lyrics appear both in notation and TAB

• Sep 6, 2014 - 15:08
Graphical (UI)

On a linked staff guitar note + TAB the lyrics appear twice. On time under the standar notation and again under the TAB.

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Au_claire_de_la_lune-mscz.pdf 29.56 KB


That's right, but it's not a bug :)

I think that you have entered, in a first step, notes and lyrics in a standard staff.

Then, in a second step, you add a linked Tab staff. Right?

Two solutions:

1) you keep the same way of doing things, but you make "Invisible" the lyrics of the Tab staff.

Like this: Select a word -> right click -> Select -> all similar elements in same staff -> press the "V" key -> Escape.
The lyrics will be dimmed, but will not appear in print.

touche V.jpg

2) Second solution: choose, at the time of the creation of the score, to link standard staff and Tab staffs. Notes and numbers appear together, but not the lyrics.


I now prefer to leave it to Marc or others, close the issue if necessary.

And because I also note that the position of lyrics in the Tab staff (in the pdf file) does not match with mine (?)

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touche V.jpg 29.54 KB
1clair.jpg 24.46 KB

By default, most elements are supposed to be present on both linked staves - that's the whole point of what it means to be "linked". However, there is a very specific list of elements that are excluded from this - elements that are *not* reproduced on linked staves, because someone at some point convinced us they at shouldn't be, or because we just sort of though it made sense to exclude these items. That list of items we deliberately exclude is:

Staff Text
Fret Diagram
Chord Symbol
Figured Bass

Notice that lyrics are on the list of items we supposed exclude from duplication. And yet, they are apparently *not* completely excluded - they do get duplicated if you do things in a particular order. So it is a bug that it is not working as it is supposed to be. And I think I know why. But before I fix it, I just want to make sure everyone agrees this is the correct behavior - that lyrics should b excluded from duplication on linked staves.

In fact, this issue has more meaning than I originally thought!

Thank you for reminding the list of items excluded in linked staves. I never thought about that, and it is useful to know.

I've made the experience (I forgot fret diagram on attachment). That is correct. And it's a good choice.

But I really think we should add to this list: guitar fingerings.


They are unnecessary and duplicative in a Tab staff. Since by definition a Tab staff is the explicit manifestation of a certain and imperative fingering (for the left hand anyway)
Besides, duplicate fingerings brings great confusion to the mix.

In my memory, I think don't had seeing some music sheets showing simultaneously fingerings in a standard staff and Tab staff.

And besides, it would save time, because you are forced to make invisible, systematically, these unnecessary fingerings.

NB: I noticed this apparent "contradiction" between lyrics excluded in linked staves, and their presence when the Tab staff was linked afterwards.

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items.jpg 61.14 KB

A short note (well, two) about fingerings:

1) I do not think left-hand fingerings should be excluded from linking; I rather believe they should be hidden in TAB staves (where they do not make sense) regardless the TAB staff is linked or not, but should remain there, for instance in case the staff type is changed.

2) As far as plucked string instruments are concerned, to the Fingering class belong both left-hand fingerings and right-hand fingerings; the latter are presumably to be kept, and shown!, in linked staves. But advice from guitarists is welcome.

The problem is that distinguishing from the two types programmatically is not easy, at least not without hard-coding the two lists.


P.S.: Excerpts (aka parts) are also linked to the main score staves. Does the usage of 'linked staff' in the context of this issue also refers to them or only to staves linked within the same score, as created with the Instrument Wizard?

Hello Miwarre,

1) I had not thought about this case if the staff type is changed. Just because I think never having using it once! This of course does not mean that others will.
Anyway, invisibility is easy to implement, so not really a problem.

2) I'm not sure I understood. You mean if show the fingering of the left hand does not make sense in a tab with linked staves, a contrario, show the fingering of the right hand would make sense?

My experience is that these two forms of fingerings, of course, makes sense in a single standard staff, and can have in a single Tab staff, but in any way in the case of linked staves since they duplicate.

Had I understood ? No sure...! :(

It is worth also considering the possibility (though slim) that someone will want to *standard* staves linked. In this case, it seems clear the fingering *should* be copied. What this suggests to me is that if you don't want to see fingering on linked *tab* staves, maybe it makes sense to have that as an option in the staff style.

But it does seem even with two linked standard staves, there would be no reason to duplicate the lyrics or the other items on the list.

@cadiz1, #7: I have no strong ideas about what should or should not appear in TAB (beyond what I know used to appear in historic tablatures, which are a target somehow less movable than modern tablatures); I am pretty sure RH fingerings for TAB's have been asked by some user, though.

And, yes, they would be duplicated in both staves but, with two linked staves notes are duplicated, dynamics are duplicated, slurs are duplicated and so on; so why not RH fingerings?

In fact, by thinking again, I'm no longer so sure that LH fingerings too do not really make sense in TAB's: they are not a duplicate of the fret numbers, even if occasionally they are the same (as in the examples above). Whenever the first finger is not on the first fret (what we viol players call "half position"), the numbers are different. And, actually, when I study viol tabs, I use to add fingering numbers occasionally.

So, I take back what I said about fingerings being hidden in TAB's: they should show.

About changing staff types, a not (too much) unreasonable or contrived scenario could be a user having created a score with TAB + standard linked staves and then, changing his mind, changing them into standard + TAB (or vice versa).


Dynamics are not really duplicated. Crescendo-decrescendo, yes. But not the piano, forte etc.

And some lines are duplicated (ottavas, text lines), but voltas no for example.

And what about the idea to have the choice in the staff style between showing or not the fingerings in Tab staff with linked staves?

Oh, well, things are getting more and more confuse...

Is there a reason for not replicating p, f or voltas? Does this mean that, if someone is playing from a linked staff, he should glance at the other staff every now and then to check is there are missing dynamics or structural indications like voltas? I have no real practice of playing from linked staves (the whole linking stuff seems to me contrived enough) but I believe it would not be very convenient.

Or am I missing something?


I just checked some books of popular music and some magazines specialized in guitar with included scores "Guitare Classique" (in France)

The most common model is: standard tab (with all the usual indications of a standard notation: dynamics, fingerings, articulations, repeats, etc.). And a tab staff below, that is exactly like the common model of MuseScore. So, numbers and rhythmic indication (with the stems under the staff).

Nothing more. Except sometimes some grace notes and ornaments (trills ...)
These magazines contain scores of different levels (beginner, intermediate, and advanced). With the same presentation.
These Tabs, I think, are seen as a convenient crutch to help fans to the reading of this music, and for finding immediatly the left hand fingering.
That's what I see.
And my experience is the same (maybe I'm influenced by this mainstream?!) when I enter scores with linked staves.
Nothing of particular in the Tab staff, except the essential, the numbers! Now, even, I prefer the simple model (except sometimes for the early music), for relieving the score layout .
So: standard notation with all the elements mentioned above, and the Tab staff for assistance (not for me!) to reading. Anything else.
For early music, I could develop, but it could be too long, by knowing that the general idea is very close. This is my experience ( it is only for me, even though teaching this instrument is my work).

I have been trying to think of this logically, based on the following assumption:

When linked staves are used, I assume the most common reason is to offer a *choice* to the one person reading that part - not to offer two separate parts for two separate musicians.

With that assumption in mind, I then figure that any marking that needs to be read along with each note should be duplicated, so that regardless of whether the musician is focusing on the top or bottom or the two staves, he will see the necessary m,rkings. This will include articulations and I guess fingerings.

But things like dynamics, lyrics, or chord symbols - those don't necessarily need to be duplicated, since they can simply be placed between the two staves and be equally visible regardless of which of the two staves is being read. And in the case of lyrics and chord symbols in particular, it's actually quite likely they aren't even being read by the same musician at all, at least not at the same time as he is reading the notes.

So far, it seems the requests and decisions that have been made seem pretty consistent with this type of thinking.

Voltas, BTW, are never duplicated even on a score for many instruments - they always appear on the top staff only. And even when extracting individual parts for multi-staff instruments like piano, voltas typically appear over the top staff only.

To satisfy my curiosity, I wanted to review the items that were duplicated or not, in linked staves (see the two attachments)

I always entered items in the standard staff, with some exceptions (in this case, I point)
Some remarks.

1) Staves linked immediatly, when score creating.
linked staves duplication.mscz

- Lines: everything is duplicated, except Voltas

- Arpeggios-Glissandos: all

- Articulations-Ornaments: all, except the bend (which must, moreover, be entered in Tab staff, if does not work, I have already experienced!)

A remark about the trill line, with a different length on the two staves

- Dynamics: crescendo-descendo (which is originally in the Lines palette) are duplicable via the keyboard shortcut.

The dynamic marks (p, f, mf, etc.) are not duplicated. But as they fall between the two staves, is this a problem? Not really? But there are no duplicated!

- Fingering: all. For me it's redundant, confused (two kinds of numbers) and I never used. My thought. But since everything can be invisible, so, not a problem.

- Note heads-Tremolo-Repeats-Text : no particular comment

-Fretboard diagram : no duplicated.

Lyrics-Figured Bass- Chords : no duplicated.

2) Tab staff linked afterwards (exactly, I remove first the tab staff via « I », then adding a new linked tab staff)

linked staves afterwards.mscz

Results : Correct !   :)
The trill line is better, or with the same length? Minor, but to be noticed.

The true difference is the presence of Lyrics on the two staves. (so, mini-bug?!)

So we come full circle and we return to the starting point of this issue :)

So, if I am understanding correctly, there are the following items that we should try to address:

- lyrics should not be duplicated on linked staves (bug in current code where they sometimes are duplicated and sometimes not)

- fingering should probably *not* be displayed by default on tab staves at all (linked or not linked), but perhaps this should be a staff properties setting. we now have a separate issue for this: #32966: Make fingering optional on tab staves

- trill lines - there definitely seems to be a bug here where depending on the exact steps you follow, the end point is not set correctly. It seems if you then edit the length on either staff, they are in sync again. Could you file this as a separate bug? You might want to see if it only affects trills or if any other lines are affected.

- currently, all lines are always duplicated, but it seems odd to me that regular dynamics (p, mf, etc) are not duplicated but crescendos / decrescendos are. Maybe we should exclude those as well?

- ottavas should not be present all all ever on tab staves; this is already filed as #29986: Ottava notes from music staff do not translate correctly to linked tablature

The report is done for the trill lines.

For regular dynamics, I have no opinion really decided yet. But yes, there should be a consistency between showing all or showing nothing. Not a mixture of both.

-Finally, I think we forget too easily the case of the bend. Not only it is not duplicated, but it is the only one that does not work if you want to enter it in the standard staff.

I know, I fell into the "trap" a few weeks ago! Why this special treatment for it?

Maybe I'll consider a feature request?

I am not sure why bends only exists for standard staves. I assumed that was deliberate and the symbol is only used in tab. But I don't know. If you think it should be supported for standard staves, that too is worth a separate issue.

As for dynamics and "all or nothing", of course, as far as MuseScore is concerned, a crescendo is *not* a form of dynamics - it a form of line. So it *is* all or nothing, for lines. That's the problem :-) But it shouldn't be hard to exclude hairpins if we decide that makes sense, and think we just did.

I do not play guitar, and I expect I will never need to deal with these issues, but I must say, what a terrific and informative thread this is. Thanks to all who participated. It gives me great joy and hope to see so much intellect, courtesy and collaboration. Congratulations to all.

Best regards,
Don Naduriak.

I had also this issue :
A the time of the creation of the score I link standard staff and Tab staffs. Notes and numbers appear together, no lyrics on the TAB. But if I copy paste a few notes with lyrics then the lyrics show up on the TAB.


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