Sunday, November 3, 2019

How To Make Paper Tape Music For A 15 Note Music Box Using the Silhouette Software

Making Paper Music for your Music Box

In my previous post, https://papercraftetc.blogspot.com/2019/10/25-songs-for-christmas-unique-advent.html  I used the website, https://musicboxmaniacs.com to create this music.  After creating the music, I downloaded it to a file which I used in the Silhouette software.  Once in the Silhouette software, I modified the height and length of the strip and the hole size.

To create music on the Music Box Maniacs website, a basic knowledge of sheet music is necessary. (Please note that there is music on the website that was created by other music box enthusiatists for you to use. You might get lucky and you can use their version.)

Here are some key items:

- The 15 note music box can only play melodies in the key of C.
- The musical grid on the website is a representation of a standard music staff.
- In the Create music screen on the website, click on unknown artist to change the melody type to Kikkerland 15.  This will give you two octaves. While here, title your song.
- The spacing going from left to right are equal to eighth-notes and it represents how long the note is played.
- The spacing going from bottom to top represents the pitch. These lines and spaces starting from the bottom correspond to different notes.   The lines correspond to notes E-G-B-D-F and the spaces are F-A-C-E.
-To convert sheet music with one sharp to C major key, move each note up five half-steps; to convert music with one flat, move each note down five half-steps; if this places notes on the music file too low, move entire music up one octave.
-The music sounds better at the higher octave, if it fits.  Otherwise you have to move it down.

Once you have created your music on the website, save it. (The disc icon.)  It is not necessary to publish it to the website unless you want to. On the upper right corner, there is a my user profile.  This is the location to retrieve the file saved in Melody drafts. Click on the file name.  This will allow you to continue to modify your draft or export it.

To make the paper tape with the Silhouette, export the file by clicking on the DSF version. Click on the red Export button. It will say "exporting please wait'.  Once completed, it will say download.  Click the download button. The file will then be downloaded to your computer.

In the Silhouette software, open the downloaded file. (I selected Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by jvargoso61 to show how to use the downloaded music from the website.)

There will be two rectangles and a series of dots.

In the Edit screen, select all.  In the Object screen, Group it so that the entire image is now one object.

In the Transform window, Click on the lock, to close it.  Change the height value to 1.616 inches and apply the change.

The strip created is huge.  It needs to be adjusted.

In the Edit screen, select all.  In the Object screen, Ungroup it. Delete the inner rectangle, it is not needed.  Select all of the dots.  Do not select the outer rectangle.   The hole size needs to be changed to .1 inches.

In the transform window, change the width and the height to .1 inches. Apply the change.

Grab the center square in the bounding box on the right and make the rectangle smaller so that it will fit on a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper and choose an area where there is a little space so that you can tape the two rectangles together.

Replicate that rectangle to the right.  Group each of the rectangles and dots separately.

Add an arrow and a title to the music. You are now ready to cut and print with your Silhouette. The two strips can be joined together using tape. Please ensure that the holes are not taped over. The holes are needed for the music box to play the note. 

I used 110 lb. /300 gsm cardstock to make the paper tape music. I purchased the white cardstock at Michaels.  The music box needs the thicker paper so that the gears can grab onto the paper.  I recommend using a blade depth of 5 and cutting in 2 passes. I do recommend a new blade and cutting mat.  If the holes are not cut accurately, the music will not play correctly or not at all. I discovered this problem with my automatic blade on my Cameo 3.  The holes were not perfectly round because of a dull/misaligned blade.


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