Custom Music Notation possible?

• Aug 28, 2020 - 22:47

I do not like the standard (old) music notation... and the piano keyboard as well.
So I have designed more meaningful and comfortable ones.
How can I modify MuseScore (I am not a developer/coder/programmer) in order to look and perform as the shown Notation System?
Can anyone help me do it? Or maybe find it interesting enough and get involved to it, so we can finally make an evolution in Music?
Please, find the attached images bellow:

Pashkuli Keyboard B3 with logo.jpg

Pashkuli Keyboard minor 7th.JPG

Pashkuli Keyboard FHD.jpg

Plain Notation System_1.jpg

Plain Notation System_2.jpg

Plain Notation System_3.jpg

Plain Notation System_4.jpg


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I think that because it is new concept, maybe development might take a while or get ignored completely.
So it is not duplicate, rather... proposal.

Also seems that there is a missing feature in the forum. The user should be able to copy.paste the attachments (links) between threads so they do not have to upload them in each thread to illustrate a point/argument.

In reply to by jeetee

Of course new ideas need attention. Both in General thread discussions and more specifically oriented discussion as proper development (program implementation), design threads, GUI threads, many other forum threads.
I just wanted to point out a discrepancy in the forum features with regards to copy reference/attached images across threads!

In reply to by Pashkuli

Yes, and for such a purpose separate threads will makes sense; however as they all have a different sub-piece of information to focus on, it won't ever make sense to have an identical starting thread on them.

Furthermore I believe that MuseScore indeed should be improved to include other forms of music notation; such as Jian-Pu and that you and your system might benefit from such implementation changes.

I love the enthusiasm and effort you've put into presenting your notation system, but I for one doubt its usefulness for anything but the specific instrument you created. Having everything within an octave on one line with different shape noteheads seems harder to sight read (although practice makes improvements as with any other skill). It might be a good notation system for some score analysis; but other than that and the specific instrument created for it I doubt it'll gain any trackion.

I see from the other thread that you've found someone interested in working on this with you, so I do hope that you'll achieve what you want; and that opening up MuseScore to other forms of notation (which will happen at some point anyhow) can be of help in that process (do check out the pending Jianpu code change requests).

In reply to by jeetee

No one has been involved in working on this. The guy just replied there and sent me an e-mail to show him some documentation/design intention. He is not a developer, only a fan.

Octave is not a proper term. Renova is the most appropriate and of course when you learn all 12 of the note symbols there will be absolutely no ambiguity on which one is where in the renova span. It is like rocognising which month is consecutive to the next one or on a start of a season (quarter) or zodiac signs. It is the same by association.

It is applicable to any music or percussive music instrument in existence (including some micro-tonal).
For comparison, the standard (old) notation system is more suitable for the standard piano/xylo and absolutely inadequate for a lets say saxophone or guitar.

Example: which one is this note?


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Precisely! That is my point. Standard music notation is ambiguous.
With 12 names/letters/notehead symbols the reader will and always be able to recognise any note or cluster of notes.
No key sig, no clef or accidentals needed for the precise recognition to happen. Save time, space and eliminates ambiguity.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yes, but that is possible anyway.
Can I name them without accidentals being involved? Can I use custom, 12 unique notenames (letters)?
Notenames is just a "cosmetic" visual representation anyway.

My notation is a complete overhaul, total modification, conceptual transformation of the way we see Music notation, we think about "theory and its elements".

In reply to by Pashkuli

I was in music school in the early 1970's. At that time midi was new. It was believed by those that developed it that it would replace live musicians. New notations systems were springing up left and right. All claiming to be superior to the"old" system. Tonality, itself was worn out and dead. Yet, little has changed.

I have nothing against MuseScore being able to work with different notation systems. Different systems make sense to different people and are useful for different reasons. Your example using a single note to show how ambiguous the "old" notation system is, seems a bit thin. We know two things about the note you posted: We know duration and that it is on the middle line of a staff. Surely, not very useful by itself. If we take a single note from your system, we also know two things about it: We know duration and pitch. Knowing the pitch gives us more information, but both notes, by themselves, are pretty useless. Neither note tells us what the transposition is. You are fine building a completely different keyboard layout. Are we to also replace every instrument out there to suit your system, so that transposition isn't necessary?

And this:
"For comparison, the standard (old) notation system is more suitable for the standard piano/xylo and absolutely inadequate for a lets say saxophone or guitar."
I am trying to understand this statement. Why is there a problem with sax. Many guitarists don't read notation that much. They read tab. Is your system better, or just different.

I know it seems like I'm being critical. You're welcome to go for it. I've just been around long enough that I've seen these things come and go. We live in a time where "faster and easier" are sometimes confused with "better". I am constantly told that it is faster to input notes with keyboard shortcuts, rather than the mouse. While that statement is true, it doesn't mean that one is better than the other.

In reply to by bobjp

"Are we to also replace every instrument out there to suit your system, so that transposition isn't necessary?"
No. That would be unnecessary... stupid, to be honest.

"Is your system better, or just different."
Both, I guess.

"faster and easier" = "better"
Not always, I agree. Disambiguation is what I am using as a proposition to claim it is better.

In reply to by Pashkuli

Don't be offended, but I haven't looked at details of you system because today it is of no interest to me.

Having said that, music notation has changed since the Renaissance. Some changes have been significant others quite minor. The changes that are considered acceptable today were accepted mostly because they were proposed by someone who had influence in music as a whole, such as Bach with his ornaments or highly respected publishers who made decisions.

The point is change does happen over time, usually a matter of a couple of years so it's not impossible that your notation method might be accepted at some point. As a saxophonist I never had a problem with how music was notated, even when I was reading tuba music while playing the bari sax. I disagree that there is a flaw in how music as it is currently written and that is what you will need to overcome if such a radical change were to ever take place.

I would actually argue that the current notation system is better for the saxophone than it is for something like the piano that requires a large number of ledger lines to notate the highest or lowest notes. Saxes require only 2 or 3 ledger lines unless you start getting into harmonics, but that's another issue.

As bobjp indicated, there are a number of notation systems used for plucked stringed instruments. I would argue that these are actually alternative music notation systems developed for people who didn't read "music." The end result is the same. The tablature tells the guitarist to put your fingers on these strings at these locations rather than play an F4.

As others have said, I support the idea of making it possible to use alternative notation methods in MuseScore. Anything the programmers can do to accommodate this as an option is something I would support, even if I never used it.

In reply to by mike320

it is about evolving.
Generally speaking the music notation has changed only because of the printing press.
More or less it is how it used to be written 400 years ago. If not even further back in time.

Do not get me wrong here, please. I know very well what Music Theory and score/staff Nomenclature and design are. What I did in my 20s was...

I just woke up one morning and said to myself: "Ok, I 'know nothing' about Music besides it has 12 notes to compose it in repeated clusters. What are they, how can I recognise them, how to write them, what should I call them". You get the idea.

Same happened to piano, that is why I redesign it. Then I thought I could design a completely new keyboard with features I thought were missing on the piano overall.

Pashkuli Notation System August 2020.pdf

In reply to by Pashkuli

Actually, I don't get the idea. I'm trying to understand what you find ambiguous. I understand the example you gave needed context to make it less ambiguous. This is true. As I pointed out a single note even in your system needs context to be considered music. I'm not sure I'm seeing any disambiguation going on.

As an aside, look at a string of notes on a staff. Depending on the melody, the notes are placed up and down the staff, and visually flow up and down (like a melody) whether you actually play them or not. There is pleasing (if you're into that kind of thing) visual aspect the the printed music. In your system there is pretty much only a line of different shaped note heads.

Maybe I don't understand evolution. I thought it meant a slow change into something better (better being a matter of opinion). Not a wholesale dumping of one system for another.

In reply to by bobjp

The only accurate visual flow of a melody/phrase/chord up and down the pitch is represented by the so called MIDI-roll. Standard notation dismisses 5 notes (calling them ironically enough "accidentals" or "black keys"). That is 41,7% loss of data for the "up and down" visual representation flow of your melody.

In reply to by Pashkuli

In response to your example: two can play that game.
Which note is this; what octave; which hand is playing it?

How does your notation system work for non-12-TET microtonals?

While it is true that recognizing shapes is something the human brain is quite good at, I fear that your shapes are too similar and too condensed for sight reading a piece. For example in the current 5 line staves, there is a good scientific backup of the human brain and eye being able to differentiate group sizes in the "blink of an eye" at 3 to 5 similar elements max.
Consider looking into a similar study on the effect of your shapes system to strengthen your sales pitch.

You've been wondering whether developers of MuseScore have seen this? The paid staff might not really care, as you've been made aware of by your friend already, the effort investment is simply not viable currently.
At least two contributors have responded to your threads, but at least for me, the same is true (not being a "believer").

There are still so many things to fix in MuseScore that benefit a bigger group of users (including myself) so my time-limited contributions will naturally focus on those, and not on your notation system.

However as I've mentioned before, MuseScore will open up at some point in the future to other notation systems and when it does, a "believing" developer could benefit from those changes to implement your system within the MuseScore software.

In reply to by jeetee

The original question was concerning only the note name of the note shown on the staff.
Which "octave", which hand... are separate questions.
· It will be an overkill to mark each note with a right or left hand symbol!!!
· It will be an overkill to mark each note with an "octave" symbol!!!
The note shown by you is G. The note name is Gu (in Pashkuli) (its "standard" equivalent is Eb, or D#; the ambiguity is ridiculous)
If in 'standard', then the note is G, note name is [ji:], another name is Sol. Hahaha...

In reply to by Pashkuli

You are aware that standard notation also allows for notenames to be inside the notehead? So again, that would make both systems equal in that respect.

The main point I was trying to ridicule is that it is easy to take out part of the notation information and then claim it incomplete. That holds true for any form of notation and context is always a requirement.

In reply to by jeetee

Well, those note symbols are as big as a wedding rings... not really practical. I do welcome the custom notehead feature, although the implementation is completely inadequate, but it is definitely an appreciated step in the right direction. Needs just a bit more ingenuity... hence, Pashkuli got created.

In reply to by Pashkuli

Welcome to opinion land ;-)

And with this I'll take my leave of the discussion. As mentioned, for me the effort/value gain proposition is not yet a positive evaluation with regards to my personal and programming time.

I do hope you'll find your believer to help you out and history will prove us wrong and right.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

this is a screenshot 1:1 from a A4 sheet of paper as it would appear if printed out on such a sheet.
The first note (upper staff) has a #G symbol inside it in contrasting white colour maximised in size so it almost touches the border of the notehead ellipse. Can you read it?!


Attachment Size
gsharp.jpg 34.18 KB

In reply to by Pashkuli

I only can assume about your purpose with such snippets. Could please give the information about the corresponding key signature or is it a mystery? For someone, he/she is familiar with it, it's more easier to read it, to respell it or to memorize the corresponding chords as to learn and to read a total new notation from scratch.
If you want to get assistance, I don't think it's the best way, trying to make worse the accepted standard of music notation. This kind of music notation is a common standard and with such examples and compare you'll rather get rejection than agreement. In my opinion as mentioned it's more clever to find an additional way above to introduce your music notation system.

In reply to by kuwitt

Can you see the clef? I guess you are familiar with the notion that once an accidental sign appears it is valid at least till the end of the bar? Hence the ridiculousness of this "standard" score. Actually the chords are pretty nice, but the score notation... why?!
To find what additional ways exactly and how? Last time I remember showing this idea at a conservatory gathering, they told me to become a professional musician (I think they meant academic licence or diploma) and then to make an offer to the chairman or whomever.

In reply to by Pashkuli

Sorry, I'm not a professional musician, so maybe I don't understand you correct. But music is part of my life for many years. The clef doesn't confuse me, it means there was a bass clef before the treble clef. Also the accidentals, from this snippet !!, some of them I would interpret as courtesy accidentals. As mentioned you don't told me the corresponding key signature.
For most instruments I'm using the standard treble clef or bass clef notation, except for guitar, there I only can play this with chord symbols or tablature.
For all these instruments for me I can't imagine to learn a new music notation system from scratch, but maybe for a new instrument like your's. So again, for me it could be maybe an additional music notation system, but at time it doesn't replace the accepted one.

In reply to by jeetee

FWIW beyond this inner discussion a side note: this is a good example how features were implemented in MuseScore and how the development works. Before MuseScore 3.x it was only available to add it via a plugin. But because there were several requests on it from users, someone implemented it in MuseScore directly, so that's now selectable by default.

In reply to by kuwitt

Many people use note-name-notes, shape-notes, etc. There are no features in MS used by one person in hope that the world will convert. If the OP is so sure that his brainchild will grow to conquer the earth, but has zero software engineering skills, he should have no trouble finding venture capitalists eager to invest enough money to hire a team of competent software engineers to hack MuseScore's source for him in exchange for some percent of the eventual licensing revenue stream.

In reply to by BSG

As I explained in another answer...
The Pashkuli (Plain) Notation System is so radically and evolutionary different than a standard staff, it would be a waste of time to try and tweak the code of MuseScore to fit the requirements.
Usually developers have this notion that it would be better to "start from scratch".
All I am looking for is a developer of MuseScore who already has interest in Music Notation, Music in general and Coding of such concepts.

In reply to by Pashkuli

Can I rephrase that as that you're looking for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of free software development work to develop a new application, during an economic depression? Good trick if you can do it! I have exactly those skills and interests, but you couldn't pay me enough to touch this.

In reply to by BSG

Nope. Incorrect. I have done all I have shown here without any payment. Took me... well more than 4 years, although the concepts were there back in the mid 2000s.
Also MuseScore happens to be free and open source, so it is not the main product but the surrounding services that gather some income for whomever is involved.
I wish I could code it myself, because that would be 100% certain, it will be done correctly. Unfortunately I can not code. I started learning coding a few days ago. Not kidding.

In reply to by Pashkuli

I went to graduate school acquire the knowledge and skills upon which I built a career in software engineering, not to mention what I learned working in the guts of two (now historical) operating systems. "Coding" is a euphemism for software engineering. it doesn't come in a box, you tube, or correspondence course. Good luck learning whatever you learn. You are pretty remarkable knowing that "whatsoever you do is rightly done". I can make no such claim about my own work, and need to reexamine and test constantly.

Again, you had trouble understanding my English. I did not say that you hired programmers in the past, but recommended that you might need to in the future to achieve your goals. You write English so well that it is hard to understand how you misunderstood that so totally. Please read it again.

In reply to by BSG

I think, I have been honest enough.
This is not a commercial project!
My keyboard (Pashkuli) is not a commercial keyboard and most likely will never be. My re-design of the standard piano could eventually become somehow commercially viable if some of the "big sharks" in the field finds it interesting enough, more likely not, because I hold the patent, so... they would not be willing to proceed unless they own it (my point of view for now).

The Pashkuli notation is not a commercial project as well. Actually it will be open source and available for all languages and people to feel free and change the notes symbols, names themselves in their native script and language, creative effort and concept! Then they will be mutually translatable, from any to any custom nomenclature and their instrument (standard or conceptual).

That is all.

Of course, MIDI protocol (translation) should be a main feature, common "language" so to speak, although I am more inclined to try out with OSC (Open Sound Control) protocol as well. Seems more flexible and modern, contemporary applicable.

In reply to by BSG

That is correct. if I ever wanted to do something by looking how to make money out of it or make it commercial, I would have either:
1. become the wealthiest man in Human history (by the age of 33)
2. be diagnosed depressed and suicidal (by the age of 25)
3. be in prison (no age margin)

We are talking about a new/unimaginable music notation (open source software), not about sensors or food.

In reply to by Pashkuli

Again, there seems to be an English understanding or thinking problem. I didn't say that it would be difficult to go commercial, or that you should or shouldn't go commercial, I said that if you don't, you may not be able to get programming help, and thus make your prototype. And maybe you'd have to put your messianic plan to rest.

In reply to by BSG

Forget about the keyboard. It is only to illustrate what I have in mind. Please, stick to the Music Notation discussion. It is more important (believe it or not)... because if it is done correctly it will make it possible for people of each instrument to make their own "notation" for their own instrument and it will be mutually translatable when you open the program.

In reply to by Pashkuli

What a terrific idea, have a separate notation system for each instrument, so no one can play music first written for another instrument, and there is no way you can play music for an instrument not your own unless you know them all or have a convenient digital score and own a copy of the conversion program, and theory teachers can look for work as burger flippers. At least Dr. Zamenhof wanted to reduce the number of languages. This is not a solution in search of a problem, but a problem in search of a victim.

In reply to by BSG

Incorrect. Most musicians I know personalise their own instrument and the way they play it, not to mention the numerous tweaks they do to make it sound different, or to completely customise it.
I understand this concept is way ahead of the conventional thinking, so let me explain it like this:
1. Open the program
· would you like to customise your notes to suit your instrument?
· shows a field where the user can import a diagram or projection view of their instrument
· assign (overlay) a note symbol to every place, spot, whole, length distance, etc.
· so when a note gets triggered the corresponding "assigned" symbols also lights up

  1. Chose your own clef for your instrument (globally) or
    · chose appropriate clef for each part, arrangement, bar of the composition

  2. Get it transcribed into
    · MIDI-roll (midi file as well)
    · standard (old) score (.pdf or alike)
    · OSC (.xml)

Challenging enough?!

In reply to by Pashkuli

I have played organs, pianos, and harpsichords all over the place for many decades, and have never, ever, felt the need to customize music notation for any of them. I have never, ever, seen a classical or nonclassical musician customize scores for their instrument (I assume you don't mean transcription or transposition) For what it's worth, I live on "Earth", a planet one of our great departed musicians called "third stone from the Sun", which is what we call our star. How many believers do you have?

In reply to by Pashkuli

"Incorrect. Most musicians I know personalise their own instrument and the way they play it, not to mention the numerous tweaks they do to make it sound different, or to completely customise it."


The only musicians that customize their instruments are electric guitar players.

Other professionals have invested 10's of thousands of dollars (all the way to millions) in their instrument. No one is going to drill a whole in their $100,000 instrument just to see if it sounds better.

In reply to by bobjp

I was talking custom instruments. Probably you have heard about the saxophone, invented by the same time (a bit later) than the Dreschke keyboard (the one I have customised, improved, re-designed).
Yes, the same saxophone used as a logo symbol in the word Jazz.
Open your eyes, please. People keep creating and inventing new things. It is not medieval times... although even then people kept inventing and challenging the status quo, state of the art and dogmas in that time.

In reply to by Pashkuli

There are a lot of pro's an con's in this forums thread. But again my opinion: As long it isn't a kind of standard notation I don't want to have it by default inside MuseScore. I remember on other requests of notation from other user, if all would be implemented, MuseScore will end in a big mess.
So my best advice is: discuss it on SMUFL, so that all elements are available there and will maybe implemented into MuseScore's music notation fonts and so maybe available as section inside the master palette. Take a look, if it's maybe possible to write a plugin for it or discuss the features of the plugin API. In my opinion is this the most realistic way to start with it.

In reply to by Pashkuli

"Example: which one is this note?"
No idea, because by selectively removing anything that doesn't support your argument (like the clef that appears on virtually all western music), you end up arguing your case against something that's virtually non-existent. So what's your point? By the way, a clef takes about a millisecond to read and positioned to the left of the notes, so you see it first, and because of these two things there's hardly any saving in your system. Seriously, this is like shooting a fish in a barrel with you.

Pashkull - I have only taken a very brief look at what you have posted in the OP. First, it seems that you have devised an ergonomic keyboard system. The keys are laid out according to the natural construction of the hands. Also, the keyboard is in the shape of a computer keyboard. That's another plus. This is a very compact and portable system.

This is worthy of a second look. Is this an 88 key piano? And what are the other rows of keys for? Is there some software that comes with this? I don't know how this keyboard would affect the notation. Can you explain this? I've downloaded your PDF file. That might answer those questions.

In reply to by Rockhoven

"Is this an 88 key piano?"
Yes, it is and it is shorter in width than the standard piano (my keyboard is around 85 cm. from lowest key to the highest. with all 88 keys present).
Rows are an illusion. The keyboard is chromatic. Rows 1-3-5 have the same keys, rows 2-4 have the same keys.
The keyboard is an evolution of the August Theophile Dreschke keyboard (a German engineer back in the late 1850s).
I designed mine more than a decade ago and then (actually in 2018) I realised that they have (almost) the same layout. I saw his keyboard in an encyclopedia of Pianos form the Cambridge University Publishing here in UK.

A little bit of software for a very specific functionality (pitch bend x4 polyphony), but it is not necessary for the general function as a piano/synth keyboard.

Please, have look through the .pdf and tell me what do you think! Really appreciate it!

In reply to by Pashkuli

Have you, or any of your followers, succeeded in playing and recording repertoire - Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Scarlatti, Bach -- Joplin -- on such a keyboard, works written with ten fingers on the traditional keyboard in mind? Do you have a video of what such playing looks and sounds like?

In reply to by BSG

It is not on sale or commercially available. Probably will never be.
I am only the Design Engineer, Inventor... whatever. I am not a factory owner, wealthy or having any connections into the industry of Music instruments (piano/keyboards).
I tried in the last few years to get in touch with Yamaha, Korg, Kawai, Casio, Roland... no answer. It is understandable, because:
· why would they develop something they do not own?!
· why would they "invest" in something no one has ever seen, tried, wanting to buy?!
· why would they show attention to something, potentially threatening their market share?!

Can I make it? Yes, with enough investment.
Have I got a market for it? Of course not!

In reply to by Pashkuli

I'm not saying it has no value, but until proven otherwise, it is a "new instrument", and there's nothing at all wrong with that. It is very similar to European button accordions, on which (Russian bayan) i have seen Artem Nyzhnik play 19th century romantic organ works incredibly well (but probably not note-for-note). More power to you, but it's not yet a "piano" until it can act like one, and may be of interest to many, many musicians, but not (amateur or pro) classical pianists. Heck, i wouldn't mind having one (electronic) to toy with. I might become a convert.…

I really like this idea. It has tremendous potential. Learning an instrument, such as a piano, requires much training and skill. This keyboard reduces the labour involved in playing. You can do much more with this keyboard with less time and effort. The stress and fatigue of playing a piano are greatly reduced because there is much less upper body movement. The motions required to play are far easier to execute. I see that the individual keys are actually larger than those on a traditional piano, yet the whole is more compact and portable. This compactness allows the player to perform the impossible, as seen in the video.

The more people out there who can play music, the better, and this device can open up the world of music to millions who might not have been previously able.…

In reply to by Rockhoven

Can one play on it the great piano works of humanity before this was born, or is that all obsolete European white-male-supremacist baggage we'd just as well let go of anyway? Or are studying and playing old works a silly waste of time, because we have perfectly adequate sound recordings of people who thought otherwise?

(The above rant is obsolete, as we are nearing agreement that this is a different instrument. Read below).

In reply to by BSG

I am not sure I get your sarcasm correctly, but learning a new instrument, requires effort and dedication.
That is why I am looking to "close the circle" with three concepts:
· redesign of the standard piano keyboard (shown above)
· offering completely new (uniform) keyboard instrument (surpasses piano manifold)
· new Music notation System (no ambiguity, less space and three ways of representation: symbolic, numeric and alphabetic... or combination of those, if it is desired and they always are interchangeable and always precise even to the point of voicing widest inversion of chords or intervals!)

In reply to by Pashkuli

If I can see a standard polyphonic work of repertoire, a Chopin or Schumann sonata, a Liszt Etude, (not the CPE Bach solfeggieto) played on it convincingly and accurately, I take it all back. I find it hard to believe that that can be done. If you can pull the rabbit out of the hat, I'll vote for you. But not until. If continuity with the past is as secondary a constraint as it seems, what I say stands. You should not need to or want to "re-voice" chords of competently-written classical music unless (for some reason) you are unable to play it as written, and even then....
You have every right to invent and promote new instruments, but the claim that it is an improvement upon a classical instrument is a tall order. A theatre organ, and the Hammond organ, are wonderful instruments in their own right, but not usable for real performance of Bach or Buxtehude.

I think that the conversion of the keyboard to something more similar to a computer keyboard is brilliant. This is not a piano. This is a new instrument. It's an improved controller for a synth. And it should be evaluated as such. This controller is what it is and it is certainly pointing us in the right direction - toward the futures!

In reply to by Rockhoven

"This is not a piano -- this is a new instrument". With that, I'm all for it! (I've heard Bach on brass ensembles incluuding tubas, btw, and I don't doubt there are cello suite movements on one out there.) I agree with everything you say here. I agree totally. New instrument. I would love to have a midi-controller one!

Pashkuli - Since this is not commercially available, what is your purpose in posting this information here? You want to develop this further so that it functions with Musescore?

In reply to by Rockhoven

And I haven't even thought about the "different notation for it", whether we think it a different instrument or not, whether that's a wise idea or not. As with Nyzhnik's bayan (organ-like Russian button accordion), standard notation is still the link to ALL Western repertoire and compositional infrastructure. Sure, it might have its own "tablature", too.

In reply to by BSG

But I think the OP believes that this instrument should replace the piano. Until one of these keyboards is built into a 9 ft grand, I doubt any serious player will be interested in this.
I'm still waiting to hear what is ambiguous about notation.
This can be treated as a different instrument and a different way to read music. Sure. But I'm having a hard time seeing this as a replacement.

In reply to by bobjp

I agree. At least the radical @Rockhoven, too, agrees that it is a different instrument. Piano music (and harpsichord) music of masters assume ten fingers that fit the usual way. If someone can play some subset of adapted piano literature on this new instrument, great, but it is still not a piano.

In reply to by BSG

There are certainly some ambiguities in standard notation; I can think of "hand management", treatment of unisons in polyphonic keyboard works, slurs vs ties (slurred pairs across barlines the worst). Details of ornaments? The lack of "fingering" is a feature. And the boundaries between score, execution technique, and interpretation/performance technique are tested. But it's generally ideal.

In reply to by Rockhoven

To get in touch with some of the developers of MuseScore and ask them to develope the Pashkuli Notation as at least a MIDI converter application: MIDI to Pashkuli.
If you know some of them, please let me know. I am trying to find/recognise them by name using online search, but it is difficult. I sent two emails (I hope the use the one I found) but no response so far.

I am so confident in my designs, I can not even look at the standard piano and standard notation anymore!

In reply to by Pashkuli

Regardless of the ergonomic merits of your device, why do you think musicians would want to play from your invented notation rather than standard notation? Real classical guitarists play from standard notation for the reasons I said, even though tablature is more specific to it.

In reply to by BSG

Because they had to learn it. Other musicians rarely understand Tabulature. Pianists certainly do not.
Most of the classically trained guitarist (in a Conservatory or such) know to play guitar from the standard staff, although it is even manifold more ambiguous this way.

In reply to by Shoichi

Not really. The only thing that I took from the Janko design (without even knowing it), is that my keys also do not have edges*.

  • to my surprise all Janko modern derivative keyboards have... hard edges!!! That is some 'design fail' i really do not quite understand why they did not see the best feature of Janko design - the rounded edges!!!
  • I explained already what is the best historical reference to my keyboard: Theophile Dreschke's keybaord


In reply to by underquark

Good point. I've been thinking about that, but let me tell you my considerations.

1/8 notes are the most predominantly used notes that appear quite frequently on scores, the staff... hence i tried to make them the easiest to write, spot on.
Also quarter notes usually mark simple beats: 4/4, 3/4
which comprise many other beats. Putting the stem line on 1/4 notes is a visual orientation of a beat divider.
That is it.

Please, also be informed that the 'rests' symbols might get some change in a few days. I will try to swap/mirror them for more visual connectivity.
w - whole rest, half rest will be its mirror image (flipped)
Maybe a bit cosmetic nonetheless but it is for good, I think.

In reply to by Pashkuli

How is this different from Dr. Zamenhof's attempt to invent a better language than ordinary French, English, German, or Polish? There are Esperanto speakers today, but "enthusiasts" might be a better term. Natural languages are flawed in countless ways, but all attempts to convince living humans to abandon them for some newfangled, "improved" contraption, no matter how much "better", have, without exception, fallen flat. Learning to read standard notation does not present an obstacle to most people with musical urges, even those born amidst cultures with wildly differing musical traditions.

Standard notation allows me to communicate with not only MuseScorians, but Palestrina, Beethoven, and Stravinsky. "Speaking" it all my (now long) life, I have never, ever felt, "I wish that notes were a different shape" or "wish there was a way to express ---- ". There is no call for square basketballs, no matter how wonderful yours are. A new instrument is a different matter.

A single-instrument score serves double-duty as a representation of the content of the work and also a script for performing it. When my friend Helmut posts old lute scores in parallel standard notation and tablature, the latter, indispensable to a lutenist, is useless to me; it gives me no clue what the music is about or sounds like, while standard notation tells me instantly. When I look at Tagore songs in swaralipi notation, I am equally in the dark (but that's not European tradition music). Standard notation is, as it were, the lingua franca of "European" tonal music. I can still understand a Bach or Scarlatti manuscript instantly. If scores for pieces for your novel instrument are written in your own private Esperanto, you will darken, not illlumine, the world. Well-called standard notation needs replacement as much as do air and water, even though purified, edited versions are readily available.

In reply to by BSG

Esperanto is a failure in inception. You can not make an universal language using subjective reasoning and transforming subjectively chosen already existing forms.
It is like inventing a music instruments, which can sound like any other instrument... Ok, maybe a synthesizer/sampler could achieve that in our time, but that is not enough as there is not universal way of playing those sounds: should it be from a grid, or a standard piano keyboard (like most synths)... but then how could you play flamenco with the synthesized guitar sound?

Esperanto tried to achieve this and obviously was destined to fail.
But Universal language exists actually. I know how to find it and prove that exists but that is a completely different topic!

I think you are simply in a state of "got used to it, so no time to change it" state of mind. That is understandable. But also if you look back in History on how this music nomenclature/staff and design came into existence, you will definitely have to agree that it could not be any more ridiculous than that!

Mind you that Pythagoras had no idea about Latin alphabet, he had no idea about the psalm "Sancti Joannis" and Guido d'Arezzo. He had no idea about church chants and melodies. ;) (as a hint)


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Plaque_of_Guido_Arezzo.jpg 660.57 KB

In reply to by Pashkuli

When I was little back in the precambrian, my uncle briefly became a distributor for a product called "no-bows", which were little gizmos you could put on your shoelaces to avoid tying shoes. Now, I don't particularly enjoy tying shoelaces, or scratching my nose, but these are part of life (surely, people with certain neurological or structural disabilities could benefit from them). But, by and large, not enough people said OMG, never have to tie shoes! what a blessing!. Just not enough. Fewer lines to write. My heaven, in all the years I've been studying, playing (organ mainly), and composing, I never said, Damn it, there are just so many lines to write! These are non-problems, just ex post facto marketing talking-points. Chinese has "more pleasant readability" to the billion-and-a-half Chinese than English. War has huge advantages for urban renewal; it was Godzilla's hobby.

In reply to by mike320

Do you remember the Segway, which was going to "redefine how we use cities", but mainly caused accidents before its maker went belly-up? Looked real good on paper, but too many people, a few billion, were just too used to the old way we used cities (yes, radical change does happen, e.g., the internet and pocket computer, but they were like nothing that was ever seen or any capability we had).

I hate to use the word "crackpot", but any proponent of a wholly new way to do what everybody already does now reasonably well should take that word to a full-length mirror and spend time checking whether it fits.

In reply to by BSG

Nope. Incorrect. Inventors do it all the time. Not when someone tells them they need this and that.
It is like saying to a musician make me this and this song because I need it.
Usually musicians do it anyway. Inventors are the same, physicist as well, mathematicians, open source programmers... craftsmen, artists...

In reply to by Pashkuli

Is English your native language? I said they first determine need, not "someone else tells them". You are twisting my words. Inventors, and artists, also know how to use the trash bin. And, in fact, many pre-romantic composers did produce works on demand (e.g., for church services), including some of our greatest treasures.

Excuse me while I find some yogurt so I can acquire more "culture".

In reply to by BSG

A 'need to create' in a creative mind is just a default state of being, existence.
Later other people (usually business oriented) hire them to do what they do best: create new things
English actually is my third language.

In reply to by Pashkuli

It's a good thing to invent.
So is hoping it will benefit people.
It's also nice to be proud to make an invention.
The invention should be instilled in everyone. So everyone goes further intellectually.

When you try to invent:

  1. Your brain works better, you think more analytically.
  2. You gain habit and experience to make other inventions
  3. You can also improve yourself.

But that is all. Because:

  • The likelihood that your invention will be generally accepted: Unknown.
  • Putting your invention into general use: Unknown.
  • The likelihood of your appreciation: Unknown.

And anyone can go against you, don't let that discourage you:

Try to do better;
Try to explain yourself better.

When promoting your invention:

  1. Do not underestimate the current practices being used in this regard. Instead, explain the benefits and innovations of your invention.
  2. Find a university professor who can support this, create a test lab, provide resources for this work and make it into a scientific paper.
  3. Create a test group together and have them try out the invention and publish the positive / negative results as a scientific paper.

My opinion is (not necessarily correct):
Your new Keyboard system: As BSG says, your keyboard is like an improved version of the push-button accordion system. There may be some musicians interested in this).

Your note system: According to me: Something between the medieval (TAB?) system and the Notehead schemes. And I cannot follow the melody line graphically in this note system. For this reason, it did not appeal to me. But there may be educators who think it will work.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Those are good points and recommendations. I have done it. I got the patents for the designs already. The notation is free (not subjected to ever be patented). The piano keyboard (the standard one) was free for many years, but since none of the "big sharks" sent me any response, I patented it as well (as of June 2020).

Pashkuli has nothing in common to the push-button (bayan) accordion. Actually they are completely different.

The Pashkuli (Plain) Notation System is not suppose to give you graphical representation of the interval distance between the notes in a melody.
In fact the standard notation system does it somehow good, mostly mediocre and actually ambiguous.
The perfect candidate for this is of course the MIDI-roll in any modern DAW software or standalone application.
The problem: it takes HUGE space, hence it is not practical for reading.
Of course, we are surely transitioning to screens of pads and notebooks and smartphones, so it should not be a problem.

My system is compatible with 1:1 midi-roll representation of intervals... (just mark the MIDI blocks with the respective notehead symbol, letter and you are done) provided we have the screen real estate.
The standard notation is not compatible.

In reply to by Pashkuli

What on earth entitles you to say "In fact the standard notation system does it somehow good, mostly mediocre and actually ambiguous." Are you in fact reasonably skilled on any instrument, and you find the correlation between shape of a line and its shape in score not particularly valuable? I've sat at performances of symphonies, cantatas, masses, Passions, etc with "traditional notation full scores", where the shape of what my ears hear corresponds exactly to what my eye can find in an instant with the same shape. And this is "mediocre" or something readily discarded because its foot doesn't fit in your "improved" shoe?

In reply to by BSG

Short answer: Yes!
See the example above: Which note is that note?
Please, do not confuse "methods we are taught to use" with "methods that are meaningful".
I can give you hundreds of example in art and science in that respect and why that kind of thinking is quite stagnant and frankly said stopping you from evolving, changing, getting more knowledge and seeing things from a new perspective.
Yes, it requires time to think, get informed, get familiar with, and above all - wanting to know. Time is what we all do not have unfortunately.

In reply to by Pashkuli

I get the "crackpot" concept. Thanks! Do you know what a triad is? Do you know that in standard notation if I see three notes on three succesive lines, maybe with another note on an adjoining space I can say all kinds of things about the harmony and counterpoint of the passage without even knowing what notes they are? It sounds like you are not literate in the discipline you are trying to overthrow. You cannot speak the language you are trying to extinguish.

In reply to by BSG

So what? You still need to know what the clef is, where... are there any accidental in the same bar previous to your tried notes... eventually checking what the potential natural sign (if present) has "naturalised" the note in question.

It is a mess. Just because you are taught and gotten used to using a messy system, does not mean it is not messy.

In reply to by Pashkuli

Right. This world is a big mess. I'd go get my brain replaced with a more enlightened one, but the service station is closed because of the pandemic.

What is your purpose here other than to promote your inventions, whatever their worth? You've already been informed that MuseScore will not support your private notation system. This is not a bazaar.

In reply to by Rockhoven

This what? You can use any music instrument with standard notation.
That is also my point... why musicians, especially "institutionalised" ones have never questioned the way the standard music notation and the staff came into existence?
Most people take things as they are, mostly because they feel educated that way, there's been the "authority" of "The Church" back in those dark medieval days, today it is the auditoriums of "prestige" colleges/conservatories... Why would you question it?!

I say: "Because it is ridiculous!", look it with a fresh mind and see how clumsy it is.

In reply to by Pashkuli

English is a mess. Spanish is so much more consistent, especially in its orthography and importation strategies. Whatsay we in the US and UK toss English y hablar en español? This is ridiculous. This sounds like Monty Python. "You people have used the Latin alphabet for hundreds of years just because your parents and teachers told you to! You cannot write the yeree sound of Russian, the `ayn sound of Arabic, or tell whether your "ch" is as in "charlie", "charade", or "loch". Enough with the Latin alphabet! Let's teach children to write in IPA! Who cares what dead grammarians thought?"

In reply to by BSG

Well, that was actually a pretty good explanation on why Esperanto failed so miserably.
English is not a mess, but... definitely can be improved on the path and direction to which it is heading . It is happening anyway as a some sort of "Esperanto" language because of it geographical spreading and flexibility/accents and dialect forms.

Chinese is going to take over though in the next hundred years... for the same reason (there is a "china town" in every major city of the world).

For a somehow political but also purely "inventive" reason, Hangul writing system (Korean) diverged from the traditional Chinese characters in use in Korea. Imagine the "well educated" Koreans back then having a dispute as we do it here.

With that in mind many languages can be improved. I am only familiar with English, Spanish, Cyrillic and all of them can be improved as a written system.

In reply to by Pashkuli

Pashkul - I would say the "authority of habit" rather than the "authority of the church." Though they are not mutually exclusive. You are not the first to question the logic and convenience of the standard notation system. You stand with the greats. Guido d'Arezzo questioned it and said "Hey. We should have a line there and the notes above and below." Musicians continued to do this up through Cage and Stockhausen, and to this day with Easley Blackwood. So, you're in good company. And people can use whatever notation system they choose to use. For centuries, musicians in the East could not understand the written music of the West. The fact that most of the world population could not understand the Western system did not deter Western musicians from developing their system, and neither should you be deterred.

For me, it is easy to see at a glance that this keyboard is superior in many ways to a traditional keyboard. I see that the keys have peaks, so a blind person can understand immediately that they are playing a single note. The fingertips can move just slightly and arrive at a valley where more than one note can be played. How is this arrangement of notes? I see by the arrangement of the hand in relation to the keyboard that the peaks are the root, 3rd and 5th. Do the annular and little finger touch the 7th and 9th? If that is so, then I assume that intervals that formerly were gotten by very wide stretches are now situated in these comfortable valleys?

I'm also going to take a guess at why this is not to be commercially available. The patent is on this keyboard design only? Then you experimented by mounting the keyboard on an arrangement of already pre-existing and patented components?

As an artist, I admire your ingenuity. You've created a work of art. We could all learn something from you. I'm interested in walking with you in the footsteps of the great masters - Bach, Beethoven, Ravel, Satie, Sousa, Joplin, Cage, Stockhausen, Ravi Shankar, Lennon & McCartney, Edison, Tesla and Elon Musk.

Long live the future!

In reply to by Rockhoven

Of course to build it I have used pre-existing electronics, connectors, knobs, power supply. I can not invent them any better.
I have invented the very primal, the immediate connection between the player and the instrument: what the fingertips actually touch and how the array of keys/notes is related to the movement of the fingers (especially the thumb, which is the finger that can move around the most), hence I have taken into account the actual topology of the human hand in order to design the shapes of the keys.
Then how they are pressed, also how an optimal pitch polyphony should be designed (×4 is the optimal and even the maximum from practical music stand point of view).

Back in the medieval days The Church governed 99% of the educational institutions. So, it was The Church.
Of course, I have dug long back before that time. Also sideways and across the globe.

Nowadays many musicians, home-producers mainly take for granted and use 99% the MIDI-roll as their score editor. Of course technology will change many things. I am just trying to keep up with the flow.

In reply to by BSG

What self importance? You have no idea who am I and I will never show myself. Where is the self-importance?
And yes... change is going to happen. In fact it is happening...

In reply to by Pashkuli

Pashkuli - You should engage with your supporters. There is nothing for you to defend or argue about. You are a creative spirit expressing yourself in a hopefully useful manner. At least you're not out shooting people at the mall! I do not think that you have committed any crime here.

In reply to by Pashkuli

Careful, Pashkuli, your anti-institutional and anti-education bias is showing. You make so many sweeping, inaccurate generalizations that it is hard to take you seriously. I know you believe what you say, but you have presented absolutely nothing to show how ambiguous standard notation is. You have been asked if you actually play an instrument. No answer. You have been asked for real examples of problems with standard notation. No answer. Well, one answer without backup as to why it is ambiguous, and how your system is better in this regard. You presented one note. One note does not notation make. You claim your keyboard is superior without any backup. Are you kidding me? I want as wide and flat a platform as possible for my fingers to land on. Not one where my fingers slide off.
This like the fourth time I've asked the ambiguous question. Why is your answer always, "because it is"? That gives me no reason to believe you.

In reply to by bobjp

Yes, institutions are forming the way we behave... and think. Well, actually it is the authority empowered to do it but my point is to defend the free way of thinking and creating and simply to question everything we see, experience, learn.
Yes, every music starts with a note (tone). If I can not tell which one is that single note... so what am I doing by trying to find out?! You would never question what should be read when you see a letter K or Q or... C (ok, I am being a bit playful here... showing some ambiguity in the Latin alphabet... but you get the point).

Yes, I play guitars, drums and keys. But I thing all music instruments are actually percussive instruments, hence I am better at drumming, then guitars, then keys.

Do not worry, your fingers will not slide off (provided they have not been oiled, greased or whatever). On the contrary, it actually makes you feel more secure on how strong (dynamically) your notes would be, even when pressing two adjacent keys with the same finger tip (let's say for the second interval in a dominant or maj7 chord, or in inversion of a min7). Or when you'd like to make a wide stretch just to tackle a high (or low) not with your pinky finger fingertip.

About which keyboard are we talking to: the re-design of the standard piano or about the Pashkuli?
* Pashkuli keyboard is incomparable to the standard keyboard: different layout, different shape, size, it has so many more features than the standard one.
* of course the re-design is better than the flat one

In reply to by Pashkuli

Pashkuli - I would love to try one of these keyboards. Anyone ought to see at a glance that this is more logical for these times. There is no right or wrong way. Systems and equipment and theories are all logical in their historical contexts. Traditional notation and keyboards make logical sense because of their history. If people are singing with whole tones and semitones in their scales then it is logical to devise the system as it was devised - as a series of lines and spaces. But then when we measure these intervals numerically, we find it to be illogical. The uneven intervals can, but do not need be represented by evenly spaced intervals of lines and spaces. Since the intervals are uneven, it is illogical to represent them by evenly spaced positions.

Scientists, inventors and musicians are looking for beauty in arithmetical, geometrical and harmonic ratios and proportions. That objective is the reason for constant changes to our systems.

So far, I like what I see in your invention, but would like to try it myself. As far as playing Bach on this keyboard, that is an issue of skill on the part of the player. Technically, Bach's works are not intended to be performed on piano keyboards. If the works of Bach can be translated from organ to piano or guitar, they ought to be executable on this keyboard.

I cannot judge your notation system because I don't know enough about it. However, if you want to communicate any of your ideas, I suggest an improvement in the literature you supply. The keyboard is easy enough to understand because of the photos, but the PDF on your notation system is a little difficult. 1) The type is small. 2) It looks like a scan of a printed book, the pages are tinted and that makes it even more difficult to view. 3) You refer to the note names by non-English terms. I would rename them for a Western reader.

The one thing I have noticed about your notation is that it is very similar to the current system. Your changes seem to be minor. And that's good because traditionally speaking this is exactly how our music system has evolved so far - by small, incremental degrees. . Who knows? Maybe one of the minor changes you are attempting to introduce may actually take hold. It has happened before - hundreds, maybe thousands of times. Is anyone else currently using your system?

I don't think that you are egotistical or trying to change the entire world of music. You simply have ideas and are sharing them, and I appreciate this. Keep up the great work. You are a very talented person. That's obvious from your presentation here.

In reply to by Rockhoven

Bach's clavier works, not organ works, have been played on the piano since there were pianos, including by Bach himself when he saw early pianos at Potsdam in 1747. His "clavier works" are for "any clavier", including harpsichord, clavichord (although some require harpsichord), virginal, etc. in his day and now. "Piano" is a newer member of "any clavier". Bach on the piano is not a transcription of organ works (although virtuosic transcriptions of Bach organ works for piano by Busoni and others exist), but "clavier" works rendered on the newest type of "clavier".

In reply to by Rockhoven

I agree that the keyboard looks fun. I'd like weighted keys (like a Yamaha stage piano) and an effects pad on the left. Some sort of scanner could detect right hand movements for bend and vibrato rather than needing lateral sensors in every key. Bluetooth MIDI would be a bonus. Keys might benefit from having different colours or shading to separate the groups.

The notation I can live without. If you are visually impaired or have any degree of shape dyslexia you are in trouble. In low light conditions I can't read a restaurant menu but I can read a whole orchestral score.

In reply to by underquark

Sensors are quite expensive, because you would need separate controllers for them, synchronisation in real time... etc.
Yes, colours are optional. The player could replace the keys with coloured ones (if they desire).

Visually impaired have the Braille symbols on the middle row (third) of keys for the corresponding letters (notes). Again, this is optional.
As far as the Notation is concerned... well, if you have a broken toe, no matter how soft or light your shoe is, you will still having a problem walking around.
But generally speaking: Yes. Pashkuli Notation is intended for best print quality possible or display screens with at least HD (1280×720 pixels) resolution. Also a self respecting musician will always have a note stand with a portable flashlight (it is as important as tuning your instrument properly).

In reply to by Rockhoven

Yes, there are English symbols/letters (and cyrillic). You can replace them with chinese, hanguyl, maybe even hebrew... Arabic symbols might be a challenge (because of the horizontal space they occupy).
the 12 symbols/letter from Latin are: B, D, F, G, L, M, N, P, R, S, T, V
Even the alphabetical sequence is preserved (form Latin). This does not apply for Cyrillic, hence I have given Latin sequence a priority (although, as xplained above , Latin letters are ambiguous... thankfully I have not included them: K, Q, C or X, Z)!

No, the Pashkuli notation system is totally different from the current (medieval) Music Notation (and nomenclature, "theory").

In reply to by Pashkuli

"Yes, institutions are forming the way we behave... and think. Well, actually it is the authority empowered to do it but my point is to defend the free way of thinking and creating and simply to question everything we see, experience, learn."

Even the conservative music school I went to in the 70's taught several methods of listening to, playing and notating music. We were encouraged to experiment. I don't think I'm alone.

"Yes, every music starts with a note (tone). If I can not tell which one is that single note... so what am I doing by trying to find out?! You would never question what should be read when you see a letter K or Q or... C (ok, I am being a bit playful here... showing some ambiguity in the Latin alphabet... but you get the point)."

Actually, no I don't

"Yes, I play guitars, drums and keys. But I thing all music instruments are actually percussive instruments, hence I am better at drumming, then guitars, then keys."

A flute is a percussive instrument?

"* of course the re-design is better than the flat one"

In your opinion.

And, of course, you are entitled to it.
Still no example of ambiguity.

In reply to by bobjp

Please, read this:
Cell, Sell
Call, Kall, Qall
Quit, Kuit, Cuit
When you see a music note (symbol), you should be able immediately to play it/recognise it (regardless of the "octave", renova).
The same way if you see the letter B you now how to read it, spell it. You do not need a clef, a line (ledger) or accidental mark in order to do/recognise it correctly!

I was simply showing the ambiguity in the Latin alphabet with regards to C, K, Q.
Also there is an ambiguity with G and J. Not to get deep with CH (spoken as K or even H or mostly as the Cyrillic Ч).

Yes, believe it or not Latin is utterly ambiguous. Who would believe that the Music Notation is also as such. Let's see... well... The Church (Rome) spoke Latin. Go figure. :D

In reply to by Pashkuli

Look all I'm saying is that if you believe that your notation system is better, than you need to be able to give detailed examples. So far you've given nothing compelling. You say the current system is "ambiguous" and "ridiculous". Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.

"Please, read this:
Cell, Sell
Call, Kall, Qall
Quit, Kuit, Cuit"

Some of these are not words (in English) but acronyms not meant to be read.

"When you see a music note (symbol), you should be able immediately to play it/recognise it (regardless of the "octave", renova)."

I agree.

"The same way if you see the letter B you now how to read it, spell it. You do not need a clef, a line (ledger) or accidental mark in order to do/recognise it correctly!"

Yes, but in your system you also have to remember certain things about the note you see to be able to play it correctly. Your system is more than just remembering 12 shapes. Make a list of all the things your system needs you to remember. Give some brain research about why your system of looking at a note and having to remember several things about, is better than looking at a note on a staff. Just you saying "isn't it obvious?" is not compelling.

"I was simply showing the ambiguity in the Latin alphabet with regards to C, K, Q.
Also there is an ambiguity with G and J. Not to get deep with CH (spoken as K or even H or mostly as the Cyrillic Ч)."

Sure, language, any language is ambiguous. So.....?

"Yes, believe it or not Latin is utterly ambiguous. Who would believe that the Music Notation is also as such. Let's see... well... The Church (Rome) spoke Latin. Go figure. :D"

Don't forget that Latin was, and still is, prevalent in medicine and science. We know the church played a role in early music, but it was only one of many possible players. Blame Latin if you want. I think there was more going on.
And there is more to playing a note than pitch and duration. Playing a string of symbols is not making music. There are dynamics, accents, volume changes. tempo changes, slurs, staccato, tenuto, mute, arco, to name only a fraction of things any notation system will need to somehow show in order to make music. It seems to me that the more of these things that you cram onto a single line, the less easy it will be to read. If your system is better, you need to have compelling answers to much more than anyone has asked here. I'm not berating you. I'm trying to help you. I think you need to be able to point out specifics of why it is better. Especially when notation is far easier to deal with than actually playing an instrument. I know excellent players who can't read music at all. Why is completely changing the system important? All questions you need compelling answers for. And did I use the word "compelling" enough times :)

In reply to by bobjp

Most of it has been shown and explained in the .pdf file here in this topic.
Do you know the joke about the insomnia guy:
"I just woke up at 3AM with this thought in my mind... Every single "C" in the name 'Pacific Ocean' is spelled differently!"

So what are the main questions before us? You want to promote the keyboard to the developers and get it integrated with Musescore? This could increase the potential of getting this item on the market? You also want to promote the notation system? I would stick to the first objective because you have something good here and the developers here should be interested in integrating with any keyboard regardless of it's design.

Promoting your notation system is another, more difficult matter. I've suggested what you will need to do with your presentation in order to increase people's attention and interest.

The main issue is how do you contact and communicate with developers? I don't know if the developers communicate on the open forum. We generally hear about some new feature after it has been developed. The developers form the real community here and I think that they communicate among themselves on private channels. I don't know what your chances are of getting the attention of developers. So far you have only gotten the attention and interest of the Sunday Afternoon Lolligaggers Club. You need to talk to serious and qualified people. Maybe Marc can help you. But I say limit yourself to the integration of the current Musescore system with your keyboard and hold the notation system improvements in abeyance until after you have accomplished your primary goal.

In reply to by Rockhoven

Only to find an open minded software developer who would be willing to transform open source score notation into Pashkuli. Of course, I am aware that it is so different (and advanced), probably it would require a complete rewriting of the software code from scratch.
And it is only me, who would be using it...

The keyboards are just to spread out the designs. They are not commercially available and probably will never be. Just think of it as my "selfie", avatar, profile picture. Of course I would love to find "an investor" or better one of the already established keyboard companies (all are welcome) and share a licence or just a promo line (small batch). I was trying to find students to make videos, but I can not pay them, so I started on my own.
I have always worked alone.

My primal goal is to develop the Pashkuli Notation System as a software application, open source.
The keyboards are done. Yes, only as working prototypes, but that is what I have done on my own with my hands.

Pashkuli - I think it's OK for you to try to communicate with developers here. You might also look for alternative Musescore channels such as this at Reddit.
Try looking on Facebook also. I hope that you can find someone who can help you with this project. It's certainly worthy. You might try contacting Marc Sabatella. He's often around here, and he's very helpful.

In reply to by Rockhoven

Thanks, Rockhoven
I will be searching indeed. The problem is, software developers usually are quite expensive and they hate working on demand ("someone else's shit") if it is for an "open source" (not paid), without making it their own (somehow).

One of my best friend is a quite skilful software developer. He has worked on commercial tab,score apps for mobile devices. He said, "It is only you, who will be using this. It is not viable at all."
Of course, he is correct. That is why I am looking for... let me use a religious/church term: a believer!
Funny and ironic, I know.

Comparison between the medieval (standard) notation and Pashkuli, showing the lowest and highest note on a 88 key piano (note A and C respectively). The song title is:
"How Ridiculous Can It Be"

As you can see, the vertical real estate occupied by the standard notation is 3 times more.

Yes, I know there could be an "8-va" symbol... but which one of the octave clusters?!
* Notice the overwhelming amount of lines drawn in the staff and as ledger lines.
Hope it is obvious how ridiculous it can be!


Pashkuli - What happens when the player moves the finger into a valley where it can play more than one key? Is it intended to be played like that?

In reply to by Rockhoven

Of course it is intended. I already explained that above:
"On the contrary, moving the finger into a valley, where it can play more than one key actually, makes you feel more secure on how strong (dynamically) your notes would be, even when pressing two adjacent keys with the same finger tip (let's say for the second interval in a dominant or maj7 chord, or in inversion of a min7). Or when you'd like to make a wide stretch just to tackle a high (or low) notе with your pinky finger fingertip."

In reply to by Pashkuli

Can you give me the layout of the keys without a hand present? I think we need a photo of the keys with labels to get a better understanding. As far as developing Musescore, it's open source, so no one can prevent you from developing it, nor do you need any approval from the developers here.

In reply to by Rockhoven

Yes, that is my hope as well. But... being so much conceptually different, I am sure most developers would say that it is better to "start from scratch", than trying to transform the already existing code of any standard notation application (regardless of it being open source or not).
This of course is the current state. I can flip it, so that C is on the first bottom row.
Notes increase in pitch from left to right. They stay the same in each corresponding column (bottom to top).


In reply to by Pashkuli

Pashkuli - What language are you using for the note names in the PDF file? Is that Sanskrit?

You have obviously done a lot of work. Your ideas are not "unpopular" just because four or five people berate you on a web forum. The idea of modifying the traditional notation system (or any existing system in whatever realm) is a popular one. Besides, we should not only consider the popularity of an idea, but the logic of it. Oftentimes, popularity follows if the logic is sound.

Here's an example of an alternative notation system. This one is for microtones,…
It is plain to see by even a cursory search of the Internet that alternative notation systems are not unpopular. It's an issue of logic, not popularity.

My two cents:

Without having any opinion about it, if this notation system is useful or not and if it will ever implement in MuseScore. Maybe someday, if it's more a standard notation. There were other music notations systems, they have not been accepted over years until now, see for example Klavarskribo.
If ever it will be a long journey in my opinion. For example you've to discuss it on SMUFL too, so that all these elements are available in a music font. After that maybe it could be possible to implement it with a plugin - not sure, I'm not familiar with it.
But in my opinion it's more realistic to implement, after it's already active used by a larger number of musicians.

The questions asked are simple: "How can I modify MuseScore (I am not a developer/coder/programmer) in order to look and perform as the shown Notation System?
Can anyone help me do it?"

We have not been asked to evaluate this notation system or even the invented keyboard, as I have done. We are asked how do we get help integrating our ideas into Musescore. A very useful question for any of our creative minds here. I can't help much. I don't know code. i can say that since it's open source, yes, it can be done. The main question is how do we who have creative ideas get developers interested in working with us. I'd like to know the answer to this question also, because when I make a suggestion here, which I find to be a logical progression, I get confronted with this whole "popularity" issue. (But let's not go there, unless someone wants to start another discussion about that.)

Can anyone answer the OP directly? How can Pashkuli realize the stated objective?

That's the first step. I think the next step is for you to make the pads pressure sensitive. I realize this is costly. What you seem to be trying to do is find low cost ways to promote both the keyboard and the notation. The photos of the keyboard have caught my interest. Now, what you would like to do is get the notation integrated with Musescore. I don't want to discourage you because I do not believe that this is an impossible feat. But the problem you face is not that alternative or modified notation systems are unpopular, but that they are all too popular. Does anyone here know how many different notation systems have been designed? So, your problem is to sell your notation system over all of the competition.

I still think you should pursue your dreams, because they are not impossible. The next step is for you to find out who the developers are. It does you no good to put your ideas out on public forums because you are not talking to the decision makers, if someone is going to have to decide to collaborate with you. Once you know who the developers are and have contacted them, you still have to get their ears, which will be extremely difficult because of what I have just said.

I can think right off that the future is probably going to be in microtonalism. As logical as your system appears to you, it's output is conventional because the sounds are all the same as in the traditional system. Microtonalism has a future because the complexities can be reduced as computers become more powerful.

Is there any hope at all for you? Yes. Because computers will become more and more powerful, we will probably see the demise of the developer. Everything that I have been asking for on Musescore and did not get, I will be able to command my computer to do. The computer will take Musescore apart and put it back together exactly how I want it. If I want to bury the Wizard, it will bury the Wizard. If I want one step score set up with automated filing, I won't have to come here and argue with anyone. The computer will be my personal developer. So there is a lot of hope for you that with super computer functions you can develop Musescore or any other program you have. Long live the futures!

@Pashkuli: Your notation system is an interesting concept and looks a bit like guitar TAB but with shapes instead of notes. I mainly use TAB but have recently made my first re-arrangement of a piano piece into guitar TAB. This brought to my attention something unexpected: the finished guitar TAB is next to useless in 'painting a picture' of how the music sounds. In comparison, the notation is not only a thing of beauty but you can 'see' what the piece sounds like.

This is the difference between analogue notation and digital TAB and your system also loses out to standard notation in this particular area.

Maybe this doesn't matter.

I wish you all the best with your endeavour.

In reply to by yonah_ag

Everything applicable to the standard notation and also TAB (although my Notation System is not intended towards fretted instruments) is applicable to my Notation System.
I just made the most obvious thing: give names/letter/symbols to each of the 12 notes
Optimised the horizontal and vertical space. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
I think the standard notation is old, clumsy and above all: it is ambiguous, incorrect, inherited bad practices

In reply to by Pashkuli

It was more being able to 'see' the shape of the sound that I see as a possible problem, not so much the beauty – which is of course subjective.

With 12 symbols for the semitones you have introduced a digital element although your registers are analogue.

I am a software developer and would take TAB as a starting point with a base 12 input system for your symbols. I have done something along these lines using Excel VBA programming for fretboard diagrams and automated chord sheets. You may be able to get an Excel programmer to prototype your system for you. It would be self contained and they would not need to learn Musescore development.

In reply to by Pashkuli

You clearly have little idea of what can be achieved with Excel's VBA. It could be used to replicate your symbols and concepts completely and why on earth would it be inconvenient?

Ugly? Switch off sheet tabs, Fx bar, row & column labels, grid lines. Design userforms in any style that you want.

VBA code can call speech output, .wav playback, midi playback and more.

In reply to by yonah_ag

As I said I am not a coder (yet). I have seen pseudo 3D games done with Excel's VBA, so what?
A Chinese guy had made some ugly music notation/playback using Excel's VBA, so what?
It is just a mock-up.
Being a Design engineer, my first goal is:
functional simplification
My second goal is:
functional aesthetics/form

In reply to by Pashkuli

So standard notation is "old".
Yes it is. So is a Stradivarius. No one is going to throw on out for that reason. Old is as bad a reason to get rid of something as my answer is.

I have yet to trip over it. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Neither you nor your PDF have explained this yet.

I am hard-pressed to think of any examples of music written in standard notation as being incorrect within the system.

"inherited bad practices"
It seems to me that because English is your 3rd language, some of the words and phrases you've used here and in the PDF might not mean what you think they mean.
There is nothing about dotted figures or triplets. And you still use standard meter, measures, and repeat structure. And you use various letters, numbers and lines to help define the "notes". All of which serve to clutter up a score much like what you dislike about standard notation. Try writing out just the first page of a Chopin etude and see what it looks like. But I suspect you won't, or can't. If you want us to believe you, we need to see this in some serious action.

In reply to by bobjp

Sorry, mate but you obviously have not read the .pdf file. Music is evolving. Technology is evolving.
"Old" as comparing a newspaper to an iPad and Internet.
"Clumsy" as having to write so many unnecessary symbols, lines, etc.
"Ambiguous": please, see the screenshot 'which is that note' above!
"Incorrect": terms such as semitone, octave, accidentals... utterly incorrect!

In reply to by Pashkuli

The dot is not at all meaningless, it has a very precise definition in the context of standard notation. If you don't understand some of these basic musical definitions then this might be one reason that you feel that standard notation is so deficient.

I think that half outline shapes would start to add a 'visual noise' to a score.

In reply to by yonah_ag

Yes, true. Also half outline shapes would require more separate symbols and wont be so easy to write by hand.
But, with regards to the 'visual noise' it is subjective. Have not tested it yet in full implementation. Will do it today to see if it is really that cumbersome.
Dot by itself next to a symbol is utterly meaningless. There are dots above, below as well. Definitions are just that: definitions.


In reply to by yonah_ag

Either version...
I think my notation looks way more cleaner and simpler, half-shape or dot... does not matter really. To me both look acceptable. Using Dot is more easy to maintain and write by hand. Not that important for displays.

OP asks: "Custom Music Notation possible?"

That's the question. Say I don't care for the standard system. I want something like a 50 lines and spaces staff so I can manage an octave that is split into so many parts. Forget about what you think. You think it's ridiculous, but I don't. It would be nice to customize the system. It's a revolution! Where's Marc? Maybe he can stop it?

In reply to by Rockhoven

You can write your own typesetting application. Why on earth should anyone do it for you? You can invent your own language, too, and be its only speaker (been done countless times by imaginative authors and linguists). Why should anyone else learn to speak it? You can print music no one else can read without training. Why should anyone help you? You can start your own political party (in some countries). See how many votes you get.

In reply to by Rockhoven

Any time! Given that no one is stopping you or the OP, why is it hypothetical whether one can develop one's own language, music notation, religion, novel, organization, etc.? What, then, are you asking? Isn't the question really about forcing it on the MuseScore product or begging free labor to implement a prototype?

In reply to by BSG

If you think it is a labour, you are in the wrong field. When designing in my spare time (because I have worked in Construction Interior/Exterior, both as a designer and a manual worker), I never thought of my creative endeavours in Music (design, instruments) as a labour!
I thought of it as a creative process, inventing, shaping, crafting... I love pottery, painting (art), decorative plastering, mathematics (for example the number π needs a correction for its application in Physics and Astrophysics... this is not anything new though), languages, Music (although it is just a hobby for me) and music instruments, mechanics... and even material science and genetics (the future of our evolution).

I never thought any of those involvements as a "labour". You either do it, or don't! Creative personalities do not wait for someone to tell them it is a "labour", so that they have to wait and only go to work to pay the bills.
Different type of personalities I guess.

In reply to by Rockhoven

I was willing to pay for the 'help' maybe around two years ago, but seemed no one could actually understand what was the purpose/motivation to make something, which only one person (me) could understand.
It is like paying someone to dress up as a Robocop and play "Hamlet" in Old English in front of trap-music teenage audience.
I know you will say, "Heck, if the money is good, why not?". But it does not always work that way and besides that I can not afford to pay an average market salary for coding.
Also, if payment is involved many things have to be negotiated as a contract: ownership, copying/archiving, third party supervision, maintenance... and many more considerations in that regard.

That is why I am looking for a developer, who would see it as a creative task, open source, custom Plain Music Notation, instrument friendly/assignable... as described already.

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