Recorder (and other woodwind) fingering

• 5 years ago

Apologies if this problem has already been solved but I did a search and didn't find anything that quite met my needs.

I wanted to use MuseScore to create some simple tunes and then to add the fingering for a recorder (C pitch, English fingering). I found a Plugin but that doesn't work in Linux (I use ubuntu 10.04). I found some fonts but the method of use looked a bit too complex for me. So, I created my own font and decided upon a very simple method of entering the fingering.

How I did it:

I used Linux, ubuntu 10.04 but there are tools for all the major OS's and help on-line for creating fonts and for installing them on your system.

Preparation: I created a font called "Tinyholes_Recorder.ttf" using FontForge. Then I copied the font to /usr/share/fonts/truetype and did a fc-cache -f for good measure to update the font cache. I chose the name because it should appear in your font list near to "Times New Roman" which is MuseScore's default font for lyrics and titles.

1] Create your tune in MuseScore as normal.
2] Enter the names of the notes as lyrics. I used c, d, e, f, g, a, b for notes in the first octave; C, D, E, F, G, A, B for notes in the second octave and decided to call the top C note K. I made the accidentals r, t, y, u, i, o, p corresponding to c#, d#, e# etc.
3] Select the first "note" (lyric), right-click on it and choose "Select>All Similar Elements". Right-click again and change the font name to "Tinyhole_Recorder" and a point sixe of 50 or so.
4]Adjust the page to look neat (maybe set Lyrics upper margin in Style->Edit General Style>Page to 3.0 and adjust the System spacing)

Note - yes, it is allowed to enter "y" for "e#" and "p" for "b#"; I just find this easier that entering "f" or "C" when I am in a key with too many sharps. I have also included one alternative fingering "h" as an alternative to basic b natural in the first octave. I did not go further than two octaves because a)I personally can't play well that high and b)I figure that it will mostly be beginners who will be playing from a piece of music with fingering.

I attach a screenshot and the font file (in .ZIP format)

I note that the font appears OK in some applications (word processor) and that it looks OK on-screen in MuseScore but that it prints out with the left side a bit flattened - this may be due to a simple error on my part when creating the font.

This method can also be adapted for flute, clarinet, tin whistle fingering etc.

If anyone else wants to use the font in any non-commercial capacity then go ahead.


The reference to a Plugin not working in Linux relates to that developed by lasconic. I have modified his plugin and used my font and tested it in ubuntu 10.04 and it seems to work well. I'll message lasconic regarding this. To try it, use the attached plugin and the TinyHoles_Recorder font from my original posting.

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