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Tutorial: How to write pickup measures
June 2, 2017

Tutorial: How to write pickup measures

Pickup Measures in 3 Minutes!

In this video we will show you how to write pickup measures within your score and everything else you need to know about pickups. When setting up your score using the score wizard, you can add the pickup at the beginning of the score. Generally, the last measure has to be shortened by the note value of the pickup measure.


Here’s a transcript of the video for you

Our example shows that FORTE has already optimized the first and the last measure. In the middle of our song, there’s a repeat. That means that the measure containing the repeat must be shortened. The song has a two quarters signature. The pickup contains two 16th notes, amounting to the value of one eighth note. In measure 6, there’s a quarter rest instead of the required eighth rest. In the following measure, we will have a new pickup of one eighth-note. All other measures return to the original two quarters time signature.

Let us look at the input palette. In the tab „Meter“, there are all options that we will need.


At first, we will enter a two quarters meter in measure 8.
This way, we won‘t mess up the following measures. This can be critical, if you have already written notes into the later measures.


Select the two quarters meter from the input palette and add it to the score with a click. Now, let us add the correct meter for measure 6, the last measure before the repeat sign. We will need a 3 eighth note meter. Enter the values „3“and „8“ into the respective custom field of the „Meter“ tab. Add the custom meter to measure 6.
Please note that custom meters are only available in FORTE Home and FORTE Premium.
Now we will need a one eighth-note meter for measure 7. That is the mock pickup measure of the second part of our song. Let‘s enter the notes for the rest of our song.

The properties windows helps you to edit and hide elements!

Subsequently, we will hide the time signatures. Double-click on the element and open the properties window with a right-click. Select the tab „General“and check the box „Hidden“. Repeat this procedure for all other time signatures.

As our final step, let us polish over our layout and edit the spaces of the notes and sizes of the measures. To re-position an element, please click on the element. It should turn red now that it’s marked. Press “control” and keep “ctrl” pressed while using the arrow keys to re-position the element to the desired place.

How did you like this tutorial?
We’re looking forward to your comments!
You will find more tutorial videos on our YouTube-Channel.

Have a great day
Your FORTE Team

Free Sheet Music: Let’s celebrate Europe!
May 11, 2017

Free Sheet Music: Let’s celebrate Europe!

Let’s be merry and celebrate!
With the French election passed, we’re looking to the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kiev.

For over 60 years this event has shown the uniting and festive power of music beyond nations.
The Eurovision’s fanfare is world-famous.

Read more

Happy Easter Holidays!
April 12, 2017

Happy Easter Holidays!

Here’s our pop quiz for you…

There’s always one correct answer.

Read more

More Voices, More Fun: Music Notation for Choir and Pianos
March 24, 2017

More Voices, More Fun: Music Notation for Choir and Pianos

How to notate different note values on the same beat without losing track.

Susan wrote to us:
“I’m having trouble in the base clef: I have inserted a whole note. Now I want to add quarter notes to the same bar. But FORTE jumps automatically to the next bar. Or I get the “NO”-sign. What do I do?”

Read more

FORTE 8 Boxes now available at amazon.com
February 5, 2017

FORTE 8 Boxes now available at amazon.com

Finally, the beautiful boxes are here.
Get your shiny new FORTE 8 in a jewel case at amazon.com!

Continue Reading
The Powerful Input Palette – From Keys to Repeats and Back Again (Part 3)
January 31, 2017

The Powerful Input Palette – From Keys to Repeats and Back Again (Part 3)

All set and ready to go for the great finale?
Where’s…? How can I enter…? Where do I find…?

In the last part of our portrait, we’ll cover the remaining tabs from “Key” to “Repeats”.

Read more

The Powerful Input Palette – Lyrics & Texts (Part 2)
January 25, 2017

The Powerful Input Palette – Lyrics & Texts (Part 2)

All set and ready to go for a second round?
Where’s…? How can I enter…? Where do I find…?

Here we are again. Ready to present to you the second part of our great cheat sheet. This post is all about the text that surrounds your music. You like singing? Here’s everything you need to know about notes and their lyrics.
You don’t like singing at all? Really? Come on… you’ve got to be kidding me! There’ll still be some helpful clues for your music in here for you, too 🙂

Text / Chords

Here’s a full package! All elements around the musical text are here. Let’s look at it step by step. The button “Title Text” at the far left allows you to complement or edit the score’s information. FORTE 8 comes with an updated dialogue. This is what it looks like:
To keep your print outs in order, add header or footer information to your score. This nice & comfortable feature also comes with FORTE 8. The button “Text” allows you to – guess what – enter text into your score. The next button, “Marker”, is bound to a certain time of your score. You could, for example, label performance directions or units of your score using “Marker”. Markers are also helpful for playback options (Check the “Go to” dialogue: you can select markers, rehearsal letters etc. as the starting point).
While we’re at it: Rehearsal letters and numbers are also in this tab, right between “Lyric” and the chord symbol. These elements are always set at the beginning of a measure. If you’d like to change that, mark the element and move it by pressing ctrl while using the arrow keys to navigate.

One really important and frequently asked subject: LYRICS!

Pick the type of your lyric (verse, chorus, block) right here and now. You can also decide the general location of the lyric (above, below, between the staves). Select & click the first note of your score that should be sung. Now you can type your text: A blank divides the syllables and assigns the syllable to the next note. If you type a hyphen (-) or an underscore (_), the syllable will continue for several notes.
If you want to add another verse, open the properties window of the lyric. Go to the tab “Text” and select the correct verse number.
If you right-click on the lyric, you can display the verse number or hide it again.
If you’re writing a lot of music for choirs or ensemble, you already know how to work with several voices. You also know that it’s important to adjust the spacing in the layout options accordingly for all parts and all lyrics. But did you know that you can assign different lyrics to each part? If you select the voice level in the main menu “Home”, you can add yet another lyric as a first verse. We’ve prepared a short video for you on lyrics:


Now about those chords…

If you click the chord symbol, another window will open. You can configure your chords here. The most common chords are under “Fast input”, for, well, faster input. Every other chord you want to write… you have all the components at hand.
You can also select the style of the chord you want displayed: Whether it’s just the name, just the chart or both. Look at the lower left corner: you can check those style boxes here.
We explained to you how to change the chord’s language here. This setting cannot be edited in the input palette. If you select Italian as the chords’ language, you can make use of the note name recognition for your shape notes. Please note: At the moment it’s not possible to set up chord charts of your own. If you prefer to write tablature, we’ve prepared a tutorial for you here.

The tab’s last symbol is most interesting for pianists:

Select the use of pedal for your score. You can also select several style for the pedal notation. Whatever you prefer. Wow! It’s really packed, this one, isn’t it?

So much for this big tab of the input palette.
In the next & last part, we’ll cover the last tabs, from “Key” to “Repeats”. How did you like this article?
We’re looking forward to your comments!

The Powerful Input Palette (Part 1)
January 13, 2017

The Powerful Input Palette (Part 1)

All set and ready to go? Here’s your ultimate cheat sheet to notation!
Where’s …? How can I enter …? Where do I find …?

Do you really know the input palette? It’s FORTE’s greatest and most practical asset. Each and every possible element for your score is here. It’s about time for a detailed portrait. And to show you everything there is to know about it. As you already know, the input palette has 10 different tabs.

The first and most important tab is called “Notes”.
When you open FORTE, you‘ll be seeing exactly this picture:

In the upper half there are the notes, note heads, accidentals, ties and slurs as well as the tool for triplets and tuplets. We don’t have to tell you anything about the notes. You know quarters, 8th notes and dotted half notes like the back of your hand.
But did you know that the symbol at the utter left – “Quarter over 8th note rest” – allows you to switch between notes and rests? On very rare occasions, you may want to edit a rest manually. Another interesting button is next to the 128th note: You can change the shape of the note heads here. This feature is helpful if you‘re writing notation for drums and percussion or shape notes for your choir.
Next to the accidentals (bb, b, natural, # and x) you find an empty bracket. If you’d like to remind of a certain accidental, you use this bracket to write reminders or “courtesy accidentals”: Click on the accidental, then click on the brackets. The cursor turns into a reticle and you’ll place it on the desired note.The symbol on the utter right is the tool for tuplets. You’ll need it if you want to enter triplets. Or those beautiful 18-tuplets that you find in Chopin’s oeuvre. We made a video for you to show you how to use this tool.
If you look at the virtual keyboard in the lower half, you’ll find little black arrows at the left and right side of the keys. You’ll reach the other octaves here. If you’d like to enter chords, click on the chord symbol at the lower right edge of the virtual keyboard. Another click on the symbol deactivates the chord input again. Please note: if you’re writing chords often, because you’re writing for a choir or for the piano, it’s important to use the correct voices. Here’s a tutorial video for you how to work with several voices.

Accents & Techniques

This tab offers you accents, techniques and (since FORTE 8) fingering. If you linger over an unknown symbol with your cursor, its name or explanation is shown (mouseover). The input of all these elements is the same: select the element and place it on the desired note (the cursor turns into a reticle). All elements can be edited in their respective properties window: right-click on the symbol. If you wish to change the position of the element, press ctrl and keep ctrl pressed while using the arrow keys ← and → for repositioning.
Please note: combined fingerings (such as you may need for guitar music) will be available in an upcoming update.


This tab contains the elements for dynamic markers (who would have guessed that?). The static symbols (mf to pppp) are written into the score just like the accents we talked about in the paragraph above. Those symbols indicating a development (cresc to >) are written with a starting and an ending point. It’s worthwhile to check out the properties window of these elements as well. Maybe you’d like to make some adjustments or edit the appearance.


If you want to edit the tempo of your music, here’s your go-to tab. The element “Quarter equals 60” is best edited in the score: right-click and properties, then go to “Performance”. If you select the Italian label “Andante”, a menu opens below:
By clicking on the arrow head, you’ll get the whole choice from Larghissimo to Prestissimo. If you like, you can add more text to the single word, say “ma non troppo” for example, before writing it into your score. Using the properties window again, you can adjust the performance or the position, if you like.

So, that’s it for the first part of the portrait. The next part will cover text, LYRICS and chords.
How did you like this article?
We’re looking forward to your comments!

Free Sheet Music: <br />Christmas Songs for FORTE 8
December 20, 2016

Free Sheet Music:
Christmas Songs for FORTE 8

For the most beautiful season of all we have prepared our Christmas Carols and arrangements for you (yes, some are German!). We've set them all for FORTE 8.

Download the ZIP file that contains the free sheet music here. Open and edit the music with FORTE 8 Basic, Home or Premium.

If you don't have FORTE 8 yet, download a free trial version here.

Choir Arrangements

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
Adeste Fideles
Tochter Zion

Songs with Chords

Jingle Bells
Maria durch den Dornwald ging
We wish you a merry christmas

For the Orchestra (Arranged for Strings)

Pastorale from: Concerto Grosso Nr. 8 - A. Corelli

We wish you very happy holidays with lots of music!

Your FORTE-Team

[FAQ] Frequently asked questions about FORTE 8
December 1, 2016

[FAQ] Frequently asked questions about FORTE 8

What new features does FORTE 8 offer?
Let’s take the tour! We created video in which we show you all the new functions.
Watch the video here.
Every new feature had its own preview as well. For more details, take a look at the following posts:

Can I get FORTE in a box?
Yes, there is a box version of FORTE. The box version is generally $10 more than the download version.

The boxes will be available on amazon soon:
FORTE 8 Premium in a box.
FORTE 8 Home in a box.
FORTE 8 Basic in box.

I already use a previous version of FORTE. How can I upgrade to FORTE 8?
Get your upgrade here. Simply enter your email address and the system will automatically recognize your license.

Is there a guarantee?
Yes! If you are not entirely satisfied within 30 days of purchasing FORTE 8, we’ll refund your entire purchase price, no questions asked. Just send an email to support@fortenotation.com.

© 2014 Forte Notation