transcribing chant, where many words are sung on one note

• May 28, 2020 - 01:14

Often in Orthodox chant, many words are sung in succession on the same note. I have seen it transcribed to western notation with the first word written under the desired note and the ensuing words written with no notes above until you reach the point that the melody changes. Is it possible to accomplish that with musescore? Writing a bunch of 8th notes does not serve to correctly express how it is to be sung. I have attached a piece which has examples of what I've described.

Also, is there a way to write the music with no time signature? (Also in the attached piece)

Thank you,

Attachment Size
OM-Bless-102-rejoice.pdf 54.64 KB


I have used MuseScore to notate pieces of unmeasured chant, and here's the best ways I've found:

1) To set multiple words under a single note (m 4 in your score).: choose a note value for the pitch of the reciting tone (usually a whole-note or a double whole-note (breve)). With Ctrl-L, add text: when you break between words or syllables, make sure you type Ctrl+spacebar (for word breaks) or Ctrl+dash (for syllable breaks), otherwise the text will advance to the next note. Musescore will try to center the whole text under the note, so you'll have to do a little adjustment on the placement to get it to look right.

2) As you can see, there are multiple ways to notate unmeasured music. Personally, the way I've found best is this: you can delete the time signature--this will automatically set the "nominal duration" to 4 quarter-notes. Right-click on the measure, and under "Measure Properties," adjust the "Actual Dduration" to whatever you need (in m.1 of your score, it would be 14/4). You'll have to do this for each "measure"--i.e. between each set of barlines.

Under "Staff/Part Properties" (the same right click), you can also choose stemless noteheads, if you prefer that style of chant notation.

Does this help?

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