Key signatures for scordtura notation

• Dec 2, 2019 - 19:08

Hi, I am looking for a simpler way to add accidentals to a key signature which are below the stave on ledger lines. This is necessary for scordatura notation for string instruments. In the master palette it is possible to drag accidentals to below the stave, but they don't automatically appear with ledger lines.

I've attached an image below of what it should look like ideally. But there are much more complicated examples, with several accidentals below, so I don't really want to have to add all the ledger lines manually. Can anyone suggest a way I might be able to work around this?

Attachment Size
Kress_-_Trio_Sonata 1.png 11.6 KB


I would say that since custom key signatures don't affect notes I would create a picture using the image capture tool with a dpi of 360 in insert those. You can use notes with accidentals, make everything but the accidentals and ledger lines invisible and use that.

In reply to by mike320

Actually, as of some point within the last year custom key signatures do affect the score in some ways at least - they are honored both for playback and accidental calculation. I have no idea how that feature slipped in under the radar, but many if not most things do work. You do still have to do this individually for different clefs and different transpositions, though. And as indicated in the OP, you need to manage ledger lines yourself. Probably that should just happen by default, so feel free to submit that to the issue tracker.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

In the scordatura notation of the Bach 5th cello suite, in C minor, the A3 string of the Cello (normally C2 G2 D3 A3) is tuned down to G(3), and the high Ab of the key signature is cancelled by a natural; the A string becomes literally a transposing instrument. The note G3 can thus be played two ways, on the D string (in which case it must be written as G) or on the open A string (now tuned down to G), in which case it is written as A3. You cannot tell which is correct (or meant) unless you know what string the note is to be played on. While possibly great for cellists, it makes it impossible to read for anybody else. I "forgo" the scordatura on my rendering of the Sarabande (let alone that MuseScore can't hack it).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, I will add it to the issue tracker. Is it clear enough if I just copy paste what I wrote above?

I noticed that custom key signatures now affect the accidentals now when I transfered some old musescore 2 files to musescore 3. It is a bit annoying because I am making parts which are written in alto cleff, but are to be read as treble clef. It's a strange phenomenon of viola d'amore notation from the 18th century and I'm not sure why they did it. But I'm sure there are no easy ways to work around it! It just takes some brain work to make sure I am entering the correct notes! I'm am sure the feature would be helpful for violin music in scordatura notation, I haven't tried that in mscore 3 yet.

Thanks again.

Scordatura is completely hopeless in MS, especially if you expect it to be played back, or even manage the accidentals "properly" (it has to know what note is on what string when). Good luck.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

I've had good results with musescore until now. I have made a lot of performance material for music for viola d'amore. The play back is an issue, but the final score is always in sounding notation anyway. It's only the parts which need the strange notation, so proofreading needs to be done with an instrument at hand.

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