Flood Tide / Hour Angle

Information for performers

April 2016

Here are some guidance notes and instructions for anyone wishing to perform Floodtide or Hour Angle

Firstly open up the web page:

Floodtide www.floodtide.eu > play or directly Floodtide.

For Hour Angle

Select a suitable instrument from the instrument menus. If your exact instrument is not listed then choose something similar or something using the same clef and transposition.

2 staves should now appear with some music emerging. You'll notice that the notes sometimes change. This is because the notation is being generated live by tidal flow.

You always play the top line of music, the lower line shows you what is coming up.

There is a cursor above the top stave which also acts as a metronome and shows you when to play the notes. It can be turned off in the control panel. When more than one screen or device is used you will notice that the cursor / metronome does not sync up. Sorry! I try to make a feature of this unusual approach.

Control Panel

On the lower right side of the screen is a 'controls' button which toggles access to a range of user controls.

Note durations

Note durations and rests exist so you can play durations literally.


Sharps and flats are used and in many cases phrases are 'spelt' sensibly. For the moment accidentals only apply to the note it is attached to. So you may for example have for example an A# followed by an A natural with no accidental.


Some articulation is given.

Text (for voices)

Text is broken into a syllable per note.

(Sometimes the text overlaps making it hard to read.. sorry)

Range Lo / Range Hi

Adjust these values to set the lowest and highest notes that will be generated. The notes are presented as midi notes in concert pitch. So middle C is 60, written middle C for Trumpet in Bb is 62.

Harmonic Scheme

Diatonic f

This option keeps all the notes within the scale of F major. It should be fairly simple to play and good for beginners and singers.


This is the 'classic' Floodtide pitch scheme and generates pitches from the combination of two triads of C, D and G. Each triad is transposed as depending on data input resulting in some tonal and some less tonal combinations.

Chord Scales

This generates a pitch set and related chord symbol in jazz style notation.


This changes how many different pitches may be generated each bar. 'Normal' means that many, possibly complex, pitches may be generated. Changing to a fixed value i.e. 2 means that only 2 different pitches can occur in a bar. This may be an ideal setting for beginners or singers.

Time to Solstice

Hour Angle only - sets the time to solstice for a specific number of minutes (for rehearsal) or 'live' for actual values according to the declination of the sun live.


This engages a moving cursor which moves from beat to beat on the current bar. Please note that this cursor will not synchronize with other devices. You may choose to have the metronome on or off.


Choose a fixed tempo from the list or select live. If you choose Live the tempo will gradually change as the tide (or declination) rate changes. Faster tide = faster tempo and vice versa.


'live' varies according to changing data input or you may set a fixed meter value.

Play proportion

Specifies what proportion of the time music is generated and what is rests. i.e. a setting of 1.0 will make music all of the time and 0.0 will make music none of the time. 0.8 produces music 80% of the time. This has the effect of changing the orchestration of the performance, so not everyone is playing all the time. It is also useful for instruments in which endurance is an issue.

Data Source

This allows you to choose between live data from Trinity Buoy Wharf (TBW) and calculated data. If for any reason your device is unable to receive live data from TBW you should switch to Calculated data.


If no music appears do be patient for a few seconds. Sometimes it takes a while for tide values to be processed and the music to get written.

Click the metronome button. You should see a grey dot cursor move. When the dot gets to the end of the stave new music should be generated.

Check to see that a Current rate value is appearing at the bottom of the page. If this is 0 it is probable that there is a problem with your internet connection (or a problem at our end..).

If it really doesn't work, or you have queries or suggestions please email us at info@floodtide.eu

I really hope you enjoy using Floodtide and Hour Angle liveNotation.

John Eacott

Info for performers How Floodtide works Archive
Floodtide / Hour Angle April 2016