Virtual Piano Keyboard used by itself (not Note Entry) uses transposition of top staff

• Nov 19, 2016 - 16:13
Reported version
S4 - Minor
needs info

When the built-in virtual Piano Keyboard is played by itself it sounds a major sixth lower than it should. Thus, when I press C it sounds the E-flat below it.

However, when playing the Keyboard for Notes Entry, the pitches sound and display correctly.

Occurs both on MuseScore Nightly Build-c5f46bb, and on release version 2.0.3.

Same for both OSX 10.11.6 and Ubuntu 16.04.


My guess is your score has alto saxophone or some other instrument that transposes by major sixth as the top staff. The keyboard is really designed for use in note input mode, so it can play using the sound and transposition of the selected staff. if you are not in note input mode, then somehow MuseScore needs to decide what sound and transposition to use, and currently it seems to go for the top staff. I'm pretty sure this is by deasign, and in fact I seem to recall this was specifically requested by other users. If you want to hear it in concert pitch, you can simply switch to concert pitch mode.

But it's worth considering whether there is a better way to handle this.

Thanks for the explanation. Indeed, my first staff is an alto sax, so what you say fits my situation.

It sounds a bit strange to me, though, that with Note Entry off the pitches of the keyboard will depend on the first line of whatever score is being worked on, rather than produce a real, "untransposed" pitch. It seems backward to me... I mean during Note Entry, the piano could logically produce the pitch the particular instrument will produce, but with Note Entry turned off it should play the "absolute" pitch with no transposition. As it is, though, it's the opposite.

Anyway, at least I know what to do now. Thanks for the tip about selecting the Concert Pitch mode.

It's not "the opposite" - you basically get the logical sounding pitch for the first instrument whether you are in note input mode for that staff or not. Actually, it's better than that - if you select something on some staff other than the top, you will get the sound and transposition for that staff, whether you are in note input mode or not. So if you want to hear trumpet sound and transposition, click on that staff; if you piano, click there. That's not so bad. The only question is what to use if *nothing* is selected.

I suspect the reasoning was this: what if there is only a single staff - alto saxophone and nothing else. Like if you were viewing the sax part of a big band score. In that case, do you really want the playback to be different depending on whether you happen to be in note input mode or not? I would say no. What's tricky is if there are multiple staves - now suddenly it isn't so obvious. Maybe the solution is to use piano sound and concert pitch for multiple staves, but use the staff sound and transposition if there is only one. But then someone will complain if they write a score for four Bb trumpets and they get different results for note input or not. There may not be a solution that meets everyone's need all the time. But I do think the current compromise is reasonable, if not perfect.