Colored notes

• Aug 9, 2018 - 03:47

Hello, friends.

Thank you for your super program.

I understand the feature that reveals all notes outside of the instrument range by means of color. That option is useful, and it can also be disabled in the Preferences.

However, there is something that causes different voices to appear in different colors, which is a feature that I never use. In fact, it seems that sometimes when I print my sheets in black-and-white, these colored notes appear in gray.

Consequently, I would like to disable that feature PERMANENTLY, but I cannot find how to do it, if it is even possible. I do not want to have to remember to re-color my sheets in black, by means of the plug-in, every time I import and edit a new sheet. I already have too many changes to keep up with, such as changing the key, the time signature, keeping notes within range, etc., and the last thing I need is one more routine task, such as re-coloring the notes in black, by means of the plug-in, every time I edit a new sheet made by another person. I would rather make the change globally, once and for all, by means of a permanent setting in the preferences.

My suggestion, then, is to please allow this option in the preferences, to show all voices in the same BLACK color.


By default, the only time voices are shown in a color besides black is when the voice is selected. If you have nothing selected, then all of the notes should be black. When you print, the notes are supposed to print black, even if they are out of range for the instrument or in a voice besides 1. Perhaps you should attach a score that prints the notes in gray.

To be clear: the colors for voices never ever print. Nor do they export to PDF, nor do they even show on screen except while the elements are selected. So if you are seeing notes that are anything but black in a print, it must be because the person who created the score actually changed the color of those notes, not because of anything MuseScore did automatically. You should never need to change color of notes unless you want them something other than black.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Hello, my dear friends. It is very kind of you to help, and your other posts on the forum have been very helpful to me, as well.

I have uploaded two samples that I just came across. In answer to the hypothetical explanations offered so far, I say:
1. I have used no plug-in to color notes, but rather only to restore them to black.
2. I think that these files were imported originally as MIDI files, if that is any help, rather than created with color by another MuseScore user, for example.
3. When I export them to PDF, the colors are retained, I guess, because...
4. The colored notes always print in shades of gray, making them somewhat illegible.

As they only appear in color on the screen when one of the notes is selected, I often forget to re-color them black, and sometimes never catch it until it has already been printed and filed for use.

Please see two sample files attached below.

In reply to by Shoichi

Yes, Shoichi. I understand. In my case, if I open the file, even with the option UNchecked, I still have some colored notes. In fact, it seems to be an issue related to voices, rather than to range, as there are several colors involved. See the screenshot of how the first file uploaded looks on my system (not the version that you corrected, which, of course, looks black on my system, as it does on yours.)

Attachment Size
ScreenShot001.jpg 117.52 KB

In reply to by ErikJon

Incidentally, as Marc asked whether I had any unusual system configuration settings, I might add that, what I usually do, is to import an existing MIDI file from unknown online sources, save it as sheet music, delete any instruments that do not contain the main melody, and then transpose the part to a key suitable for saxophone or clarinet. I then re-name the "part" manually (e.g., clarinet) without taking into account any default system settings regarding the concert key, the native instrument key, etc. In other words, if the bassoon was the only part playing the melody on the original score, I have deleted all the other parts, kept the basson, renamed it "clarinet" or saxophone" and transposed it globally.

In fact, for what it is worth, I will mention that I sometimes import a MIDI of only the piano part, and then I either delete the lower staff altogether, or else convert the lower staff to a treble cleff part, so that my saxophones and clarinets can use it to play in harmony with the staff above it. I also raise or lower that octave accordingly on that lower staff, to keep the notes within range for those instruments.

If any of this affects the note coloration, let me know.

In reply to by ErikJon

The mscz files you uploaded have been extensively modified. You have done what you said to do to them. The colored notes really look like you (or someone) ran colored note heads on in. Some of the colors are inconsistent, but that could be because the notes have been changed.

When I import the file, it comes out all black notes. If you can import it again, and stop as soon as the notes become colored, we could help understand what is happening, but it must be something that someone is doing to your score. It does not come from the midi.

In reply to by Shoichi

Yes, Different colors, but supposedly same voice.
But, instead of resetting all the colors on every song, I wish to convert all colors to black, by default, without my interaction.
Thank you for trying to solve it. It is a difficult issue.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thank you.

Yes, upon importing the MIDI today, the notes came up black for me, too. I don't know how they got colored, two months ago, when I imported the MIDI the first time, if that is, indeed, how I received it.

Perhaps, as you say, this file was previously colorized by someone like a choir director. I did download some files from the MuseScore site, and perhaps the problematic files are only those, perhaps intentionally colorized.

Until someone comes up with a better explanation, I will just assume that this is what happened.

AT ANY RATE, please note that the colorized notes do, indeed print differently from the black notes, IN SPITE OF what MuseScore is supposed to do. I am not complaining, of course, but it is worth pointing out, perhaps as a bug report.

Meanwhile, thanks for all your suggestions.

In reply to by ErikJon

Notes print colored only if they get colored, manualy of via a plugin.
Notes that appear colored because being out of range, do print black.
MIDI import doesn't color note heads, not in a way that they print colored.
You must have colored them yourself.
I see no bug.
Unless... you can provide a step-by-step procedure that reproduces this issue

In reply to by cadiz1

Yes, I'm using Chord Identifier. Why do you ask? Does it inadvertently color the notes, too?

I have already been using the plug-in that you mentioned, to color the notes back to black, but my point is that I don't think it should be necessary to use a plug-in for every document, to re-colorize the notes to be black, when there should already be some settings that would keep the notes black automatically, and when, in any case, colored notes should never print in color on paper. Apparently someone intentionally colorized the notes, uploaded the file to the Internet, and I discovered it after that.

Thank you for the help, my dear friend.

In reply to by ErikJon

"Apparently someone intentionally colorized the notes, uploaded the file to the Internet, and I discovered it after that."
No. You can reproduce this display by applying this plugin on any new score.
I don't use this plugin (or maybe a trial a long time ago), and I don't know if it was the intended goal by the author - probably I guess.
Kind of: It would not be a plugin intended to display only the chords name, but also to indicate/to identify their composition (triads) via the colored notes, tonic in green, fifth in red etc.

That said, it's a plugin, as for others with their limitations or specific aspects/goals (and it's not a big deal to can recover all notes in black with two clicks)



In reply to by cadiz1

Note also you can avoid to use the second plugin to revert the colored notes by doing this on your score:

1) Select all (Ctrl + A), or partially/range selection
2) Click on "Set color" tab (Element Group) at the top in Inspector - image below.
3) Escape


In reply to by cadiz1

I have finally found the source of the problem, albeit not the best solution to it.

Cadiz was correct in pointing out the relationship of the colorizing to the "Chord Identifier" plug-in. Today I imported another MIDI file, ran the plug-in, and then noticed that the notes had just been unmistakably colorized by the plug-in.

Consequently, we have found the culprit, thanks to Cadiz: it is none other than this particular plug-in.

But, as for a permanent solution, I cannot avoid using the "Chord Identifier" plug-in, as it is extremely useful and fairly accurate, up until now. The issue was not regarding the number of clicks required to convert the notes to black, but the bother of having to remember to correct the color, every time I formatted a new score. I alreay have to transpose, remove certain instruments, and other things, and I have found myself overlooking the step of colorizing, once in a while, especially when the colors are not always evident.

However, I now see that there is a trade-off, since there appears to be no other way so convenient to add the chords to the score quickly and globally, unless I just use this plug-in, and then use a checklist to remind me to re-color the notes back to black, every time. It is not that I was lazy, but that I just wanted to know if I had overlooked a setting somewhere in MuseScore, so that I could speed up the workflow with automatic adjustments.

Of course, we have still not resolved the issue completely regarding why MuseScore prints colored notes of this sort, in black, I suppose, but it becomes a moot point once the notes are made black anyway. I choose not to complain.

Thanks, again, everyone, and especially to Cadiz.

In reply to by ErikJon

The reason notes colored by a plugin are printed in shades of gray is because black and white printers print them in gray scale rather than in color like they would be on a color printer. Some printers give you the option of printing in gray scale or black and white. In theory there should be no difference in notes if it is printed in black and white.

In reply to by jeetee

thank you, gentlemen.

I am not aware of how any plug-in can be edited, but I have downloaded the new version of the plugin in question. Unfortunately, it does not seem to load properly on my system, as it appears in the Plug-in Manager, but not in the menu thereafter. windows vista 32-bit

In reply to by ErikJon

If you started by downloading a ZIP file then I assume you extracted the files, otherwise it probably wouldn't have showed up in the Plugin Manager at all, but did you enable the plugin there?

As for editing a plugin, it's just a text file, so any text editor (eg, Notepad or Wordpad) will do the trick.

In reply to by jeetee

I still cannot get the new one to work, but don't worry. I will just re-color the notes every time.

There must be some other place to put the plug-ins, because the old chord identifier appears together with the "sp2" version in the plugin manager. I have been placing all plug-ins into the "plug-ins" folder, within the "MuseScore" folder, within the "program files" folder, but I have since removed all but the new one, and yet the old one still appears in the plugin manager, supposedly located in that same folder. I tried "reloading". I removed the "msc" folder for that plug-in, but it still appears in the plugin manager.

In reply to by ErikJon

Do not place files under Program Files - that's something just for the program installer itself. You should be installing into your own Plugins folder (right next to your own Scores folder, as pointed to in Edit / Preferences, under Documents/MuseScore2 by default). So first order of business - remove anything you've added there. Then see about adding what you want to the correct location.

If you continue to have trouble finding them plugin in the menu, be sure you are looking in Chords submenu, where it apparently goes.

In reply to by ErikJon

It seems to be working well. Thank you.

By the way, don't forget to upload your corrected version to the site, A marvelous plug-in such as yours should not be so easily neglected.

It has saved me hours of time on many of my projects, and is especially useful to those of us learning jazz improvisation, as we can use the symbols more than the notes below them. The fact that the user can even transpose your symbols, together with the music itself, makes it all the more useful.

Now that you have us users completely "spoiled rotten," I am waiting for someone to come out with a plug-in that will do the reverse: namely, take a lead sheet with only chord symbols, and create chords below, or arpeggiated patterns, with notes, to match those symbols. Imagine the versatility that MuseScore will have, once that is created!

In reply to by ErikJon

Incidentally, it is worth mentioning that not many of the fonts that I have installed on my PC are very compatible with your plug-in. Some of them just print empty squares wherever the "sharp" or "flat" symbols appear, for example. In fact, some of the fonts sometimes refuse to print these symbols, the first time around, but if I click on the chord symbol, it corrects itself. That may possibly happen in conjunction with other operations, however, so I will try to make note of the specific circumstances, the next time it happens, and let you know.

In reply to by ErikJon

This is a result of the font you are using no supporting the symbols. The shift 3 is actually a different character than a sharp. When you click it, it seems MuseScore redraws it using a default font, like the imbedded bravura, that does support the symbols.

In reply to by ErikJon

Someone recently made a list of external fonts that include most of the symbols. I don't have time to search recent activity at the moment to find it, but I would suggest you search accidentals in the forums to find it. It was within the last 3 weeks if I'm not mistaken.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Sorry, Jojo. I was trying to interpret the pronunciation based on American English spelling, and, in my ignorance, I forgot to take into consideration the European possibilities.

What does the "T" stand for anyway??

I made my own colored chords for triad chords for scales using red as chord I, orange as chord ii, etc...but only had the bottom note colored with the two notes black in a chord....then for the first inversion chords, I had the top note colored, and then the middle note colored for the second inversion chords so one can identify the chord degree easily for root, first, and second inversion for every chord triad....

I made my own colored chords for triad chords for scales using red as chord I, orange as chord ii, etc...but only had the bottom note colored with the two notes black in a chord....then for the first inversion chords, I had the top note colored, and then the middle note colored for the second inversion chords so one can identify the chord degree easily for root, first, and second inversion for every chord triad....

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