How to change the concert pitch relationship between piano and guitar?

• Jan 19, 2021 - 00:38

I recently transcribed a large work as Piano voice and then added a second voice for Guitar tablature. The guitar part is for baritone guitar so I want to change the piano concert pitch to guitar concert pitch relationship but keep the note mapping (e.g. e-flat above middle C should map to 3rd string, 13th fret). Otherwise, Musescore wants to place all the guitar fingerings on the high-e string.

I suspect this is possible with Musescore but the sheer number of config settings makes it difficult to locate.




It's not totally clear what you mean, but assuming you aren't using Irving Berlin's transposing instrument, you don't want to change anything about it. Piano is a concert pitch instrument, meaning that if you play middle C actually sounds like middle C. Also, MuseScore would never choose to place any note on the 13th fret of anything but the highest strings. If you want it there, you need to enter it there. But I don't see what that has to do with concert pitch, either. If you wish to enter transposition or custom string data to affect what pitch is actually soundthird string, you certainly can do that. But you'll still need to enter the note there onto that string directly if you want it to appear there.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I probably could have worded that question a little bit better :-)

When I added the Guitar instrument, Musescore automatically created tablature for me based upon my existing Piano score. Almost all the notes were on the high-e string and started at the 13th fret. I assumed that was due to the practice where sheet music for the guitar is often shifted one octave in relation to the piano.

If I attempt to modify the tablature by moving the notes to other strings (partly for voicing and so they are not all on one string - which is not how guitar players play) Musecore drags the Piano score notes down into low bass clef territory. Additionally, I am unable to place notes on strings lower than the G string. If I use Power Tab Editor it works perfectly (going from tab to score) but I will be scoring for multiple instruments and would prefer to use a real tool like Musescore :-)

Is there a setting which determines the relationship between notes in the Piano instrument and Guitar tablature? See the attached file for an example of Musescore creating very unorthodox tablature.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

To be honest Jojo I can no longer recall that step. I suspect that is what I did but I need to recreate my steps. I will be doing much more scoring with Sax and Viola so I anticipate baptism by fire. I have been using Musescore since early v2 but only for one instrument at a time.

Do I understand correctly that you have a piano arrangement, where you added a linked tab staff, which you intend to be played by a baritone guitar. So when you make changes to the piano staff, you want the guitar tab to update automatically (and the other way around).

But now your problem is that the piano staff has most (all?) notes in a high register, and the baritone guitar is a low pitched instrument, which means that all notes will appear very high on the tab staff. You want the notes on the tab staff to appear further down.

The short answer this is not possible. The exact same pitches will appear in both of the linked staves (piano and guitar tab).

If you don't care about MuseScore Playback there are several possible workarounds.

  • change the string tuning of the guitar to one octave (or two) higher. This will make playback still play in the high register, but the tab will look OK.
  • change the transposing of the piano to one octave higher, and then transpose the music down by one octave.
  • transpose the music down one octave and use a "octave" clef to move the notes back up in the piano staff.

In reply to by AndreasKågedal

Thank you Andreas for taking the time to read and explain clearly. Much obliged.

Yes, you have the situation perfectly. I will keep the piano exactly where it is (it is perfect) but I will try to transpose down the baritone guitar one or two octaves to see if that helps.

I will likely arrange the baritone further but I want to at least start with linked staff to start with so I don't need to enter the entire tab by hand.

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