Support for Grade Levels in Pitch Range

• Mar 27, 2018 - 09:35

There are currently two levels of pitch range defined in MuseScore, defined by aPitchRange (Amateur) and pPitchRange (Professional).

While Amateur and Professional provide clear guidance for instrument ranges at the extreme ends of the spectrum, there are many levels in between that are well defined in music publishing (Grade Levels), particularly for winds and strings.

Adding ability to support specific Grade Levels in Pitch Range can better:

Assist composer or arrangers writing scores for a specific grade level
Categorize works posted to by level of difficulty by assigning grade level

Propose to add Ranges as an option under General Style with the ability to select and set desired Grade Level according to the following modifications to pitch range definitions:

Code Level
aPitchRange Grade I
2PitchRange Grade II
3PitchRange Grade III (equivalent to Amateur)
4PitchRange Grade IV
5PitchRange Grade V
pPitchRange Professional

Grade Level Definitions for Winds - UIL
Hal Leonard - Intrumental Series Guide - Grading Scale


I believe I understand the need but I don't see a good way to implement this and keep MuseScore interface clear and easy to use. Also, I don't think a lot of people would use the additional possibility to change the grade but let's me try to understand how you see it.

Can you explain more in details how you see it working in the UI ? General style is about the whole score. Do you mean you would want to select amateur and professional range from a list of 6 ranges for the whole score?

For example, in instruments.xml trumpet has 6 ranges defined, violin 4 from the 6, voice only 2 (amateur and pro like in 2.2).
I create a score for trumpet + violin + voice. In General style, what do I see ? What can I choose? What's the effect on the score exactly?

It's an interesting idea. There is another aspect of this that comes up from time to time and strikes me as being at least as important, and that is making a distinction between what depends on the skill of the player and what depends on the particular model of the instrument. For example, some baritone saxophones have a low A, others don't, so it doesn't matter if you are amateur or professional, the "A" is either playable or not. Similar for high F# on tenor saxophone (well, it's always playable using altissimo), and extensions providing extra low notes on some flutes, basses, etc.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I talked it through via chat with Daniel. The way he sees it is to add 6 grade ranges per instrument in instruments.xml and have in style a way to define a "max grade". All instruments in the score will then use this "max grade" to define their range. Style could even define two max grades, to map the amateur and professional... Not sure how to articulate this with the current Staff Properties UI though. Daniel?

In reply to by lasconic

In the UI (staff properties...) change the Amateur or Professional button to a drop down with 6 options. Make the ranges dynamic so they update to the grade being displayed. Forthe score view unless you replace the other grade with a second drop down that determines the desired grade of the score and have the professional and amateur colors change in preferences to change color when the score is above the selected grade. Make both defaults for the drop downs professional.

In reply to by mike320

I think that makes quite a lot of sense. Definitely agree regarding default set as professional.

As a point of reference, Hal Leonard defines these levels by years of playing experience:

I = Very Easy - (1 year)
II = Easy - (2 years)
III = Medium - (3-4 years - Current "Amatuer" level)
IV = Medium Advanced - (4-5 years)
V = Advanced - (5+ years)
P = Professional

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Tossing in my own 2 cents on this, I have recently been composing quite a bit for band, and would find it EXTREMELY helpful (as a lifelong pianist who could immediately play all 88 keys right from the start!) to be able to compose specifically for a given grade without having to audit every instrument's part "manually" to be sure it fits within that grade's playability range.

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