Diatonic pitch up/down, except without automatic accidentals

• Nov 29, 2017 - 20:19

I know what I want my scores to look like, so I use the up/down arrow keys for ‘Diatonic pitch up’ and ‘Diatonic pitch down’, but this is no good if there are accidentals already in the bar.

An option to just move the note up and down the staff without ever automatically putting an accidental in would be perfect for this.


On a related note, I'm interested to know how many people switch the keyboard shortcuts around for the same reason. I also have ; ' # [ ] assigned to flat, natural, sharp, double flat, and double sharp...

When you use ctrl-shift+arrow the notes are moved diatonically (according to the key signature). An oddity is that if there is an accidental, it stays put on the first move but disappears on the second. If you use the arrow only, it moves the note chormatically (always by 1/2 tones) and adds or deletes accidentals as needed.

I have shortcuts for accidentals that don't require me to take my left hand off the notes or right hand off the numeric keypad for durations. This is where I keep my hands most of the time while using MuseScore.

In reply to by to7m

I just realized I said ctrl-shift+arrow moves diatonically, it's actually shift-alt+arrow. ctrl-shift moves by octaves.

The disappearing accidentals were based upon experience and not structured testing. It seems that the key signature affects at what point the accidentals disappear. For example, in the key of E-flat moving an F# using Shift-Alt down changes to an E-natural then D natural (using an accidental only if necessary). In the key of A-flat (4 flats) the F# moves down and changes to a natural until it reaches C, which does not require an accidental then accidentals are removed.

I'm not really understanding what you mean here. If you already know what you want your score to look like, why are you enter a note at the wrong pitch then correcting it with the arrow keys instead of just entering the correct pitch in the first place? Could you maybe attach a sample score and describe a typical task you are trying to accomplish?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Basically just easier correction of mistakes. These happen for all sorts of reasons, like entering notes a beat off and only realising after a few bars are done, or mis-clicking a place on the staff, or getting the letters muddled up, or all of the above if I'm trying to write something out in real-time when mistakes are more likely.

In this example, there are no problems as long as I get the notes right first try, and remember to apply the accidental before the octave drop when using the keyboard, but if I make a mistake it becomes a bit of a pain.

Maybe having an input mode that focuses on visual input is what I'm suggesting? It seems that the default arrow key function (semitones) is perfect for finding notes, but that the diatonic function could still be a bit more efficient.

Attachment Size
Diatonic pitch.mscz 4.19 KB

In reply to by to7m

I guess I'm not understanding how simply pressing the arrow key one more or fewer times to add or remove the desired accidental doesn't solve the problem completely. Can you give a more precise description of the exact problem you are encountering? like which note in the example you posted sare you wishing to change, and what are you wanting to change it to, how you are you doing this now, how would you think this could be improved?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I've reassigned the keys so that the Down/Up keys are diatonic down and up. Chromatic down and up are now Meta+Down/Up.

Here's an example:

Which note I'd change: Maybe in that example .mscz file I enter the second B-sharp wrong. I think B but type D.

Change it to: B-sharp, ideally by using the Down arrow. I can see the correct place for the note is two steps away, so I press Down twice.

How I do this now: I try the above, and see that doesn't work because I've got an unwanted natural sign. In this particularly awkward case, the solution I settle on is to press Ctrl+Up to raise the note an octave, press # to add a sharp in, then press Ctrl+Down to put the note an octave down, allowing the unnecessary sharp to disappear. Line of thought sadly interrupted in the process.

Suggested improvement: Alter ‘Diatonic pitch up/down’ to no longer create accidentals. Every workflow distraction that gets removed gives a very appreciable efficiency boost. If anyone has a use for automatic accidentals, maybe it would be make a new option instead of changing an existing one?

Thank you for bearing with me :P

In reply to by to7m

If you enter a note explicitly not in the current diatonic scale, moving it diatonically will keep this explicit difference you have set.
If you want to remove it you can use chromatic up/down.
Let's say you are in the G scale.
You enter a A instead of F. Diatonic down twice will give F#.
If what you wanted was F natural, then the mistake would have been to enter A followed by chromatic down giving Ab, and diatonic down twice will give your F natural.
And if you see the mistake after entering A, before the chromatic down giving Ab, then the two diatonic down to go to F must be followed by (or mixed with, any order) a chromatic down, yes, the one you had to use to be on halftone lower than you current scale, this is normal.
So I don't understand what's more you would expect from MuseScore?

In reply to by frfancha

I see that it is quick to solve most errors using the current system. The example of correcting the B-sharp still relies on an octave shift.

What I tend to expect, as in, would find to be more intuitive, is that down and up will move the notehead (and displayed accidental if present), rather than moving the notehead and drawing a new accidental based on the key signature.

Hope I'm being clear. If not I could make a video to show the contrast between the current system and my suggestion?

In reply to by to7m

The thing is, "diatonic" actually means something, and people do use for what it actually means, so I don't think changing it's behavior (except to fix bugs) makes sense.

As it is, though, I see why this particular rare corner case might present a slight awkwardness. Normally simply pressing up or down would add or remove the needed accidental, but in this particular case it won't because we're talking about a B# in the key of C, and the algorithm doesn't usually allow for it. Also it is normally easier to simple type the correct note rather than mess with up/down commands at all, but that doesn't work here because it would enter into the wrong octave because the line is so angular. So yes, I get that in this particlar case, a slightly awkward solution is needed. But the vast majority of the time that is not an issue, and to me, not reason to break behavior others depend upon.

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