Incorrect Treble Recorder range

• Feb 22, 2021 - 14:56
Reported version
S4 - Minor

Treble recorder (Alto recorder) listed in 'Choose instrument(s)' under 'All music' or 'Early music' outputs a wrong Professional range of "E4-C7". The correct range is F4-G6 or even better F4-A6, but in no way the one provided in musescore.
Trying to find a workaround to the problem I tried modifying the Treble Recorder definition in the \MuseScore 3\instruments\instruments.xml file but the change I made had no effect on what is output for the 'Stave/Part Properties' (I also tried changing the name from 'Treble' to 'Alto', which I prefer more).

Having faced with the problem I also realized it would be great to actually be able to modify the instruments lists and data (the way I originally thought I could change in the above mentioned file).
And yet another great thing to have in the 'Choose instruments' list would be to have a 'Favourite Instruments' list. Some instruments lists are very long and finding your instrument is not easy.


Frequency Many Once

You can specify an alternative instruments.xml in Preferences, like e.g. the one you just modified, MuseScore uses a builtin copy of that, that's why your changes don't take effect (and that's why that dialog list the file with a leading colon).

In the links you provided I can only see F4-G6 for Alto recorder. I could not find the alto range starting from E4 ! and going up to C7. The E4 error is most evident as for the Alto F recorder one cannot play the note lower than F4. As regards the higher playability it is debatable but it is impossible to achieve C7 in alto recorder.

The first link claims C7 in parens, which I take to mean professional range
That E4 is indeed certainly wrong
G6 for amateur, A6 for professional?

As for amateur I would say we can have a similar scheme as for amateur C recorder range, and so for F alto recorder this would be F4-D5. And yes, for professional alto I would say A6 would be the safe upper limit even though one could probably do some of the notes up to D6.

Indeed. Still to me an open question whether this is advisable or not, we've seen requests both ways. And of course, I still my issues with the whole idea of the amateur/professional distinction that makes no allowance for things like, a low A on a baritone saxophone being either next to impossible impossible or trivially easy dependent on which model of baritone saxophone you happen to be playing. Or similar for contrabass depending on whether you have an extension.

I think the main usefulness for the ranges is to show the red notes when it is hardly possible or impossible to play them. With those overrated magical believe-me-I-can-produce-the-notes ranges it is not very productive for any reasonable use. With the red notes you immediately see the problem while if missing you may have a false impression the piece is playable. I won't argue any more as to which approach is more common-sense.
Thank you @Jojo-Schmitz for guiding me how I can use my own instruments file. This works fine as regards the ranges.
I also tried adding "Favourite" to Genre categories but even though it appears in the select dropdown list I cannot associate any instruments as this looks as another thing that is built-in. Pity as it would be better to have it all defined in a readable file. I also noticed that translations are again binary files (located in the locale dir), which again is a shame as this should really be human readable and modifiable.

There’s Alto recorders with an extra E key, true, and it’s possible by doing acrobatics with your knee… but I’d consider F the formal starting point of the range.

If a note is red it doesn’t mean it’s not playable at all. It means it’s not part of the instrument’s normal repertoire (i.e. the thing all instruments of this type are supposed to play with clean intonation). The soundfont will happily play the E, too, but the red might make some people reconsider including it, which is A Good Thing™.

(And yes, I play the Alto Recorder as well, though on amateur level. I’ve seen what Sarah Jeffery gets out of it… blew my mind. But for recorders, I’d say amateur low = professional low = C/F. The amateur/professional distinction is mostly for the upper notes there; amateurs would rarely even know about the third register, let alone know the fingerings for the notes there offhand.)

In reply to by almeng

I learned alto recorder that way too., but FYI, that isn't how it is normally treated. It does indeed sound a fifth lower than soprano, but it is written at pitch, with the lowest note both sounding and notated as F.

If you find it easier to think of it treat it as transposing, simply set the "down a perfect fifth" transposition in Staff/Part Properties. But yes, you can also create a custom instruments.xml, containing a custom definition for that instrument, and tell MuseScore to use it in Edit / Preferences / Score.