Large Annotated Dynamic EZ Play Style Note Heads

• Mar 29, 2014 - 03:44

I am interested in the development of an option within MuseScore that would produce EZ Play style note heads. I have already signed development agreements. I am a developer with 40 years of development experience.

Here is what I would propose developing as a user option. The option would be "Annotate Notes". If this option is turned on the score generated by musescore would use large note heads containing the base note keys as in EZ play within each note head. The display of the note keys would be dynamic. By this I mean no matter how the note is generated keyboard or mouse pick they would be displayed with the proper note based on where they appear on the staff. When they are edited moved by keyboard or dragging the note key would be modified accordingly. The an option would exist to print the score in EZ play or standard format.

Personally I am not sure without reviewing source code whether this can be done as a plugin or will require modification of the core software.

If you are interested please let me and the staff at musescore know.




You mean having the note's name printed inside the head?
As far as I know the plugin frameworks might be able to do that, bit it won't be easy as it a) would need to get the position right (which depends on pitch, clef and transposition) and b) switch color depending on note length (e.g. white for black note heads, i.e. length up to quarter, black for hollow note heads, 1/2 and above), c) would need to consider 'special' note heads, so I guess it might better be done inside the core code.
But what names would you want to print?, "a, b, c, ..." or "a, h, c, ..." or "do, re, mi, ..."? And how to decide which of these? Also the latter might not fit.
What about sharps and flats? Esp. those stemming from the key sig?
Would this need different shaped note heads?

Could all this be done via a musical font, maybe? Like the SMuFL "Note name noteheads (U+E140–U+E19F)"?
That last options to me seems to be the way to go. All the user would have to do is to switch on an option "Use named note heads" and the layout method for note heads would need to pick the right glyph, depending on pitch and language setting, Bravura should have them all already

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

The current plugin framework cannot do this. A plugin has to be called explicitly by the user and cannot be triggered for each new note, or when changing a pitch.

So it will need to be done in MuseScore, in C+++. I agree with Jojo, the best way would be to have a style option (Style -> General), probably a checkbox, maybe with option for the language. When this checkbox is checked MuseScore would change the notehead depending on the pitch or tonal pitch class of the note. The Bravura font already has these noteheads, and we would need to add them in Emmentaler probably.

One last point, if this option is implemented, it would be great to also implement the same mechanism for sacred harp notation which is currently done via a plugin

I see this as having limited didactic usefulness.

Reading music is about recognising shapes, not reading letter names.

OK in the very early stages of learning to read music, names are used to identify notes in the same way that the alphabet is used identify individual letters.

Certainly most keyboard tutors use fingering positions to teach the notes - the letter names are also taught, but association between the two is not required until a later stage of tuition.

In the early stages the correlation between finger position and the note's location on the staff is more relevant than knowing whether the note is an "A" or an "H" or a "do".

Generally in the early stages, the less information presented on the staff, the better.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Most of the choral conductors I know, including myself, tend to use scale independent naming systems such as tonic-solfa.

Letter names are even more meaningless to a vocalist, who is actually producing the notes without having to define a key or other means to produce a note. Which is the reason why Guido d'Arezzo invented the naming system which later became tonic-solfa.

Letter-names are meaningless in a practical context of picturing a musical interval.

Here is how I see it:

1- It will need to be added to the core technology to work interactively. It can only be done right in this way. (As a note there is not a programming language in existence that I have not used to program applications over the last forty years this includes GUI's and high end modeling and graphics.)

2 - This would be a display and print option. Not an embedded style option. The user could turn this on or off while editing or when printing. Turning it on or off would not override the users preferred document style when saving files.

3 - The displayed text would be displayed using standard text fonts. Font sizes would change as page scale is changed. Also when it is turned on as a display or print option the document would be temporarily re-scaled to allow reasonable display. The document would return to the user defined scale when the option is turned off or filed.

4 - The note displayed in the note head would be the primary key of the note independent of octave. Sharps, flats and other options and displays would not change but would remain as they are now.

5 - This option would be developed to be totally dynamic. That is when the option is turned on it will be active during editing. This means that the text will appear in the note heads when the note is entered by key stoke or drag and drop. The text would change when the note is modified after entry by drag-drop or other operation. The font would also change if a note is changed by
GUI or text entry. (i.e. when changing from an eight note to whole note both text location and font size and color might need to change.

More can follow but from experience this should not take much time to implement regardless of the language MuseScore is written as long as source is available.

In reply to by Carl M Jacobson

About source availability, I answered here…

Let me repeat that the source code of MuseScore is available publicly and for free on Note that it's changing very often... There are instructions to build it here: and instructions to use git here

In reply to by Carl M Jacobson

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).

I really enjoy my EZ play songbooks that I have collected over the years. I have had no luck looking for EZ Play music notation software until I ran a search for EZ Play music notation as a font. The first hit I got was your letter from 3 years ago. How is that coming? Is there a music notation software out yet that offers EZ Play as a font option? Neil from Lloydminster Alberta.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.