Playback issue with custom key signatures

• Oct 12, 2011 - 19:02

I need to create a custom scale (Bb, E natural, Ab, Db).
So that is what I do. Create->Key Signatures...
And I drag 3 flats for B, A, D and a natural sign for the E.
I add it and I drag it to my stuff. Till here everything is good.
But when I try to playback a scale all the notes are natural (B, A, D)
What should I do so I can hear the accidentals.
Is it a bug or I do not do something right?

Thank you for your time!



That sounds like a modal scale based on the F harmonic minor scale.

Maybe the best option would be to use an F minor key signature and use an accidental for the E natural?

That would certainly make it fit better with conventional music theory.


In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It's not a new language really. In Persian, Arab and Turkish music (just to name a few) it's very common and even necessary to have custom key signatures. Otherwise the sheet music would be flooded with accidentals and be unreadable. I'm playing Persian music for just five years and already I couldn't live without custom key signature. Everybody playing that music can read it, and if not... learning it is very easy.
Unfortunately I'm always having very big issues transcribing any of the named music, like now that I have one week to prepare for a concert, several pieces to transcribe, but this software just doesn't work as I like. All in all I like Musescore, but the missing ability to play the microtones makes it actually easier just to write the notes by hand. Also because you can not transpose them properly doesn't make it really a benefit using a software.
Again I'm searching for a way out, any trick... Seems it doesn't work.

In reply to by frm5993

Harmonic minor as an abstract concept is common. Actually writing a key signature for it is virtually unheard of in Western music, and the vast majority of Western-trained musicians would fail miserably attempting to read it because they have literally never seen it in their entire lives. But to be sure, things are different in Eastern traditions. So, in the years since this thread was started, playback of custom key signatures has been implemented so it should work to notate your scores this way for the benefit of Eastern-trained musicians.

In reply to by trelozakinthinos

It's a little bit of a pain but you could have a decent playback by changing the note pitch one by one. Right click on a notehead -> Note properties and change the tuning. The pitch offset is accessible via the plugin framework so it should be possible to write a plugin to automate the change for each B A and D. Same for all the other greek scales if needed.

An example of a plugin that change the tuning of the notes :

In reply to by trelozakinthinos

Greek eh!

That's why I spotted it as modal then.

Representing folk scales is always difficult in traditional notation as it is firmly entrenched in our modern major and minor key system.

I had a moment of epiphany the other day when I realised that the Bach Chorale Prelude 'Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott' was not written in B minor as I had previously thought, but it is in the Phrygian mode, hence the beginning and ending of the melody on F#.

The other thing you can do is create a second stave which is a copy of the original, but written with accidentals so that it plays back correctly, however I believe Greek traditional music uses microtones which I'm not sure that MuseScore can reproduce without a lot of fiddling with note properties.

Once you have your playback stave created, make it invisible and then mute playback of the stave you intend to print.


In reply to by trelozakinthinos

Hmm maybe I was confusing it with the use of just temperament, and the tendency in all traditional music to flatten or sharpen certain scale notes a piacere :)

I do know that the use of Equal temperament in modern keyboards has made it impossible to perform Eastern European music as originally passed down, which is a shame, particularly for those of us who can hear the difference between E# and F, or G# and Ab for that matter.


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