Musicarama, Hong Kong Schools Music Festival and many. Leung is the Assistant Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong, President of the Hong Kong Association for Music Educators, Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Composers’ Guild, and Commissioner of the Music in School and Teacher Education Commission of the ISME.


Research Assistant

Cheuk-long Leung is a Research Assistant at The Education University of Hong Kong, where he also obtained his Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Music, founded and chaired the Creativity Association, as well as received various scholarships and academic awards. As a performer, he received international prizes in the World Choir Games and Hong Kong International Youth Music Festival. He was also invited as a performer in the ABRSM Diploma Awards Ceremony - Hong Kong and Macau. As an active music educator, he currently holds the positions as music director and conductor of various school music ensembles, including e-Orch and handchime team. Recently, he is on the frontline of the e-Orch development as the editor of the notation software The Grid user manual, arranger of grid scores and conductorinstructor of the e-Orch music curriculum at local school.

| ACKNOWLEDGEMENT | beNovelty TapTab Mr. Patrick Fan Mr. Jacky Mo Mr. Jacky Ng Ms. Gloria Pang Mr. Alex Sze


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