swing tempo

• Jan 26, 2014 - 03:02

Is the standard swing tempo symbol (two tied eighth notes equal a quarter note and eighth note triplet) available in musescore?


This topic has been in this Forum for quite some years now and still the only solution is importing a picture which in its style doesn't correspond to the score . Musescore comes with a very nice Big Band template but is lacking this symbol, although I believe implementation could be very easy: Incorporate some new characters (two eighth notes with beam, and the quarter plus eighth triplet, may be the same for sixteenth swing) into the Musejazz font and make it available via "insert special characters".

In reply to by heinzochsner

A couple of things *have* changed in the past couple of years. You can now make your picture (eg, by creating the notation on an invisible staff) then saving it using the new image capture mode (see icon representing a camera on right of toolbar). That way, it should match your score just fine. You can now also customize your palette to add that symbol or any other if you find it useful - see the Handbook, under "Custom palette".

Here's one such image I just created - you could just save this, drag and drop it onto a custom palette, and use it any time:


Unfortunately, the new standard SMuFL font format that we rely on doesn't define any characters like this, so there is no straightforward way to support it. It could be worth bugging the people at Steinberg about - they are the ones who define the format.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for coming back so fast. I was not aware that the new MuseJazz font isn't a standard OTF font. Creating a custom symbol is a sensible was to do it. Yet, I still believe that this is something which should be treated as a piece of text rather than a music engraving symbol.

Ideally I would like to create/edit a tempo marking which looks like this:


This is taken from a commercial Big Band score. By doing it the suggested way, you can freely move the whole marking around, resize it, etc. This may often be needed in individual parts of a big band score, as in some parts you may have three or more ledger lines which you don't in others. I may try to create just a standard OTF font with these few symbols in it.

btw: Marc, I just received your new book: I love it!

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swingexample.png 45.25 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Just to be accurate. SMuFL does have the glyphs to create this indication. See page 97.

Capture d'écran 2015-07-03 09.17.03.png

We are actually quite close to support this. See for example the attached score which misused the header field (don't do that.. it's for illustration purpose).

Emmentater Text
Capture d'écran 2015-07-03 09.09.08.png

Bravura Text
Capture d'écran 2015-07-03 09.09.37.png

Oh... and MuseJazz... Could be worth making it more SMuFL compliant in next major version and move these glyphs.
Capture d'écran 2015-07-03 09.20.51.png

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swing.mscz 5.63 KB

In reply to by Nicolas

Sorry, I should have checked before assuming SMuFL wouldn't support it. I guess I was thinking of out experiences with tempo symbols and forgot that the original SMuFL note symbols were intended more for this sort of thing. Yes, I should move MuseJazz glyphs out of the SMuFL area next time we bump the version number.

In reply to by heinzochsner

To clarify - SMuFL fonts isn't something different from a standard font. It's just a way of getting different fonts to agree on which music characters are which and how they should display, so it is possible to easily switch music fonts and have things still work.

We take this for granted for ordinary text fonts because back in the 1960's, a bunch of people agreed on a standard called ASCII to define which characters appeared where ("A" is character number 65, etc). So when you switch from Times New Roman to Arial or whatever, you can still recognize the text.

Until this past year, there was no similar standard for music fonts, so every music font put their charcaters in different places, gave them different names, etc. Meaning you couldn't easily switch music fonts in a program. The symbol for treble clef in one font might exist in the same location as the symbol for the double sharp sign in another, so all your music would suddenly be unrecognizable.

SMuFML is a new standard that does for music fonts what ASCII (and then Unicode) do for text fonts - a way of making different fonts compatible by making sure they define the same symbols in the same ways and at the same locations. So the symbol used to create the beam on the eighth notes works the same in all SMuFML-compliant music fonts.

Anyhow as lasconic correctly points out, SMuFL *does* define the necessary characters to be able to do this from text - it just takes quite a bit of effort currently to convince MuseScore to use these symbols, and it doesn't work well except in Bravura (the original SMuFL font, created by the same folks at Steinberg who created SMuFL).

More info that you wanted to know, probably, but anyhow, gives me an excuse to say thanks for buying the book, and I'm glad you are enjoying it!

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