Showing tuning

• Jun 18, 2019 - 00:22


I was wondering if you guys could implement the tuning of every instrument in Musescore. It is sometimes very difficult to figure out what the different instruments are tuned in. Now, i know you have doe this to most of the instruments, but for an example; the tenortrombone. i have no idea what that is tuned in. C, maybe? And the same with the flute. What is that tuned in. no clue, but the clarinet is tuned in B flat, nice to know. This might just be becuase that there is only one "real" tuning for the flute, but i certainly know that there is more tunings for the tenortrombone. So my suggestion is as follows; can you please implement a littel note in the insturments tab that shows the tuning of the instrument. Thanks!


I've never heard of a tenor trombone that was not a C instrument. Valve trombones are the only trombones I've heard of not tuned to C. They are generally tuned in Bb and written in treble clef to make it easier for other brass musicians to transition to it. The reason instruments like the Clarinet have their tuning mentioned is that A and Bb are very common, Eb is less common but not rare and C exists but is rather rare. These tunings are the only way (in English) they are commonly distinguished from one another.

If you want to know the tuning of an instrument, then you can look in the staff properties and the tuning adjustment is indicated there for when the staves are shown in transposed pitch.

One point of confusion is that how an instrument is "tuned" is not necessarily the same as whether music for it is normally transposed or not. A standard (tenor) trombone is literally tuned to Bb (meaning, in first position, the overtoneb series is that of Bb) but the music for trombone is typically not transposed - except in the British brass band tradition, where it is (and is written an octave higher as well).

Anyhow, MuseScore uses standard naming for instruments and standard transpositions. So clarinets say "Bb clarinet" not because MuseScore is doing something special, but because that's how it is normally done. Whereas the English horn is also a transposing instrument but traditionally is not listed with its key, I guess because there are not normally multiple different options for it. Anyhow, as mentioned, after adding an instrument, you can go to staff properties to see its transposition, or simply press Concert Pitch to see the results of the transposition.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Clarinets say “Bb clarinet” because you also get an “A” clarinet, a “C” clarinet (and others, all less common now). The flute is most commonly in C. Just to confuse the issue, you sometimes see for sale “C” flutes and “B flutes” but this refers not to the tuning but to the lowest note playable on that instrument. Trombones are Bb (brass band), C, Eb, F and further confused by the addition of valves to a lot of instruments and by the fact that their music can be written in treble or bass clef.

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