Enharmonic notes using MIDI Keyboard

• Jun 1, 2016 - 04:47


I'm editing a lot of scores through the MIDI keyboard. Sometimes, when I type chromatic passages in the controller, MuseScore always try to use accidentals closer to the key, and seems that it fails to perceive that the passage is chromatic. When we are typing notes with a semitone in distance to each then, the "rule" is that we use sharps for ascending scales, and flats for descending scales. If I did not make myself clear, I'll drop an example:

An example of a passage that I want to type, in G major:

D E F# D C B Bb A Ab D G.

If I play it on the MIDI Keyboard, MuseScore will write:

D E F# D C B A# A G# G.

It always looks for the accidentals closer to the key signature, failing to detect that there is a descending chromatic scale in the passage.

Is there an option for MuseScore to fix it that I am missing?


There is much more to correct spelling than just whether a line is ascending or descending - it also depends on the harmonic context. For instance, in the key of C, the note between G & A is always spelled G# if the prevailing harmony is E7 (III7, aka V7/vi), regardless of direction of line, but it is always spelled Ab is the prevailing harmony is Fmi (iv). It's only the *non-harmonic* notes - eg, passing tones and neighboring tones - where direction of line matters. And the rule is, the spelling depends on the note that *follows* the ntoe in question, but since you normally haven't entered that yet, there is nothing for MuseScore to go on there. For example, if you enter the note between G & A in a situation where it is *not* a harmonic note and thus the direction rule applies instead, the correct spelling depends not on the note that came *nefore* but on the note that will come *after* - it's G#-A but Ab-G.

So between not being to know if the note is harmonically significant or not and not knowing what the *next* note will be, there really isn't anything for MuseScore to base a decision on other than what it already does - use the spelling most closely related to the key and hope for the best. That is one of the inherent drawbacks of MIDI note entry - constantly needing to change enharmonic spellings that could not be guessed correctly.

Hopefully you have discovered MuseScore provides an easy command to change the spelling after the fact - just press "J".

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