Flute lower bound should be lower

• Oct 11, 2015 - 19:31

If I put a Bb in the small octave on the flute in musescore it shows up as red. It also shows A as red and B as green.

But the lower bound for the flute is A in the small octave. I know this because I heard that it can go down that low. So Bb and A should both be green and not red.

Here is my flute score:

Attachment Size
Flute.mscz 14.06 KB


The limits refer to the minimum and maximum pitch a human professional could reasonably be expected to produce with the instrument. According to Wikipedia, this is C4 (middle C) or the B next to it on modern designs.

I think by "I've heard it can go lower" you mean that the flute instrument sound in MuseScore can go lower. This is not a real flute. It is a mixture of recordings of real flutes that have been digitally processed to allow the pitch to change, and in some cases gaps in the range may have been filled in with recordings of similar (but different) instruments (e.g. a bass flute). The range limit of the "fake" flute may be much wider than a real flute, so MuseScore colours the notes as a warning to the composer that the note is not playable by a human on a real flute.

If that's not what you meant then you need to give a reference from a reliable source to prove that a real flute can go that low.

The modern standard flute is not designed to play below middle C. Some specialty instruments or attachments are available that can go down to B, and perhaps some extended technique might allow experienced players coax an extra half step or two out of the instrument that would be audible in a quiet environment but not usable in the normal course of playing. But if you write below middle C, 99% of flute players will not be able to play it.

See for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_concert_flute

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Don't forget there are 5 different flute models (piccolo, soprano, alto, tenor and bass).

Unfortunately, the Standard MIDI just has "PICCOLO" & "FLUTE" definitions. But we can use the alto, tenor & bass ranges as well. There are flute ensembles music pieces, and it sounds great!!!

So... if we use a staff for "FLUTE" we can go far beyond the standard soprano flute limits, but we need to write an extra note that we want those sounds have been produced by some specific flute model (and unselected the coloured out-of-range indicator, of course).

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