accidental on trills too small for performers to read

• Jan 10, 2019 - 19:51
Reported version
S5 - Suggestion

More or less the title, really.

I went ahead and printed out a part from the Dvorak score I had been working on, and the accidentals on trills are very small. I would suggest that we make them regular size - not smaller than normal accidentals - and put them in front of the trill, not on top. This notation has been used by highly regarded publishers like Barenreiter.


Correct notation doesn't mean much of the performers have trouble seeing it.

Not sure if the type here is supposed to be performance. It's certainly not user interface or experience.


Status active by design
Workaround No Yes

Accidentals on trills and other ornaments are usually a bit smaller than normal size. I can't find a textual quote explicitly supporting this in Elaine Gould's "Behind Bars", but it is certainly true in all of the figures in that book that show accidentals on ornaments, including the one on p.85.

In any case, MuseScore doesn't allow accidentals to be added to trills (or to any other ornaments for that matter). The usual workaround is to add the accidental as staff text, which gives the correct appearance but doesn't affect playback. If you added an accidental this way then you can make it bigger simply by increasing the font size.

A better workaround is to add an invisible silent note in Voice 2. You can make the invisible note sharp, flat or natural as required, and then drag the accidental to move it next to the trill (keep the accidental itself visible obviously). This is a "real" accidental, so it will modify the key signature of subsequent notes in the measure thereby changing the sound of the trill. The accidental will be normal size, but I recommend enabling the "small" checkbox in the Inspector because accidentals on ornaments are indeed supposed to be smaller than normal. Don't forget to make the invisible note silent by unchecking the "Play" checkbox in the Inspector.

In reply to by shoogle

Workaround Yes No

I don't know what you're talking about. There absolutely are accidentals on trills. I swear on at least one version, they played them back, but I'm not talking about playback, I'm talking about notation. And I'm not talking about them being normal size, either. I'm saying that the size they are now is too small to read, using the MOLA standard to set sp to 1.5 mm, you can't read the accidental attached to the trill.

If you'll look, the accidental in the score picture I provided - the trill is indeed smaller than the key signature. But you can read it.

Attachment Size
trill.mscz 7.54 KB

Accidentals can be added to trill lines from the lines palette, but not on trills from the articulations palette. The accidentals on trill lines look microscopic and don't affect playback, but accidentals on trill lines look microscopic on most published scores I've seen.

In MS3, very zoomed in

Actual printed part, camera a foot and a half(bit less than half a meter) away:
laptop is 15 inch, mouse is mouse-sized.

There is no way to edit the size of the accidental.

Lol, even the camera can't tell if the trill is natural or sharp from a foot and a half away...

@mike320, that's why I included a pic of the Barenreiter score. Barenreiter is a gold standard publisher, and they've figured out a way to make it readable. We should imitate them. Accidentals don't need to be so micrscopic as to be useless. move them in front of the trill and make them a bit bigger. Still smaller than the key signature, but big enough to actually read without finding a magnifying glass.

There is no point in including a notation if its not readable.

In reply to by Laurelin

I agree with you. I should have made that clear. My real point was that if my scanned PDF isn't clear, I sometimes have to use analysis to see which accidental is applied, especially if it's not a flat. These accidentals are one of the few things you can't change the size of. Of course you could use Shoogle's method to add a full sized accidental and then you get proper playback also.

> Accidentals can be added to trill lines from the lines palette, but not on trills from the articulations palette.

Thanks for pointing this out. I didn't know it was possible because it doesn't work with accidentals from the toolbar, only with ones from the accidentals palette. This is probably a bug.

Unfortunately the implementation is not ideal, because (a) it doesn't affect playback, and (b) for certain lines/ornaments it needs to be possible to add accidentals below the line/ornament as well as above it, depending on which note the accidental is supposed to modify.

Honestly, I'd do that. But I have a full(too full) workload right now, and has anyone else noticed that Qt requires 70 GB? Is there a reason I can't build on jGrasp or Notepad++?

But yeah, I wasn't putting anything playback associated on Issues, because my experience has been that playback issues get dismissed. Thought this might not, though.

Playback issues have never been dismissed, but they got a low priority, as the primary goal of MuseScore is notation.
NotePad++ is not an IDE, nor a build tool chain, but a text editor as far as I know. No idea what jGrasp is, but Qt is definitly needed for building MuseScore