Ambiguity in some abbreviations in English

• Jul 10, 2018 - 07:04

Soprano, Alto, and Baritone Bugle appear abbreviated in English as Sop, Alt, and Bari, without any clue as to the fact that they refer to bugles and not to the vocal parts. I think it should be fixed.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yes, but there are other cases where there are also soprano, alto, etc. versions of an instrument and some clue is provided in the abbreviation as to which instrument family they refer to.

In reply to by fmiyara

OK. Too late for 2.x, but could get changed for 3.0.

for 2.x we can only change the translation on transifex, including those for en_US.
And I have done that right now (for en_US, en_UK and de).
And also changed "Contra" for "Contrabass Bugle" to "Cb. Bu."
And at is the PR to get this changed for 3.0

Edit: PR got merged, so it will be corrected in 3.0. Until then, for 2.3(.1), it needs to get fixed in the translations on Transifex

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I don't have my copy of "Behind Bars" handy, but that's often a good starting point. Not sure if she covers these instruments, though. So I'd instead do some Google searches to find published scores. Experience has shown that common snese has little to do with how standards develop for instrument naming :-)

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Experience with published scores has taught me that there are so many instruments that you get an inconsistent abbreviation for instruments from one score to another, and at times within the same score and even in the same movement!

I suggest, that unless there is a standard found (like SATB) that we not get too wrapped up in the proper abbreviations and leave it to the user to change them to avoid ambiguities.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I completely agree that if there are authoritative references that address the problem we should stick to them. However, this problem arises in cases of instruments that are not so frequently used so it is very difficult to find (if it does exist at all) normative information.
I've searched on IMSLP and there are very few examples of bugle scores. The most representative of this kind of situation is this arrangement of a motet:…
In this case the abbreviations have to do with parts, they are C, Q, A, T, B, and are related to the original parts. As there are no other instruments appart from the bugle family, there is no need to make it explicit in the abbreviation, but if the score featured, for instance, a tenor singer, then to avoid ambiguity the tenor bugle abbreviation would need to include some clue.
As Mike said, the abbreviation proposed by MuseScore to the engraver is just a starting point and can be changed. If we received several complaints making it evident that we failed at chosing the standard abbreviation, the next version could fix that. In the meantime, common sense aided by some knowledge of the philosophy behind abbreviations could do the job.

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