Lute ornamentation - some problems

• Nov 4, 2016 - 14:31

There has been already a discussion on lute ornamentation, but I think it is good to begin a new one at the present state, especially to help to go on with the lute implementation in the new version of musescore.

Today I tried to "copy" a historic ornamentation table for baroque lute (Beyer, Gellerts Oden, 1760) with musescore.
First I want to say: everything here is possible, but some things are very uncomfortable.

But you have to keep in mind, that the used ornaments are only some of the ornaments that had been used in lute music, there are some more, and sometimes writers used them very differently.

I give my mscz-file, the original table and the resulting pdf and svg.
Probably the bows won't stay in the positions I moved them, because there still is a bug preventing to save other positions than the auto ones.

Here the original table and the svg:

I wouldn't think that the reverted bows for pull-off are really necessary in a modern, but that is not to difficult to make even now with the current versions. But it would be good to have the bows always below of the tab signs.
Sometimes a problem can be, that normally all notes are in one voice actually. But it is possible to divide the notes into different voices, which helps for slurs, but sometimes results in problems with the rhythm signs.
The slurs are a little bit too round, when they connect 3 or more tab signs, they should be in fact more shallow for tablature.

Appogiaturas (Abzug and Einfall):
These are pretty nice to work with, but if I copy them from the palette, they will have a wrong position -> it would be good to have a position relating to the tab sign!
After doing it once, it is easily possible to copy them with ctrl-c + v

I have in fact tried two signs, but both will always be placed above the system. If I copy them, then they will only be on the same line, they aren't used as acidentals to the note!

The same goes to nearly all other used signs, they don't relate to the selected sign, but on top of the system.

The vertical dash, the sign for playing chords together ("Zugleich geschlagen") should best be a line, that could be drawn between to notes that lie vertical in one row. Here the Beyer table is not really good, as this sign is a little bit small. It would be good to have a flexible line, that is centered between the two notes with a certain gap at both ends.
Could here the concept of the note anchored line be expanded in that way?

Regarding note anchored lines it would be very good, if they could also be copied from one place to another. To get the vertical lines I misused them a little bit, and the second line probably will have a wrong position with every new formatting, as it is connected to the lowest note below.

Unfortunately fingering with (1-2-3-4) isn't possible with the current fingering solution, only the points are shown in lute tablature.

To sum up: It would be very good to have the possibility to anchor the above signs to the notes (or a more universal method?). That would help very much to write lute music more easily in musescore.

Attachment Size
BaroqueLute_Ornaments.pdf 43.14 KB
BaroqueLute_Ornaments.mscz 24.06 KB


Thanks for the summary table.

1) Would it be possible to complete it by attempting to provide an English translation of these symbols/ornaments, so that they can benefit to a larger number of users.

2) Would it be possible also to add to your document another standard staff (I did it on the file attached: 1BaroqueLute_Ornaments.mscz ), and provide the "translation" the added ornaments, into notes (matter to interpretation according to the composers, I know, and not necessary the same symbols for each composer in this baroque period)
Ie: Notation (shown: fret marks and ornaments) vs . Effect (in the second staff, result in notes with playback). Like this, eg:

In reply to by cadiz1

BTW - I would be happy about a more universal flexible solution. It would be good for lute ornaments (and probably even more universal) if:
1. a palette could be defined as note-anchored, so that these elements always will be fixed to the notes, they are copied to.
2. a palette could be defined as ornament palette -> in order to help the program to understand them that way
3. I think it would be good, if the name of a palette element (or another field in the palette elements definition, that gives that possibility), could be interpreted then as playing advice for musescore and also for transposing it to other instruments

The effect would be, that musescore wouldn't need to know the sign, but only its function. That would help to use the different signs, that different sources (in lute manuscripts and also in historical manuscripts) give and though have all the given functuality of musescore.

In reply to by MLutz

The problems I see in my pdf are the notes that have the stem upwards.
There is a slight gap between the head and the steam in all of them.
If you don't see this, it might be a font problem - would be nice if you take another look on the pdf above, I exported.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

@Jojo-Schmitz: As to expect, your pdf looks fine.

In my pdf the fonts also are embedded, but it could be, that these are the wrong (old) fonts.
Someone (Marc Sabatella?) told me to install a musescore to have the fonts (but for Ubuntu / Linux Mint there only is a 2.02 release ...).

Is there a possibility to install the correct fonts without installing the whole musescore or should it work with the fonts embedded in the program?

I use the development appimages here, as it is much easier to update them than compiling it on my own (which I still could do on my laptop btw).

In reply to by MLutz

wheter you use appimage or 2.0.2, you should not have the musescore fints installed separatly. If you have, they take precedence over the builtin ones. Some Linux distros errnously installed the fonts separately, if that is the case for you, just delete them

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

OK, I searched for this fonts and didn't find anything on my computer.
So that shouldn't be a problem.

But I now tested some things:
If I change the font under General Style and export the file directly after it to pdf (if I saved the mscz or not doesn't seem to make any difference), the export file looks as the one I have complained about. It is the same, if I close and reload the file.
If I start musescore anew after changing the font, the export file looks good in all of the fonts.
So there seems to be a problem with internally changing the fonts! (at least on my system)

appimage 221f20b (unfortunately there is no newer appimage for Linux X86_64 at the moment).

Should I re-open ?

The problems with self-made ornaments (or their position) really are obvious if I try to make parts ...
The appogiaturas work fine, but the slurs need to be repositioned, and also most of the "text ornaments" have the default position instead of the modified one.
Probably the width of the text boxes also should be saved in the parts ...

Attachment Size
MLBaroqueLute_Ornaments_Parts.mscz 30.21 KB

In reply to by MLutz

As I wondered why some ornaments don't stick to their places, when extracted to parts, I tried to use only signs from the master palette. This is the way to get it working.
If I use (staff or system) text for ornaments in the palette, the signs will always be placed to the default position, which is above the staff, and size, when copied or extracted to parts. So using text is not really senseful ...

But with the signs from the master palette there are some (slighter) problems:
1. Positioning: You cannot set a special position in the palette, the sign will always be placed at a default (sometimes directly over the sign), and you have to drag it to the best place. It would be good if musescore also saves the used position, when dragging a sign to the palette. It even would be necessary imho, as some signs have completely different meaning if placed right or left to a tablature sign.
A workaround is to copy and paste ornaments that already have been placed to tablature signs.
2. Size: The same to the size. It would be good to have a possibility to adjust the size of palette ornaments in the musical text (display size is another thing).
3. Formatting: It is necessary in many cases to put some extra space for the ornaments, as they are not taken into account by the automatic routines. Would be nice to include these signs to formatting
4. Playing of ornaments: Wouldn't it be possible to use the name of the ornaments in the palette to define the playing of them? So if I set the name to thrill, it would be played as thrill, etc ...

Seems as if my last post was not self-explaining, especially as there haven't been parts in the musescore-file. Now a new start to explain.
If I use text or symbols for lute ornaments, their position will not be saved in a part, that musescore extracted. The symbols are set at the default position above the chord.
That's why I wrote, that it would be good to have a possibility to anchor symbols at a note.
Also it seems, as if the symbols are reset to the default size of the note line text, even if I originally tried to save them in a bigger size ...
Or is there a trick, that I don't yet know?
For the moment this is really very, very uncomfortable, as I would have to correct everything manually ...
Also another problem in the extracted part (last two measures): The "1.___" is extracted (I even can't delete it) and the "2. __" isn't ???

Attachment Size
Lute_ornaments.mscz 26.38 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

That is really interesting, as I had it at least on the screen (and thought, it also would have been saved) ...

Now, that I have added it once again, it also appears in the part, but after reloading it is crippled in the score - the horizontal line is missing, and I also had part of a volta in the lute voice ... I selected it and used delete, which even crashed the musescore I compiled today ...
Now I loaded it again, both 2nd voltas only have the vertical line, and they cannot be deleted in the score. In the part the 2nd volta is fine btw. And I also can delete every volta there, but if I delete the 2nd, the cripple in the lute voice still exists ...

Attachment Size
Lute_ornaments.mscz 26.38 KB

In reply to by Shoichi

Indeed there seem to be problems in the nightly with voltas, that doesn't have to do anything with lute tablature. In the attached file, that I made from scratch I set 1. and 2. volta at measure 9 respective 10, set the repetition sign and made all parts new, saved the file and opened it.
Now there seem to be some problems: In the parts the repetition sign is on the right place, but the voltas aren't ...

Attachment Size
Voltas.mscz 19.34 KB

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