Letter heads (easy note heads)

• Feb 18, 2012 - 20:31

It wold be very useful for beginners to have ability to use note with note name in note head , seen in other music notation programs, or even to create own note head image (shape).


Hmm I've always been dubious about the value of putting letter names on note heads, as it doesn't teach you how to recognise interval, which is the fundamental technique you use for reading music.

When you read a book you don't spell the letters of each word out - that would be counter productive as the words are made up of sounds, many of which have a distinctive shape.

In my own teaching I tend to emphasise the graphic shapes that occur when notes are a particular interval apart.

It has seemed to work so far :)

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Well, when learning to read books, it starts with spelling each letter of a word. At least it did when I was a pupil... Only later (not much later) it turns into a word-wise read, and I guess the same is true for reading notes.
On the other hand when learning an instument you don't really need to know the name of a note, the picture of a notehead at a certain place in a stave should translate into info pressing a certain key on a keyboard, or covering certain holes on a recorder flute.
But I guess there are different methods of learning/teaching

Though you have right to have your own opinion, it doesn't solve my issue. Even though it's not useful or helpful for you and you may not understand why, it will be for others. So please do not post your opinion in this thread, you can open your own, only solutions are welcome.

In reply to by MaciusPan

This is posted in the Feature Request forum.

As such it is open to comment by other users on its suitability for inclusion in another release.

If you merely want issues solved post in the Support & Bugs report, though doubtless you will also get comments there.

And please try not to be quite so touchy!

Hi, has there been an outcome yet on getting the names of notes inside the note heads? I have been desperately waiting for this feature, for absolute beginners. All the other paid software giants have finally implemented this feature, realizing there is a demand for this feature. Alpha fonts would be fantastic to assist struggling beginners & provide them with the confidence to progress further, instead of quitting their music learning early.

I would also like to be able to create music with the note name inside the note head. I know that this is not the most pedagogically-sound way to teach music literacy. However, there are situations in which this would be useful. I personally would love to have this in my own teaching situation at present.

Just adding my voice in favour of an option to shoe note names inside note heads. It might involve a bot of work for the developers. Every chart I've seen this in has quite large notes and tall staves, just to allow room for legible names the note heads. Worth it though.

There are a number of different note heads available (to use for percussion), but it would be nice to be able to create a complete, custom, note. This would include 1 or more of the note head (like a note with a slash through it for Rim Shot or a bell shape for a cymbal bell), as well as marks on the stem (like a 'z' for a buzz roll) and marks above/below the note (like 'o' for open hi-hat or '>' for accent). By having all these parts of the 'note' defined, you could enter them much quicker and not have to readjust them when resizing measures or moving or copying notes.

For drums, you can set up a drum set which is listed in the drums 'palette'; if you could set up a palette for other instruments, you could build a 'note set' of your own 'named' notes.

I like how Finale has used the AlphaNotes font, to place note names inside noteheads, which is a fantastic option for those entirely new to music. Don't know if something like this would be possible in MuseScore?
ref: http://www.finalemusic.com/blog/the-finale-alphanotes-font/
Why I like the note names inside note heads:
For those relevant beginners, it gives them the ability to play something straight away, and encourage a little bit of excitement and confidence to progress further. Very beginners of all ages are now used to having immediate results for everything and things in general are more fast-paced these days. People are less inclined to wait around and persevere like they once did. The easy note heads are one way to stem drop-outs, and avoid initial frustration for those struggling beginners.

I wish to offer the following as it relates to Letter heads (easy note heads).
I am a retired licensed Professional Counselor and spent over 30 years focusing on individuals with various language based disabilities. A conservative estimate of individuals with reading disabilities is at least 18 to 20 percent of the population. A reading disability is caused by a lack of timing in the firing of the neurons necessary to create an accurate internal image of the external image of printed language. This means that every time a person with this disability sees a word they get a different internal image. Therefore, there is no repetition which is required to read fluently. This is also true of printed music/sheet music. It is an axiom in neural plasticity that neurons that fire together stay together. Neurons that are out of sync never link. There is no possible way to correct a errors in the timing of the firing of any neural network required to create an accurate internal image of the external image of a printed word or note. A reading disability is unrelated to knowing how to read. Many concert pianists have teachers. Why are the teachers not the concert pianists? Just because someone cannot do something you cannot assume it is because they do not know how.

I have played the piano all my life and at present have memorized over one and a half hours without stopping. Unfortunately I have never been able to study piano to learn to make music because the focus was always on "learning how to read music." I know how to read music but I can't do it. I auditioned at the University of Tennessee music department with Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor. I was accepted and the most reputable teacher wanted me as his student. At the first lesson he realized I could not sight read sheet music and refused to teach me. That was not the first or last time that happened. Notes printed on a page is not music. The one question no teacher ever asked was given my obvious passion for music and playing the piano, why would I not want to learn to sight read sheet music if I could? Why would anyone with a reading disability not want to learn to read fluently? Clearly it is not because of a lack of ability or intelligence.

It is essential to understand that sheet music is a means of storing musical information in a form that others can access. It is a storage device like a book. Reading or sight reading music is a means of accessing the musical information stored in the printed sheet music. It isn’t the music itself.

I have three masters degrees, one in special education, have been on the adjunct faculty in a state university graduate program, and have been published among other things. I still read on a third grade level at best. However with the technology of books on tape and the fact that my computer will read anything to me at an accelerated speed I am not disabled by my reading disability when accessing printed language.

There is only one way to accommodate a reading disability in sheet music. That is to have the names of the notes in the note heads which enables me and others to access the music stored in the form of notation in printed sheet music. Once we can access the music in the sheet music, we can memorize the music and hopefully learn how to "make music" and not just play a lot of notes in a particular sequence. Unfortunately the only music notation programs with adequate note head names that enable this access are the most expensive and beyond the reach of most with the disability.

I have seen as patients over the last thirty years hundreds of students and young people with reading disabilities who loved music but were prevented from playing an instrument because of their inability to access the music stored in sheet music. One patient earned a full scholarship in music to a well known university but had to leave because he could not accommodate his music reading disability. As I am sure you can imagine he was devastated. Had he been able to add note names in the note heads and access the music, he could have completed his degree. It would have been more difficult and taken more time for him than the other students but he would have put in the effort if he had the choice. What a shame.

I implore you to develop the ability to put the note names in the note heads in MuseScore. It will make it possible for the thousands of individuals like myself with reading disabilities to access the music stored in printed sheet music. It would enable us to play an instrument and have the music in their lives as so many others take for granted. It is a shame that so many people including many music teachers accept the negative stereotypical view of individuals with reading disabilities. I have spent thirty years studying the research and many publications on these disabilities. I have seen nothing to support that it has anything to do with learning how to read, being lazy, unmotivated , or anything promoted by these publications. There is no evidence or research anywhere to support these notions. As a matter of fact there were over 100,000 publications on reading disabilities between 1966 and 1998. The conclusion of the NICHD review was that there was no significant evidence that any program or combination of programs made and difference individuals with reading disabilities fluency in reading. Most of the research publications promote the lack of phonetic awareness as the cause of a reading disability. If this were true, why would it have to be proven over 100,000 times? The research promotes the negative stereotypical view. The only thing worse is the level of indifference especially by the researchers. It hurts not to matter.

FYI, the number of Chinese and Japanese students with reading disabilities is estimated to be similar to the estimates above. These languages do not have an alphabet or any phonics. If a lack of phonetic awareness was the cause of a reading disability as the research states then how could so many Chinese and Japanese students have any reading disabilities? But they do have the same timing errors in the firing of the neurons necessary to create an accurate internal image of the external image of printed language.

The person most responsible for accommodating their disability is the person with the disability. There are however some situations where they cannot choose. Not having the ability to put the note names in the note heads denies us the choice to accommodate our disability. Even with the names in the note heads it is a laborious and time consuming process to memorize the music. But it makes it possible. I beg you to add the ability for individuals with reading disabilities to access the music stored in music notation. How do you think you would feel if you were arbitrarily denied access to sheet music and thereby the opportunity to learn to make music?

I appreciate your taking the time to read this rather long comment but I felt that the information is necessary to provide you with a more accurate understanding of the importance of this request. I have seen nothing in this discussion to suggest any negative stereotypical view expressed by anyone with regard to individuals with reading disabilities. It is the omission in the discussion that I make these comments. As someone who’s life would be lacking without being able to play the piano, I believe it is essential to any discussion regarding the ability to insert the note names in the note heads in printed music that these ideas be considered. The very nature of the many individuals who put so much time and effort into developing MuseScore that demonstrates not only their generosity and a genuine understanding of the needs of so many but also the high level of interest in music and making this fine program available to anyone who wishes to learn to make music. The power of music to heal the soul and bring a undefinable spirit of connectedness and community seems part of the nature of all people. Please make that available to those of us with reading disabilities.

Clifton Willard

In reply to by clif willard

Dear Clifton,

I am so sorry you had such a negative experience from your piano teacher. It is unenlightened attitudes like that which put the whole teaching profession in a poor light.

The gift of sight reading fluently is only given to some people. Of the students I have taught over the years, only a handful have had this gift.

OTOH I have taught many students whose ability to read music at sight was never attained, but whose musicianship was asserted in their gift for hearing music and then reproducing it accurately on first hearing.

IMO this second group of students is on equal footing with the first, and, compared to the first group are often more fluent with the actual language of music, being able to improvise far better than the "sight readers".

I would suggest that programs like MuseScore which enable a student to hear the music written on the printed page rather than try to decipher it, are of far more value than the writing of note names inside the noteheads. All that is required is a teacher willing to go the extra mile to enable his students properly, rather than refusing to teach them because they don't conform to your world view!

I have worked with many such musicians in bands during my career, and, they can play anything provided someone is prepared to play it to them first!

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

I think Clifton makes valid, sensible and reasonable points about matters that might possibly never occur to those of us who do not share - and therefore may not be sensitive to - the disability he describes. It's well known that differently-abled people learn in different ways, and it seems that his proposal is well worth considering (especially if MuseScore is to remain competitive with commercial notation programs that do offer the features described).

However, that said, I have a couple of further comments I'd like to put out there:

1. Clifton said: "Notes printed on a page is not music." I know this statement is rooted in the reading disability that affects Clifton and many others, but I strongly disagree with it as having broad application to the rest of us. For me, music unquestionably does in fact reside in the notes printed on the page. We bring it to life when we perform it - but 'performance' can take place silently except in our own heads as we read the music ... i.e., without the participation of any instrument other than our cognitive ability to 'audiate'.

2. 'Sight-reading music' is a specialized ability that I'd describe as a subset of the broader skill of 'reading music' generally. The terms as they are commonly understood are not interchangeable, and they shouldn't be conflated (as I sense has been the case here).

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Hello ChurchOrganist,

I appreciate your reply. I might add that the unenlightened attitudes you refer to are pervasive in all education and it is truly unfortunate. Had I had someone like yourself, I am sure my enjoyment of piano would have been greatly increased.

I do agree with you that it is certainly helpful to be able to listen to the sheet music in MuseScore and I do that with music that I have scanned. I do have software to scan sheet music and convert it to XML reasonably well. I do use software that enables me to scale up the music image and then enter the names of the notes inside the up-scaled notation. Though this is time-consuming it does make it possible to memorize the music. I honestly don't think it takes me any longer for me to memorize music then anyone else. Certainly being able to listen to it is a great help. The problem is accessing the notation to memorize. I do record and playback everything as a way of making sure I haven't made mistakes and to make sure what I thought I played is what I actually played.

The bottom line is that for most of us the ability to access the music stored in printed form as sheet music is essential to memorizing and developing the performance skills required to make music. Improvisation aside.

I am currently in the process of memorizing Rachmaninoff's 18th variation on the theme of Paganini transcribed for piano solo by Michael Loveridge. I am also using part of the 17th as an intro to the 18th. There are lots of notes close together and having the names of the notes above or below is certainly a great help. However it adds visual clutter to the notation that would be eliminated if the names of the notes were in the note heads.

Again, Thank you for your interest and hopefully the ability to have the names of the notes in the note heads will be part of MuseScore. It would make possible what is otherwise not possible.

Clif Willard

In reply to by clif willard

Are you aware of the Note Names plugin?

That will enter the note names above the stave for a selected range of music in MuseSCore.

It seems to me that this represents a starting point for what you require, and maybe it would be an idea to contact the plugin author to see if it could be extended into your requirements.

I would prefer to see tonic solfa names used rather than letter names as these express the relation of key and interval in the music, and so help with picturing the sound in your imagination.

It would also make the plugin useable in countries which use solfege instead of letter names.

In reply to by clif willard

Have you heard of Irlen Syndrome? What you describe in your difficulties makes me think of this. I'm a diagnostician and wish you would check out www.irlen.com and then email me back.
As far as the conversion to letter names, I'm trying to find a program with which you could scan handbell music and convert it to letter names for handbell choirs for those with special needs. We'd like to be able to do that and then use a SmartBoard to project it for the ringers. Any help you can give me would really be appreciated.

In reply to by harrism

The scanning part is handled by what are called "OMR" (Optical Music Recognition) programs such as SmartScore. MuseScore partners with a free / open source one called Audiveris and allows you to import PDF files via File / Import PDF, but be aware this technology is still very experimental, and even the expensive commercial programs are only so-so at best this. In many cases you are better off just entering the music manually rather than relying on OMR software.

Anyhow, once the music is into MuseScore, there is much you can do with it, including using a variety of plugins for handbells and for letter naming. Feel free to start a new thread on that topic specifically, or do a search for previous discussions of handbells.

Hello stevebob,

I very much appreciate your willingness to consider my proposal. I can assure you that to have the ability in MuseScore to put the names of the notes in the note heads (easy notes) would have a profound impact on many, many people of all ages. It would make possible what for those like myself is otherwise not possible.

My reference to "notes printed on a page are not music" is actually a line from the movie, Mr. Holland's Opus, 1996, starring Richard Dreyfuss. It's about play the notes correctly as written or bringing them it to life. There is a difference.

I am aware that some people can look at sheet music and hear what they're seeing in their minds ear. Something I very much wish I could do. I can however hear music in my minds ear that I have memorized or heard. However I cannot play what I have only heard. In order to hear what you see it is essential that the person be able to correctly perceive the sound of any particular note in context on a page. A reading disability is essentially a perceptual deficit printed language and therefore the person with the disability is not able to accurately perceive the correct sound of printed notes. When looking at a printed note I must figure out or usually guess what it's name is before I can strike a key. This is true for every note, even the same note every time it appears on the page. This makes the ability to "audiate" impossible for someone with a reading disability when looking at sheet music. That being said, my ability to sit at a piano and perform music I have memorized is dependent on my ability to hear in my head what I have memorized and then play what I hear. If what I play and what I hear are different I need to go back to the sheet music to make the correction.

2. I appreciate your explaining the difference between 'site-reading music" and "reading music." The few teachers I have had tried to teach me to read music and referred to the ability to play what I saw as site reading never explaining that is a subset of reading music. I knew a person one time who could sit at a piano and play any music you put in front of her flawlessly. If you turned the music upside down she could still play it flawlessly though it didn't sound very good and clearly there was no music there. However most people I know who can read music can play what they see reasonably well. Some believe they cannot memorize the music and therefore are dependent on reading it to play it while others read it, memorize it, and then learn how to create the nuances and choreograph the hand and fingers to express those nuances and bring the notes to life or make music. My goal has always been to learn how to make music. When someone makes music you feel it emotionally. When they play a lot of notes you just hear the notes, no real emotional response. As I pointed out to the piano teacher at the University of Tennessee, “I may not be able to read music but I played the Rachmaninoff well enough that you argued with the other teacher present at the audition to have me as your student.” He was not impressed ;-)).

In reply to by clif willard

Clif, it is genuinely great to hear from you again.

I must clarify that my input in this matter was merely as another end-user who is interested in this topic. I'm not a developer, I have no association with the MuseScore development team (other than the congenial collegiality we share in this forum), and therefore anything I write reflects only my own opinion.

I know that I was specific about the distinction between 'reading music' and 'sight-reading music', but I realized afterward that I didn't actually articulate that distinction. Although it could be looked up in any number of sources, it was helpful to me to attempt to express it on my own – so I'll share my take on it here … for what it's worth.

    Reading music: the ability to recognize, identify and understand the commonly used symbols on a music score that indicate pitch, duration, rhythm, dynamics, articulation and manner of execution.

    Sight-reading music: the specialized task of simultaneously reading and playing music at first sight, i.e., the ability to read *and perform* music on a given instrument from a music score that one has never seen before with both a reasonable degree of accuracy at a speed that is close to intended tempo, as is typically required of accompanists and ensemble players.

I'm a pretty good sight-reader, and I started in early childhood by sitting at the piano and playing through any kind of printed music I could get my hands on – hymnals, albums of show tunes and pop standards, all of my mother's classical scores, volumes of music I would check out from the library, etc.

I've never been good – or, at least, confident – at memorizing, and I am one of those sorts you describe who generally feels the need to at least have the sheets in front of me even to perform pieces I've finished studying. Of course, there are interrelated types of memory: the cognitive memory one may have of the actual notes, chords, cadences, etc., and the so-called 'muscle memory' by which sequences and patterns of movements become sufficiently ingrained that they can be recalled reflexively (but not always reliably).

In any event, though, I am an amateur whose avocation is piano. I didn't pursue it as a career, and I don't perform for anyone but myself – and so whether I memorize or play from the score is irrelevant as a practical matter. Still, I was greatly impacted by a question you posed in your first comment in this thread: “How do you think you would feel if you were arbitrarily denied access to sheet music and thereby the opportunity to learn to make music?” Well, I would be absolutely devastated. Reading music is as important to me as reading prose!

I am so pleased you returned to this thread, and I have become increasingly enthusiastic about the Names Within Noteheads capability for which you are advocating. I would never have known otherwise how many people could be helped by it or how many people genuinely *need* it in order to be able to experience the joy of music-making, and you make a compelling and persuasive case, in my opinion, for the developers to consider pursuing it and integrating it into MuseScore at some point as an option or a plug-in. I sincerely hope that this proposal will gain the attention, and the traction, that I think it deserves to be a future goal for MuseScore going forward. It's an eminently and inherently worthy objective to make music as accessible to as many differently-abled people as is practically possible.

In reply to by [DELETED] 448831

I have added a plugin that takes advantage of some of the features of MuseScore 2.0. The plugin adds note name noteheads (Bravura font) using either alphabetic letter names or solfege names. The user can select alpha or solfa, fixed or movable do, and major or minor keys, as well as notehead color. For movable Do solfa, the plugin detects key signature changes (but not major/minor mode changes). The noteheads are not dynamic (they are Staff Text), so to change underlying notes, remove the named noteheads (Edit/Undo or Select/All similar elements/Cut) before changing, and then run the plugin again. Although notehead placement is pretty good, some manual adjustment might be necessary in some cases (certain notehead offsets in multi-voice textures, or relative to some ledger lines (whole notes, mainly).


In reply to by jensm

jensm, when I saw your post of your plugin today I was absolutely flabbergasted. In over 40 years experience with organizations of all kinds and individuals I have never experienced the response I have had from those of you at musescore.org. It is truly extraordinary.

I downloaded the plug-in immediately and applied it to the second page of, the 18th Variation from a Rhapsody on the Theme of Paganini, Opus 43, transcribed by Michael Loveridge. I have a question. I am not a programmer though I have been able to edit some plug-ins in the Musescore plug-in editor. Is there a way to adjust a vertical offset so that the inserted noteheads from your plug-in align vertically with the notes on the page? Also, not all of the original notehead color was changed to white. A few did but most did not. It may be that I am not doing something correctly but if so I am not sure what that might be. I attached a jpg of a measure as an example of my results.
Thank you so much for your effort in making this plugin possible. I truly appreciate your doing this.

Attachment Size
Addnotehead offset.JPG 41.01 KB

In reply to by clif willard

Clif, thanks for trying it out, and for posting your screenshot. Actually, it is fairly simple to adjust that vertical offset. On line 46 of the script, there is

property var yOffset : -3.62

Based on your screenshot, I'd say something like -3.65 or -3.66 would get your noteheads in the right neighborhood. However, after seeing your question, I decided to do a little more research, and found an excellent discussion of the Bravura Text font at the MuseScore Github site here:


Based on this, and some further experiments, I think I'm going to switch the font to the Bravura Text font (instead of Bravura). I'm finding that the bounding box of the Bravura Text font is smaller, and therefore manual adjustments of the notehead position are much easier. I also think I will have the plugin add leger lines when notes are invisible.

As for the notehead background color, there is a white background only for noteheads that have leger lines. I experimented with different options, and decided that making notes invisible on the staff looked better than having a background color, but making notes off the staff invisible made the leger lines disappear - thus the white background. If I add ledger lines through the plugin, that will no longer be an issue.

As Marc mentioned, the notes in your example that are grayed out are actually hidden.

Maybe I could add a couple of options to the dialog: 1. An option to fine-tune vertical position of the noteheads, and 2. An option to either a) make the underlying noteheads invisible, or b) have a user-determined background color.

In reply to by jensm

Thank you. As you suggested I changed Line 46 property var yOffset: to -3.85 and it worked perfectly. I also realized that I could hide the the grayed notes. It seems that the default is to show hidden. Also the gray noteheads did not print as you said.
Again, Thank you.

In reply to by clif willard

Clif, FYI, I have uploaded a revision to the plugin which 1) uses the Bravura Text font instead of Bravura. This font has a smaller bounding box for the glyphs, which makes it much easier to select and edit them (move them around). 2) has an improved UI, where you can adjust vertical notehead position, underlying notehead color, and underlying notehead visibility either on or off the staff directly from the plugin (you still need to control visibility on the screen of the hidden notes within MuseScore itself).

In reply to by jensm

I am super-impressed with your plugin. Just a couple of things to bring to your attention:

1) If a note is on a line, then the line is visible going through the letter. It seems that the "note background color" option isn't working—it's always transparent.

2) The Undo command does not restore the actual note heads to visibility.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

1) This is a font issue. A regular "black" notehead (to use SMuFL terminology) is a completely filled glyph, so it masks the line which is underneath it. "Black" noteheads do not have lines showing through. Of course, this assumes that the underlying notehead is visible - it won't work if the "Hide" checkbox is checked for that note (the line will show through the letter portion of the alpha glyph, because that is the part of the glyph that is unfilled). On the other hand, none of the regular "open" (Whole/semibreve, Half/minim, etc) noteheads (regular or alpha) will mask the line underneath, because a large portion of the glyph is unfilled.

2) I'm note sure why the .visible property change on the note is not recognized in the undo operation. The color change is recognized. The entire block of code / function that changes these properties and adds the notehead to the score is wrapped in .startCmd() ... .endCmd().


In reply to by jensm

I haven't really followed this discussion, but - are you aware that Bravura (as per SMuFL) provides noteheads with the letter names already included? Not sure if the plugin framework allows for accessing these or if there are further issues with implementing the plugin this way. At some point if/when we add native support for this notation, my assumption is that we will use these noteheads, though.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Just read up a few posts.

Also, see https://musescore.org/en/node/56566.

Related to Zack's question, if you look at examples of Finale's AlphaNote font, you can see that the staff lines show through the letters (see this Finale example). If or when MuseScore fully implements this, a nice feature would be to provide a background layer under the letter notehead glyph so that the staff and ledger lines could be masked completely, even for "open" half or whole note heads.

In reply to by jensm

For the last several days I've been working extensively scanning sheet music, importing the XML file into Musescore, editing, and adding note names. I also export the file to PDF format because I have a foot pedal that essentially turns pages in Adobe reader.

For the six weeks prior too that, I have been trying to memorize Rachmaninoff's 18th Variation on a Theme of Paganini, transcribed for piano solo by Michael Loveridge. As a direct result of having access to note names through your plug-in I have been able to memorize more in two days than I had in the previous six weeks. The reason I wrote the first comment about putting the names of the notes in the noteheads was because memorizing this piece with so many notes (73 notes in one measure) had become almost impossible. Everything changed with your plug-in. I will be forever grateful.

I saw a former client yesterday who had a full music scholarship to a university but flunked out because he was unable to read the music. I showed him Musescore with your plug-in and briefly explained to him how it works and then asked him if he felt that had he had access that is now provided with your plug-in would he have been able to maintain himself academically in the music program. He looked again at the sheet music with names in the noteheads thought for a few minutes and then said, "absolutely." For two main reasons. First, having the names in the noteheads would have enabled him to read the music fast enough to follow after he'd memorized it. Second, had he been able to hear the music, he would have memorized it quite fast which would have also made a significant difference in his ability to maintain himself in the scholarship program. Heis not alone. What you have done is to give anyone with a reading disability with interested in music a choice they never had before. That's a lot.

I do have one question. In the original version I could edit the plug-in and remove the accidentals from the notehead names. This increased the size of the name in the notehead. However I can't find how to do this in the new version 1.1. Also, I don't believe that remembering or memorizing the key signature has anything to do with any kind of reading disability and is the responsibility of the individual to learn to the point that it is automatic. In Musescore as you know when a note is an exception to the key signature it is clearly noted in the notation itself. What line(s) do I change in 1.1 to clear the accidentals from the notenames?

Thank you,

In reply to by clif willard

Clif, this is nice to hear that the plugin is so useful. I think the easiest way to avoid the accidentals in the noteheads would be to add a user option to leave them out. This would require a change in the code that generates the index into the arrays (of the unicode codepoints). Right now the plugin accesses the unicode code point for each notehead with an index based on the note's tonal pitch class (tpc). You should not comment out any of the codepoints in the arrays. OTH, you could change the alpha arrays to be similar to the solfa arrays. That is, rather than having 21 different codepoints in each array (7 for flats, 7 for naturals, 7 for sharps), you could change each alpha array to have 3 sets of seven identical code points (7 natural, 7 natural, 7 natural). Just make sure that you have exactly 21 total, and that the natural code points maintain the correct order.

For example, the alphaCodesWhole array should look like this:

[0xE178,0xE16F,0xE17B,0xE172,0xE169,0xE175,0xE16C, //naturals 0xE178,0xE16F,0xE17B,0xE172,0xE169,0xE175,0xE16C, //naturals
0xE178,0xE16F,0xE17B,0xE172,0xE169,0xE175,0xE16C] //naturals

to replace this:

[0xE177,0xE16E,0xE17A,0xE171,0xE168,0xE174,0xE16B, //flats
0xE178,0xE16F,0xE17B,0xE172,0xE169,0xE175,0xE16C, //naturals
0xE179,0xE16F,0xE17C,0xE173,0xE170,0xE176,0xE16D] //sharps


In reply to by jensm

Perfect, just perfect.
I did as you said for each array and everything worked perfectly. I am so grateful. What a difference in memorizing. However playing it well is a horse of another color. But it's being in the process that counts. As in many things, there is no "there" in music only the thrill of being in the process of making it.

Thank you,


Stevobob, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your comments. It is very unusual for someone who does not have a reading disability to understand the impact that it has on not only their education and vocation but also on their ability to access printed information in a book or music printed on a page. In addition to being on the adjunct faculty of a graduate program at a state university, I spent over 20 years traveling around the Southeast giving full day in-service training to educators, psychological groups, university faculty, parents and individuals with disabilities. I cannot recall a single incident in which someone without the disability was able to express the empathy that you have in your comment. Because of my reading disability I used slides and animation I created on my computer as my notes. It also provided me with an opportunity to show the audience what it was I was saying. Often when we returned from lunch I would ask the audience if anyone believed me. This was in reference to whether or not they believed I actually had a reading disability. Not one hand would go up. At the end of the seminar eight or 10 hours of training I would ask the same question. Almost all the hands would go up. It normally took 8 to 10 hours of speaking with multi-media support to overcome the stereotypical view that, "if you can't read you must be stupid." I have three graduate degrees so I couldn't have a reading disability. Your understanding and support is truly remarkable and I thank you.

As a side note, it is interesting to note that Dorothy Taubman who was one of the most gifted piano teachers and developer of the Taubman Technique never played a concert but taught concert pianists. The point is that just because you can't do something doesn't mean you don't know how to do it. Her students could do it but didn't know how. She knew how but could not do it for what ever reason and chose not to concertize. Clearly you understand this concept but most do not.

In reply to by clif willard

Thanks for your kind comments, Clif, but your own words gave me inspiration and insight into a world of which I truly had no knowledge or even exposure.

It's interesting that you mention Dorothy Taubman at this juncture, too, as I was actually thinking - after our earlier exchange about this topic - of a pedagogue who could be described in similar terms: Abby Whiteside. Her philosophy of a holistic, whole-body approach to piano technique have been widely influential, though she was not a concert artist or even a performer herself.

I was elated to read this morning that jensm had developed a plug-in that appears to meet your needs, and I share your happiness over its benefits to you and others!

I like how they work but I wanted to also make it work w/ Note heads in various shapes so people w/ certain disabilities can read the music.

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