Switch to Percussion Clef

• Dec 22, 2017 - 20:32

Hello all,

I am writing a composition for Bodhrán and have invented my own notation for that drum. As it is possible to play exact pitches on the instrument, I want to write the parts where this is required in a bass clef. As the Bodhrán also is capable of imitating a drum set, I want to switch to a neutral/percussion clef to indicate that exact intonation is not necessary in a particular part of the piece.

Musescore (2.1.0) does not let me do this. The normal methods for changing clefs don´t work. I have not found any help in handbook, how tos and forum. Any ideas? Or is this a feature request rather than a bug report?

Thanks in advance


You can't change from a pitched to a percussion clef in MuseScore.

Since it is not unusual (in classical music) for percussion to have a bass clef, I would suggest you use some sort of text to indicate the section does not require precise pitches.

What I would personally do is use bass clef the whole way and change noteheads manually (via Inspector or Palette) for the unpitched notes. If you really want to see a percussion clef in front of the unpitched section, you can insert one from the Symbols palette.

You can also force a change from pitched to unpitched by using two separate staves, entering notes on whichever is appropriate for a given measure, then using Style / General / Hide empty staves.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Inserting one from the palette doesn´t work with percussion clefs, which is the reason why I created this thread. It seems musescore defines a specific instrument with that clef and then changes the note input according to the standard notation for that instrument. This is convenient for all the instruments that are included in musescore but problematic for the bodhrán.

Using two staves may work, although I´d have no possibility of changing clefs within one stave. Changing the noteheads does not look as elegant but does the job. I think I´ll go with that one. Thanks a lot!

In reply to by bravesentry

If you use Hide Empty staves from the Style General menu and Don'y Empty Staves in First system your 2 staves will appear as one as long as you have line breaks at the beggining and end of a section with music on that line. If you have a multiple instrument score and extract the bodhrán part, be sure to extract both staves the part and use the Hide Empty staves an Don't hide... for the part also.

In reply to by bravesentry

My suggestions was to add the clef from the Symbols palette (press "Z" to display), not the Clefs palette. Adding as a symbol will always work. It just won't actually have meaning - it's just a symbol.

Not sure what you mean about changing northeastern not looking as elegant. Should be completely indistinguishable from what would appear on a percussion staff. There are no special notations available only on percussion staves - anything that you can make appear on percussion staves can be achieved on a standard staff as well.

In reply to by unamnomis

Don't use the change instrument text from the pallet - it is broken - see #320828: Change Instrument Palette Text does not recognise current instrument leading to incorrect transpositions. Use the change instrument text from the Add>Text menu.

Also note that there is nothing "temporary" about this. It changes the instrument from that point onwards in the score. For a temporary change you will need to add another instrument change text to change back to the original instrument.

I have a similar problem with drumset notation. I don't need to hear playback, so rather than trying to figure out the drumset mapping I just notate everything on a piano leadsheet, then once everything is done (I'm talking very last thing you do), I select all, Staff/Part Properties, Change Instrument, and select Drum Set. Your parts will look exactly the same, but it will add a percussion clef! Hope that helps.

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