Chords Play Automatically --- No!!!

• Aug 8, 2020 - 03:44

Just updated MuseScore. To my horror, the chords are playing...making their own sound. It's a feature that is automatically on! No, no, no. By default it needs to be automatically OFF.

I've made hundreds of scores with little bands playing to help the jam group practice our songs. Now, there's this terrible chord noise disturbing the delicately created songs. Hundreds of them!

Please fix this "feature" or "bug" so that it is off by default. Pleeeeaase!


What I am proposing is adding a preference for the benefit of those users who do not wish to take advantage of the chord symbol playback on their older scores, to allow them to force it off. That way those who actually will appreciate and benefit from the feature can still get it automatically, those who for whatever reason wish not to hear it can turn it off. It's much better to have the default on, though, or else those - I believe the vast majority - who would have appreciated it may never even realize the feature is there.

This is a horror show! I use chord symbols as finger position indicators, and suddenly, the chords of the chord symbols are playing on top of my score!
And to add insult to injury, the GUITAR chord symbols are voiced by a PIANO!!!??? Why on earth a piano voice for a guitar chord symbol?

And where do you turn this off? It's not listed as an instrument, not on the Inspector as a choice for the chord symbol, not in Preferences, not in the Mixer, not on the style page for chord symbols.

There are so many things wrong with this implementation, I'm really scratching my head here. like before this update, every score ever created would need the notes for the chord on the score to be heard if played, and so how does it make any sense to automatically turn this function on with no method to turn it off (that I can find anyway)?

And not seeing the guitar fretboard diagram piano voice in the mixer?

In reply to by agfrag

"And to add insult to injury, the GUITAR chord symbols are voiced by a PIANO!!!??? Why on earth a piano voice for a guitar chord symbol?"

Of course. So unexpected...
It's equivalent if a piano score that would make you hear chords with a guitar sound. What would be the reaction of the pianists?!
See: #308077: Chords playback: Guitar "Solo" templates with default guitar sound

EDIT: on other hand, why do you "use chord symbols as finger position indicators"? Finger position indicators, i.e. ? (in my understanding, it's noted such III, or V, etc.)
Can you give an example (image: few measures of one of your score, or score itself), I don't quite understand this use case.

In reply to by cadiz1

The reasons are/were:

  1. It is quite likely for a finger picking guitarists to be accompanied by a pianist.
  2. Piano is the top instrument of a GM SoundFont.
  3. Piano is fallback in case of an unknown patch.
  4. Piano for sure can play chords! (unlike, e.g. a Flute, Trumpet, Singer)
  5. It can get changed, see…

BTW, also see #302714: Chord symbol playback: make global settings available in Edit Style dialog

In reply to by cadiz1

Some may, others may not. I don't think that 100% guitarists expert Guitar chord sound.
In a Rock band yes, but otherwise not likely
Pianists may expect Guitar chord sounds too

Piano is a sane default. The only sane default. And fits some 90% of the expectations I'd guess, being the most used instrument for accompaniment. And it can get changed with relative ease

In reply to by agfrag

For the record, using chord symbol to mean something completely different was never a good idea for any number of reasons, now there is just one more :-)

To turn chord symbol playback off, use the Inspector, and the "Set as style" button ("S" icon) to do so globally for the score.

The sound is in the Mixer, as a subchannel of the instrument (expand the channel strip to see the subchannels).

As for why piano sound, see Jojo's response previously, but I would add this: in the vast majority of scores using chord symbols, the chords are not played by the same person that is reading the notes. That is, you might have a part for saxophone or voice that includes chords symbols. The chord symbols are not for the saxophonist or the vocalist, but for the accompanist, who often (but of course not always) will be a pianist. Piano and guitar are actually the one main exceptions to this, where it is at least possible the pianists or guitarist themselves might provide their own accompaniment. For piano that's pretty common. For guitar, it's somewhat less so - It's actually still quite likely the chords will be played by someone else in any music that actually has notes for the guitarist to play. But I do are it's worth making that exception anyhow.

Anyhow, here is my proposal for what we should do moving forward:

That, plus change the defaults for guitar specifically to use guitar sound (all others continue to use piano).

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