Articulations and ornaments

    A comprehensive set of symbols can be found in the Articulations and Ornaments palette in the Advanced workspace:

    Advanced Articulations and Ornaments

    There is also an abbreviated version in the Basic workspace.

    Articulations

    Articulations are the symbols added to the score to show how a note or chord is to be played. The principal symbols in this group are:

    • Fermatas
    • Staccato
    • Mezzo-staccato / Portato
    • Staccatissimo
    • Tenuto
    • Sforzato
    • Marcato

    Specialist articulations are also included for bowed and plucked strings, wind instruments etc.

    Ornaments

    Ornaments include:

    • Mordents, Inverted Mordents, Pralltrillers
    • Trills
    • Turns
    • Bends

    Note: Appoggiaturas and acciaccaturas can be found in the Grace Notes palette.

    Add articulation/ornament

    Use either of the following methods:

    • Select a note or a range of notes, then double-click a symbol in a palette.
    • Drag a symbol from a palette onto a notehead.

    Add accidental to an ornament

    To apply an accidental to an existing ornament, such as a trill:

    1. Select the note to which the ornament is attached;
    2. Open the Symbols section of the Master palette;
    3. Search for and apply the desired accidental to the score (small accidentals can be found using the search term "figured bass");
    4. Drag the accidental into position (or reposition using keyboard shortcuts or the Inspector).

    Add fermata to a barline

    A fermata can be applied directly to a barline by selecting the barline and double-clicking the fermata from a palette.

    Keyboard shortcuts

    • Toggle Staccato: Shift+S
    • Toggle Tenuto: Shift+N
    • Toggle Sforzato (accent): Shift+V
    • Toggle Marcato: Shift+O
    • Add Acciaccatura (grace note): /

    Keyboard shortcuts can be customized in MuseScore's Preferences.

    Adjust position

    Immediately after adding an articulation or ornament from a palette, the symbol is automatically selected: It can then be moved up or down from the keyboard as follows:

    • Press up/down arrow keys for fine positioning (0.1 sp at a time);
    • Press Ctrl+ or Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+ or Cmd+) for larger vertical adjustments (1 sp at a time).
    • To flip a symbol to the other side of the note (where applicable), select it and press X.

    To enable adjustments in all directions from the keyboard:

    1. Double click on the symbol to enter Edit mode, or click on it and press Ctrl+E (Mac: Cmd+E) , or right-click on the symbol and select "Edit element";
    2. Press arrow keys for fine positioning (0.1 sp at a time); or press Ctrl+Arrow (Mac: Cmd+Arrow) for larger adjustments (1 sp at a time).

    You can also change the horizontal and vertical offset values in the Inspector. To position more than one symbol at a time, select the desired symbols and adjust the offset values in the Inspector.

    Note: The symbol can also be repositioned by clicking and dragging, but for more precise control, use the methods above.

    Articulation properties

    Most properties of articulations/ornaments can be edited from the Inspector. Other properties (i.e. direction and anchor position) can also be accessed by right-clicking on the symbol and selecting Articulation Properties….

    You can also make global adjustments to all existing and subsequently-applied articulations by selecting Style…General…Articulations, Ornaments.

    See also

    Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.