Click to watch the Help video: Chord Sheet Editor
To enter the Chord Sheet Editor select New Song – Chord sheet.
Elements of a chord sheet
A Chord sheet is made up of 2 elements
- Chord lines
- Lyric lines
Power Music Professional and Power Music Essentials:
Colours for chord lines and lyric lines for display and printing can be set in Tools - Settings - Colours/fonts.
Power Music AF:
The colour of the Lyric lines uses the Fore colour setting, found in Management – Settings – Colours.
Chord colours and chord sheet font can be set in Management – Settings – Chord sheets.
Before starting to enter a Chord sheet select the Key of the Song. This will set up the set of chords associated with this Key for the Insert Chord feature. You can change the drop down list of keys to sharps or flats by using the buttons next to the list. If the key is a Minor key, press the “Minor” button. This will change the list of suggested chords.
To enter lyrics or any text (this may include chords)
- start typing - all typed text will be in the default colour until parsed
- copy and paste from another window - this will parse the chord sheet
- Import from a file - .txt, .rtf, or .pdf (.txt include chordpro files)
The font used for all chord sheets is a monospaced font which means that the chords will always appear above the same word in the lyrics even when the font size is changed.
Pressing the TAB key will insert 5 space characters.
Note: The Enter key (Carriage Return) should be pressed at the end of each line to move to the next line. If the line is too long to fit on the screen, it will not be wrapped - this is to ensure that the chords are always above the correct words.
Use the toolbar button -Import (PDF, plain text/rtf or ChordPro file). To import an OnSong file, use the ChordPro import.
If you select a file of type other than PDF then the text will be inserted at the cursor position.
If you select a pdf file then the Extract text from pdf screen will open:
- Select a page from the bookmarks on the left or use the “Previous Page”/”Next Page” buttons at the top
- When the page is displayed drag across the page to select the text only.
- Press “Extract Text”. The extracted text will be displayed in the box on the right. If the text is embedded in the page as an image, Power Music Professional will use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to extract the text. Other editions of Power Music will be unable to extract image based text. An example of image based chord sheets are those obtained from SongSelect by CCLI.
- Compare the extracted text with the PDF page and adjust the position of chords and line breaks to match
- When happy with the result press “Return extracted text to editor”
Text imported from a file will be parsed automatically.
Parsing Chord Sheets
Chord sheets are 'Parsed'. Parsing is the process of analysing each line of text to determine whether it is a Chord line or a Lyric line.
Parsing allows chord sheets previously created in a word processor, eg MS Word to be cut and pasted directly into Power Music. If you get strange results you may want to copy and paste into Notepad first to remove hidden characters.
Lyric lines may contain any characters.
Chord lines contain only chords and a few other allowable characters (see below). See also Entering chords for how to create chord lines.
A Chord line can contain any of the following
- A valid chord - chords must conform to the specified chord notation
- Spaces - there must be at least one space between chords
- | (can be used for bar lines)
- : (can be used for repeats)
- / (normally used for beat marks)
- Parentheses ( ) - Between the parentheses any characters can be typed.These characters will be ignored when parsing or transposing a song.
A Chord sheet is parsed when
- the Parse button is clicked;
- anything is pasted into the Chord editor;
- it is Transposed;
- it is saved with the song;
- it is Previewed by pressing the Preview button.
If a Chord line changes to the Fore colour after Parsing this means that there are 'illegal' characters in that line and it needs to be edited.
Chords must conform to the notation given in the drop-down lists viewed by pressing “Insert Chord”. See Chord Notation for an explanation of the notation used.
A Chord can be entered into a Chord line by the following methods:
- Type it in directly
- Using the chord builder at the top of the editor select the Root, Variation, Extension and Bass note - then click the Insert Chord button
- Select a chord from the suggested chords list on the left
- Copy and paste a previously entered chord
When a chord is inserted using method 2 then the chord will be added to the list of recently used chords on the left of the text box. This list is populated by the most commonly used chords in the Key you have selected. When you change the key the list will be refreshed. When you transpose then all the chords in this list will also be transposed. Simply clicking on a chord in this list will add it to the chord line at the cursor position.
Chords can be inserted above a Lyric line by positioning the cursor at the required point in the Lyric line and then using method 2 or 3 above.
If no Chord line was present a new Chord line will be created above the Lyric line.
Chords can be inserted into existing Chord lines or blank lines by positioning the cursor at the required point in the chord or blank line (padding with spaces if required) and then using any of the above methods.
Note: There must be at least one space between chords.
Chords can be lined up with words in the Lyric line by adding or deleting spaces.
If the chord you want is not available then just type it in and parse to check.
Pressing the TAB key will insert 5 space characters.
Use the handy Insert buttons to insert allowable characters into a chord line:
(Bar lines and colons can be used to create repeat signs)
When parentheses (curved brackets) are inserted the cursor is automatically placed between the parentheses. Any characters can be typed between the parentheses. These characters will be ignored when parsing or transposing.
Here is an example of a chord symbol, diagrammed to show its elements:
The root indicates just that: which note of the chromatic scale is the root of the chord. It is not, however, always the bass note of the chord.
The next part of the symbol indicates the variation of the chord. The acceptable variations in Power Music are:
The next number shows the extensions used on a chord. Classical harmony often uses only the basic triad, while jazz harmony makes greater use of the upper extensions (7th, 9th, 11th, 13th). If no extension is shown, it is assumed that the chord is a major triad. If the extension is not available on the drop-down list just type it in the chord line. Power Music will accept any numeric between 1 and 99.
Finally, any alterations to the chord are indicated within parentheses. These alterations include raising or lowering a chord tone by half step (indicated by a sharp or a flat, respectively), and can also indicate that a given non-chord tone should be added (add D), or that a chord tone should be omitted (no 3rd). Multiple alterations may be indicated within one chord symbol (b9/#11).
The bass note is positioned after a diagonal slash, and is a letter indicating the pitch to be played as the bass note. The bass note is only required if it is not the same as the root.
Use the drop-down list to select the new key. This will transpose all chords in valid chord lines and will also change the key of the song.
Transposing a selection
Sometimes you may want to transpose part of a song only, for example the last verse of a song is often raised by a tone.
Select the portion of text to transpose and select the new key. A prompt will appear. If you agree to transpose the selection only, then that part will be transposed.
Note: If a selection is transposed then the song key will not be changed. This may cause undesired results if you subsequently transpose the entire song, because the transposed chords are based on the transposed key. If the transposed selection then contains a transposed chord of, eg. F# and it should be Gb, then simply change it in the text by typing the chord you want.
Setting up pages
To split the chord sheet into pages, simply click the button 'Page Break'
The text "<page break>" will be inserted at the cursor position on its own line.
Next, select the number of pages per screen - this allows you to have the effect of a 'multi-column' display. For example, setting 2 pages per screen will display the chord sheet in 2 columns on the screen using the page break as a separator. Press the 'Preview' button to test your settings (make sure the option 'Chord sheet' is selected in the Display type (see note below).
Note: This setting will be over-ridden if you select the option to display 'Both', as only one page of a chord sheet is displayed at a time with sheet music.
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