Rhythmic Notation and Dynamics

Rhythm Keyboard

This keyboard contains the characters you’ll need for rhythmic and dynamic notation in the Number System, including characters borrowed from traditional notation.

Basic Rhythm Notation

Add Nashville-style notation (e.g. a hash mark) over a chord:

Hash mark

  1. Make sure the Rhythm Placement Toggle is green (indicating “Rhythm Over Chords” mode).
  2. Place cursor by the chord.
  3. Tap the key for a hash mark.

Adding traditional notation (e.g. quarter note) over a chord involves essentially the same steps.

  1. Make sure the Rhythm Placement Toggle is green (“Rhythm Over Chords” mode).
  2. Place cursor by the chord.
  3. Tap the key for the note.

Rhythm Placement

Using a color-coded key on the Rhythm Keyboard, you can choose between two placement modes for rhythm. Tap the placement toggle to switch between “Rhythm Over Chords” and “Rhythm Over Spaces” mode.

Rhythm Over Chords is the default and the option you’ll probably use most often. The placement toggle is green when this mode is active.

Rhythm placement toggle is green, indicating that rhythm will be drawn over chords.

An example of rhythm created with Rhythm Over Chords mode:

Rhythm Over Spaces mode is used to place rhythm characters to left or right of a chord. It’s most helpful for placing rests to either side of a chord. The placement toggle is red when this mode is active.

Rhythm placement toggle

Rhythm placement toggle is red, indicating that rhythm will be drawn over spaces.

An example of rests added using Rhythm Over Spaces mode:

More Complex Rhythm Notation

Add multiple hash marks over chords:

Hash marks

  1. Use “Rhythm Over Chords” mode.
  2. Place cursor by the first chord.
  3. Type as many hash marks as needed.
  4. Advance the cursor to the next chord (by tapping or using the forward arrow button) and type the last hash mark.

Add multiple/beamed notes over a single chord:

  1. Use “Rhythm over Chords” mode.
  2. Tap “Beam” at the top of the keyboard. The cursor turns orange, indicating Beam mode.
  3. Type the notes to be beamed.
  4. After typing the last note in the group, tap “Beam” again to exit Beam mode. The cursor turns blue.
  5. Type the additional notes associated with the chord.

Beam notes over multiple chords:

  1. Use “Rhythm over Chords” mode.
  2. Place the cursor by the first chord in the sequence, tap “Beam,” then tap the 8th or 16th notes associated with the first chord.
  3. Use the right arrow button to move the cursor to the next chord. Continue adding notes and navigating to new chords as needed.
  4. Tap “Beam” again to turn Beam mode off.

Add a triplet above a single chord:

  1. Use “Rhythm over Chords” mode.
  2. Place the cursor by the chord and tap the “Triplet” button. Both the button and cursor turn magenta indicating Triplet mode is on.
  3. Tap three notes. The triplet is auto- completed when you tap the third note, and Triplet mode is automatically turned off.

Add a triplet over multiple chords:

  1. Use “Rhythm over Chords” mode.
  2. Place the cursor by the first chord in the sequence and tap “Triplet.”
  3. Use the arrow button to move the cursor to the next chord, and type the next note.
  4. Once you’ve typed three notes, the triplet auto-completes.

Tie two notes as you create them:

  1. Using “Rhythm Over Chords Mode,” add a note over a chord.
  2. Tap the “Tie” button, type the next chord and add a note over it. The tie is automatically created.

Tie two existing, successive notes:

  1. Place the cursor by the first note.
  2. Tap “Tie.”

Place a rest to left of a chord:

  1. Tap and hold to place the cursor to left of the chord.
  2. If the Rhythm Placement Toggle is green, tap it to enter Rhythm Over Spaces mode (so that the toggle appears red).
  3. Type the rest.

Place a rest to right of a chord:

  1. Place cursor to right of the chord.
  2. If the Rhythm Placement Toggle is green, tap it to enter Rhythm Over Spaces mode (so that the toggle appears red).
  3. Type the rest.

Note that you can also use the “X” character in combination with rests:

The “X” character (found on the Chord Keyboard) is used to indicate a rest, and can be used in combination with rhythm notation to clarify the duration of the rest.

TIP: Use Arrow buttons to move the cursor

The forward- and back-arrow buttons at the top of the keyboard help you quickly navigate to chords as you add rhythmic notation. The arrows are especially helpful when beaming notes, adding triplets or tying notes.

Adding crescendo and ritardando

You’ll find crescendo and ritardando options available in the Selection Menu that appears when you highlight a few chords or measures in your chart. Double-tap to select an area and tap the option you want. Tapping “crescendo” gives you options for crescendo and decrescendo. Tapping “ritardando” gives you options for ritardando and accelerando.

Deleting crescendo and ritardando

Tap twice (slowly) at the end of the area styled with a crescendo or ritardando to generate the menu option to clear the formatting.

TIP: Deleting rhythm without deleting chords

If you find yourself needing to eliminate or rework rhythmic notation in one of your measures, toggle to the Rhythm Keyboard before you start tapping the delete key. The Rhythm Keyboard’s delete key erases only rhythmic notation and dynamics – it will not delete chords, saving you some effort.