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PlayMusic is a third-party plug-in for the Finale software program by MakeMusic, Inc. It helps you play Finale scores on the MIDI keyboard. The goal was that everyone (even who never played the piano or any other musical instruments) would be able to easily play anything. How PlayMusic does it?

At any time when PlayMusic runs, a vertical cursor (similar to the Finale's playback cursor) indicates the notes which should be played first. To play them, you can press any keys on the keyboard.  

 

After that, the cursor moves to the next notes. And so on.

No matter what keys are pressed by you, they will cause sounding of "true" notes (i.e. which have the "true" pitch, known thanks to loading Finale data structures). The leftmost of the pressed keys will cause sounding of the lowest of these notes, the leftmost of the other pressed keys - sounding of the lowest of the other "true" notes and so on. Thus, you are able to control the relative volumes of these notes to create a certain musical effect in the same way as with usual playing. If the number of pressed keys is not equal to the number of these notes, then either some of the pressed keys are ignored, or some keys will cause sounding of the several notes. In such cases, to choose which pressed key will cause sounding of which notes, PlayMusic tries to recognize which hand: right or left presses one or another key, takes into account on which stave the notes are placed, whether the notes are in any chord, and so on. If you presses one key to play all notes indicated by the cursor, then all these notes naturally will have the same volume (but the volume of notes of the accompaniment may be reduced by PlayMusic). So how many keys you press to play these notes depends on your performing ambitions and technical capabilities.

 

If necessary, PlayMusic also controls the correct duration of sounding some notes relative to the others. For instance, let the cursor indicates the quarter and eighth notes, and you press only one key to play the quarter and eighth notes indicated by the cursor.

When you release the key, the eighth note stops sounding, but the quarter note will continue to sound until you press any key to play the next eighth note and then release it to stop sounding of this note. The quarter note will stop sounding simultaneously with the eighth note.

Let you press one key to play the half and quarter notes indicated by the cursor.

When you release the key, the quarter notes will stop sounding, but the half note will continue to sound twice as long until PlayMusic will stop the sound by its own timer.

 

You should play musical scores ignoring the symbols of grace notes and other ornaments, because PlayMusic plays them automatically. The same applies to arpeggios. If, as shown below, there is the grace note before the eighth note, you should press any key on your MIDI keyboard as if you play the eighth note indicated by the cursor.

To play the trill, shown below, you have to press a key in such a way, as if you are playing the quarter note without any ornaments. Similarly you should play mordenti and gruppetto.

To play the arpeggios, you should press a key or keys on your MIDI keyboard as if you play the notes of the chord all at once.

 

If you wish, at any time you can change the position of the cursor using appropriate keys of your computer's keyboard or the computer mouse. Also you can scroll the score or switch pages by the appropriate means of Finale. If the current measure remains visible on the screen, the cursor will be set at the beginning of that measure. Otherwise, it will be placed at the first of fully visible measures. 

 

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