Two simple ways to insert polychords

• Mar 2, 2021 - 11:12

Hello, I have a very simple way to do this. Let's say I want to notate Gb7 over an Ab7 on the first beat of the first bar.
1. click the note on the first beat of the first bar, then Cmd+K(Ctrl+K for windows), then type 'Ab7'.
2. Press enter, then press the same note on the first beat of the first bar, and then type 'Gb7'. after that underline it.

Another way is you use the 'text' tool to type in manually.
1. use text tool to create a text box, type 'Gb7'.
2. press enter to go to the next line and type 'Ab7'.
3. underline Gb7.

Hope you find it helpful. Haven't read the entire thread on notating stacked chords yet so someone might have thought about doing it this way.

Musescore tutorial told me to download the fracchords.xml by underquack but when I click into the link it says no file was associated with it. Anyone?


In reply to by tanhongzhi

If I'm understanding correctly, that file would only work for very simply polychords - ones with major triads as the bass note. There would be no way to specify anything other than a single note as the bottom of the fraction. So I don't think it helps your case of Gb7/Ab7. The method you describe is as good as any, and actually, it's nice in that the playback and the MusicXML export are closer to being correct.

In reply to by tanhongzhi

I mean, if you add two separate chords like you are suggesting - Gb7 and Ab7 - then when you hit the play button, you'll actually hear both chords. The method used by fracchords.xml would not have done that; you'd have heard only the root of the bottom chord. And similarly, if you choose to export your score to a MusicXML file, your method will result in both chords appearing in the MusicXML file, which is good.

Principially you method works, but it is a hack. That is, you are relying on doing actually something different than what you want to do to give you what you want. So if there is any demand for this feature it would be wise to do a clean implementation, allowing for a proper syntax telling MuseScore what you intend.

The problem here is that MuseScore actually does not allow Specification of Polychords, The stylesheet you mentioned is thus a hack itself, because it misuses the /-Notation for Bass notes for specifying a second Chord, which bring very major limitations to how these chords can in fact look.

The sensible thing to do would thus be to revise MuseScores ChordName-Syntax to allow entering multiple chords. I think one possible option for this would be allowing line breaks in Chord names and parsing each line as a different chord.

In reply to by pulltheo

Of course it's a hack and it never pretended to be anything other than that, even seven years ago, as it was only intended as a stop-gap for MS 1.x ahead of the (then) anticipated changes in 2.x. It still sort of works - visually - but stumbles over accidentals and things. The fact that it still does anything meaningful at all astounds me, mind you. An overhaul would be welcome by many but I'm not a programmer for MuseScore, I just dabble once in a while and developing this is beyond me now. Your idea of line breaks sounds feasible, though.

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