KTabS Tutorial - Creating Music (Part 2)


1.  Tempo refers to the speed at which the program will play your musical composition.  The default playback tempo is 120 beats per minute.  Beats per minute is calculated using the quarter note as one beat, so tempo is not dependent on the time signature.

2.  If you wish to change the tempo at which your music is played back, activate the row or barline where you want the new tempo to start.  Right click the mouse and select "Tempo".   Enter a number for the new tempo and click OK.  The minimum tempo for this program is 20 and the maximum tempo is 750.   Increasing the number will speed up the tempo and decreasing the number will slow down the tempo.  


3. When you have entered the tempo, it will appear to the left of the row or barline that was selected when you set the tempo.

4.  To edit or delete a tempo you have entered, select the row or barline that the tempo is next to.  Right click and select "Tempo" to make your change.

Note:  When you cut or copy a row or barline with a tempo displayed next to it, the tempo will also be cut or copied.


Selecting Notes

1.  It is often convenient to select several rows of notes at a time.  There are several ways to do this.

To select more than one row, click on the first row of the selection.  Then hold the shift key on your computer keyboard while you press the "up" arrow on your computer keyboard.  Continue pressing the up arrow until all of the desired rows are selected.  The advantage to selecting rows in this way is that you will hear the sounds of the notes as you are selecting them (as long as the "Mute" icon on the Top Toolbar is not activated.)

You can also select several rows at a time by clicking and dragging the mouse, or by clicking the mouse on the first row of the selection and holding the "Shift" key while clicking the last row of the desired selection.

2.  A selected group of rows can be cut or copied as a unit and pasted elsewhere in the music (see Cut/Copy/Paste).

3.  Also, a selected group of rows can be changed as a group.  For example selecting a series of rows and then clicking the "Quarter Note"  icon will cause all of the selected notes to change to a quarter note.

Select All

You can select all rows at once by choosing "Select All" from the Edit menu (also Cntrl + A).



1.  Identical notes on adjacent rows may be tied together, even if their durations are different.  Use the mouse to select the two note rows to be tied.  

Then click the "Tie" icon on the right hand toolbar.  The notes that you have selected are now tied together and will be played as one note.

2.  To untie the notes, select them both and click again on the "Tie"  icon on the Note Bar.

3.  While notes are tied together, they are edited as one note.  For example, erasing one note by clicking on it will also remove the note it is tied to.


Tuplets (Triplets)

1. Special rhythmic groupings of notes are known as tuplets. The type of tuplet that can be created with KTabS is a triplet.

Three notes on adjacent rows may be grouped as a triplet. Once they are grouped as a triplet, the three notes will have a total duration of 2/3 their original duration.

Select the three notes of the triplet.

Click "Tuplet"  on the Note Bar.  The selected notes are now grouped together as a triplet.

2.  To undo the triplet, select all three rows of notes and click "Tuplet"  again.



1.  Adjacent notes with at least one stem flag can be beamed across their stems.  To beam notes, select the rows of notes you would like to beam together.  

Then click the "Beam" icon from the Note Bar.

2.  To remove a beam, select the beamed notes and click the "Beam" icon so it is deactivated.



You can cause a section of your music to play two or more times by using a repeat sign.

Note: KTabs does not indicate timing errors in a measure just before a repeat sign.

Repeat Close

If you would like to repeat a section that starts at the beginning of your music, select the barline at the end of the section you want to repeat.  Then right click and select "Repeat Close" from the menu.

A closed repeat symbol appears in place of the barline.

Repeat Open

 If you would like to repeat a section that does not start at the beginning of your music, select the first barline of the section you want to repeat.  Right click and select "Repeat Open" from the menu.

An open repeat sign will appear.  Then select the last row of the section you want to repeat.  Right click and select "Insert Repeat Close" from the menu.

A closed repeat symbol will appear.


Repeat Close/Open

If you want a closed repeat and an open repeat to share a barline, first select the barline where you would like the repeats. Then right click and select "Repeat Close/Open" from the menu.

A combined Repeat Close and Repeat Open will appear.

Note: Repeat signs are green to indicate that they are a type of Fixed Barline. The green color is for editing purposes only and will appear black in your printed music.

Inserting a Repeat

If you need to insert a Repeat where there is not already a barline, you can insert a Fixed Barline  and then change that Fixed Barline to a Repeat.

Removing a Repeat

To remove a repeat, select the repeat sign in your music.  Right click and select the type of repeat you are removing.  This will cause the repeat to disappear.

Repeat Count

To repeat a section multiple times, select the closed repeat sign in your music. Right click the mouse and select "Repeat Count" from the menu.

Enter the number of times you want the section repeated, not including the first time leading up to the repeat.

The number will appear within the closed repeat sign to indicate how many times the section will be repeated.



KTabs will play each note as you enter it or select it, and as you select a new row you will hear all the notes on that row played.  If you would prefer not to hear these note sounds, click the "Mute"  icon on the Top Toolbar.

You can hear your music played back by clicking on the green play button on the Top Toolbar. The music will begin playing from the row you have selected. To quickly select the first row of your music, click the "Home" icon on the Top Toolbar.

You can stop the playback by clicking the red stop button  next to the green play button.


Play Delay

Sometimes it is convenient to have KTabS wait a certain amount of time after you press the play button before playback actually begins. If you are playing along with KTabS, this gives you time to pick up your kalimba before playback starts.

To delay playback, enter the number of seconds you wish KTabS to wait in the box to the left of the play button on the Top Toolbar.

When you press the play button, KTabS will count down the number of seconds you entered before it begins playing back your music.

Playing Multiple Files Together

It is possible to play more than one .ktb file at the same time. For example, a kalimba duet might be written as two separate .ktb files, and you can use KTabS to play the files together.

To play more than one file at a time:

1. Open each file you wish to play.

2. To view all the files side by side, click the "Tile Windows" icon on the toolbar.

3. Then click the "Tie All Views Together" icon.

4. Click the Home button to select the beginning of the music. This will happen for all windows at once since the views are tied together.

5. Click the "Play" button. All the song files will start playing at the same time.

6. To untie the windows so you can play each one separately, click again on the "Tie All Views Together" icon.

Home/ End

1.  To return to the beginning of your music, click the green down arrow on the TopToolbar.  This will select the first barline.

2.  To jump to the end of your music, click the green up arrow  on the Top Toolbar.  This will select the last barline.


1.  To remove a row or a group of adjacent rows, select them and click "Cut" on the Top Toolbar.

2.  To copy a row or a group of adjacent rows, select them and click "Copy" on the Top Toolbar.

3.  To paste a row or group of rows that have been cut or copied, select the row just below the location you want them pasted.  Click "Paste" on the Top Toolbar.



To undo the last change you made while editing your music, click the counterclockwise arrow  on the Top Toolbar.  Clicking it again will undo the change you made before that, and so on.

Adding Lyrics

Add lyrics to your music by left clicking the mouse in the space to the right of a note row. When you do, you will see a box appear where you can enter the word to be sung with that note. Hit the Enter Key or Up Arrow to move up to the next note row.

If you later insert a note row or remove a note row, you can shift all the lyrics at once. Right click the mouse and select "Shift Lyrics Up" or "Shift Lyrics Down" from the menu to move all the lyrics up or down one row.

The Lyrics icon on the Top Toolbar toggles between displaying the lyrics or hiding them. If you want to print the music without lyrics, just hide the lyrics before you print.

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