Roman Numeral Analysis

• Dec 7, 2019 - 22:29

When I heard MuseScore was to support Roman Numeral Analysis (RNA), I thought "great". Now I'm not so sure.

I've been using Roman numeral chords for some time - around four decades actually. I’d been using MuseScore’s standard chord feature for the Roman numeral chords. But I haven't been using them in exactly the way described in the wikipedia article:

I suppose what I've been doing, is using the best bits of RNA and applying the KISS principles described here:

So the arcane and complex notation of chord inversions derived from figured bass is out. And instead the 1st inversion is denoted with “b” and the 2nd inversion with “c”. I’d not invented that way of notating it. And looking about the internet generally, it seems many other people use that simpler method of notating inversions using Roman numeral chords.

With MuseScore RNA, is there a way of entering chords like: Ib without MuseScore changing the b into a flat? Or should I ignore RNA, and enter simple Roman numeral chords as standard MuseScore chords like I have until now?



As with wine, music, and art, tastes differ, and some people (like me) think that 6 is lot more useful and interesting and SIMPLE (i.e., direct) than "b", and readily extends to any type of chord. That the second inversion contains a sixth and a fourth is a lot more relevant to how it must be treated than being labelled "c" in an arbitrary catalog. As I said, de gustibus non disputandum.

The "b" and "c" thing is, apparently, something used in a small number of mostly British textbooks; I ahd never seen it before. If you aren't needing the standard formatting for 6, 64, etc, you probably don't need the Campania font, then, so you could just set the font for RNA to be FreeSerif. But if there are other things Campania does that you do want (like turn "b" into a flat sign before the Roman numeral, you can still suppress that conversion elsewhere by preceding the "b" with a backslash. Same for any other character you don't want interpreted in the standard way.

In reply to by D Harris

No doubt, websites created by people who learned using British textbooks :-). Yes, I've a handful of sites. It's very much a minority, though - like BSG, I've been doing this for decades and had never seen it before last month. Lots of other variations I have seen for sure, but not that one.

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