Chord symbol playback: parsing chord symbols

• Jul 2, 2020 - 00:03

I love the new chord symbol playback in the 3.5 beta release. Is there a way to get it to recognize non-standard chord symbol abbreviations?

For example, I like to use the suffixes "j," "d" and "h" after the chord root to designate maj7, diminished and half-diminished chords. I've successfully edited the chord symbols file so that MuseScore recognizes my abbreviations and renders them correctly. Is there a comparable file I can edit so that chord symbol playback will also recognize my preferred abbreviations?


This is not currently possible. It's not really planned either, but one never knows, we are starting to think about what sorts of improvements might come for MuseScore 4. Meanwhile, you could always add the more standard chord symbol as well and make it invisible, to get the playback. But, maybe I'm misunderstanding. What do you mean when you say you have modified the file to the are rendered "correctly"? Do you mean you want to type "d" but still have it render normally, like with ma or M or triangle or so forth? If it's just that you've developed the habit of typing j" to get the triangle or whatever, I'd strongly encourage yourself to just retraing yourself to type "t" or whatever.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks, Mark. My abbreviations were ones I learned from Band In A Box; I edited my symbols file to be able to use them in MuseScore, as well.

Rather than entering the chord symbol twice and then making one invisible, I think I'll try reediting my symbols file so that when, for example, I type "maj7" MuseScore will render it as a triangle. That way I'll get both my preferred notation and the correct playback. Same for "aug" and the plus (+) symbol (i.e., type "aug" and have it render as "+" but play back correctly).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I tried several styles, Mark, before I found one (there may be more) -- chords_jazz.xml -- that displays a triangle when you type "t." (Note: I didn't try all of the styles, but the following don't render a "t" as a triangle: cchords_muse.xml, chords.xml, jazzchords.xml, realbookchords.xml.)

In any event, MuseScore doesn't play back a chord with a "t" after the root as a Maj7. For example, Bbt plays back as Bb, not BbMaj7.

So it seems as though I'm going to have to type "maj7" if I want the chord to be played back as maj7.

By the way, it's not a problem for me to edit the styles; I edited mine extensively based on your custom chord symbols tutorial a couple of years ago and would like to continue using my custom style file instead of screwing around with a "standard" styles file that may not meet my needs.

In reply to by Jack Berkeley

You don't need to mess with those custom files at all, they are just there for compatibility with much older versions. "t" works now by default, no need to even look at the other files. The carat "^" also works and is maybe a better hjabit to get into, since it also works with the Roman numeral analysis facility. Also, if you want a "jazz" style of rendering, still no need to look at those files - just select the "Jazz" radio button. ANd again, either "t" or "^" works with no further customization required.

As for playback, you do indeed need to explicitly add the "7" - Ct7 - to get the playback to include a seventh. That's because in some circles at least, the triangle actually means triad.

The problem with editing the styles is that you then get locked into the older files sand aren't able to take advantage of the improvements we make. For instance, none of those ancient files support "t" as you have discover. They also don't work with the actual parsing function that's been in MuseScore for the past 5 years; they lock you into needing to type chords exactly one way. And they don't work with the new facility to control the amount of superscripting, and they won't work with whatever scheme we come up with in the future to allow further editing of the rendering from within the program. Unless you need to deal with these files to get a specific result that can't be achieved another way, I strong urge you not to rely on those. I'm not staying there aren't special case reason why one might need to - like to get "stacked" alterations or whatever - but so far everything you have described in already complete supported right out of the box, no customization required.

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