Default to flats only?

• Jun 21, 2020 - 15:28

Is there anyway to have Musescore default to flats only when inputting notes.

When I am in the key of C for some reason Musescore defaults to G# and I never want the G# I always want Ab

Why does musescore sometimes choose sharps and sometimes choose flats when inputting accidentals in a key signature.

For example in the key of C --- it is Bb (not A#) but G# (and not Ab)?


I guess you are talking about MIDI or PIano Keyboard entry? No, there is no way to override the default algorithm for guessing spelling.

But I can't imagine why you would literally never want G# in the key of C. G# should normally be incredibly common - it would be the proper spelling any time there is a V/vi chord, and time there is an ascending chromatic passage, any time there is a #11 on a II7 chord, etc. Ab is also common to be sure - any time there is a iv chord, a bVII7 chord, or a descending chromatic line. But statistically, the G# is almost certainly quite a bit more common.

Anyhow, the algorithm is based on the circle of fifths: which accidental would show up first in a key signature as you move in the flatter versus sharper direction. G# shows up three "ticks" in the sharper direction on the circle of fifths (C-G-D-A), and Ab shows up three ticks in the flatter direction (C-F-Bb-Eb). So it would be a tossup in that sense, but the clincher is that G# is the leading tone in the relative minor (a minor). Ab would be disastrous as a default in that case.

In the case of Bb vs A#, the circle of fifths already gives a clear preference to: we see Bb after only one ticks in the flatter direction (C-F), whereas we don't see A# until we travel five ticks sharper (C-G-D-A-E-B).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Ok thanks for explaining. Yeah, I am not to great on theory. As a single note in the melody yeah I use G# sometimes, but whenever I have a chord in C it is always a flat (at least for my compositions)

I do appreciate the theory explanation though. I am slowly (very slowly) getting more knowledgable. Best of luck.

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