Score mirroring in right-to-left languages
Discussion moved from https://musescore.org/en/node/83041#comment-366416
Like most written languages, sheet music is read from left-to-right. This presents a challenge for people who mainly use a right-to-left language, such as Arabic or Hebrew, who have to learn to read music in the opposite direction to the one they are used to from reading text.
The problem is made worse when the music contains writing (e.g. lyrics) written in a right-to-left language. Notes progress from left to right across the page, so the words and syllables must be written in reverse order. This means the music and the words are written left-to-right, but the letters within each syllable are written right-to-left.
For the safe of any left-to-right readers having trouble understanding the problem, here's how we normally write lyrics under notes:
And here's how we would have to do it if music was read from right-to-left instead of left-to-right:
To create the second image, I simply flipped the first image so that notes and text were both backwards, and then I individually flipped each lyric syllable back to the "correct" direction.
This raises the question whether it would be valuable for MuseScore to have an option to flip music for readers of right-to-left languages, so that they can read notes and lyrics in the direction they are used to? Some editions in right-to-left languages are produced this way for this very reason. I would would be curious to know whether right-to-left readers think such a feature would be useful?
Here is a image of a score in Hebrew:
And here is the same score with the music mirrored but text left in it's natural direction:
As you can see, there are problems with musical symbols that are also numbers or letters (e.g. dynamics, time signatures, etc.) so the solution isn't quite as simple as mirroring the music and not mirroring the text. Perhaps the symbols shouldn't be flipped either, or only certain symbols? It would be good to know what the existing practise is in this regard.