Cut-time symbol in jazz font

• Nov 19, 2020 - 02:34

I made a lead sheet in cut time, and for some reason the time signature has a parenthesis fixed to its right side. I've never seen this on a sheet before, and can't imagine a reason for it.


I'm not sure if it's a default or the result of some unintentional display setting on my part, but either way how do I get rid of it?


Oh, I should mention that I searched the forum, and don't see anything, but I might not be using the right keyword?

With the Muse Jazz font I see the same stray "swash" also with the C for common time. (Thought it might be part of the bass clef symbol, but not so.)


In reply to by Marr11317

Thanks, you're quite right.

Seems to me like it would be constructive to have this be user-selected between glyphs with or without the parenthesis, since even if it's used sometimes, it's not standard practice. Maybe that's tricky to implement with the font file structure that MuseScore uses, I couldn't say.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks, Jojo. It's good to hear that the devs are expanding the typesetting options in MuseScore. I honestly wouldn't ever want to use that symbol above for cut time, but that's just personal taste.

Okay, so it seems like the fonts are directly compiled into the program.

I have no doubt there's a solid reason for that, but is there really no way to modify the font files MuseScore uses? The parenthesis/swash in front of the cut & common symbols is nonstandard, and pretty obtrusive. It's not that big a deal for casual use, but I wouldn't really want to hand out lead sheets to a combo with that on them, it just looks unprofessional.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes, thanks Marc, I noticed that. If anything, the disconnect between that style's usage on all time signatures and MS3's usage only on the cut- and common-time symbols is further evidence that it doesn't belong in MS, certainly not as a fixed default.

What it's emulating is a style that (somewhat incomprehensibly, to me) uses the parenthesis to section off the time/key/clef from the first measure. Always. Now, I'm all for MuseScore allowing users to implement that style if they so desire, but there's little justification for imposing it, especially inconsistently.

Ultimately, the whole "jazz font" idea is just that, a font. It doesn't connote any variation to engraving rules beyond the affect of a "handwritten" look and, more crucially, larger/bolder/more readable chord symbols. The fact that there's a subset of jazz scores which adopted this convention is probably more an artifact of an earlier era of jazz scores/sheets where there was no real standard, in engraving or especially in chord symbols (+ means augmented but also sharp, - means minor but also flat, Δ means major 7 but also major, and M7 or sometimes M also means major 7, etc...). It kind of reminds me of the way the beatniks decided on the variant spelling "yr"/"yrs" for the second person possessive. Okay, you do you, but I'd be annoyed if they reprinted all the dictionaries.

In reply to by abnyc

The fonts are compiled into the program to remain compatibility with, the sharing platform. If restricting-license-ed fonts were allowed on the desktop, these still could not be used on .com, causing the score to look different on desktop and on the web.

That's why there's lately been some efforts from the dev team to provide new fonts. Until the coming 3.6, there are 4 fonts, out of which only one with a jazz look: MuseJazz. MuseJazz is maintained by the Musescore project, like Emmentaler and Gonville. Bravura is maintained by steinberg.

For 3.6, the design team created a completely new font, Leyland, designed to look like a professionnal engraving font.

Meanwhile, Jojo merged Petaluma, which is also designed by Steinberg, to provide another (with MuseJazz) handwritten font.

Back to the parenthesis: Since Musejazz is maintained by the Musescore project, you could, if you wanted, modify it and propose the changes. If you want, I could send you a Musescore version without the parenthesis. It would be quite quick to build, but I doubt it gets into the master development branch until someone implements the option you describe: the ability to toggle it on or off.

In reply to by Marr11317

That makes sense, I figured it might have something to do with intellectual property issues.

I think it's fantastic that the devs are diversifying the typesetting options. Major kudos, and I hope I haven't come across as flippant or unappreciative.

There's no need to bother building me a tweaked version of the program, though it's very kind of you to offer. It would end up getting reverted next release, anyway. Where/how are changes proposed? I could certainly modify a ttf/otf file & propose inclusion of the change, but I don't have the skills to write/edit any code.

In reply to by Marr11317

I found the relevant code and opened a PR ( If you have time to edit the font files, feel free. You can get them here (the relevant one is MuseJazz, not MuseJazzText) and post them here on the forum. I'll include them in my PR.

So all you have to do is to remove the parens from the Common and Cut time signatures (and maybe the other weird round signs which are apparently time signatures too) and send the font.

Else, I'll try to do it whenever I can reach a machine where I can use fontforge.

In reply to by Marr11317

I of course appreciate the inclusion of Leland and Petaluma and the intention to develop more fonts, but it is a bit of a turn off to think that MuseScore is, like, not going to support 3rd party SMuFL fonts anytime soon by design. I understand the functionality and license problems with, but the price is limiting a bit the artistic needs of composers and engravers who are looking for a more personal touch in their works, which is beyond just having options of good engraving. There should be an alternative, even if it implies not allowing scores engraved with external fonts. In my opinion (and my experiences with people like that) many contemporary composers pursue to engrave scores that don't look always look like Finale or Sibelius, or Lilypond.
IMO MuseScore is in a very good place in that sense, as it becomes more and more customizable. Actually it might be the best around, but with external font support it would be the bestest :D

This article illustrates a bit who are these people (also, a font creator)…

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