Feature suggestion regarding adding notes/interval below note

• Aug 4, 2020 - 16:13


So, I'm relatively (very) new to Musescore, and I must say I quite like it. I'm very optimistic for the future as well. The features teased for MS4 looks great, and the latest push for the engraving side is also very promising! Can't wait to see where this all goes.

There is always room for improvements, though, so I'd like to submit this request. I think that it's highly valuable to be able to add notes/intervals below a selected note, especially for educational purposes. Adding notes above and transposing them makes for a lot of clicks, and quickly gets confusing for inexperienced kids/youths. Adding notes/intervals below selected notes is far easier to understand, in my experience as a teacher.

Now, I now there is "add interval below" functionality already included, but without hotkeys. Finding a range of suitable free hotkeys is challenging, though, and I've also had bad luck trying to set up hotkeys at all. That's a question for another thread, though.

I think I have found what might be a clean, simple and elegant (I hope) solution to this. My proposal would be to add a simple "toggle switch" that would switch both the "add interval" and "add note to chord" functions from above to below, with one simple hotkey to switch between them - let's call it X for now (though you guys would probably find a better one). I've made a mock-up picture of how a menu might look, but this would apply to both sub menus, I imagine. So, default mode for both intervals and note names are "over", then you press X (or toggle in menu) to switch to "under" when you need to add below. Seems elegant to me, anyway. I don't see to many situations where one would need to switch often between adding over or below, but I can see them both being very valuable input modes at different times. This would give a lot more control with a lot fewer both clicks and hotkeys, I think.

Coding is beyond my skill set, I'm afraid, so I'd have to leave this here with you - I'd love to learn, but there's just not enough time. Since a lot of this functionality is already implemented, though, my guess is that experienced coders would be able to set this up easy enough - although I might be naive... ;-)

Have a look at the mock up, and see what you think. Don't mind the language mismatch - I have the menus in Norwegian, although they're not fully translated. I don't know if I've managed to be sufficiently clear and concise, and would be happy to explain more if needed. Also, I'd be most happy help testing, of course (which I might do anyway)!

Keep up the good work!

Kind regards,

Attachment Size
add note below menu mockup.jpg 185.68 KB


I have used shortcuts to add notes at intervals below for years. I use shift+alt+number pad number for intervals. I've never run into a case where I regret this and it's totally logical. alt is for above and shift+alt is for below. If you have a computer with no number pad, then you will want to look in the shortcuts for the numbers on the main keyboard. I'm not sure if shift+alt is used for any of those. When you look at the shortcuts which can be sorted by clicking their label, look for the symbol you get when you press shift + a number. For example, on my American keyboard I would look for Alt+& to see if shift+alt+7 is being used.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Apple laptops does not come with a numpad, I think, but you can buy one separately. You can also get apple keyboards with or without a numpad.

But many Windows laptops does not have a numpad either, so for school purposes, using the numpad is a no go. At least around here, where every students sits on their own laptop...

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Oh, I agree - almost. ;-) I'd argue that school purposes is also serious use, even if it does not require all the bells and whistles, and (often) happens on a, let's say, "less experienced" level.

I'd love to have my school make the switch from Sibelius, which I don't like for a number of reasons. To do that, though, having tools handy (like my suggestion in the OP) would make the switch so much easier. And you know, if we catch the kids early, while still in school, they'll never buy Sibelius down the line, not as long as Musescore is so good, and still improving! :-)

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

We're straying slightly off topic, now, I feel... ;-)

Num pad/full sized keyboard or not - any software is better off being as versatile as it can be, and being able to use Musescore on a 13" laptop in a school or on an airplane can only be good thing.

So as few default shortcuts tied to the num pad is good in my book... and, if I may add, my idea would take away the need for quite a few shortcuts :-)

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

Yes, you can set the shortcuts to whatever you what - but there doesn't seem to be a suitable range of unused shortcuts available, so it would have to be a custom setup. That represents a pedagogical challenge I'm not prepared to face... ;-)

So I'm requesting some changes to the app, which I think would be useful for a lot of people, not just myself. :-)

In reply to by mike320

Yes, absolutely. If it were only for me I could simply add (or change) the shortcuts - if I could make it work, anyway. ;-) But I'm looking to use Musescore in music education, and trying to get a bunch of kids to fiddle around in the preferences, changing it all to the same shorcuts - and then remembering to do it all over again once their Macbook Air dies (again) and they have to reinstall - that would be a mess.

And many of these kids use small laptops, so numpad is out. Some of the alt-shift-numbers are taken as well, I think.

I still think my idea would be a good addition to Musescore - adding functionality (add chord note below), making some functionality more easily available (add interval below) and simplifying in the process by removing the need for a bunch of shortcuts (the unassigned add interval below).

No takers? :-)

In reply to by Marius Munthe-Kaas

A problem is that there are really a lot of different keyboard layouts, and a very limited supply of shortcuts that are actually available on all keyboard layouts and operating systems. The original default shortcuts for interval below, for example, had to be removed because they caused conflicts on many systems. But yes, someday it would be nice to really do an exhaustive study of what combinations truly are available on all systems and update the defaults shortcuts accordingly.

Meanwhile, though, you can save a set of shortcuts to a file and load that easily, so it's not that bad customizing a bunch of systems to use the same shortcuts.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Exactly the problem, and what I'd like to see fixed - and thought (still think) I have a good solution for. :-)

I know about the shortcut file, and that would be very helpful if we had run our own park of machines. We don't, though, the students all use their own laptops. Some of them are windows, but most are Mac - and not the good, expensive kind. None have num pads, I think, so the list of available shortcuts is reduced.

Anyway, having them all download and install a file, every time their mac gets back from the shop (or they're forced to buy a new one), keeping this up all through the year, making sure everyone is up to date seems like a lot of hassle - and might "force" us to stay with Sibelius (which I would absolutely hate). :-)

Add to this that I have serious issues getting ustom shortcuts to work at all, I'm guessing due to our norwegian keyboard layout - but that's for another thread in another sub forum :-)

Now, my idea for a solution actually reduces the need for shortcuts, given that one would like shortcuts for "add interval below" as well. Right now you need 27 to cover the entire range (interval above below and note to chord), 9 of which are non specified, of course. My suggestion adds another nine "commands" (don't know the lingo, here), making 36 "comands in total (adding "chord note below"), but access them all via one additional shortcut - which may not even be specified out of the box, but have a "switch" button somewhere in the GUI. That's 36 commands for 19 shortcuts, rather than 27 for 27... AND you get added functionality as well! :-)

Now, if I just knew how to code... ;-)

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