Adjust tuning (a' other than 440Hz]

• Apr 9, 2009 - 00:03

Is it possible to add an option to fine tune a concert pitch (other than 440Hz considered as a standard) inside the Musescore? My standard tuning is a'=432Hz and I would so much apreciate the ability to play my scores in tune with Musescore... :)


What I mean is often also refered as "master tuning" - shifting all the notes up or down to correspond the tone a' (the reference tone of pitch that can be adjusted). It would be nice to have such a feature in preferences. Many musicians, especially those invloved in old music, use different standard pitch. Another good thing would be possibility to edit temperaments. If I am correct, such things should be possible just by adding some parameters to control Fluidsynth that actually produce the sound of Musescore. I suppose that it cannot be too complicated... but well, I am not a programmer... Any suggestions? Thanks. Jan

In reply to by xavierjazz

I am using acoustical instrument... It is no problem tuning it the way I want (it just takes some time and nerves to tune 57 strings on my lyre :) But tuning the computer software does not seem to work the same way...
I ofcourse mean tuning the sounds produced by Musescore, the sounds that come out from the computer :-)
And 442 is way too high!!! ;-)

In reply to by jan_

Hello Jan.

Thanks for the gentle reminder to actually understand what I read. :-)

I believe Soundfonts, by their nature, are samples. That's certainly what they sound like. Therefore they will not be amenable to tuning. It would require a deliberately tuned soundfont. (Now there's a project). If I am wrong I'm sure a more knowledgeable contributor will provide correct information.

If you are using a general MIDI soundcard instead of samples, it would then be possible to send a tuning instruction to the GM module.

Your request for a more complete sequencer seems directly connected to a request by MDMilford, asking that Musescore be a more complete sequencer. I responded with my opinion. If you wish, you can find the thread here:

I recommend going to the MMA (Midi Manufacturer's Association) for more complete information as to the MIDI spec.
They can be found here:

Be warned that they have what I consider a terrible sounding guitar playing a common rhythm, so you may want to have your sound turned off when you access their site.

I recommend this site to all who wish to understand more about MIDI.


In reply to by xavierjazz

Hello again!
And thanks for the reply. But it is not exactly right with the samples. They can be tuned as you like. It is true that they are pre-recorded but then you can still do anything possible with them. It is a matter of the player (Fluidsynth in case of Musescore if I am correct) how it handles the samples. You can change virtualy any parameters of the sounds. Musescore can even do it already. It is quite easy to fine-tune any note - jus click the note properties. Handy feature. But it would be handy if we could fine-tune all the notes just with one handle in preferences.

I just made a quick demo of fine-tuning the tones in Musescore - 12 x tone a, each next is 5 cents higher (the last one is more a# than a but it is not important now...)
See & hear yourself.

Attachment Size
fine_tuning_demo.mscz 1.42 KB

Question to developers: is it possible to create a plugin that raises or lowers the tuning on every note using the existing tuning property?

In reply to by David Bolton

I can see a possible problem when using a plugin for such a purpose (if I get it right):
After changing the tuning on every note the score will be saved with shifted pitches and when the score will be modified after that, the new pitches would be unshifted again. It may lead to some confusing results... (I can already imagine checking each single note to find out what is out of tune...)
I think a better option would be something like general preference for tuning that would shift playback of any notes up or down and which could be saved only in preferences while the score itself would remain untouched.

In reply to by jan_

You're right about new notes. There won't be well tuned right from the start. But calling the plugin again will fix them again.
I exposed the tuning property and wrote a plugin to set this property on all notes, all voices, all staves. It's in the svn r1937. It will be in next mac beta or next windows prerelease.

In reply to by [DELETED] 5

Thanks a lot for the commitment :)
It solves the problem but anyway, with all the respect, I still think it would be more convenient to have a tuning preference (in preferences) somewhere in the future...

Regards & good luck!

In reply to by jan_

We were just looking for the easiest method to implement this. Implementing it as a preference that always affects new notes would require significantly more changes to the code.

First, big THANK YOU for this work, actually I just had it installed.

I do micro-tuning, worse still, I do not even use a 2/1 octave. So even a .tun
type table is not good enough for me (please listen to "violinissimo" on Youtube).

However, my suggestion is something I saw in Logic (which I used for a short
time few year ago when it was bundled with the IRIS sound card, wished I
switched to MAC long time earlier). It seemed good.

The idea is MuseScore to have an text-like editable midi events list, where we can
select particular event-types, such as only one particular note-type, say, C4, and
all the attributes on the other columns in spread-sheet style that can be edited by
copy and paste, say copied into Excel, worked out, and pasted back.

I know this is idealistic. Just hope it may happen.

I came across this old thread while researching the possibility of using Musescore to experiment with A=432 tunings. I get the impression that there was some interest on the part of the Musescore project in offering such a feature, but it's not clear to me what happened with it. Can someone please clarify, or point me to other documentation or discussions? Thanks.

What you are looking for might be the option tools -> synthesizer -> tuning. (This is Musescore 3, probably something similar in 4).

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