Early Music Notation

• Mar 25, 2021 - 17:35

Any plans for early music capability? Unmeasured, mensuration symbols, breves, semibreves, minims, ligatures? Movable C, F, and G clefs?


That article shows a few of these, but they are pretty much all possible. Unmeasured music is mostly a matter of combining and splitting measures so you have one per system, mensuration can be added via time signature properties but then also as Symbols (press "Z" to display that palette) attached to the individual notes; breves & semibreves work right out of the box no fuss required except being sure you are in the Advanced instead of Basic workspace. Same with the various movable clefs. Ligatures can also be added as symbols. Minims - unless you mean something different from the modern meaning, that also works right out of the box :-)

In reply to by Marc Sabatella


I followed your suggestions and it's not really what I am looking for. I think we have a disconnect in that we do not use terminology the same way. Some of the meanjngs of these words have changed over time.

I am speaking specifically about 16th century white mensural notation.

I did find the mensuration symbols, thank you for that.

The only 16th c. note shape I could find was the breve and the longa (sort of. It works ok). There is a diamond available but it's much too small to serve as a 16th c. semibreve. 16th c. minims and semiminims can't be created for the same reason (plus, the stem appears on one side or another, rather than in the center).

All the clef choices look very modern. They'll do, I guess, but it's not what I'm looking for.

I have attached a picture of the style of notation I am trying to re-create. Apparently it's available from other software creators, but I'd rather get it from MuseScore, if possible.

Thank you,

Jessica Valiente

Attachment Size
Screenshot_2021-03-26-23-57-51.png 414.08 KB

In reply to by jessicalynnev

On the symbols, try typing "minim" into the search box. You should see "white mensural minima" as one of the options that comes up. Just click that to add it to a note you've made invisible.

The downside here is that is seem only available in a stem-up form for some reason. Unfortunately the set of musical symbols available is defined by an international standard called SMuFL (which was created by the Dorico folks), and apparently SMuFL doesn't include a stem-down version. You'd have to petition them to get it added, and then we would be able to use it. I suppose maybe Dorico allows symbls to be flipped upside down so maybe they don't need it, but that doesn't explain why they have stem up & down version of standard minims. Instead, in MuseScore you would need to add the next symbol over, the "white minima notehead", and then position it manually. It's quite possible a plugin could be written to automate that task.

For clefs, try clicking the "More" button on the clefs palette to see some older ones. Perhaps still not old enough, but then, again, the Symbols palette has quite a lot more choices that can be added and positioned manually. For example, expand the main Symbols listing to show all the subcategories and you'll a dozen or so "Medieval and Renaissance" options. Second one on the list are the clefs. Third one, BTW, is the notes, and that's where the white mensural minima came from.

Anyhow, the point being, the symbols do exist, but you would need to work a bit to add them.

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