Please enhance bend tool to bend down also (not just up)

• Oct 12, 2020 - 04:52


I love that MuseScore provides a bend tool. I have been looking for a tool like this! It is easy to use.


Guitars bend up, but flutes and saxophones typically bend down.

SUGGESTION: If the written note was shown as a horizontal line several lines above the bottom of the graph (shown as a heavier horizontal line ), then the existing tool would suffice for both bending up, bending down, and even bending through.

(I would be delighted with just that much. But if it is not too difficult to implement, I would also love to see the vertical pitch scale on the graph a little more granular -- perhaps each line's being an eighth tone. Or, in order to accommodate people who are used to the existing graph, allow one to click between two lines).


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

:-) Actually, the bend tool plays back perfectly for flute.

My workaround for needing to bend downwards, is to score the note a half-step lower, and, using the bend-tool graph, start the note a half-tone higher and bend it down a quarter tone and back up. It just doesn't read as nicely for another person trying to read my score. It would be clearer if I could score the correct note.

Portamento does not work because bends are typically quarter-tones, and may vary microtonally throughout the note.

So let's not be partial to one instrument over another. I would not want my flute or sax to feel dejected.

Attached is a silly assignment: I had to write a short, one-stanza song about Autumn. You can hear that the bend tool does in fact work :-)

Autumn_Winds_Blues 2.mscz

This score has a subtle bend, more of a bent articulation. Just modify the bend graph if you want to hear the effect more dramatically. I am still experimenting with the graph to get the pitch curve that I want, without its sounding corny.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks, Jojo.

I did not realize that I can do that. I just looked at the note properties. I assume that the "Tuning" property is half-tones dot cents. But I am going to get some sleep and try it tomorrow.

But then I can leverage the flexibility of the bend tool, rather than using a linear portamento.

MuseScore is amazing.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I modified my score using your two suggestions, Jojo, and it works like a champ (detuning + bending)..

I will post the .mscz here as soon as I get a chance.

This is an essential articulation tool, especially for saxophone. It provides intra-note timing in addition to pitch control. One could never achieve that by slicing up a note to use portamentos. The durations of the separate notes would be hairy, and the resulting score would be difficult to read. The bend tool is the answer.

Slicing up a note into micro-portamentos is analogous to exporting a trill to midi, and importing it back in again. The result is dozens of changing, strange tuplets, impossible to read and play from the score.

Woodwinds are where the bend tool really shines. It exists, so let's use it! Most of the time, a quarter-note bend or dip is all you need. And often a -50.00 cent note tuning for a downward pre-bend, dip or trail-off.

Thank you for your help. Everything works fine!

In reply to by dddiam

Thanks, Jojo for all of your input and explanations.

I made some adjustments, and it sounds great now.

(1) Once I removed the lyrics, it turned out to be a really nice blues.
(2) I changed the instrument from flute to saxophone (and transposed it). Sax makes it sound bluesier.
(3) I added bends to make it sound more like a real sax. Even pitch notes do not sound like a saxophone.
(4) I used the "Tuning" feature of the bent notes to allow a downward pre-bend, dip, or terminal pitch-drop (-50.00 is a quarter-tone drop; -100.00 is a semi-tone drop. That number indicate the relative pitch-value of the bottom line of the bend graph). Using this technique, I could score the actual note, rather than a lower note.
(5) I annotated the score with the note tuning offset and the bottom of the bend graph. (There are a few left-over linear dots on the graph that I forgot to remove after experimenting). Note that vertical unit on the pitch bend graph equals 50.00 cents, or a quater-tone.

Listen to the playback through MuseScore with the following link:
Autumn_Winds_Blues 2 (alto sax in D minor).mscz

Here is the score:
Autumn_Winds_Blues 3 (alto sax in D minor).jpg

So I am still campaigning for MuseScore to officially suggest its use for woodwinds, not just for guitar.


In reply to by Jm6stringer

Oh, I see what you did. Your fall-off notation does nothing on playback. But you have an invisible pitch-bend tool in addition.

So, you could start with a fall-off (1st note), double-click it to get spline handles (2nd note), and drag it into a dip notation (3rd note). It still will not do anything. You still have to add an invisible bend tool and note tuning for playback.
Dip notation.jpg

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