Accordion notation and playback notes

• created 10 months ago • last updated 3 months ago


    • The purpose of this tutorial is to assist MuseScore users with notating accordion parts according to standards and with playback.
    • It may also provide users of other programs with ideas and guidance on how to notate accordion in their program of choice.
    • Please feel free to collaborate on this page, add and expand section. If you are not sure, start a thread in the Documentation forum.
    • You are also welcome to message me directly.

    General resources

    Accordion symbols

    • The accordion palette can be added by clicking on "Add Palettes" and clicking on "Add" next to Accordion.
    • Adjust manually so that the symbol is just below the treble clef signature.

    Chord notation and playback

    German notation style

    American notation style

    American notation style can be achieved either by adding staff text on to, OR installing a 3rd party SoundFont and Instruments XML file which understand these symbols.

    American notation style using MuseScore only

    • American notation style (USA, Brazil and others) only lists the chord type above the note (M/m/7/d) whereas the MuseScore Chord Symbol requires the note name (e.g. EM/Em/E7/Edim)).
    • To add chord symbol and playback, see Chord Notation and specifically section Chord Notation with playback.
    • Hide the chord symbols
      • Select a single chord symbol, right-click, select "Select" -> "More...", "Ok"
      • Press V to toggle visibility (if all chords are visible), or Use the inspector to toggle the "Visible" property to off (if you have a mix of Visible and Invisible) chords.
    • Add the chord type as system text:
      • from the "Text" palette, click on "Staff Text" OR
      • Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+T (Mac: Cmd+T)).

    American notation style using 3rd party SoundFont and Instruments XML

    • Another way to get American notation and playback without the above workaround, is to install HedSound Accordion 5 Choir (under SoundFonts SoundFont and corresponding instrument.xml that support chord symbols M, m, 7, d.
    • Once installed use it the same way you would use regular MuseScore? (TODO / expand / test)

    Lead sheet notation style

    • TODO

    Counter bass

    • To a note head: Add the Tenuto symbol (Articulations palette)
    • To fingering: use the Underline option in the Inspector.

    Issues and workarounds

    Default chord played as part of a Chord Symbol is a piano sound


    • Mixer -> Click on "Show Channels" button (left-arrow) to expand the Accordion
    • Highlight/select the "Acc.-harmony" channel (this is the bass clef).
    • In the "Sound" dropdown, change from (Grand) Piano to Accordion.

    Chord symbols are sustained until the next chord symbol


    • Format -> Style -> Chord Symbols
    • Section "Play", set Duration to "Chord/Rest duration"

    Reason for this behaviour


    Wish list

    • Underline counter bass cord symbol in accordion lead sheet as per forum post Accordion Notation - underline counterbass.
    • An accordion bass staf type that recognises notes below D3 as bass notes and notes above D3 as chord notes.

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