Triple flats?

• Oct 17, 2011 - 10:02

I am trying to write a piece with triple flats in it, but can't find the symbol on the list of accidentals. Is it possible to notate this? I'm using version 1.1 on Windows XP. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I haven't been able to find the answer anywhere on here.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

No, double flats occur naturally quite often as the result of the proper spelling of fully diminshed seventh chords. For instance, Co7 is C, Eb, Gb, Bbb. Mispelling the Bbb as A can actually make it harder to read, as it will no longer look like a orindary seventh chord (line, line, line, line or space, space, space, space).

I'm struggling to think of a case where a triple flat would ever be the correct spelling of a note. I suppose something like Cbo7, which you might encounter as the passing diminished chord between Cmi7 and Bbmi7 in the key of Ab. But this is a case in which virtually anyone writing this would simply spell the diminished chord as Bo7. There is probably no human being alive who would rather see the Cbo7 with its Bbbb than see Bo with its Ab.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

The issue is that I am trying to write with tone clusters, rather than conventional chords. So I have things like G, Gb, A, Ab, piled on top of each other, and double and triple flats seem the best way to show that they are to be played together, like a chord. The only other way I can think of writing it is as some kind of unison, but I'm not sure whether that would be less or more clear.

In reply to by andrewjleggett

If you're writing completely atonally wouldn't the enharmonic equivalents work??

In your example F#GG#A could all share the same stem, and certainly clearer to read in my way of thinking.

That is assuming you are not using a conventional key-based melody, which, to my way of thinking, would be the only argument for using triple flats, and also assuming you are writing in equal temperament in which F#/Gb and G#/Ab are the same notes.

In reply to by andrewjleggett

Just had a play with MuseScore and managed to get F# and G# on one side of the stem and A and G on the other.

But it still looks a mess.

Googled tone clusters and came up with the following Wikipedia article which discusses the notation of the various forms of tone cluster which may be of help.

Currently there doesn't seem to be tone cluster support in MuseScore, and maybe this is something that should be addressed in a future version.

I think Feature freeze is now in place for 2.0, so it will have to be after that I think.

Sorry not to be more help :(


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