Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few common questions answered, so you don't have to dig very far.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions
How do I enter multiple voices?

A voice is a single melodic line in a track. Each track may have up to eight voices (Overture) or four voices (Score Writer). For further explanation of voices, consult Terms.

For example lets enter two quarter notes in voice 1 and a half note in voice two:

  1. Choose the quarter note in the notes palette.
  2. Click in the score twice to enter two quarter notes.
  3. Press the esc key to deselect the last note entered.
  4. Choose the half note in the note palette.
  5. Select Voice 2 from the View Menu at the top right of the control bar or type Ctrl (Command) 2.
  6. Selecting Voice 2 dims the notes belonging to Voice 1.
  7. Click below the two quarter notes.
How do I share files with other programs?

Sonic Scores products provide several methods of sharing your music.

Hard copy

  • Print your score on paper.
  • Print your score to a PDF file.
  • Export your score as a MusicXML file.
  • Send your score to other users


  • Create an audio file, wave, mp3, etc. of your score.
  • Export your score as a MIDI file.
How do I tie or slur two notes together that are on different systems?

Click on the Selection tool (Arrow) then click on the first note until it is red. Next, hold down the Ctrl[cmd] and click on the second note. Both notes should now be red. Finally, choose Notes>Group>Tie or Slur menu command.

How do I extract parts?

If you want to extract multiple parts at once, use the File Extract Parts menu command.

If you want to extract individual parts, open the Score Layout Panel on the right side of main window. Now choose the Active Parts section. You can now select the parts to extract, setup, etc. using the buttons and settings below the list of parts.

How do I move my lyrics from other programs into Score Writer or Overture?
  1. In other programs locate the lyrics.
  2. Select all the Lyrics and press Ctrl[cmd]+C.
  3. Close the other program and open Score Writer/Overture.
  4. Choose the Tools Panel and the Lyrics Section.
  5. Click in the empty text box..
  6. Click Ctrl[cmd]+V.
  7. Choose the Track, Measures, and Voice to enter the lyrics.
  8. Press the Apply button.
How do I enter chords by playing them?

By using Overture’s Step Input, you can enter chords individually by playing them on a MIDI keyboard. Overture recognizes over a hundred different combinations of notes in any given key. Hold down the notes on your keyboard while Step Inputting, and Overture automatically enters your chords.

How do I enter Chords using the mouse?

Use Overture’s Chords Panel. The window lets you choose your chord root, the note in the bass, and a chord suffix (the min7 part of a Cmin7 chord). Just click the combination you need, then switch to the Score View and click where you want your chord assigned.

How do I enter Lyrics?

Open the Lyrics Panel. The Lyrics Panel, allows you to type in the lyrics, just as you would on a word processor or directly onto the score.

There are two methods of entering lyrics:

Entering a entire line from the Lyric panel:
Set the score position using the numerical fields at the top or click in the score below a note.
Type in the entire text in the panel’s text box using a space to separate words and a hyphen to split syllables.
Press the Apply button.
Your lyrics are entered into the score, intelligently avoiding rests and ties.

Entering the lyric words or syllables directly on the score:
Click in the score below a note where you want to start inserting text. A small text box appears above the note.
Type in the word or syllable in the text box. Press space bar to go to next note or press return to enter the text and exit entering lyrics. Press the Esc key at any time to end entering lyrics directly on the score.

If the lyrics don’t appear where you’d expect, make sure you’ve assigned them to the right staff and measure and that you’ve selected the right voice in that staff. Add some spaces or hyphens as necessary to make sure the words appear under the correct notes to account for slurred notes and other situations.

How do I add a title items to the first page?

Double click on the title, composer, copyright, etc. items on the first page to open it’s dialog.
NOTE: If the current item’s text is empty you’ll see the text drawn in a gray, enclosed in brackets.


Open the the Score Layout Panel and choose the Active Parts Section.

Using the sections, you can also add:

  • performance instructions (displayed above the first measure)
  • composer credits (displayed above the first staff system at the right margin)
  • copyright credits (usually displayed at the bottom center of the first page)
  • up to two headers are displayed across the top of the page
  • up to two footers are displayed across the bottom of the page
Why do I not hear sound after importing a MIDI file?

Some MIDI files may not have a volume setting because they were used to play on a hardware device/keyboard or were used to play a virtual instrument. Look in the Track Inspector>Playback tab to see a track’s volume. To set a track’s volume either click on the volume field in the Track Inspector or open the Mixer and drag the track’s volume slider.

How do I create an audio file?

Note: You can only be create audio files for tracks that use VST plugins or the built in General MIDI player.

Choose Export to file from the Audio/MIDI Menu to open the “Export Audio” dialog. Enable the tracks you wish to export and the location and click the Export button. Your audio file(s) will be rendered off line.

How do I display my score in a hand written font?

Overture and Score Writer both include a hand written font called “Aloisen Groove”.

  1. Open the Score Layout panel by clicking it’s button on the right side of the Control Bar.
  2. Click on the Aloisen Groove button in the Fonts section.

Your score will now be displayed using the “Aloisen Groove” font.
Note: Text item fonts will be automatically be displayed to the included “Aloisen Groove Text” font.

How do I insert new tracks or change existing track instruments?

Overture and Score Writer both have a built in library of instruments.

  1. Open the Library panel by clicking its button on the Control Bar.
  2. Choose the playback device from the pull down menu. A list of all instruments for this playback device is shown below. Note: If the device has more than one library associated with it, another pull menu will show below the device. Choose the associated library.
  3. To insert a new track/instrument click on the desired instrument and drag and drop it above or below the existing tracks. Your new instrument will be created with all the necessary playback settings.
How do I remove a track?

Use the Tracks>Delete Track menu command or use the Delete Track button at the top left of the Score View to delete the current track.

How do I change the vertical order of the staves?

Select the Hand Tool by clicking on the small arrow at bottom right of Selection Tool Button or type ‘H’.

To change the order of the staves, click on the track’s name (left of the tracks staff) and drag vertically.

How do I move staves around on the page?

Press and drag the staff handle. Staff handles are always there on every staff, at the middle line on any staff at the left and right edges of staff system. When you position your mouse over a staff handle, the cursor turns into a drag cursor. Staff handles are usually hidden to prevent clutter–if you want to see the handles, choose Options>Show>Handles.
When you drag a handle right or left, you adjust the position of the system towards or away from the page margin. When you drag a handle up or down, you change the vertical position of the staff.

or to drag vertically

Select the Hand Tool by clicking on the small arrow at bottom right of Selection Tool Button or by typing ‘H’.
Click on the staff and drag.

How do I adjust staff positions through the whole score?

It’s easy to change staff positions through the whole score. Use one of Overture’s handy shortcuts: holding the Ctrl[Cmd] key before clicking your mouse and dragging an item.
When you Alt[Option]-drag a staff handle, you adjust the position of that track throughout the whole page from that point on. Although handles are normally hidden, you can see staff handles and other item handles by choosing Options>Show>Handles.

To adjust the distance between all staff systems:

Go to the first page
Ctrl[Cmd]-drag the topmost staff handle on the second system on the page.

To change the distance between one staff and a neighboring staff through the whole score:

Go to the first page
Ctrl[Cmd]-drag any staff handle on the first system on the page, except the top staff (remember, if you click the top staff’s handle, you’ll be adjusting the spacing between systems, not individual staves with a system).

Note: You can also make the same changes to only the current page by using Alt[Option]-drag instead of the Ctrl[Cmd]-drag.

How do I add endings or repeat barlines to my score?

Use the Barlines palette to add repeats and endings. Click the tool you wish to use, then click the measure you want to change into a repeated section or ending.

How do I make drum tracks?

You can make any track in the score into a drum or percussion track using the Track Inspector Panel.

To change a staff into a percussion staff:

  1. Click the track you want to change and choose open the Track Inspector.
  2. Choose the Settings Tab.
  3. Click on the Percussion Staff radio button.
  4. This makes the current staff a percussion track.

To set how notes are displayed on a percussion track:

  1. Click on the Drum Map Tab. A chart appears containing MIDI pitches, drum names, staff position and note heads.
  2. Percussion notes have an scale position, an MIDI pitch, and note head.
  3. To change a click on a note’s scale position click on the note head and drag it to a new staff position.
  4. To change a note’s pitch, click on the note and choose the pitch from the Pitch menu.
  5. To change a note’s head set, click on the note and choose the head from the Head menus.

From then on, you can add notes to the track easily as percussion notes.

Whenever you record on that track using MIDI or insert notes, the MIDI pitches you specify appear in the staff positions you choose with the note head you want.

Smart Drum Part Recording:

Use this method for recording different percussion parts.

  1. Ctrl[cmd] click the Loop button to enter Replay mode.
  2. Press the Record button or press the Enter key to start recording.
  3. Enter you parts on at a time. For example the bass drum first.
  4. Press the stop button or press the space bar.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 to enter a different drum part.
  6. If you want to replace an existing drum part, select any note in the part, for example the bass drum. Repeat steps 2-4. Selecting the note tells disables playback of any notes of this pitch during recording and replaces them with the new recorded data.