Add 4-hands piano template

• May 23, 2016 - 03:50
S5 - Suggestion

I added a 4-hands piano template to my fork with commit af41238 and would like someone to give it a lookover before I submit the PR. My main questions at the moment is whether or not the "solo" folder is the proper folder for this template and whether the file name is good.


Maybe 05-Piano_(4-Hands).mscz is better?

If it also should go into 2.0.4, better create it with 2.0.3 rather than with a nightly from master. And use the --template-mode command line option, to make sure to not have it being fixed to Letter format, but let the users' system settings decide whether it is Letter or A4
This is true for your other templates too I guess

Not sure at all, but wouldn't pianists prefer to read treble clef for right hand and bass clef for left hand? So Primo would be treble 8va and bass 8va and Secundo treble 8vb and bass 8vb?

I'm not a piano player, so forgive me for the naive question. How frequent would be the need of 4 hand piano template compare to the existing templates? We still have one slot in the Solo category before adding another line, is piano 4hands really the one that should get this slot? are they no other solo instrument which would be more useful for MuseScore in general?
(Of course, I understand that if you are a piano teacher, and you need to write 4 hand pieces, you don't care about the guitar templates... so what I ask is an objective point of view.)

Generally, solo instruments would be just the single instrument selected via "Choose Instruments." The difference is that MuseScore doesn't a define a four-handed piano by default. A template could be the way to go, and/or add the definition to instruments.xml. I second Jojo's question about the clefs, though.

I've added a preview of an instruments.xml option in commit f7eae7c and also renamed and regenerated the template in 2.0.3 under --template-mode.

My instruments.xml experiments raises several questions:

  1. Is there a way to make it so the barline is separate between the two halves in instruments.xml? This is an unusual case, since it's one instrument/"part" intended for two players to share.
  2. As already stated, do we have any pianists who have preferred clefs for 4-handed music or an idea which clefs are standard? My background is percussion, and from the 4-hands arrangements I've seen, this seems to be more common, but an actual pianist may know better.
  3. Is there any reason why the two players would ever need their parts separated? I'm pretty sure 4-hands parts are always in 4 staves and not spilt into Primo & Secundo parts, but I could be wrong.
  4. How can I get the part to act like two piano parts with names of "Primo" & "Secundo" by the sets of braces?

I'll post a link to here in the feature request part of the forum for more attention and wait a couple days to get these questions answered before I make further changes.

I seem to have resolved the staff beaming issue for the instruments.xml solution. It seems that MuseScore *creates* the part with correct staff beaming, but *adding* the part to an existing score makes the beam go through all 4 staves. This adding behavior seems to be a separate bug, since it also occurs with other multi-staff instruments that have barlines that shouldn't go through all of them (namely, adding organs—see #112781: Adding organ parts after score creation causes incorrect cross-staff barlines).

The only remaining question I have is if it's possible to define an instrument in instruments.xml to have *two* names on the left-hand side. The current implementation (one staff name of "4-handed piano") works well enough for ensemble music, but it would be nice for the top two staves to be "Primo" and the bottom two labelled "Secundo".

As I said earlier I'm not a pianist or a piano teacher, I guess that if you want 4 hand to be easy to make you are one, so you know better how you would use the possibilities. I just want to lay out the pros and cons from a user point of view

A template:
* take one slot in the solo section
* not sure a 4 hand piano is frequent enough
* AFAIK sib and fin don't have a template
* you can make parts easily
* you can mute one of the 2 instruments

An instrument
* No easy parts
* No mixing
* Do not take a slot in the template grid

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

What doesn't seem to be addressed in much detail in this discussion is the alternating secondo/primo pagination. This is the most important aspect of four-hand pieces and is very difficult to achieve currently in MuseScore.

I hope my contribution in #307541: Add option for four hands piano duet layout may help someone with the inclination and knowledge to implement this and move things a little further down the road.

cadams • Jul 4, 2020 - 21:17
Result: My experience in putting piano duet on to two pages, Secondo and Primo:
Wrote duet in Musescore setting where Primo and Secondo are on the same page
1. Changed second piano to harpsichord
2. then to Parts, ie piano and harpsichord
(Apparently not necessary to change piano 2 to harpsichord) Name them piano 1 and piano 2). Anyway...
3. Adjusted piano and "harpsichord" parts so that same bar number was at the end of each page (ie stretch etc). This is essential.
Difficult to change page settings so that bound side of booklet had has larger margin. I set left and right margins at 13mm in page settings.
4. Print alternatively to make a booklet.
Not as easy as it sounds but plausible.
Initially made the stupid mistake of printing the Primo (higher part) on the left hand page and Secondo on the right....... more fool me. Avoid this.

Good Luck. Thanks to all who helped