• Oct 28, 2017 - 17:23

XP. MS2.1
I realize playback is not a primary purpose of the program, but I have a need. I have been able to get the octave higher instrument(piccolo) to work, but not the octave lower(contra bassoon, tuba) to function. The process does seem a little more complicated than need be(up down 3rd, 6th, octave, whatever), but am I missing something for lower by octave or is it just not working in XP? Thanks for any thoughts.


Hi! I'm having exactly the same doubt right now, but in connection with the bass flute. The midi sounds in the written note but the bass flute actually should sound an octave lower of the written note. I think it is impossible to make it sound an octave lower on Musescore (I'm thinking of creating two files: one with the real note and the other one with the written note)

In reply to by Violeval

Sorry to read of you problem. Hate for you to have to do two scores. Have you tried the concert pitch button as was mentioned to me. This is not how things should work, but the instruments sound correct with the addition of 8 under the clef. Also, you've probably tried this already, but have you tried using contra/double bass--- the program at least handles the octave skip correctly, sort of--- then change the sound to bass flute. Do not know, just a thought. Good luck! (might check my comments to Marc)

The bass flute in the instruments definition that comes with MuseScore plays properly as do the contrabassoon and tuba, so I'm not sure what the problem is. Perhaps you are looking at it in concert pitch but need to be looking at it in transposed pitch to see the proper relationship between the written and played notes. If the "Concert Pitch" button looks pressed you are seeing the concert pitch notes.

In reply to by mike320

Mike320 Thanks for your response
I do not know about bass flute, but contrabassoon and tuba are not correct. I AM having trouble coming to grips with the way the program functions, but am slowly understanding. See my comments to Marc

Indeed, there are two ways to deal with ocrave transposition - either use one of the octave clefs (little 8 or 15 above/below the clef) or by setting the play transposition in staff properties and then using the Concert pitch control. Sounds like your score is set up to use one approach but you are attempting to work with it as if it were set up.the other way.

If you need further help, please attach your score so we can see and advise better.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc Sorry for the delay. Thanks for responding.
This is the third try to write this email. I am having a difficult time with the way the program functions, versus how I feel it should work. Because I do not understand the reasons the program works this way, I am having trouble explaining my concerns. Please accept these as early thoughts, if that will help. 8's and 15's should not show up in a score. It is confusing at best and looks very unprofessional. I have checked multiple scores from various publishers and have found none who have 8's above or below the clefs. For those of us who work in concert pitch, so that our scores are easily read by anyone at first glance and because we do not use key signatures, but accidentals, the way the program works is a problem. As I am slowly seeing, it makes us work the way the program wants and not how we work, is this really how the program was planned? I for one will have to make changes in how I think and work, maybe. I haven't had time to fully think this through. But , if this is how it is to be, then all instruments need to function correctly this way. Some do not. The contrabassoon does not have an 8 below the clef but skips the octave. The tuba skips the octave, which it should not, as it sounds as written, even though most of us think it should not. The bass clarinet is....good question what to say. I have a C# below the treble staff in concert pitch, when I change to transposed pitch, if that's what we are calling it, I end up with a D#, M2nd above. This would be fine if I were writing in bass clef, but in treble it should be M9th above. This may simply be how the program works in my unsupported OS. If so, then forget all. I just mention these things in an effort to improve the program. I will keep thinking about this. Thanks for your efforts!!

In reply to by R. L. F.

I understand you prefer the style of transposition that does not use the octave clefs (with the 8 and 15). But understand that many professional composers and publishers do preference these for the octave transposing instruments. That is why MuseScore allows you to use either method. It sounds like you just need to to learn how to use the method you prefer. Have you read the Handbook and watched the tutorial videos? They are very good at explaining the basics. If you continue to have trouble after reading the Handbook, again, please attach your score.and we will be happy to show you how to do what you want with it.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc Thanks, again
Did go in and read the handbook...again. Went to concert pitch topic. The problem is we do not agree on transposing. The instruments I have been mentioning are Not transposing instruments, as such.(horns, clar., etc.) They simply sound an octave higher or lower than Written. The written notes in concert pitch are the sounding pitches, as strange as that sounds. I now see transposing pitch should be Musescore sounding pitch. This would clear up some of the confusion. But, even this does not always hold true, for me anyway. Shifting from concert pitch to transposing pitch does not change all the pitches on my score. Glock pitches are staying the same and for some reason, in my score, the tuba pitches are moving, also, which they should not. I still, at a glance, am having trouble following what the base clar. is doing, compared to how it should function. I am sure the program, for the most part is working, but some of these things are not as clear as they should be, but I will just try to make do with I am finding out. Thanks for putting up with my thoughts!!

In reply to by R. L. F.

Since you haven't attached a score showing what is going on with the transpositions of your music, the only thing I can think of is that you have attempted to transpose the instruments yourself. I have seen this several times in these forums. MuseScore handles transpositions almost 100% automatically unless you are defining a new instrument. It does often use octave clefs when instruments are transposed by multiples of exact octaves such as the Glock. It uses the 15ma clef for concert pitch and normal treble clef for transposed. In the default instrument setup, the Bb Bass Clarinet transposes a 9th. For notation purposes it uses the octave clef in concert pitch and normal Treble clef for transposed pitch. If you don't pay attention to the clefs it appears to transpose like a standard Bb clarinet. Other instruments that use different clefs for transposed and concert pitch are the Bari Sax, Piccolo and Double Bass. Most clarinets and horns are transposing instruments. Even most C horns are transposing instruments by an octave. There is a High Horn in C defined by MuseScore that is the only horn that is not a transposing instrument.

In reply to by R. L. F.

If it sounds an octave higher or lower than written, then it is by definition a transposing instrument. As I have explained, MuseScore supports both of the common ways of representing this. You just need to choose the correct one. It really does work, I promise. Again, if you need further help, please attach your score so we can show you exactly what you need to do.

In reply to by R. L. F.

First, XP does not change the way MuseScore works when it comes to things such as what is written in a score. It is only affected by things that rely on the operating system such as locations of scores and possibly some windows that are opened by MuseScore. I'm not sure if any of them rely on the operating system or if they are all independent of the operating system, but that does not matter for your concerns.

I'm not sure what you may have done to the transpositions of the various instruments, but here's what I find. I am currently entering a score in transposed pitch using the instruments you have mentioned. When I switch to concert pitch, the bass clarinet looks like it transposes a M2nd, but the clef is switched to the treble with an 8 under it. If I cared how the concert pitch looked, I would have changed the clef to bass or treble clef with no 8 under it.

The tuba for me sounds in the correct octave for me with no transpositions in either concert or transposed view.

I agree with you that the 8's and 15's above and below the clefs are unprofessional looking and in anything I write I avoid using them. People insist there is an abundance of material written using the clefs. I believe that if they look closer, they will find these started when computerized notation started being used because some early programmer found it easier to invent a new clef than to figure out how to properly transpose music by the octave. Even earlier music that used a different octave than indicated by the clef did not use the 8's and 15's. One prime example is bass clef French Horn. Historically it was played an octave higher than written. If there is a mixture of treble and bass clef in one of these pieces, using MuseScore it is necessary to use the bass clef with the 8 above it or resort to more complicated alterations to avoid this. I hesitantly use the clef with the 8 most of the time.

When I write original music, I change the transpositions so all of the clefs (with few exceptions such as the French horn) lack either the 8 or 15 since I write in concert pitch and then edit the score in transposed pitch.

In reply to by mike320

Actually the history of the octave clefs go back more than century at least. They started to become to become popular in the works of early 20th century composers as a way of being explicit about the octave of music in concert pitch scores, but indeed they probably became more popular in the 1990's when Finale made this the default way of doing things in some cases. But classical guitar music and vocal music (for tenor voice) has used these clefs since long before Finale and indeed before the twentieth century as well. See for instance it's fine if you personally don't encounter music that uses them and thus don't prefer them for your own use, but it is simply incorrect to call their use "unprofessional".

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Sorry Marc
I should have been more specific. Yes, there are some use of *'s in scores. The tenor voice is a good example. I did not remember the guitar... I should have said orchestra instruments. Do you know of professional orchestra scores printed back a hundred years ago that use the 8, 15s. I have not run into any, yet. Since finale, is it other than composers/arrangers printing there own scores? This is why I use the term unprofessional. Sorry, if you are offended. I will just work with things as I can...making changes as needed.

In reply to by mike320

Thanks for your response....Really!
It is nice to know that some knows what you are talking about. I agree XP should not effect the way things function in the score, but I have too many little things in the program that I can not believe everyone is experiencing.(such as it taking two tries to open the program,every time, among others) As for the instruments I still think things are not functioning as they should. I also did a seperate score from the one I am working on, and used transposing pitch to enter notes. I do not prefer to enter notes transposed when doing a quick score, but everything worked fine....except the C. Bsn then also shifted notes when moved to concert pitch. Not what should happen. I am finding out more how the program works. It leaves a lot for the composer/arranger to do to clean up the score for printing. I am sure if one works exactly as the Program wants you to work, things will be good. Not the direction I was hoping. I will just sit back and shut-up and try to deal with the program as it works. Thanks again for your comments.

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