Request about JianPu

• Aug 30, 2011 - 11:48

Dear contributors of MuseScore,

MuseScore has become the NO.1 open source music notation software around the world. As far as I know, it has growing users here in China.

And another thing is users in China need a good JianPu software for many years, and there are some,.... but not very well.

Their requirements including but not limited to:
- Can edit, add, modify, remove in WYSIWYG way.
- Can playback the score, better see notes highlighting during playback.
- Can import/export midi/MusicXML....... files.
- Can display JianPu as well as Western Music Score.

No doubt, only MuseScore has the potential.

And there is already tablature feature in the trunk, I think JianPu is something similar, display both JianPu and Western Music Staff together for same staff.
And it's claimed that MusicXML 3.0 will add JianPu.

I translated a chapter about JianPu notation of a chinese book, attached below. I think it's more than how to make the notation, rather than how to implement a JianPu layout algrithm, but this is the only material I have. I may made a lot of mistakes in the translation, and this document is not yet complete. With this and wikipedia page, now we have some reference.…

Anyway let's start to talk about JianPu.
Any comment is welcome.


I have read both the quoted Wikipedia article and your document. In both, there is one point I do not understand: how the "no-dot" octave is determined. I mean:

In the Wikipedia example ("Amazing Grace"), BOTH the G4 at the beginning of the treble staff AND the G3 at the beginning of the bass staff are rendered in jianpu as no-dot 5.

In your doc, the "这是" example in section "4. Voices" begins with a no-dot 5 in all the four voices (key is not indicated, so it is not clear what "5" is), but I doubt the four 5 really refer to the same pitch.

So, how one can determine which octave is rendered without dots above or below?

This point set aside, I believe that, while there are several points needing (small?) adjustments, I noticed no evident big problem in supporting jianpu with MuseScore.

Is it reasonable to assume that supporting it would bring to MuseScore a HUGE number of users from China? (In all my contacts with China I came to feel that a tiny minority of Chinese using something can amount to a LARGE section of the total number of users of that thing!).


In reply to by Miwarre

to Miwarre,
I was told JianPu doesn't have staff type (or clef type), and it look like the staff name will indicate the staff type.
But for a software, it should have the way to edit the staff type (or clef type), then it will determine the base note of a staff, for example: treble clef, base note = 60.... then the software can convert Western Music Score to JianPu and back.

I am also wondering how you can type "这是", can you speak chinese ?
About user count of jianpu, maybe it just follow the rule of the Tipping Point, and since China has a great population base, so anything plus a great number will become BIG.

Attach is a JianPu font been used in most of JianPu software, I add it in case you need it.

Attachment Size 5.81 KB

In reply to by vanferry

"it should have the way to edit the staff type (or clef type), then it will determine the base note of a staff, for example: treble clef, base note = 60.... then the software can convert Western Music Score to JianPu and back."

I see. This can be tricky: a violin, a flute and a piccolo all read in treble clef, but they can hardly use the same base note; also, in treble clef, why using C4 (MIDI 60) as base note for "1 = C" and not C5 (MIDI 72) which is more 'centered' in the clef?. Anyway, this could be arranged by using some appropriate staff setting, related to the (implicit) clef but user-configurable.

Generally speaking, I am not sure it will be possible to start working on jianpu support in time for the next major release: I am afraid there will be other priorities, but it is probably worth starting thinking about it.

"I am also wondering how you can type "这是", can you speak chinese ?"

I cannot really speak Chinese, but I have studied it for some years, I can sort of read it (with much dictionary labour...!) and I am an amateur student of Chinese calligraphy.

To type Chinese, I simply use the pinyin input method provided by the Operating System both under Linux (Ubuntu) and Windows: not very effective, particularly as I fail to remember the pinyin of lots of characters, but I never managed to learn 仓颉 or other more effective input methods.

Thanks for the font; is it public domain?



In reply to by Miwarre

Good day,

I've been looking for this functionality for a friend in China. Is this something that we could bump up the list with a bit of funding? I don't have any concept of what is involved in adding this but I'd be glad to contribute a few hundred dollars if that would help.

In reply to by Miwarre

As a Chinese instrimentis and a Java Developer, I am able to answer this question honestly.
As you have already know, that JianPu does not use clefs to indicate pitches, the way for an instrimentist to resolve actual pitch in performance is to "fail default". In other word, the pitch value for "1" in a given key (to determinate which octave it is) is instriment-depandent. For example (writen blow), a Chinese triditional instriment called Guzheng has four octaves and is commonly played in two hands as two parts, similar to piano and Harp in the western. While there is a "1" in each part, they are played in different string, and so have different pitch, one is D4 and the other being D3 though both mark the same.

Example Guzheng Piece
Guzheng Right Hand 1 - - - |
Guzheng Left Hand 1 - - - |

Some JianPu softwares, in case someone need them

- muse pro 2.7
this is an ancient one, its website no longer exist
- TTComposer
also an ancient one
- QuickMake
- MeiDeLi JianPu
- YueZhang
- ZuoQuDaShi
- KAWAI Score Maker
- a JianPu plugin for Sibelius

Just to add some examples to this discussion in-case anyone wonders how a 5-line stave is expressed in simplified (jianpu) notation.
I am a Erhu/Gaohu player --- so please note that most of the grey marks are improvised performance directions (and do ignore the extra grey accidentals in the time signatures; the Gaohu is a transposing instrument and sounds a perfect 4th higher than written).

These scores are of the same piece 'Summer', '夏' by 盧亮輝.

Attachment Size
Xiapg1.pdf 953.93 KB
Xiapg2.pdf 924.25 KB
Xiapg3.pdf 899.41 KB
Xiapg4.pdf 855.81 KB

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