Chromatically altered trill

• Aug 9, 2019 - 00:09

I could very easily chromatically alter a trill in Musescore 2. Now, if I am wanting to get that same effect, I have to actually put in a silent note. And if I want to clarify the change to the trill, it is a bit awkward. Here is what I do when I put in a chromatically altered trill:

1) Put in a trill as normal
2) Add a note that I want it to trill instead of the default diatonic trill
3) Make the chromatically altered note invisible and silent

Now I have a chromatically altered trill that will play back, but it looks messy. So I continue on with it.

4) The accidental of the invisible note, I make sure it is visible
5) I uncheck Automatic Placement for both the trill and the accidental
6) I make the accidental small
7) I move the accidental to above the trill

And I'm done, I have a neat looking chromatically altered trill. But that is a lot of work for a single trill. Can you imagine the hassle it must be if I have a lot of chromatically altered trills to do this for every single chromatically altered trill? It would be nice if this was easier to do.

I can think of 2 ways of making chromatically altered trills easier. One of them is to have separate flat trill and sharp trill ornaments like in Musescore 2. Another one would be, since the Inspector has become more important to the user, to put in a section for trills and probably other ornaments too such as turns and mordents, in the inspector under Articulation that says Play Style, like you have with the glissandos and then selections would be like this:

Diatonic(Default for trills, turns, and mordents)
Flat(upper note is down a half step from default, for example D to E in C major becomes D to Eb)
Sharp(upper note is up a half step from default, for example B to C in G major becomes B to C#)
Natural(upper note is a whole step away from lower note when key signature dictates otherwise, for example D to Eb in C minor becomes D to E natural)

And then, if you select an option other than diatonic, you could code it so that the accidental automatically shows up above the trill or other ornament. For turns, you would need the cases of both upper and lower accidentals, like upper flat and lower sharp for example. And while that would be a bit harder to code, it would still make chromatically altering ornaments way easier than it is now.

Later on, if need be, you could extend the options to double flat, double sharp, and quarter tone trills, but for now, these 4 options will do. Anyway, this would make things way easier than the hassle it is right now, especially for those that have multiple chromatically altered trills.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yes,, I've had this need frequently, as has anyone who enters real repertoire. It applies also to mordents and turns with a sharpened lower note needed. My usual method is to put a silent, hidden note bearing the accidental in another voice in the same staff earlier in the measure, and use a "little accidental" taken from the master palette above or below the ornament graphic.

It needs quite a bit of user-interface engineering to do it "right".

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

I do something similar to you @BSG. I make the note invisible and the accidental visible then alt+drag it (to turn off auto place) where I want it and check small for it in the inspector. You way is probably better for layout changes, but I generally add these after my layout is stable.

I played around with a few ways of expressing and playing chromatic trills.
For display purposes only, entering the accidental in a staff text node above the trill seemed to work the best. For playback, I tried using a chromatically altered note instead but it altered the first repeating note instead of the second as it would in a chromatic trill. I also tried the literal approach, but muting the original note and hiding the underlying notes left massive gaps in my score that I am not prepared to deal with.

Eventually, I settled on using tremolo to replicate the playback (with a note that it should be a trill). Although, there is no difference in the playback audio, this is not an acceptable workaround as the two techniques are structurally different.

Attached are my findings, in case anyone is interested.


I find (using Musescore 3.6.2) that if you precede a trilled note with a grace note (or acciaccatura/appogiatura) that is altered, the following trill still plays the alternate note as if it had not been altered before. I hope this behaviour gets fixed in 4.x.

In reply to by prigault

Did you file an issue about this? If not, probably it wasn't looked at. Normally an earlier note or note in another voice does affect the trill, but grace notes indeed don't seem to be considered. in fact, in currently MuseScore 4 builds, grace notes break the trill completely. But the second voice technique works.

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