Note ranges

• Oct 13, 2016 - 23:54

I would like to include a graphic on vocal scores giving the vocal range required. The Musescore documentation indicates that there is a feature called ambitus which might do this, but I can't get it to work (I select a note and click Lines/Ambitus and nothing happens,) at at any rate this feature is labelled for early music only, and I want to do it for contemporary music.

But my impression is that most performers and choir conductors would prefer the vocal range of each part indicated by the standard letter/number form, e.g. Mezzo-Soprano A3-A5. Is there any quick way in Musescore to identify the highest and lowest notes in a given range or staff by letter/number without going through the whole staff looking for the highest and lowest notes and then converting them mentally to the letter-number form? Doing that is laborious and time-consuming in a long score, and it's easy to make mistakes.


To add an ambitus (in Palettes > Lines, toward the bottom), you need to attach it to a clef. Either drag-and-drop it to the desired clef, or select the clef and then double-click the ambitus element. From there, you can easily see the vocal range of the staff. I think if you want it for each voice, you will need each voice on a separate staff, but I'm not sure. From there, you can determine how to notate that to comply with a given letter/number standard.

Happy trails, Flyingninja77

In reply to by Flyingninja77

Note: if you make changes to the vocal range, just select the ambitus and choose "Update Range" from the inspector. Also, the top and bottom pitches of any voice seem to affect the ambitus; i.e. you won't be able to tell the bottom note of voice one from the bottom note of voice two, so you will probably need to split your voices into separate staves (if not already doing so). MS 3.0 includes a feature that will make voice extraction easier.

Happy trails, Flyingninja77

In reply to by Flyingninja77

Thank you for these notes, I found them very helpful, however, on my version of MuseScore (3.6) it says "Match Stave". Thought I'd mention that in a reply, just in case someone else has a hunt for "Update Range". In Musescore 4 it says "Update to match the notes on the staff".

Thanks for the advice. I see now the documentation on Early Music says you have to drag the ambitus to the clef, but I was relying on the general Lines help, which just says:

"Lines can be applied in the following ways:
Select a note and then double click one of the lines."

What I'd still really like though is a quick way to list the highest/lowest notes in a staff or range in letter-number form.

In reply to by jcorelis

And yes I know I could just put the ambitus in, calculate the letter-number equivalents of the notes, delete the ambitus, and write in the letter-number range as staff text. But isn't it the purpose of computer apps to do such things for us?

Maybe one possibility would be to add a field in the Edit Staff/Part Properties box under Usable Pitch Range showing Actual Pitch Range Used.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for the reply. Somewhat to my surprise, some research indicates that most published scores don't indicate vocal ranges with by letter/number on the score, though I'm sure I've seen it occasionally.

On the other hand, it's not uncommon for calls for scores for vocal and choral music to indicate by letter/number the ranges preferred, so this might be a reason to offer an easy and accurate way to get see these ranges for a given score.

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