MuseScore Drumline - Using MDL Rails
What are MDL Rails?
MDL Rails are a single-line Orchestra Percussion kit for pairing with pitched percussion instrument.
Rails allow the ability to easily notate changes between pitched and un-pitched percussion responsibilities for front ensemble performers, such as a marimba part that includes suspended cymbal crashes or rolls.
What do MDL Rails look like and how are they placed?
MDL Rails are a small single-line percussion instrument that is placed above and grouped together with a pitched percussion instrument in the score.
Using the metaphor, both practically and visually, of the actual accessory rail on the field frame for keyboard instruments, MDL Rails show the responsibility notated for the performer similar to the way they might actually play - both logically and physically.
The example below demonstrates a suspended hit, tambourine hits, and a suspended cymbal rolls for a marimba player. The performer plays left hand plays chords on marimba with right hand hits on cymbal and tambourine, before moving to suspended cymbal for the roll.
What are the benefits of MDL Rails?
MDL Rails not only communicate responsibilities more clearly to the performer, they demonstrate the often split simultaneous responsibility that is confusing for the performer and cumbersome for the composer or arranger to notate using previous methods.