Missing Noteheads

• Mar 23, 2018 - 13:32

There are several noteheads commonly used for percussion notation that are missing from 2.2 and not currently included in 3.0.

MuseScore composers must currently provide a workaround with alternate noteheads. This not only limits potential compatibility for import/export of scores between other applications that use widely adopted percussion notation standards (VDL specifically), performers must be provided explicit instruction in individual scores in order to be able to accurately interpret the composer's intent.

Missing noteheads place an unnecessary burden on both the composer and the performer.

Adding the following noteheads will enable percussion scores to be notated in MuseScore with the same noteheads as any other editor and allows full-compatibility with noteheads in the VDL standard:

SMuFL Name SmuFL Unicode 3.0 Link
noteheadSlashedBlack2 U+E0D0 Y http://www.smufl.org/version/latest/glyph/noteheadSlashedBlack2/
noteheadSlashedBlack1 U+E0CF Y http://www.smufl.org/version/latest/glyph/noteheadSlashedBlack1/
noteheadTriangleUpRightBlack U+E0C9 N http://www.smufl.org/version/latest/glyph/noteheadTriangleUpRightBlack
noteheadXOrnate U+E0AA N http://www.smufl.org/version/latest/glyph/noteheadXOrnate/
noteheadRoundWhiteWithDotLarge U+E112 N http://www.smufl.org/version/latest/glyph/noteheadRoundWhiteWithDotLarg…
noteheadDiamondWhite U+E0DD N http://www.smufl.org/version/latest/glyph/noteheadDiamondWhite

Reference: Sibelius VDL Template 6.0 (PDF)


Currently in MuseScore, noteheads are hardcoded as an array of 4 noteheads: for quarter and lower notes, for half note, whole note and breve note. We give a name to this array and it is used everywhere: palette, storage of notehead for melodic score, storage of notehead for drumset, inspector etc...

Would you propose to add these 6 noteheads for all durations, and they will be added to the palettes and usable for all instruments? They will be selectable as a note group in the inspector and in Edit Drumset.

Or would you prefer to change the drumset implementation so users could choose the notehead for these 4 durations directly in the drumset? Like in Finale: https://wpmedia.finalemusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/4.png

In reply to by Nicolas

While many shape noteheads have a number of use cases (ex: solfege, guitar techniques etc.), I do not see a compelling use case for these outside of percussion.

It would seem that enabling these only for drumsets would be sufficient as they would not likely be relevant to non-percussion scores.

Also, due to the nature of unpitched percussion instruments, particularly the context in which these specific noteheads would be utilized, there are few cases when anything longer than a quarter note is used as such instruments do not have ability to sustain.

The only case for sustain on unpitched percussion that would immediately come to mind is where an attack is to let ring for the full duration of the note then dampen (ex: concert bass drum), but the missing noteheads would not be used in such cases.

To provide context for actual frequency of use of missing noteheads, here are 3 videos from Vic Firth that demonstrate the missing noteheads in practical use:

2017 Blue Knights
- bar 1 (rimshot)
- bar 5 (pingshot)
- bar 13-15 (pingshot)
- bar 16 (buzz - see: https://musescore.org/en/node/270641)
- bar 21-22 (buzz)
- bar 30-31 (buzz)
- bar 38 (rimshot)
- bar 41 (pingshot)
- bar 45 (buzz)
- bar 68 (pingshot)

2017 Blue Stars
- bar 1 (rimshot)
- bar 4 (rimshot)
- bar 4 (buzz)
- bar 6 (rimshot)
- bar 6 (buzz)
- bar 12 (rimshot)
- bar 12 (buzz)
- bar 13 (rimshot)
- bar 16 (rimshot)
- bar 18-20 (buzz)
- bar 22 (pingshot)
- bar 25 (rimshot)
- bar 27 (rimshot)
- bar 28 (buzz)
- bar 28 (stickshot)
- bar 30-31 (buzz)
- bar 42 (rimshot)
- bar 45-46 (stickshot)
- bar 47 (rimshot)
- bar 51 (buzz)
- bar 53 (pingshot)
- bar 56-57 (rimshot)
- bar 61 (rimshot)
- bar 62 (buzz)
- bar 64 (rimshot)
- bar 66 (rimshot)

2016 Cadets
- bar 10 (rimshot)
- bar 15 (rimshot)
- bar 19-20 (rimshot)
- bar 25 (rimshot)
- bar 27 (rimshot)
- bar 41 (buzz)
- bar 46 (buzz)
- bar 48 (rimshot)
- bar 50 (pingshot)
- bar 52 (pingshot)
- bar 53 (rimshot)
- bar 55 (rimshot)
- bar 57 (rimshot)
- bar 61 (pingshot)
- bar 65 (rimshot)
- bar 73 (rimshot)
- bar 115 (buzz)
- bar 134 (rimshot)
- bar 136 (pingshot)
- bar 141 (pingshot)
- bar 145 (rimshot)

Several comments.

  • noteheadTriangleUpRightBlack. Ok. We can add it and we can even use noteheadTriangleUpRightWhite for half, whole and double whole. It fits our current scheme.
  • noteheadXOrnate. OK. We can add it and we can even use noteheadXOrnateEllipse for half, whole and double whole. It fits our current scheme.
  • noteheadRoundWhiteWithDotLarge I believe you don't want this one. It's really a large notehead and it will spill over the staff line. See below. You probably want noteheadRoundWhiteWithDot. This notehead is so particular that we could use it for all durations...
  • noteheadDiamondWhite This one doesn't really fit into our scheme. It's a white notehead and we would use it for all durations? Also, I don't think you want this one. In the reference document, the notehead looks more like noteheadDiamondWhole, which is even weirder in our current scheme...

I really wonder if it wouldn't be wiser to let user choose 4 SMUFL glyphes (possibly only one for quarter and fallback) from the notehead range for each drum instead.

Capture d'écran 2018-04-04 23.29.52.png

Hey guys

lasconic, let me introduce myself. My name is Hugh Smith (https://musescore.com/hugh) and I'm the one that created the Sibelius VDL Template (https://www.thewritescore.com/product/sibelius-vdl-template/). Daniel and I talked yesterday morning about many things, for almost two hours. (Daniel, I watched those videos you referenced above - gave me a few more ideas. And I'm taking notes.)

It's been many years now since I created my original noteheads lists and subsequent logic behind what I did at those times - part of which I had to stay within the "limitations" of Sibelius' noteheads list and instrument mapping guidelines. I've been digging into MuseScore a bit (v2.3 so far) and like the potential I (fore)see.

Not sure how much has been done on this (in MuseScore) in the last 2 weeks, but I think that before we spend too much time adding new noteheads to the list, we need to fully define what said list is going to look like. And not at the whims of myself like before (I never got any real objections to what I did), but of a "group" consensus. (Perhaps use Skype or Zoom to have a round table discussion.)

From there - and with the idea of not just integrating Virtual Drumline, but any VST enabled library - I have a growing list of implementation ideas/possibilities. For example, VST patch autoloading would be a big one, but I'm sure that could be much further down the road. Let's get general note input and playback going first. (Again, I have a growing list of "best case scenario" ideas.)

Anyway, looking forward to the discussions.

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