Kind text attribute is not displayed

• Feb 20, 2020 - 01:30


When importing xml files, MuseScore seems to ignore the text attribute specified on the kind element (example below, and attached) -- is there a way to get it to display the text?

Some other programs, including Finale itself, DO display the text as it is written in the xml file, and that seems to be the intention in the xml spec. For example, if I want to display a major chord as "hello", I should be able to do this:

[root-step] C [\root-step]
[kind text="hello"] major [\kind]

Finale displays this as "CHello", while MuseScore 3 displays this as "C"

Attachment Size
test.XML 1.63 KB


The MusicXML spec for chord symbols is pretty complex, and so is our parser, but they don't always play nicely together. I agree in an ideal world we could handle that, but realistically, we can only support kind texts that we can also parse and understand, and we can't understand "hello" as meaning major. For major chords, we can understand and thus import a kind text of M, ma, Maj, etc, but not "hello". That's because there would be no way to preserve this info if the chord symbol is later edited, or indeed, if the score is then saved. Similarly, for minor chords, we can honor a kind text of m, mi, min, etc., but not "goodbye". So we had to make a choice - honor the text versus honor the actual kind. In general, we choose preserving semantics where there is question or conflict.

Feel free to submit this to the issue tracker, and perhaps someday this could be reconsidered, I suppose an import option to control this would be possible. You'd lose the recognition of the chord as major (or whatever the specified kind actually is) but would get the specified text. Unfortunately the spec gets more ambiguous or even conflicting when you have different kind texts for different attributes of the chord symbol.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for the good explanation! I was trying to determine to what extent I can expect to control how chords are displayed. On a related topic, let's say I wanted to use Nashville notation for chords (e.g. 1, 4, 5, 6m ). From the spec I might expect to be able to write something like this:

[root-step text="1"]C[/root-step]
Because I read.... "The root-step text element indicates how the root should appear in a score if not using the element contents."

However this doesn't work, it just displays C (in Finale also).

In reply to by apeckover

Unfortunately I don't think MusicXML really deals with Nashville notation. It sort of deals with Roman numeral analysis, but in an incomplete way that basically make it useless. What Nashville notation and RNAV have in common here is they aren't just alternate ways of displaying a root, they need to also be aware of key but not transpose. So you can certainly use the built-in Nashville and RNA features in MuseScore, but don't expect anything out of MusicXML import or export from them.

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