Remove octave clef default for tenor steel drums

• Jul 25, 2016 - 17:37

Please remove the octave clef default from tenor steel drum scores. It results in playback and mp3 export playing an octave too low!

Every steel drum arranger has to know and remember to delete that octave clef otherwise you have to go back and correct all your scores - delete clef and transpose notes up a perfect octave.

No need to have this problem built in.

(Part of the problem is that the "tenor" steelpan (steel drum) was named by inventors who were not trained in music theory, so the "tenor" steelpan (steel drum) actually plays the soprano melody line in a composition. The "tenor" steelpan (steel drum) plays soprano and not tenor music!!! It is called "tenor" steelpan (steel drum) because that's what the inventors named it!!)


Please collaborate with steelpan (steel drum) academics and professionals to get the names and ranges of pitches of steel drums.
I think the problem is not just the octave clef, but the naming of the steel drums in MuseScore mimics a conventional musical orchestra and not the steel drum orchestra.

The typical steel drum orchestra includes the following steel drum instruments (as well as additional miscellaneous percussion instruments) arranged from highest range of pitches to lowest:
1. tenor steel drums (treble clef)
2. double tenor steel drums (treble clef)
3. double second steel drums (treble clef)
4. double guitar steel drums (bass clef)
5. cello steel drums (bass clef)
6. bass steel drums (bass clef)
There are variations in ranges of pitches for each of the above six categories of steel drums.

Roughly speaking the tenor steel drum plays soprano, the double seconds play alto, etc., but music directors and arrangers can assign music differently as long as each panist (steel drum player) is assigned music within the range of pitches on his/her instrument.

(I usually play a tenor steelpan with pitches from middle C (C4) to E6, or alternatively I may play a tenor steelpan with pitches from D4 to F#6.)

In reply to by Nicolas

I am not an expert on steelpan (steel drum) instruments, but am a resident native of the Caribbean country (Trinidad and Tobago) where steel drums were first invented and where there are numerous steel drum orchestras. I was hoping you could contact the steelpan department at Northern Illinois University where there are experts.

(There are also experts at the universities in my country:

I'd like to "bump" this request... The names and ranges for steelpan instruments included with MuseScore are unusable (and misleading for my students who may see MuseScore's ranges as authoritative)...

There is some variation in the range of each instrument depending on the builder of the pan... I use the "amateur" ranges to show the most conservative range that a composer/arranger can be confident in the instrument being able to handle, and the "professional" ranges to show what notes an extended range instrument would be likely to have.

None of the steelpan instruments are transposing instruments
tenor steelpan (treble clef) Amateur: D4 - E6, Pro: C4 - G6
double tenor steelpan (treble clef): Amateur: F3 - B5, Pro F3 - C#6
double second steelpan (treble clef): Amateur F#3 - A5, Pro E3 - Eb6
double guitar steelpan (bass clef): Amateur: D3 - F4, Pro C3 - G#4
triple cello steelpan (bass clef): Amateur C3 - B4, Pro Bb2 - D5
four cello steelpan (bass clef): Amateur Bb2 - C#5, Pro A2 - C#5
tenor bass steelpan (bass clef): Amateur F2 - C4, Pro F2 - C4
six bass steelpan (bass clef): Amateur C2 - Eb3, Pro Bb1 - F3

(I am the director of steelbands at University of Delaware, driller for the Philadelphia Pan Stars Steel Orchestra, and have played pan as my career for over 20 years, having played with steel orchestras in Trinidad, Guyana, Japan, Germany and many many other countries.)

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