Tips for Hyperscore 5 Pilot Members

Thank you for being a part of the pilot program for the new version of Hyperscore. Hyperscore 5 is still in a pre-release state, so you’re getting exclusive early access to this exciting next step in the program’s evolution. As pre-release software, you may occasionally find something that doesn’t quite work correctly or as you expect. We welcome your feedback as we continue to refine and address issues in advance of the new version.

Hyperscore will continue to evolve and the new implementation makes it easier to incorporate customer and educator feedback into subsequent versions.

Previous Hyperscore Users

Hyperscore 5, which we’re making available to pilot members, is a completely new implementation of Hyperscore. If you’ve used Hyperscore in the past, we’re sure you’ll feel right at home with the new version. There are some important differences to note.

To learn about some of the changes in Hyperscore, please see the What’s New tab of the About window in Hyperscore itself. You can also find the release notes here. During the pilot period we may enable or disable some features of Hyperscore and address issues that arise. The release notes will not update regularly to reflect all changes until the new version is publicly released at the end of the pilot period.

Device Support

The new Hyperscore 5 is a web-based application, unlike previous versions of Hyperscore. It can be accessed directly from most modern web browsers. We are targeting support specifically for Google Chrome 80+, Mozilla Firefox 78+, Microsoft Edge 83+, and Apple Safari 13.1+. Certain browsers do not provide all web platform capabilities to applications, so the support for individual features in Hyperscore may vary among them. Where possible, Hyperscore will employ alternative methods for unsupported features or let you know that your platform does not support a particular capability.

Devices that can run any of these modern browsers can run Hyperscore. This includes desktop and laptop systems running Windows 7+, macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later, and various Linux distributions. Hyperscore will also run on mobile platforms including Chrome OS 82+, Android 11+, and iOS 13.4+. Hyperscore 5 has been designed with touch-input devices in mind. After all, drawing your music with your fingertips is even more fun than drawing with a mouse! It works well on convertible and tablet devices, such as Chromebooks, Microsoft Surface, iPads, and other tablets. Hyperscore 5 can even run on iPhones and Android phones, though the small screen sizes do make it difficult to use. We have plans to adapt the interface to better accommodate the small screens of smartphones in the near future.

Installing Hyperscore

Hyperscore 5 is a progressive web application. This means that it will work fine in a normal browser tab just by going to the website, but can also be installed similarly to a regular computer application or mobile app on supported platforms. If your platform supports installation, Hyperscore will let you know with a message in the bottom right corner or in the About dialog.

Installing Hyperscore will create an icon on your desktop, home screen, or app drawer, depending upon the platform. This icon will open Hyperscore directly and is a great way to use the program regularly.

The differences between the installed version and running Hyperscore in a browser tab are minimal. However, platforms are continually adding new features that can enhance the experience of installed applications.

As a progressive web application, Hyperscore can function quite well when you are offline, without an internet connection. Hyperscore must first be loaded in a browser tab or installed in order to work offline. Some features, like loading the sounds for new Instrument Sets will not work without an internet connection. You will also need an internet connection to receive updates. Hyperscore will keep itself up-to-date or let you know when an update to the program is available.

Saving Your Work

The version of Hyperscore available to our pilot members stores all projects locally, nearly identically to previous versions of Hyperscore. Five safes are available at the bottom left of the interface allowing you to have five different compositions open at one time. As in prior versions, to open more compositions without losing work, you should first save the current safe to a local file using Save Score… from the Save and Export menu in the bottom toolbar. Be sure to descriptively name your file so you can find it again. You can reopen compositions saved this way into the active safe with the Open Score… button or by dragging the file into the Hyperscore workspace. Saving your composition to a file is a great way to ensure it doesn’t get erased, to move it between devices, or to share it with others.

Although the five safes and recommended saving practice are the same as previous versions, this will soon change in Hyperscore 5. In the near future, we will be providing the ability to create user accounts. With these accounts, Hyperscore will switch to automatically saving all projects in the cloud instead of the local safes.

Since the contents of each safe is stored with the browser, there is the chance that the browser could erase your work between sessions. Clearing your browser’s site data will also remove compositions in safes. Some browsers may be configured to automatically clear site data between sessions. Thus, we strongly recommend that you regularly use Save Score… to save your compositions to files, until our cloud storage system becomes available.

In addition to saving Hyperscore compositions as .hsc files that can be reopened in Hyperscore, also found under the Save and Export menu, the program also allows you to Export Sketch as MIDI… or Export Sketch as Audio…. MIDI files can be used to open Hyperscore sketches in other music applications, including notation programs like Sibelius and Finale. The audio option is new to Hyperscore 5 and will create an MP3 file of the selected sketch window, allowing you to share your work with others who may not have Hyperscore.

Documentation

New Harmony Line’s Director of Education, has prepared an introductory series of video modules that showcase how to compose with Hyperscore 5.

We are in the process of updating our written documentation, educator resources, and curriculum documents to reflect the new version of Hyperscore. However, the previous Getting Started Guide and User Guide are still useful resources to learn about composing with Hyperscore. They are linked from their respective tabs in the About window within the program. These links will update to the new documentation, once available.

Keyboard Shortcuts

The graphical nature of Hyperscore is great for mouse and touch users. However, advanced users may also wish to use keyboard shortcuts for common functions, such as changing tools. A list of Keyboard Shortcuts is available from the tabs in the About window or by pressing F2 on the keyboard. Note that some keyboard shortcuts have changed from previous versions.

Holding down the Shift key while drawing a stroke or reshaping the harmony line will keep the line horizontal. Double-clicking on a stroke will activate the corresponding melody window.

Themes

Hyperscore 5 introduces a number of visual themes for the user interface. Themes can be chosen from the Settings window. The System Preference option will allow Hyperscore to choose a light or dark theme based on the setting in your device’s operating system.

Internationalization and Accessibility

Our mission is to empower anyone to have the ability to express themselves through music creation. As such, we are committed to making Hyperscore accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of age, geography, language, and physical ability. Hyperscore’s graphical interface has been designed to be easy and intuitive to use for anyone. It relies on written language as little as possible. However, the visual nature and interactions can pose challenges for certain users. In the past, special controllers have even been designed to allow individuals with minimal motor control access to the full range of composing features in Hyperscore. We are always looking for new ways to simplify the user interface and make it accessible to individuals of all abilities.
Previous versions of Hyperscore had translations available for up to 13 different languages. While our pilot version currently only supports English, we plan to reintroduce internationalization features to support additional languages and regions.

The new Hyperscore 5 responds to users’ system preferences for light and dark themes, high contrast, and reduced motion. As a web application, many of the usual accessibility tools available to browsers, including screen readers, work with Hyperscore. However, we are aware that some of the novel user interface elements cannot be easily interpreted by some tools. We are continually working to improve the implementation of ARIA roles and WCAG recommendations within Hyperscore to make the application as accessible as possible.