GW2MB Syntax and Music Notation Guide (updated & completed)

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GW2MB Syntax and Music Notation Guide (updated & completed)

Postby Valdrimari » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:36 pm

I strongly advise anyone reading this Guide to not skip any information if you want to learn Sheet Music Notation or want to spruce up your GW2MB Syntax for the best playability results.

NOTE: Be sure to have your Browser Window full-sized to view images throughout this Guide that are otherwise too small to see in a downsized Browser Window.

The best pro tip when tabbing Music for the in-game GW2 Instruments:

Omit too many of the same Note playing in a sequence too often and fast (when tabbing glissandi [plural for glissando]), that or omit too many of the same Note playing in a sequence too often and fast within multiple Chords (when tabbing arpeggios or when tabbing regular Chords together).

Assuming a thorough analysis, you will learn how to do the above stated, among many other Syntactical tricks when you are through reading this Guide.

Image QoL to make browsing and reading this Guide much easier:
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1. If the text on this page is too small for you, click on the Change Font Size Button Image located on the upper right-hand side of your screen under where it says: Login / Logout.

2. Open all Spoilers. To highlight words throughout this Guide, hold down CTRL + F, then enter your text.

3. Instead of doing a Left-Click on Links that will be provided in this thread, Right-Click on Links instead and choose ‘Open Link in new Tab’. This will make it so you can view several Links at once by clicking on your new Tabs at the very top in a single Browser Window.

Image Introduction – What this Guide mainly covers:
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Please take note this Guide does not necessarily intend to actually teach you how to play any of the instruments talked about in real life. The GW2 in-game instruments only have 2 to 3 octaves, so it makes no sense to exhaust explanation on all the technicalities concerning real instruments, even though me explaining how Octaves, Chords, Agogic Accentuation, Time Signatures, Rests, etc. work for the GW2 in-game instruments throughout this Guide will give you a good idea of how the real instruments work.

Conclusively, this Guide mainly teaches you how to compose Music in GW2MB Syntax, not how to actually play Music.

Image Get familiar with the GW2MB User Interface first:
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Before going further in this Guide, consult the Link below that explains the basics of the GW2MB User Interface:

http://gw2mb.com/manual.php

Image Know your Low Notes, Mid Notes, and High Notes for your Syntax for each GW2 instrument:
[+] Open Spoiler for information on this topic
Knowing what letter each instrument starts with from the Low, Mid and High octaves helps when writing your Music Notation (or Syntax) because they do not always start with the same letter. Each letter below I made bold indicates the Low, Mid and High octaves for each instrument.

You will also notice some letters are Capitalized, lowercased or have punctuations by them. Why?

That is how the official GW2MB site identifies Low, Mid and High Notes when Exported into AHK Script (AutoHotkey Script for Macros). It also helps the composer identify Low, Mid and High Notes and how they will be used in Chords (more on Chords in the next Spoiler).

//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\
NOTE: Do not let it confuse you, but GW2’s 2-octave instruments technically start from the Low octave (Blue), skip the Mid octave (Green), and go immediately to the High octave (Red) when changing octaves. This can be verified by looking at the octave colors for 2-octave instruments.
\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//

The Lettered Music Notation below is what you will be using in your Syntax:

NOTE: To write Chords in your Syntax, enclose your Notes in Brackets [ ] like so: [C,D,Ef]. To write basic Notes, simply write them without Brackets like so: C, D, E f

Image
For the Harp and the Lute (3 Octaves – Does support utilizing Chords)

Octave 1:___________Octave 2:______Octave 3:
C, D, E, F, G, A, B, –– C D E F G A B –– c d e f g a b –– c'

C, to B, are Low Notes // C to B are Mid Notes // c to b are High Notes and c' is the first Note on the 4th Octave.

Image
For the Bass (2 Octaves – Does Not support utilizing Chords)

Octave 1:______________________Octave 2:
C,,, D,,, E,,, F,,, G,,, A,,, B,,, –– C,, D,, E,, F,, G,, A,, B,, –– C,

C,,, to B,,, are Low Notes // C,, to B,, are High Notes and C, is the first Note on the 3rd Octave.

Image
For the Flute (2 Octaves –– Does Not support utilizing Chords)

Octave 1:______Octave 2:
E F G A B c d –– e f g a b c' d' –– e'

E to d are Low Notes // e to d' are High Notes and e' is the first Note on the 3rd Octave.

Image
For the Horn (3 Octaves – Does Not support utilizing Chords)

Octave 1:_________Octave 2:______Octave 3:
E, F, G, A, B, C D –– E F G A B c d –– e f g a b c' d' –– e'

E, to D are Low Notes // E to d are Mid Notes // e to d' are High Notes and e' is the first Note on the 4th Octave.

Image
For Bell 1 (3 Octaves – Does Not support utilizing Chords)

Octave 1:______Octave 2:_____Octave 3:
D E F G A B c –– d e f g a b c' –– d' e' f' g' a' b' c'' –– d''

D to c are Low Notes // d to c’ are Mid Notes // d' to c'' are High Notes and d'' is the first Note on the 4th Octave.

Image
For Bell 2 (2 Octaves – Does Not support utilizing Chords)

Octave 1:_____Octave 2:
c d e f g a b –– c' d' e' f' g' a' b' –– c''

c to b are Low Notes // c' to b' are High Notes and c'' is the first Note on the 3rd Octave.

Image How to use Midi files and how to transpose Sheet Music Notation before tabbing music:
[+] Open Spoiler for information on this topic
There are two ways to transpose music and that is 1. Tab your music by ear (like I often do) and transpose it if need be or 2. Learn how to use and read Midi files that already provide you with Sheet Music Notation and transpose it if need be.

Assuming you either have little or no experience with Midi files and Sheet Music Notation, I am going to show you method 2.

Why Midi files?

The pros to using Midi files:


1. Midi files are audible unlike Sheet Notes in PDF format.

2. Midi files allow you to see music Notes in Lettered Notation (or other), they allow you to color code music Notes, you can change instruments (called Tracks that play or kick in at different parts), among many other things you can do with Midi files.

3. Midi files allow you to Playback the Sheet Notes for the song(s) you were looking for so you can hear them in real time. You can also click on any part within the Sheet Notes and play those parts back as many times you need until you get the right sound in your GW2MB Syntax.

The cons to using Midi files:

1. Many Midi files do not come with specific Rests whereas Sheet Notes in PDF format often do. Therefore, every time you hit the Playback button, you will have to figure out when the Notes/Chords are supposed to start, end, pick up again, etc., which is not hard to do after a while. All you need to know are your Rest values. Consult the Speed - How Time Signatures, Rests, and Agogic Accents work in GW2MB Syntax Spoiler to review how Time Signatures and Rests work.

2. In some rare cases when you download a bad Midi file, there may be no sound during Playback, to which you should find a better Midi file sample. Another indication of a bad Midi file is how long it takes for the Sheet Notes to begin playing (unless there is a long Rest at the beginning), that or when the Sheet Notes look like they are lagging or skipping during Playback. Sometimes you will get a bad Midi file no matter where you download it from, because it may be the only Midi of its kind shared across different websites.

Here is how to download Midi files (with a program that reads them) and how to read the Sheet Music Notation they provide so you can transpose your music:

1. Download the lightweight program called Midi Sheet Music: http://midisheetmusic.com/download.html (You can download Synthesia, which also reads Midi files, yet you have to pay to use that program).

NOTE: It did not happen to me, but in the event you download Midi Sheet Music and your Anti-Virus software says something along the lines of, "This program may be malicious and has the potential to harm your computer." IGNORE the warning message. The program is safe.

2. To acquire a Midi file, go to: https://musescore.org/en However, to download Midi files from MuseScore, you have to create an account, otherwise, you have to eyeball the Notes yourself after any search you do without additional help from Midi Sheet Music when reading downloaded Midi files, which is not good for you if you do not know how to read Sheet Notes to begin with.

With that being said, if you do not want to go through MuseScore for Midi file downloads, a simple Google search (or whatever search engine you use) will give you other sources to download Midi files from.

3. After you acquire the Midi file(s) for the song(s) you were looking for, simply open a Midi file with Midi Sheet Music, and there you have it, Sheet Notes.

4. But before you get started, let's configure the Midi Sheet Music program, which is very easy to do. At the very top, click where it says Notes > Show Note Letters > and then Letters (as shown below). Why? Because GW2's in-game instruments are based off the C D E F G A B C Lettered Music Notation, anyway.

Image

5. Now go to where it says Colors > Choose Colors like so as shown below. Why? Because these are the colors the GW2 instruments are based off, plus it makes it easier for you to follow the Sheet Notes when you hit the Playback button.

NOTE: The reason I colored Sharps pink (my preference) is because it makes Sharps and Flats more distinguishable from Major Notes when reading a Midi file (Flats are also colored Pink even though the Choose Note Colors Window does not tell you that).

Image

6. You will also want to 'Combine All Tracks Into Two Staffs' like so to make reading your Sheet Notes much easier, otherwise, your Chords, etc. are going to be spread too far apart vertically.

Image

7. And then you will want to 'Choose Instrument(s)' like so. In this case 'Set All To Piano', assuming you are tabbing a song for the Harp, that way it is easier for you to translate Sheet Music Notation into GW2MB Syntax when you have the right sound.

Image

To which the following Window pops up...

Image

8. Now to transpose your music like so below (in the event the song you want to tab has higher or lower Notes than what the GW2MB instruments provide). And that is what 'transpose' means, to either raise or lower every Note in your Sheet Notes by 1 Note, 2 Notes, or even up or down to 12 Notes.

NOTE: To transpose by 'None' means to set the Sheet Notes back to the original Music Notation they were set at. Also be sure to have Midi Sheet Music in Full Screen to see the full Octave Range like on a piano, that way when you Playback the Sheet Notes, you know where each Note falls.

Image

9. The idea when transposing your music is to know what Octave Range in the Midi Sheet Music program you can play around with like so below:

NOTE: Be sure to have your Browser Window full-sized to view the image below.

Image

Furthermore, knowing what octave your Notes fall on helps determine how much you need to transpose your music, be it every Note needs to be raised 1 or 2+ Notes or lowered 1 or 2+ Notes.

And when you transpose any Sheet Notes, the trick is to transpose them until all the Sheet Notes (or most of them) turn into Major Notes, since Major Notes are the only Notes the GW2 in-game instruments support. You want to work with as little Flats and Sharps possible, that way it is easier for you to tab music.

With that being said in mind, in the event you cannot get rid of those troubling Flats and Sharps, there is a way you can fake Flats and Sharps (which is covered in the How to fake Flats and Sharps without Flats and Sharps Spoiler).

10. Now click the Playback button Image and all you need to do from there is simply tab the Notes as you see them in Lettered Notation and listen to when and when not to pause your Notes (known as Rests) by training your ear. Consult the Speed - How Time Signatures, Rests, and Agogic Accents work in GW2MB Syntax Spoiler to review how Time Signatures/Rests work.

And there you have it! That is how to use and read Midi files. It is that simple!

Image Harmony - How Chords and Notes work in GW2MB Syntax and Sheet Music Notation (Updated)
[+] Open Spoiler for information on this topic
Now that you know your Low Notes, Mid Notes, and High Notes for your Syntax for each GW2 instrument, I will outline how Chords and basic Notes work and how to convert Lettered Sheet Music Notation into GW2MB Syntax.

//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\
TL;DR: Chords are partners; Notes are loners. Notes that occur in a Vertical Line together between the Treble Staff and the Bass Clef is a Chord when reading Sheet Music Notation. Notes that do not occur in a Vertical Line together between the Treble Staff and the Bass Clef are not a Chord.

Therefore, when writing your GW2MB Syntax, you include those notes in brackets [ ] to produce a Chord only if Notes occur in a Vertical Line together between the Treble Staff and the Bass Clef. Otherwise, you can write your own Chords.
\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//-\\-//

As shown in the Sheet Notes below, the Sheet Music Notation is Lettered Notation from Katy Perry’s - “Rise” that will be used as an example for this part of the Guide.

Image

To better understand how the Syntax below sounds, Copy/Paste my Syntax into the Pastebin: http://gw2mb.com/harp.php set the Notes per beat (Meter) to 1/2 and set the Beats per minute (Tempo) to 100, and then hit the Playback button.

[G,E]2 G, G [G,A]3/2 A/2 G, G [G,A]3/2 A/2 G, B [G,B]3/2 B/3 z/4 G, A [E,E]2 [D,D]2 [C,C]2 [D,D]2

[E,E] [C,C]2 [E,E] [D,D]2 [E,E] [C,C] [E,B,G]2 E,2 [E,G,]2 E, E/2 G/3 z/4 [E,A,A]2 [E,G] F [E,G,] E E,2

Now let's break down the Syntax above into sections (as shown in the Sheet Notes above)

22. [G,E]2 G, G [G,A]3/2 A/2 G, G 23. [G,A]3/2 A/2 G, B [G,B]3/2 B/3 z/4 G, A 24. [E,E]2 [D,D]2 [C,C]2 [D,D]2

25. [E,E] [C,C]2 [E,E] [D,D]2 [E,E] [C,C] 26. [E,B,G]2 E,2 [E,G,]2 E, E/2 G/3 z/4 27. [E,A,A]2 [E,G] F [E,G,] E E,2

Let's start with the very first Chord being [G,E]2 in section 22. (a second G Note was not included within the Chord for good reason).

As explained in the previous Spoiler, to make a Chord in GW2MB Syntax you must enclose your Low, Mid or High Notes in brackets [ ] like so: [D,F,Gc]. The reason the second G Note was not included is because it falls within the 3rd Mid-Low octave not available for the in-game instruments, so I got rid of it without hampering the tone very much. It still has Bass, just not as much Bass with that extra G Note.

I also dropped the second Low E Note just above the Low B Note at the very beginning of section 26. for the same reason I dropped the G Note in the above stated.

As for the Low E Note below the Low A Note in the beginning of section 27. that is the same E Note above the Low B Note in the beginning of section 26., all I did to that Chord in the beginning of section 27. is play a lower E Note like the one below the Low B Note in section 26. like so: [E,A,A]. This is a perfect example of how to ‘fake’ a Low Note if you are missing an octave to Playback a similar Low Note in your Syntax. You simply Playback the one Low Note and not the other in your Syntax.

As shown in the image above at the very beginning of section 22., the bottom G Note is on the Bass Clef Image, the middle G Note is in between the Bass Clef and the Treble Staff Image, and the E Note is on the Treble Staff.

Treble Staff? Bass Clef?

All you really need to know about the Treble Staff and the Bass Clef is High Notes are on or above the Treble Staff, Low Notes are on or below the Bass Clef, and any Notes in between below the Treble Staff or above the Bass Clef are your Mid-Low and Mid-High Notes.

Image Speed - How Time Signatures, Rests, and Agogic Accents work in GW2MB Syntax (Updated)
[+] Open Spoiler for information on this topic
Now that you know how to use and write Chords in your Syntax, I will outline how Time Signatures work and how Rests work and how to use them and write them in GW2MB Syntax.

Time Signatures are indications of rhythm following a Clef, generally expressed as a fraction with the Denominator defining the beat as a division of a Whole Note, and the Numerator giving the number of beats in each bar, as shown below. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_signature

There are other Time Signature values, but to make things simple, here are 3 common Time Signature values:

Image

Rests are intervals of silence in pieces of music, marked by symbols indicating the length of the pause. Each Rest Symbol and name corresponds with a particular Note value, indicating how long the silence should last, generally as a multiplier of a measure or Whole Note, as shown below:

Image

In translation, to make writing your GW2MB Syntax easier, 1/2 Rests should be written as /2, 1/4 Rests as /4, 1/8 Rests as /8, and so on. You can even do 1/5 Rests as /5, 1/6 Rests as /6, 1/7 Rests as /7, and so on. As for whole number Rests, I will cover those soon.

IF you find yourself using 1/16 Rests (/16), 1/32 Rests (/32), or 1/64 Rests (/64), you are either 1. likely doing something wrong (except in very rare cases) or 2. you need to look this Guide over again to simplify your Syntax. The idea is not to get too technical. If a piece requires 1/16 Rests (/16), 1/32 Rests (/32), or 1/64 Rests (/64), simply set your Meter to 1/1, and then use Rests like /2, /3, /4, etc. instead at the end of each Note and Chord you tab.

With that being said, the duration on some Rests are very different, so you will have to experiment with them during Playback until you find the right one(s) you're looking for from one Note or Chord to the next.

Furthermore, you can easily run quick tests by highlighting parts of your Syntax and hitting Playback vs. replaying all your Syntax. When you find the right Rest for one particular part in a Music piece, it will give you a good idea what Rest(s) to use for other parts.

In fact, establishing the right Rests for the very first few Notes or Chords will tell you what values to set your other Rests to. For example, if the piece of Music you are tabbing starts out with a /2 Rest to get your Notes or Chords moving along, and then another part gets faster, you will know to set the /2 Rest to: /3 /4 /5 or /6.

Remember, the higher your Rest values in the form of fractions, the faster your Notes or Chords play. The lower your Rest values in the form of fractions (or no Rest value at all after a Note or a Chord), the slower your Notes or Chords play. However, when using whole numbers to pause your Notes, it is the opposite where higher numbers are long pauses, and lower numbers are short pauses.

As shown in the image below, Notes per beat is Meter, and Beats per minute is Tempo:

Keep it simple at 1/1, 1/2, or 1/4 Meter. Using 1/8 or 1/16 as your Meter will oftentimes make writing your Rests more complex than need be.

Image

Rests go at the end of Chords and Notes in your Syntax like so in bold as an example at 1/4 Meter and 75 Tempo: E/2 F/2 [E,G]/2 B,/3 z/5 [E,G]/2 G,/2 B,/3 z/5 G/2 F/2 D/2 C/10 [C,E]/2 G,/2 [C,E]/2 However, sometimes a Note or a Chord stands by itself without a Rest that will Playback at its default speed.

Consider this without Rests: 1/4 Meter at 60 Tempo plays 1 Note per Second. The default Meter and Tempo set on GW2MB is 1/4 Meter and 90 Tempo. Therefore, the default speed per Note without a Rest depends on what Meter and Tempo you have set.

Here is a list of Rests you will be using to Hasten, Slow, or Pause your Syntax during Playback (adjust Tempo accordingly for 1/1, 1/2, or 1/4 Meter)

For speed, /2 /3 /4 /5 /6 /7 /8 and so on... (the lower, a slower speed; the higher, a faster speed).

NOTE: No Rest value added at the end of a Note or a Chord will Playback at default speed.

For pause, 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 and so on… (the lower, a shorter pause; the higher, a longer pause).

To deaden or cancel out the sound of previously-played Notes or Chords: z/2 z/3 z/4 and so on... z, z2, z3 z4 and so on… (although anything more than z is not common). Z Rest cancellations (or deadeners) are most noticeable on the Bass.

For example on the Bass, Copy/Paste A,,,/2 D,,,/2 E,,,/2 G,,, /2 vs. A,,, z D,,, z E,,, z G,,, z OR A,,,/2 D,,,/2 E,,,/2 G,,, /2 vs. A,,, z2 D,,, z2 E,,, z2 G,,, z2 in the Pastebin http://gw2mb.com/bass.php at the default Meter and Tempo, then Playback and listen carefully to how the sound of each Note either lingers into another Note or gets cut off abruptly.

Agogic Accentuation (to put emphasis on certain Notes or Chords)

Ever wanted a Note or a Chord to linger a little longer before going to the next Note or Chord? Agogic Accents solve that problem when placed at the end of a Note or Chord in your Syntax.

More about Agogic Accents here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accent_(music)

2/2, 2/3, 2/4, 3/2, 3/3, 3/4, 4/2, 4/3, 4/4 and so on... /2 z/2, /2 z/3, /2 z/4, /2 z/5, /2 z/6 and so on… /3 z/2, /3 z/3, /3 z/4, /3 z/6, /3 z/8 and so on…
/4 z/2, /4 z/3, /4 z/4, /4 z/6, /4 z/8 and so on… /5 z/2, /5 z/3, /5 z/4, /5 z/6, /5 z/8 and so on... /6 z/2, /6 z/3, /6 z/4, /6 z/5, /6 z/8 and so on…

In place of the common /2 Rest value when used, of all the above mentioned Agogic Accents, /2 z/4 and /3 z/4 are amazing to use for B Notes and sometimes F Notes by themselves or when used within certain Chords. That is because B Notes and F Notes sound like they are playing slightly faster than other Notes for some reason on the site.

For example on the Harp, Copy/Paste B/3 z/4 c vs. B/2 c OR B/2 z/4 c vs. B/2 c in the Pastebin http://gw2mb.com/harp.php at the default Meter and Tempo, then Playback and listen carefully to the difference in speed from one Note to the next.

You may think the above examples make very little difference, but when you do this to enough Notes depending on what Song or Melody you are tabbing, the difference is very noticeable, and sometimes using Agogic Accents cleverly in your Syntax can mean the difference between playable Music and unplayable Music on the in-game instruments.

Image The long short to make writing your GW2MB Syntax easier:
[+] Open Spoiler for information on this topic
The slower the song, set your Notes per beat higher and adjust your Tempo higher if need be.
The faster the song, set your Notes per beat lower and adjust your Tempo lower if need be.

Why?

When tabbing a slow or a fast song, the idea is to set the Notes per beat low or high enough and adjust your Tempo lower or higher accordingly if need be until you get to a point where you can use whole numbers (or sometimes no Rests) instead of fractions to get your Notes going faster or slower.

However, that does not mean whatever you are tabbing is completely exempt from using fractions as Rests like: /2 /3 /4 /5 /6 etc. The method I speak of just makes it so you have to use less fractions.

Image How to simplify otherwise complicated GW2MB Syntax:
[+] Open Spoiler for information on this topic
Now that you know the long short to make writing your GW2MB Syntax easier, let's simplify an excerpt from Final Fantasy 9 - Vivi's Theme, the Sheet Notes I also used as an example in the How to fake Flats and Sharps without Flats and Sharps Spoiler.

Let's say Vivi's Theme was set at 1/4 Notes per beat (Meter) and 85 Beats per minute (Tempo), and you used the following Syntax below. How do you simplify it?

NOTE: Here are the Sheet Notes for Vivi's Theme from a Midi file: https://i.imgur.com/cvAow33.png When you open the How to fake Flats and Sharps without Flats and Sharps Spoiler, I will explain how I interpreted the Sheet Notes by faking the Flats and faking the Sharps. For now, let's focus on simplifying the Syntax below.

To hear what the Syntax below sounds like, Copy/Paste the Syntax below here: http://gw2mb.com/harp.php and then set your Notes per beat (Meter) to 1/4 and your Beats per minute (Tempo) to 85. Hit the Playback button and listen.

[E,C]/4 D/4 [G,E]/7 z/8 C/4 G,/2 [A,B,]/4 C/4 G/2 B/2 d/4 c/4 B/7 z/8 A/7 z/8 [A,CG]/2 [A,DG]/2 [A,CG]

G/2 B/2 d/4 c/4 B/7 z/8 A/7 z/8 [G,G]/2 [De]/2 [B,B]/7 z/8 [Cc]/7 z/8 [Dd]/7 z/8 [Ef]/6 z/8 [Bg]6/2

[A,e]/4 d/7 z/8 [Ae]/2 [G,c]/2 [B,d]/7 z/8 f/7 z/8 [A,g]/2 [Ae]/4 d/7 z/8 [G,e]/2 [B,c]/2 [A,d]/2 [Ae]/2 [G,g]/2 [B,e]/7 z/8 d/7 z/8

[A,e]/2 [FA]/2 G,/2 [B,EB]/2 A,/2 [EA]/2 G,/2 [B,EB]/2 A,/2 [FA]/2 G,/2 [B,B]/2 [D,A]/4 G/4 [DA]/4 F/7 z/8 [E,G]/2 [B,F]/7 z/8 E/7 z/8

[F,F]/2 [CD]/2 [E,E]/2 [B,A]/4 G/7 z/8 [D,A]/4 G/4 [DA]/4 F/7 z/8 [D,G]/2 [B,F]/4 E/7 z/8 [D,F]/2 [CD]/2 B,/2 [B,E]/2

A,/2 [A,D]/2 G,/2 [B,D]/2 F,/2 [CD]/2 G,/2 [B,E]/2 [A,e]/4 d/7 z/8 [Ae]/2 [G,c]/2 [B,Bd]/7 z/8 f/7 z/8

[A,g]/2 [Ae]/4 d/7 z/8 [G,e]/2 [B,c]/2 [A,d]/2 [Ae]/2 [G,g]/2 [B,Be]/7 z/8 d/7 z/8 [A,e]/2 [EA]/2 G,/2 [B,EB]/2 A,/2 [EA]/2 G,/2 [B,DG]

At this point, you may be asking yourself, "Why would anyone use the Syntax above with those complicated Rests if it can be simplified?"

The answer is when your Notes per beat (Meter) is set at 1/2 or 1/4 instead of 1/1 in the event you are tabbing a mid-fast or fast-paced song, it allows you to use Agogic Accents easier by making your Rests more punctual. However, by using a Meter of 1/2 or 1/4 instead of 1/1, it requires you to use Rests like /2, /4, etc. at the end of your Notes or Chords to get them going at the same speed like if you set your Meter to 1/1.

For example, if you Playback the Syntax above here: http://gw2mb.com/harp.php and compare it with the simplified Syntax below, you will notice the Syntax above sounds more accurate whereas some areas in the simplified Syntax sound slightly rushed (not much, but it is noticeable).

Here is the Syntax above simplified at 1/1 Notes per beat (Meter) and 85 Notes per beat (Tempo) below:

Do you see what I did? I sped up each Note and Chord by setting the Notes per beat (Meter) to 1/1 so you do not have to use so many fractions to get your Notes going.

If you still do not understand how I simplified the Syntax, consult The long short to make writing your GW2MB Syntax easier Spoiler again.

[E,C] D [G,E] C G,2 [A,B,] C G2 B2 d c B A [A,CG]2 [A,DG]2 [A,CG]4

G2 B2 d c B A [G,G]2 [De]2 [B,B] [Cc] [Dd] [Ef] [Bg]8

[A,e] d [Ae]2 [G,c]2 [B,d] f [A,g]2 [Ae] d [G,e]2 [B,c]2 [A,d]2 [Ae]2 [G,g]2 [B,e] d

[A,e]2 [FA]2 G,2 [B,EB]2 A,2 [EA]2 G,2 [B,EB]2 A,2 [FA]2 G,2 [B,B]2 [D,A] G [DA] F [E,G]2 [B,F] E

[F,F]2 [CD]2 [E,E]2 [B,A] G [D,A] G [DA] F [D,G]2 [B,F] E [D,F]2 [CD]2 B,2 [B,E]2

A,2 [A,D]2 G,2 [B,D]2 F,2 [CD]2 G,2 [B,E]2 [A,e] d [Ae]2 [G,c]2 [B,Bd] f

[A,g]2 [Ae] d [G,e]2 [B,c]2 [A,d]2 [Ae]2 [G,g]2 [B,Be] d [A,e]2 [EA]2 G,2 [B,EB]2 A,2 [EA]2 G,2 [B,DG]

Image How to fake Flats and Sharps without Flats and Sharps:
[+] Open Spoiler for information on this topic
Or I should say, how to make it seem like you are faking Flats and Sharps, even though you will technically never produce a Flat or a Sharp no matter how many Major Notes you tab together.

If or when you run into Sharps and Flats when reading Sheet Notes (in this case from a Midi file as shown below), the trick is to either 1. play your Sharps as Majors like E# F# G# as E F G or in some cases 2. play your Sharps as Majors like E# F# G# as F G A by tabbing your Sharps one Major Note higher if need be.

Let's translate an excerpt from Final Fantasy 9 - Vivi's Theme. Assuming you have the Midi Sheet Music program installed, you can find the Midi file for Vivi's Theme here: http://www.midishrine.com/index.php?id=87

Image
Section 1 above, along with sections 2-7 set at 1/1 Notes per beat (Meter) and 85 Beats per minute (Tempo), translates to:

[E,C] D [G,E] C G,2 [A,B,] C G2 B2 d c B A [A,CG]2 [A,DG]2 [A,CG]4

Now that you know in order to fake Flats and Sharps you must tab them as Major Notes (or a Major Note or two higher if need be), you may be wondering about that very first chord in section 21. and why I wrote it as [E,C]

That is because the G# Sharp and Bb Flat fall under the Out of Range Notes the in-game instruments do not give us (as shown below), at which point to substitute for what you cannot play/tab, simply play/tab the lowest Notes (or the highest Notes) you can that sound best.

Image

With all the above stated in mind, let's continue translating the rest of Vivi's Theme.

Image
Section 2 above translates to:

G2 B2 d c B A [G,G]2 [De]2 [B,B] [Cc] [Dd] [Ef] [Bg]8

Image
Section 3 above translates to:

[A,e] d [Ae]2 [G,c]2 [B,d] f [A,g]2 [Ae] d [G,e]2 [B,c]2 [A,d]2 [Ae]2 [G,g]2 [B,e] d

Image
Section 4 above translates to:

[A,e]2 [FA]2 G,2 [B,EB]2 A,2 [EA]2 G,2 [B,EB]2 A,2 [FA]2 G,2 [B,B]2 [D,A] G [DA] F [E,G]2 [B,F] E

Image
Section 5 above translates to:

[F,F]2 [CD]2 [E,E]2 [B,A] G [D,A] G [DA] F [D,G]2 [B,F] E [D,F]2 [CD]2 B,2 [B,E]2

Image
Section 6 above translates to:

A,2 [A,D]2 G,2 [B,D]2 F,2 [CD]2 G,2 [B,E]2 [A,e] d [Ae]2 [G,c]2 [B,Bd] f

Image
Section 7 above translates to:

[A,g]2 [Ae] d [G,e]2 [B,c]2 [A,d]2 [Ae]2 [G,g]2 [B,Be] d [A,e]2 [EA]2 G,2 [B,EB]2 A,2 [EA]2 G,2 [B,DG]

Now Copy/Paste the Syntax below here: http://gw2mb.com/harp.php and then set your Notes per beat (Meter) to 1/1 and your Beats per minute (Tempo) to 85. Hit the Playback button and listen to all the Syntax together.

[E,C] D [G,E] C G,2 [A,B,] C G2 B2 d c B A [A,CG]2 [A,DG]2 [A,CG]4

G2 B2 d c B A [G,G]2 [De]2 [B,B] [Cc] [Dd] [Ef] [Bg]8

[A,e] d [Ae]2 [G,c]2 [B,d] f [A,g]2 [Ae] d [G,e]2 [B,c]2 [A,d]2 [Ae]2 [G,g]2 [B,e] d

[A,e]2 [FA]2 G,2 [B,EB]2 A,2 [EA]2 G,2 [B,EB]2 A,2 [FA]2 G,2 [B,B]2 [D,A] G [DA] F [E,G]2 [B,F] E

[F,F]2 [CD]2 [E,E]2 [B,A] G [D,A] G [DA] F [D,G]2 [B,F] E [D,F]2 [CD]2 B,2 [B,E]2

A,2 [A,D]2 G,2 [B,D]2 F,2 [CD]2 G,2 [B,E]2 [A,e] d [Ae]2 [G,c]2 [B,Bd] f

[A,g]2 [Ae] d [G,e]2 [B,c]2 [A,d]2 [Ae]2 [G,g]2 [B,Be] d [A,e]2 [EA]2 G,2 [B,EB]2 A,2 [EA]2 G,2 [B,DG]

Image How to deal with High Notes and Low Notes without a lower or higher octave (works only sometimes):
[+] Open Spoiler for information on this topic
Let's take a look at the Sheet Notes of Tidus' Theme from Final Fantasy 10.

Image

Section 45 and 46 above, set at 1/4 Notes per beat (Meter) and 90 Beats per minute (Tempo) translates to:

[D,Gd]/2 z/4 [A,Ee]/2 z/4 [DG]/2 z/4 [F,F]/2 z/4 [D,D]/2 z/4 [A,A]/2 z/4 [A,Dg]/2 z/4 [F,Ff]/2 z/4 [G,De]/2 z/4 [G,G]/2 z/4 [D,Dd]/2 z/4 [F,F]/2 z/4 [D,D]/2 z/4 [G,GB]/2 z/4 [Dd]/2 z/4 [Fe]/2 z/4

I could have simplified the Syntax above, yet since I prefer punctual Syntax (for accuracy reasons), I set my Meter to 1/4 using fractions for my Rests instead of 1/1 Meter using whole numbers for my Rests.

Tabbing Tidus' Theme from Final Fantasy 10 is one of those perfect example exceptions where the elevated parts can be faked so as to seemingly sound high as the original version when it is really not.

That is because for every high c d e f g a and/or b note in the third octave, there is an equal, albeit higher c d e f g a and/or b note in the fourth octave.

Therefore, the way I faked/transposed the elevated parts to seemingly sound higher than they really are is I did away with all the high c d e f g a and/or b notes in the fourth octave and kept only the equal, albeit lower high c d e f g a and/or b notes in the third octave.

With all the above stated in mind, as odd it may seem, this faking/transposition technique cannot be applied to all very elevated and/or very low Notes to work or play within 3 octaves.

Image How to fix playability issues and the real reason why instrument notes go on cooldown, explained:
[+] Open Spoiler for information on this topic
The culprit of unplayable music on the GW2 in-game Instruments is not because each Note on each octave has its own cooldown (like many players believe), but because each Note on each octave shares a 'global' cooldown, meaning every Note of the same type goes on cooldown globally on every octave (verified and tested). I know, right? How awesome is that!

For example, if the E Major Note on the Low octave goes on cooldown, the E Major Notes on the Mid octave and the High octave also go on cooldown, which should not be happening, yet Anet determinedly refuses to fix the problem.

So to work around the 'global' cooldown issue, omit too many of the same Note playing in a sequence too often and fast (when tabbing glissandi [plural for glissando]), that or omit too many of the same Note playing in a sequence too often and fast within multiple Chords (when tabbing arpeggios or regular Chords together).

Let's break down an excerpt from the Sheet Notes of Final Fantasy X-2 - 1,000 Words below to show you what I mean, and only focus on the Chords in brackets [ ] not the Rest values at the end of Notes and Chords so you do not get confused.

NOTE: The Sheet Notes below were transposed down 4 Notes in the Midi Sheet Music program mentioned in the How to use Midi files and how to transpose Sheet Music Notation before tabbing music Spoiler.

Image
Section 1 above, along with sections 2-3 set at 1/4 Notes per beat (Meter) and 95 Notes per minute (Tempo), translates to:

[D,G,DB]3/2 [Ac]3/2 [FA] [D,G,D]/2 F,/2 A,/2 d/2 [A,c']/6 d/4 g/2 d/2 d/2 (with a bit of simplified improvisation shown in bold due to that glissandi line)

Otherwise, the more sophisticated way to tab the Syntax above would be:

[D,G,DB]3/2 [Ac]3/2 [FA] [D,F,G,A,D]3/2 d/2 c'/3 [DG]/8 A/8 c/8 d/8 c/8 d/6 [ce]/6 f/6 g/6 [df]/6 b/4 d/4 d/4

See how long that glissandi is in bold? That will never play smoothly without going on cooldown in-game.

Image
Section 2 above translates to:

[E,Gd]/3 z/3 [G,e]/3 z/3 [E,G]/2 E,/2 G,/2 B,/2 G/2 [D,DB]/2 c/2 [D,F,B]/2 [D,a]/2 [F,A]/4 [G,g]/2 A/4 [G,g]/2 G/2 [G,df]/3 z/3 [E,e]/3 z/2 [E,G]/2 E,/2 G,/2 A,/2 G/2 (with a bit of simplified improvisation shown in bold instead of having a boring pause there in between)

Otherwise, the more sophisticated way to tab the Syntax above would be:

[C,E,Gd]/3 z/3 [G,e]/2 [C,E,G,B,]/4 [C,E,G,B,G]/2 E,/2 G,/2 B,/2 G/2 [D,F,A,DFB]/2 c/2 [D,F,A,B]/2 [D,a]/2 [F,A]/4 [G,g]/2 A/4 [G,g]/2 G/2 [E,G,B,EGdf]/3 z/3 [E,G,B,EGe]/2 [E,G,B,]/4 [E,G,B,G]/2 E,/2 G,/2 A,/2 G/2

See how there are too many of the same Notes occurring in those Chords? The idea is to play the lowest Note or the two lowest Notes within a Chord and omit any other Notes causing your Syntax to go on cooldown in-game, especially when Chords are close together with the same Notes in them.

Image
Section 3 above translates to:

[D,DA]/3 z/3 [D,d]/3 z/2 [D,d]/2 d/2 [eg]/2 [Ff]/2 [dg]/2 [C,Ef]/3 z/3 [E,G,Cg]/3 z/2 [C,E,e]/2 A,/10 z/8 E/4 A,/4 E/6 z/8 A,/4 A/4 A,/4 E/6 z/8 [D,D]/3 z/3 D/6 z/8 g/2 [D,A,f] d z/6 c/2 (with a bit of simplified improvisation shown in bold instead of having a boring pause there in between)

Otherwise, the more sophisticated way to tab the Syntax above would be:

[D,F,B,DA]/3 z/3 [D,F,B,d]/2 [D,F,]/4 [D,F,B,d]/2 d/2 [eg]/2 [Ff]/2 [dg]/2 [C,E,G,CEf]/3 z/3 [E,G,Cg]/2 [C,E,G,]/4 [C,E,e]6/2 [D,F,A,]/3 z/3 [D,F,A,]/4 g/4 [D,F,A]/4 [D,F,A,Df] d z/6 c/2

Again, see how there are too many of the same Notes occurring in those Chords? The idea is to play the lowest Note or the two lowest Notes within a Chord and omit any other Notes causing your Syntax to go on cooldown in-game, especially when Chords are close together with the same Notes in them.


To those who have thoroughly read this Guide, I hope I succeeded in teaching you how to tab music for the GW2 in-game instruments. Thank you for reading!
Valdrimari
Last edited by Valdrimari on Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GW2MB Syntax and Music Notation Guide (updated & complet

Postby Lightfeather » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:51 pm

Thank you so much for this tutorial! <3

/EDIT - I know you probably won't see this but I had a question about the order of chord notation. I, having no musical training at all, gravitated towards writing a chord going from the highest octave to the lowest like [dFG,]/2 but I've noticed in your scripts that you write yours going from lowest to highest which would turn [dFG,]/2 into [G,Fd]/2. Is there a reason to do this other than personal preference? When I play them back they sound identical to me.

The reason I ask is because I'm trying to tab a song and it's triggering the global cooldown so I'm in the process of cleaning it up, removing duplicate and repetitive notes where I can, but I was wondering if this is also an issue.
Last edited by Lightfeather on Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GW2MB Syntax and Music Notation Guide (updated & complet

Postby Valdrimari » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:50 pm

Lightfeather wrote:Thank you so much for this tutorial! <3


You are very welcome. I am glad this thread has helped you better understand how gw2mb syntax works and how to tab music for the in-game instruments, notably to avoid the global cooldown on notes.

Lightfeather wrote:EDIT - I know you probably won't see this but I had a question about the order of chord notation. I, having no musical training at all, gravitated towards writing a chord going from the highest octave to the lowest like [dFG,]/2 but I've noticed in your scripts that you write yours going from lowest to highest which would turn [dFG,]/2 into [G,Fd]/2. Is there a reason to do this other than personal preference? When play them back they sound identical to me.

The reason I ask is because I'm trying to tab a song and it's triggering the global cooldown so I'm in the process of cleaning it up, removing duplicate and repetitive notes where I can, but I was wondering if this is also an issue.


I actually do check the forums regularly, that and I have been waiting for feedback on this thread for quite some time now. With that being said in mind, your question regarding my order of chord notation is a very good one, something I meant to address in the OP, yet forgot to do so.

The 2 main reasons I write my chord notation from the lowest notes to the highest notes are:

1. Low notes on a piano are on the left, mid notes are within the middle, and high notes are on the right, so in the event players in-game (notably those in the musician community) want to read my gw2mb syntax to translate and simplify a piece for manual play, writing chord notation from the lowest notes to the highest notes is much easier to read, because most people in the world read from left to right, not right to left, except for those who speak languages like: Arabic, Aramaic, Azeri, Dhivehi/Maldivian, Hebrew, Kurdish (Sorani), Persian/Farsi or Urdu.

Contrarily, left-handed pianos do exist, where the high notes are on the left and the low notes are on the right, yet there are very few of those custom built that exist due to low consumer demand.

2. Writing chord notation from the lowest notes to the highest notes makes for theoretical better playability, likewise, writing chord notation from the highest notes to the lowest notes. However, chords written in random order are what pose possible issues.

So you are right, no matter how you write a chord, they 'sound' the same, yet they do not (or may not) always 'play' the same or play as smooth on the in-game instruments while running a script.

While my theory cannot be 100% proven, although it seems to me a matter of fact, I go by logic that says if a chord is written messily like [G,D,cFD], followed by more messy chords or a sequence of single notes, the music is likely not going to play as well like chords that are written in neater order, either from the lowest notes to the highest notes, or the highest notes to the lowest notes, because the script computation communicating with the in-game instruments may misinterpret inputs and either play the wrong note(s) or play in the wrong octave(s).

One can then counter argue and say computation while running a script does not care about 'order', but even if there is only a millisecond difference in playability from one note or chord to another, if any difference at all, I still suggest writing neater chords over messy ones, because playability is what we aim for when tabbing music, especially me, assuming one's ping in-game is below 100.


Cheers!
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