Cluster (again)

• Feb 26, 2021 - 15:49


MuseScore does not support the notation of two notes at the same pitch within a chromatic aggregate.

The solution of shifting to the right does not work with additional lines (the line is extended).
One time consuming solution would be to write the right A within a second voice and hide unwanted stems or rests, but this will not resolve the second problem;

In addition, the added line or glissando cannot be grouped solidly to the two elements it connects; changing the number of measures per system, for example, destroys the layout and the efforts to compensate for this missing functionality.

Does anyone have a solution?
When will this be implemented by default?

Thank you !

Sorry for the translation.


Attachment Size
20210226_164245~2.jpg 2.07 MB


In reply to by CB.

If you know anyone who is a programmer, feel free to try to convince them to implement this!

Meanwhile, there are simple workarounds to achieve this particular notation, and also there other ways of rotating this. So I wouldn't be in a hurry to trade this one limitation for all the unknown issues you might face in some other software that happens to provide this feature but might be a worse fit for you in dozens of other ways.

I'm confused (not unusual). Are you trying to recreate your picture? Or are you looking for something like my attachment. Which is extremely easy to do.

Attachment Size
cluster.jpg 10.67 KB

In reply to by bobjp

Thank you all.

The picture I've attached to my first post is a screenshot from what I get on MuseScore 3.6.2, but the resulting object may not keep his form because the line I've added move for example when adding / moving notes arround, or when redefining the number of measures contained within the system.

@Marc : I'm very curious about all the workarround or other notations to avoid this concern ;)

@bobjp : your screenshot describe the way I would take notes, memo. But for a good edition or sightreading this is note suitable.

In addition, it remains the possibility of showing just one A (in my first example) but the # and b (whatever, natural..) before may be interpreted as : one of the two accident is caution and that there is just one note.


In reply to by CB.

There are, as I said, a number of different possible notations you might mean; the one you show in your initial image is to me less ideal than the alternate one shown in some of the images in the linked issue, where the stem is more "V" shaped. Either way, I would recommend using either a symbol from the Symbols palette or a graphic that I then paste to the note. Take care to create one that is the thickness, length, and angle you want - it should normally be consistent I assume. Then add it to your palette for easy re-use. Assuming you are equally consistent in how much you offset the notehead, the same graphic should work in most cases, and it should be possible to position it accurately and reliability relative to the notehead via the Inspector.

Actually, also a text attached to the note as a fingering with a custom (user) style would be even simpler I suspect.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella


I've not understood your last solution with custom fingering text ?
Would it prevent lost time when re-adjusting objects after score modifications ?

Anyway, I suspect the V will not work with complex passages including 16th notes.

Because of the large amount of time it would take me to learn C++ and existing code, I think switching to another software until this essential engraving feature (along with copy / paste key / time signatures, ...) will be implemented by default.

However, congratulation for your work and thank you for your time.

Best regards,

In reply to by CB.

Neither of the methods I suggest should be affected by modificatiosn to the score, that's exactly why I recommend this over trying to use customized lines for this purpose.

If you do decide to stick with MsueScore rather than learn an entirely new program and learn to live with its limitations and quirks, then feel free come back here and post your best attempt at implementing my suggestion, then I can help you figure out what you missed.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

FWIW. Sibelius has a system of what it calls "altered unisons". There is a quarter note and a half note on the end of a diagonal stem. It is extremely limited, hard to implement and because it is a symbol, it doesn't playback. I'm not sure why they bothered.
altered unison.jpg
To add a G or an E requires several more steps to make it legible. Then there is the problem of the rest of the measure. I would have to use the inspector to move every thing over so I could add more notes. For playback, Sibelius prefers the system I showed in my post above. Which was done in MuseScore.
Personally, some of the examples of multi-stem notes in the linked thread look cluttered and hard to read. And just because some notation organization condones it....meh.

Maybe another program will do it. Maybe not.

In reply to by underquark

More easy to enter in MuseScore but you loose the C# vs Db meaning for instance.

Appart from Marc S. workarround there is in fact no solution to this problem. So I'll come back to MuseScore when someone will devote time to implement this since I'm enough trained for this kind of work. I wish that MuseScore will grow in the next years and continue his ascension. Congratulations for the work already done and have a good day !

C. B.

Hello Jojo-Schmitz, Marc Sabatella, bobjp and others,

After spending some time on MuseScore and reading the posts in the forum, I would like to recap the weaknesses I found in MuseScore and the solutions to some issues :

  • Clusters : in the end, Marc's solution (symbols palette / custom font via fingerings) works well, you just need a little patience;
  • Copy / paste key / time signatures : save MuseScore as an uncompressed file, open in text editor : copy and paste. Alternatives : Python / C app or write a plugin for MuseScore;
  • More keyboard shortcuts ? As simple as CTRL + F9!
  • Divisi : hide empty measure rests;
  • Change voice 1 to 2 wont change voice 1 dynamics to voice 2 : solution ? Writing a plugin (right ?) / if not, a Python / C app to make the conversion (for instance : when complex combining / condensing Flute 1 + 2 with differents dynamics, and so on.);
  • Finally, I was impressed by the responsiveness of MuseScore with quite heavy projects (a section of the Rite of Spring) : the application responds better than some of its paying competitors!

Until further notice, I continue my journey with MuseScore and I wish its dedicated developers a big thank you for your time and work.

Best regards,
C. B.

P.S. I apologize for my previous post.

In reply to by CB.

Thanks for the followup! We do constantly strive to improve, and of course, it's open source, so hopefully some of the things that currently require workarounds will be supported in the future as people with the necessary skills, motivation, and time decide to "scratch their own itch" and implemented them!

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