Da Capo: The Music Theory Card Game (How to Play)

Da Capo is a music theory card game
aimed at both musicians and students who are still learning music theory. The aim of the game is to get rid of all your cards by playing Notation Cards in the correct order and using Action and Reverse cards
to stop other players. You’ll come across five different types of card while playing Da Capo: Note Value cards, Tempo cards,
and Time Signature cards, which we call Notation cards,
as well as Reverse and Action cards. The Reverse and Action cards determine how you are going to get rid of the three types of Notation cards. Reverse are the most important
because they tell everyone what order you have to play the Notation cards in. All the reverse cards have a musical term on them like a ‘Accelerando’, ‘Rallentando’
and ‘Ritardando’ as well as some others. They all mean either “get faster” or “get slower”, but don’t worry – it tells you that on the card too, as well as a forward or backward arrow. When someone plays one of these reverse cards, it means that all the Notation cards
that anyone plays after that have to either be getting
progressively faster and shorter, if the reverse card has a forwards arrow, or getting slower and longer, if the card has a backwards arrow. The three types of Notation cards
have to be played in this order, which changes depending on which
Reverse card is currently in play. The final type of card: Action. These also use musical terms and symbols, and you can use them to disadvantage
other players and stop them winning. Each one of these has instructions
on the card to explain how they work. To start playing, the first thing to do is separate out five Starting Cards
which you’ll find at the top of the box, and lay them out in a line so everyone
can reach them. If you think you might have trouble knowing which order the Notes, Tempos and Time Signatures go in, you can flip over the Notation Starting Cards
and use the cheat sheet on the back, which shows you the correct order. You can keep these on display for the whole game, but the more you play it the less
you’ll find you have to use it. Then, shuffle all of the other cards together thoroughly and deal out eight cards to each player. Once everyone has looked at
their cards, They reveal how many Reverse cards
they have in their hand. The player with the most Reverse cards goes first, and they choose one of these Reverse
cards to play, which goes on the Reverse pile. This sets the order that everyone
else must play their Notation cards in. If no one has any reverse cards, keep
dealing out more cards until one appears. The only Reverse card you’re not allowed
to start with is the ‘Retrograde Inversion’. Everyone then takes it in
turns to play a card onto one of the five piles, going clockwise to start with. The notation cards can only be played if they follow the direction on the current Reverse card. Action and Reverse cards can be played at any time, but be careful not to hold on to them for too long because they can’t be used as your final card. When the Retrograde Inversion card is played, it reverses the order of the Notation cards, but it also reverses the direction of play.

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