Ability to select the 8 on ottava clefs, to make it invis.

• Dec 12, 2018 - 02:11

Pretty specific reason: Horn players used to old style notation are used to having to transpose up an octave whenever they see a bass clef. Ottava clefs aren't used. So if I could use an ottava clef and just make the eight invisible, I could have both correct playback and notation. Hoorah!


Or the ability to create custom clefs. You assign the symbol then tell MuseScore where to put Middle C.

Using the ottava clef for Horns is very annoying to me.

In reply to by mike320

My inner three year old screams about how wrong it is every time I see it, lol. I've seen at least one score that had to go out of it's way to write 'actual pitch' when using a bass clef in the horns, because the transposition is so common.

And kinda weird. No idea why the do that - it adds ledger lines, instead of saving them. Horns are the specialest instrument of the orchestra, I swear. They aren't French, only period orchestras use crooks anymore, and they're about the only instrument people usually argue to forgive a wrong note on. Gorgeous sound, but very weird things surround them.

In reply to by Laurelin

I don't work with an orchestra and have actually never even performed with an orchestra. I don't count my year of violin lessons when I was 9 as performing with an orchestra. Too bad my new school didn't have strings, but I digress.

Most of my knowledge of orchestral scores and instruments is what I've seen and read. I've seen the Vienna Symphony on TV and the horns had crooks. I don't know how many other professional orchestras have horns with crooks. I know that most orchestral music more than about 100 years old is written for horns and trumpets without valves and the pitch of these instruments normally made playing the key of the song easier for the musicians. I also know that when I see a score from after about 1900 I need to analyze the horn part to determine if the bass clefs are transposing or not. Most transpose, but some don't. I have also seen the actual pitch note on scores before, at least there's no need for analysis to decide if it transposes. Of course I mean transpose an extra octave.

Historically all brass instruments were terribly underused. There are the occasional exceptions, the most obvious being Wagner. His use of brass is one of the reasons I appreciate John Williams. He uses brass like they're any other instrument.

As far as horns being forgiven for wrong notes, I think it's historical as well as musical. The historical reason is of course that certain notes were at best difficult to play on a horn, so close was good enough. On the musical side, their overtones are such that a wrong note is less dissonant sounding than the same wrong note on a clarinet for example. I've heard major second intervals written for the horn that could never be written on a clarinet. The same interval would need to be written as a ninth to lessen the dissonance.

I think the horn is capable of very beautiful sounds and I try to make use of it in my original music. By the way, I use the modern method of writing horn music on the bass clef that does not transpose. From what I've seen and read, this is the way it's usually done today. I don't agree that the old method saves ledger lines. In the modern method, C below middle C is written on the bass clef, in the old method it's written 3 lines below the bass clef. This is well within most horns' range. When I transcribe older music, I make it look as close to the source as possible. I put all of the notes on the the same lines and spaces as the source. I want to be able to notate this correctly also, but that's currently impossible in MuseScore.

In reply to by mike320

Vienna is fun to watch, because they aren't period, but they go out of their way to be special with all the wind instruments, except flute, bassoon trombone and tuba. If you look carefully, they use Albert system clarinets(totally different key system than usual), Wierner/Viennese Oboe, valve trumpets instead of piston, and Vienna horns.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_horn - this is a different instrument!

They tune differently, too - A = 443, not 440.

You can read about all the interesting differences here -

Horns being forgiven for wrong notes isn't historical, it's current, lol. Even now, when we are extremely exacting about professionals never screwing up - which is ridiculous and I don't like it - I've seen youtube videos where people will defend the horn player who had a bad day, because it is still a very difficult instrument to play - the most difficult brass instrument, certainly. And I do play in an orchestra... Horns definitely have more leeway.

I was actually saying that the transposition was odd specifically because it doesn't save ledger lines, it adds them. Usually a clef change is to save ledger lines, although I have been told by a trombonist to leave it in bass clef even if it looks like flute music.

The modern method is what you should use - it started switching somewhere around 1910, so music from then is a little iffy in interpretation. All concert band music is written the modern way.

Horns have a truly ridiculous range. The extremes aren't great for expressiveness, but other than that it's fantastic at both melody and harmony. It's a great instrument. It's just the anachronisms that surround it make me laugh. I know we called Wagner insane earlier, but you know, he was the kind that makes you great. Also the kind that think 12 hours of opera is a great idea, and is OCD enough to ask for people to switch instrument keys every couple of minutes - I assume for color - but hey, contrabass trombone. Wagner tuba. Seigfried's funeral, Ride of the Valkyries(though as a wind player, it make me want to twitch, not man machine guns on helicopters). I like Wagner. I like him enough to grumble at associations that Wagner did NOT have a say in, as he was dead at the time. I'm also annoyed that the Thor movies have yet to use his work. I mean, seriously. They used Immigrant Song. Wagner is just as metal, I promise.

If you right click on the staff and go to Staff Properties, there is a Transpose Written Pitches option at the bottom. Use this on the regular clef and you'll get the correct playback and the correct notation.

In reply to by _Fox_

If you transpose the horn in the bass clef as in historical scores, the treble will transpose with it. That's why we use the transposing bass clef. This is more desirable then using the transposing treble clef, which is the only way to get it to play correctly if you transpose the entire instrument.

I did see a bass clarinet part with this same transposition scheme once. It took a little to understand what was happening.

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