Wonding if there is a better way to handle this...

• Jun 7, 2019 - 21:04

I've attached a sample of music set in Musescore that is in a form of notation called scordatura. In other words, it is music written for an instrument tuned differently than a violin, but the top four strings are notated as if they are fingered on a violin. The bottom three strings are notated at pitch, in bass clef, but sound an octave higher.

My questions are:

1) The piece is in A major. I've created a custom key signature, which applies to the C clef ONLY. However, Musescore defaults to thinking the piece is in A and adds a natural to every E sharp (because it is sharp in the custom key signature, but not in A). Is there a way around this, other than deleting every natural manually?

2) The bass clef should always appear and act as if it is in A major. In other words, an A major key signature should appear at the start of a line if the line starts in bass clef, but courtesy key signatures should not appear mid-line. See line 5, where I've command-dragged an A major key signature and deleted the courtesy at the end of line 4.

3) As the scordatura notation does not appear in the score, I can edit the part on its own — though it does mess up everything, adding and deleting accidentals, in continuous view. This is cumbersome.

4) Is there a way to make Musescore NOT think of these as key changes, but simply the way the key displays depending on which clef is being used? Is this clear?

5) Also, if I uncheck "show courtesy" on the C clef at the start of line 6, the courtesy disappears at the end of line 5, but the space which it occupies remains. This may be a bug, unrelated to my general questions about scordatura.

I know this is confusing, but maybe there is a way to work more efficiently notating scordatura than I am aware of. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Attachment Size
Screen Shot 2019-06-07 at 12.43.29 PM.png 414.67 KB


I found that if I change the key on every clef change, and hide the key change and disable the courtesy, it behaves somewhat more reliably — though when I go to generate a part, if an "invisible" key change is at the start of a line, I have to un-invisify it.

It's generally easier to help given the actual score rather than just a picture. As it, I'm not sure I understand about the key and the accidentals, because I don't actually see any accidentals so I'm not sure what's going on But in general, custom key signatures are there for notation, not playback, and there is no special processing of the on note input. A custom key is treated as being "C" (or more specifically, "atonal") with respect to accidentals. So

1) if your custom key signature contains an E#, and you don't want to see sharps on your E's, you will indeed need to delete or hide them - or just enter the notes at their natural pitches. Note that when deleting accidentals - or anything else, really - it doesn't have to be one by one. Right-click one, Select, then choose one of the options, including "More", which gives a dialog with more options still. So for instance it woud be a simple matter to select all E#'s in the score, then hit down arrow to change them to E, then possible use the Inspector to raise the pitch half a step in the tuning if you want more accurate playback.

2) As far as I can tell from the picture, you got that working, so there is no question here, correct?

3) So take it the picture is just one part generated from the score, and you want the score to differ significantly? To do that, probably best to just do "save as" and save the part separately. Not sure if that's what you meany you tried, and it's not clear what you mean about continuous view.

4) I guess you mean, not try to create courtesy signatures etc? No, but you can turn off courtesy signatures score (or part) wide. And you can also elect to not use a custom key signature at all but instead place the key signatures manually as images.

5) is a bug indeed, related to how to we hande these (we are still generating the clef but then simply forcing it not to display). I guess the way we handle hiding courtesy key and time signatures won't work here because clefs are more likely to differ from staff to staff.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

This clarifies things. I think I will re-formulate my approach.

You didn't see the accidentals because I deleted the ones that shouldn't be there.

I understand this is an obscure system of notation, so I would never expect anyone to invest time and money into developing software to support it. As long as I can get what I want on a printed page, I'm fine. I just wondered if there were better workarounds than the ones I was employing.


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