Respell pitches

• Mar 17, 2020 - 17:38
Reported version
S3 - Major
by design

In the tune in the attachment, there is a problem with the first note in the eleventh measure of the bass clef. I want it to be G-sharp, and the twelfth measure should be an exact copy of the eleventh measure in the bass clef. However, when I play it back, the note does not sound like G-sharp; instead, it seems to be B-flat. Moreover, when I run "Respell Pitches," that note gets changed from G-sharp to A-flat in the notation. (Of course, A-flat ought to sound the same as G-sharp, but it sounds wrong whether it appears as G-sharp or as A-flat in the notation.) Am I doing something wrong? Is there a workaround? Thank you.

Attachment Size
Error sample.mscz 16.15 KB


Frequency Once Few
Status by design active

I see the issue. Do you know what caused this issue? Is it an imported file, did you copy/paste notes? Anything what can help us to reproduce the issue.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

That seems to solve half of my problem. When I run "Respell pitches," it still changes G-sharp to A-flat in the notation, even though I would like it to be G-sharp, as in the following measure. Is there some rationale for writing the note as A-flat here that I am missing?

Status active by design

The algorithm for spelling pitches doesn't understand the theory of harmony, it just employs some pretty simple heuristics to help it guess how you might want a note spelled. I think in this case it probably sees the preceding C and knows that melodically speaking, an interval of four semitones is normally better spelled as a major third than a diminished fourth. Realistically, the respell pitches algorithm is fine for making a very rough pass over something entered via MIDI or whatever, but it's nothing you should really depend on for replacing the need to make these decisions yourself.

It is not only the respell pitches. The Ab in measure 11 sounds as a Bb. Also when I copy both measure 11-12 to a new score, I still have the issue, even without the preceding C :-). There seems something strange in the score.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I am a bit shaky on that aspect of music theory, and I was really hoping that I could count on "Respell Pitches" to keep me on track. It would be nice if "Respell Pitches" could take into account the fact that my tune uses a harmonic minor scale. My understanding is that G-sharp would make more sense than A-flat in that context.

I have to say I don't understand respell pitches at all - for a score in C major that contains a F#, A# and C# it does nothing at all, but if you then add a E# in a subsequent measure, it changes those first 3 to flats and leaves the E# as is. What sort of heuristic is that? Is there any where in the manual it's explained?
(I just fixed it in MU4 so it only uses the notes that are selected, but I didn't change the algorithm otherwise)

Was just trying to avoid creating too many issues about the one command - and I wouldn't say entirely unrelated, given anyone trying to understand the OP's problem is likely to be similarly perplexed by the behaviour I was observing.