Clefs conundrum

• Jan 22, 2020 - 14:17


I've created a 4-voice TTBB score. Because voice instruments don't work well with shorter notes, turning the score into an unintelligible mess (not to mention that different pitches are sung to different vowels), I had to change all voice instruments to electric piano.

First of all, I don't understand why changing voice to piano changes bass clefs to treble ones. Why? Do pianos have no bass register? It's not like a piano is some weird flute or whatnot. I see no rational explanation for that kind of behaviour.

Well, okay. I changed the auto-changed clefs back to bass clefs. I entered the notes for all voices. Saved the score. Closed it. When I opened it again, I saw that the initial bass clefs were once again changed to treble clefs, followed by auto-generated courtesy bass clefs. Why? I tried removing courtesy clefs, changing treble clefs to bass clefs again... Nothing works. I save changes, close the score, open it, and see treble clefs with courtesy bass clefs again. Why would MuseScore do that?

And, btw, this is not the first time I'm dealing with saving problems. The single biggest problem with MuseScore is that you never know what the score is gonna look like when you reopen it. I've had lyrics disappear, I've seen lost changes, etc. MuseScore does too many things on its own, but worst of all - it changes things AFTER you save the changes.

I don't know what to do right now. I can't print the score with that clef mess it it. And MuseScore ignores any changes I save. Any help would be appreciated.


Indeed, change instrument is meant only for when you literally want to change the instrument you are notating for, not just to alter the computer playback. So it resets everything that would normally go with that instrument - the staff name, the starting clef, the playable range, the transposition, etc.

But FWIW, if I do that, then change the clef, then save/reload, I don't see the problem you mention. I recall a bug along those lines in an earlier version, because you are on the latest (currently 3.3.4, but about to be 3.4).

As for any other problem you are seeing where something change on save/reload - in order to investigate, we'd need you to attach your score and give us precise steps to reproduce the problem. In general, of cours,e things shouldn't change on save/reload. There have been bugs in the past that could in rare cases cause changes on reload, but as far as I know all the ones that anyone ever reported here are fixed in the current version.

I've found the Mixer settings, thanks. That should do it for my future scores, even though it's more difficult to look for the sound you need because the list in the mixer is not split into categories.

As for the score I'm struggling with. I tried changing the instruments back to default tenor and bass voices. But for the default setting for tenor voices is a suboctave treble clef. Naturally, I had to change it to a regular treble clef. Now, for whatever reason, the score remembers the two bass clefs and the higher tenor voice clef. But it automatically changes the clef back to the suboctave clef and adds a courtesy treble clef for the lower tenor voice. I'm lost.

I'm attaching the file. Maybe you'll be able to figure out what is happening.

Attachment Size
123.mscz 15.58 KB

In reply to by Akemu

It works fine with a score I create from scratch but this one indeed seems to have become messed up somehow, probably something went wrong during your attempts to change instruments and then change clef etc. Anyhow, I was able to fix the problem by deleting those empty measures then changing the clef again. Or, if you want to keep them (for an intro, I assume), delete them for now, then add them back, then change the clef. Actually, if you inserted the measure after changing the clef, that's probably where the problems started - MuseScore would be assuming the clef cahnge you made was intended to go with that specific measure, and newly inserted ones would have the default clef. I also see the barlines are a bit messed up (not connected) when I insert measures, which often happens for scores imported from older versions that represented barlines differently. Was that the case by any chance?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

No, the score was created from scratch, not imported (ver. 3 was the first version I installed). And I needed those empty measures for a piano intro (I use the M key to combine the rests) and to keep the original count. Btw, changing clefs is the first thing I do when I create a new score, for it's easy to forget to do that later on, so I don't think the problem was caused by my changing anything prior to changing clefs.

Having tried everything, I gave up and deleted the broken score, and created a new one, so I won't be able to try the delete-reinsert measures solution. For the new score, I used the SATB template, changed the clefs, used the mixer to change the playback instruments. So far, the issue haven't re-emerged. Thanks for you help and tips, anyway.

In reply to by Akemu

Coiuld be that toggling multimeasure rests is what triggered the problem somehow - we do maintain clef and other information separately for that case, and it can occasionally lead to bugs like this. Do let us know if you find steps to reproduce this from scratch.

Oh, and one more thing. I tried creating the score with electric piano right away. First, I had to delete extra staves because it adds staves in treble+bass pairs. However, any attempt to rename the staves leads to clef changes for the basses. Renaming a stave leads to clef changes? I'm sorry, gentlemen, but that kind of behaviour is beyond irrational.

In reply to by Akemu

Renaming the staves definitely does not change clefs. Only changing instruments does. if you just want to change the names, then change the names. As explained above, changing instruments changes all relevant attributes at once - playback sound, name, transposition, clef, etc.

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