Chord spelling

• Nov 7, 2017 - 23:28

Is there a feature in which I could specify the chord by name and musescore will place the notes for it on the score? Thanks



Someone recently talked about maybe making a plugin for that; but keep in mind that "the notes for a chord" have a lot of ways to be placed, depending on instrument/style/ even hand size of the performer.
IMO: Either the functionality would result in such very basic results or likely becomes too complicated configuration wise to actually be quite usable for any real work.

In reply to by jeetee

Go point. I was thinking of it because of an app I have that will show you how to play chords on a guitar by just entering the name. There are are usually many different ways to play the chord and it will show you all the possibilities

In reply to by

Welcome aboard...

You wrote:
Is there a feature in which I could specify the chord by name and musescore will place the notes for it on the score?
MuseScore can 'almost' do that; but, as already mentioned, there are numerous locations/positions on the guitar fretboard for playing a chord, so you have to tell MuseScore where you are placing your fingers (i.e. what string and fret). Once MuseScore has this information, it can place the notes on the score's (treble) staff.

You also wrote:
(I have) an app that will show you how to play chords on a guitar by just entering the name.

Presumably this app shows the various fretboard diagrams for any given chord. (The fretboard diagrams display the strings/frets used to play the chord.)
Since Tablature shows the same info., it is a simple task to transfer the fretboard diagram's strings/frets onto a MuseScore TAB staff.
Then, using the linked staves feature, MuseScore automatically enters the proper notes on the treble staff.

For example:


More info. can be found here:
and for linked staves:


In reply to by Jm6stringer

However, it is pretty clear what an A minor chord is, isn't it? It is a triad consisting of A, C, E, only thing unclear is which octave. How to play that on a guitar, using 6 or even more strings is a different story.
The OP didn't mention Guitar chords at all

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Hi Jojo...

The OP ( specifically mentions guitar chords in his second post:
(I would like to give the post's time stamp here to be more precise; but, alas, such is no longer available ;-)

With that post in mind, and, as the fretboard diagram info. is entered onto a TAB staff, MuseScore places the chord noteheads onto a linked treble staff - whatever the complexity of the chord name, whatever the octave/inversion shown on the fretboard diagram.
True, my example uses three simple A minor chords; but, once any chord/fretboard diagram is found in a guitar chord dictionary application and transferred into TAB, MuseScore automatically places the notes for the TAB chord onto a **linked* treble staff.

Needless to say, this also works for other stringed instruments (banjo, mandolin, ukulele, etc.) with an available chord dictionary (whether app or printed chart) containing fretboard diagrams.


In reply to by Jm6stringer

Yes, I missed the mention on that 2nd post. Still a Chord Symbol is just that, no fingering, no additional information and an Am is just A, C, E, so that's the only thing that might reasonably be expected on playback. Playback of fretboard diagrams is another beasty, and would be more straight forward to implement.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

True, as you wrote, " Am is just A, C, E, so that's the only thing that might reasonably be expected on playback", but the OP does not mention playback at all - only placing the notes of a chord name onto the score.

The OP also wrote: There are usually many different ways to play the chord and it (the app) will show you all the possibilities.
Whichever one of the many different ways to play the chord is decided upon, transcribing it's fretboard diagram into TAB is a simple task. A linked treble staff will then display the proper notes.

(Oh yes, once notated, that specific chord can be played back).


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Actually, in many contexts musicians would not simply play A C E when presented with an A minor chord. Guitar and piano players in many musical genres routinely include additional color tones, treating the chord symbol as a functional guide on where to start in constructing a voicing. Plus there is the rhythmic aspect to consider. Which is to say, in order for such a feature to be truly useful, there is a lot more to it than simply spitting out a list of the notes in the literal definition of the chord. That said, there could still still be some value to some people some of the time in such a literal list, and that much is actually quite simple to do and probably someone could implement it in a week if there were agreement as to how it should work.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

*This may be "unnecessary information".
But there may be users who think: "How can the chord be played differently?"
So I wanted to add. *

Depending on the concept, "Am chord" can be played by a guitarist and/or pianist in the following ways :
c, e, g, b
c, e, a, b
c, d, e, g
c, d, e, a
c, d, e, b
c, g, d, a
b, c, d, e
c, e, g #, b
c, e, g #, d
c, f #, b, e
c, f #, a, e
c, d, e, f #
b, e, a, d, g, c
... (etc.)

And just writing "Am or A_" is enough.

In reply to by jeetee

<< the functionality would result in such very basic results >>
That's true.
But Lilypond does it and I miss this feature (I switched from Lilypond to MuseScore 18 months ago) , even when if the result is very basic it is very useful for me.

In reply to by

You wrote:
I don’t play piano or guitar well at all.
(Well, TAB notation does not work for piano - but it does for guitar.)

Still, that's no big deal...
If you can understand a fretboard diagram (you don't even have to know the note names of the dots), you can easily transcribe it to TAB. Then, MuseScore automatically translates the TAB into a linked treble staff -- to see the 'real' music notation, where you can adjust and/or copy it into whatever score you are creating, for whatever instrument. You don't have to play guitar at all!


In reply to by

You wrote:
If you want to play a Cm9 it will show you how on the guitar.
Here you go: Cm9_chord.mscz
(Please open in MuseScore for a look at fretboard diagram to TAB transcription.)

As most guitar chord libraries use fretboard diagrams, they are easily transcribed to TAB. It's simple to copy the string + fret of the fretboard diagram into TAB. One doesn't need to know the note names of either the fretboard diagram dots (hard to do if you're not familiar with the layout of a guitar) or the note names of the chord itself. Fretboard diagrams and TAB notation speak the exact same language - that is, fret and string. Note names are inconsequential. Only when MuseScore populates a linked treble staff with actual noteheads do they look like bona fide pitches to all musicians.

You wrote further:
...something...would be nice and very convenient for trying out different chords.

Now get this...
A TAB staff does have playback capability, so it is convenient for trying out different chords. Then, when you hear some exotic chord you like, you can copy paste it into a regular clef to view actual notation... or, as already mentioned, you can use a linked staff.


In reply to by Jm6stringer

I'm reading this thread with interest. My idea of "easy" chord notation would be to quickly type out chord names for piano or guitar (my two favorites), and let MuseScore automatically add the notes below the chord name, in some generic version of that chord (1-3-5-7 in that order for example). (I do not have or use MIDI input.)

Granted that chords can be voiced in many ways, and to support that would add complexity to the feature. But for me, as a "composer" (I ain't no Haydn) working on arrangements or composing a melody over a chord progression, the exact voicing applied to the chord is not very important, at least to start. I want to quickly chart out a chord progression w/o the necessity of converting guitar diagrams into the TAB feature (which, to me, is easy but time consuming!).

I love jm6stringer's C minor 9 file; thank you! Maybe there's a library of many/all the standard chords, like from beginner's guitar chord book? I can copy that into my score np and I'll get have Cm9, but what I WANT is to just type "Cm9" and get that TAB.

In reply to by rockacello

There are two things I'd find handy:

1> Make the fingering diagram the way I want and have the tab/notation generated from the diagram directly
2> A palette of chords/chord forms (e.g. all the CAGED forms) that I can drop in so I'd pick "C form" (i.e. the 1st position C chord shape), then specify the root note e.g. D#. The chord diagram, tab, and notation would all be properly populated.

Having to doink in the TAB when the notes are unambiguously specified in the diagram is just silly.


I don't know what type of introspection the fretboard diagrams provide, but this really wouldn't be all that mind-bending. NOTE: I'm a software engineer/music teacher/middle school band assistant director so I could write it in "all my free time." Haha, very funny.


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