Boxed in: Do I really need to delete a perfected Part just to "add" tablature to it?

• Oct 17, 2021 - 05:19

On numerous occasions I've found myself boxed in by the behavior described below and in the attached score.

      Linked Tablature configurations and Parts.mscz

  • The problem goes like this: I have a main score that includes Staff X and I've created a Part for Staff X. When I add a linked tablature staff to the main score's Staff X there's no option to commute (or show) that linked staff in the Part that's already been generated for Staff X.

  • The workaround is to delete the existing Part and create a new Part. But this is at the expense of deleting a perfected Part just to display linked tablature that essentially already belongs to the part—the linked tablature certainly belongs to the main score's part! And deleting a generated and edited Part easily results in a significant loss of work. (Granted, one could argue, "Always plan out your scores and add a tablature staves before generating and editing Parts,"... but let's please not go down that path in this discussion.)

The attached score started as a Solo Guitar. Here are steps to replicate:

  • File>New>Solo>Guitar

  • Use File>Parts to generate the solo guitar part.

  • Add a linked tablature staff in the main score—unfortunately that significant notational addition does not appear in the part!

  • NOTE: In the Part view, if I attempt to add tablature, I encounter the Instrument configuration that shows the linked staff in effect. (I looked at the Instrument dialog precisely to see if it allows settings unique to the main score and the parts. Apparently not.)

Also noted: From within the Part view, the addition of another linked tablature staff results in an additional linked stave in the main score, but still no tablature in the Part.

My tentative conclusion is that:

Once a part is generated subsequent changes in the main score's linked tablature staff configurations fail to influence the Part.

Am I missing something?

Is this the designed and desirable behavior?

Ideally, on inception, there would be an option to initially commute the Part an linked tablature added to the part in the main score. Afterwards it would be exceptionally helpful if one could toggle the linked staff display on or off for the Part (as we can do for Instruments in the main score.)


Comments

Devil's advocate here:

How much of the "carefully perfected" modifications to your part would still be valid when another staff is added to it (be it a linked tablature staff or a separate instrument entirely). Due to the extra vertical space, the page breaks for example are pretty much guaranteed to be in the wrong position now.

In reply to by jeetee

jeetee wrote > How much of the "carefully perfected" modifications to your part would still be valid when another staff is added

I looked at a few scores where I have encountered the need to add tablature to an existing Part.

This may not be an exhaustive list but at a glance I see, that on deleting and regenerating the Part, I lost:

  • Format>Page Settings: Odd Page Margins
  • Format>Page Settings: Even Page Margins
  • Format>Page Settings: Scaling>Staff Space

  • Format>Style Page Settings, including Page Size and Portrait/Landscape Pretty and likely all Format>Style settings

  • Format>Style>Page: Staff distance
  • Format>Style>Page: Grand Staff distance
  • Format>Style>Measure>Measure Width setting ...
  • Format>Style>Measure Numbers including visibility setting

  • Staff/Part Properties:
       All properties in its main dialog
        All properties in its Advanced Style Properties sub dialog

  • All added/changed measure breaks

  • All added/changed page breaks

  • All repositioning of Text objects

  • Font changes applied to Text objects
  • Edited staff Text object content
  • All added or repositioned fingering details
  • All finessed slur positioning

  • The "Visible" property value of various objects, notational or other.

  • the state of View>Show Visible
  • the state of View>Show Unprintable
  • compressed measures (if turned off in the Part)
    ...
    To answer your question, except for perhaps Page Breaks, virtually all of these settings would be valid (to me) after adding a staff to a existing Part.

I'd certainly want to see the result and decide for myself if I'd rather delete the Part and regenerate it from scratch. And for the record, if I was able to add a linked tablature staff, I wouldn't mind fixing a couple of vertical spacing issues that might arise—I'd expect that and it would be less work than resetting the properties in the provided list.

scorster

In reply to by scorster

You can always save the style of the part to a style file and then reload that style for the newly created part; that takes care of pretty much half of your list of "issues".

I have a hard time believing that Page Breaks (and to some extend Measure Breaks) will still be valid, after all you've more than doubled system height by including an additional staff in there.

In reply to by jeetee

jeetee wrote > You can always save the style of the part to a style file and then reload that style for the newly created part; that takes care of pretty much half of your list of "issues".

Okay, I'll try your Save/Reload Style suggestion, so that a couple of additional steps might save me half of the Part reconfiguration efforts.

...

Previously there were a couple of posts in which extensive discussion centered on MuseScore intentionally leaving main score and part velocity unsynced. At that time I believe it was stated that only notational aspects of the main score are synced with parts; and that layout is intentionally independent between parts and the main score. Generally speaking, I think that is a good plan. But notational and layout don't cover all the possible properties. Velocity being an example that falls in neither category.

However in that discussion velocity was deemed "non notation" and therefore "Layout, sort of" and by that measure justifiably unsynced per the notational/layout divide. And that makes sense if you follow this logic: Humans are not gods. Cows are not humans, thus cows must be gods "sort of".

So then, the question here is the following:

Is a linked staff notational content or a layout feature? If it is considered notational, which I think it ought be, wouldn't it be best if MuseScore offer the option to include a newly added linked staff in an existing Part?

Right, but how would MuseScore know one's preference? Simply by asking. I see a lot of naysaying discussion lately about MuseScore guessing, that it shouldn't or can't guess intelligently. Indeed MuseScore can't read minds, but that's no reason to dismiss the request for an option, because MuseScore needn't ever guess about this. If

When the user attempts to add a linked tablature staff (in the scenario described) MuseScore could easily post an intervening dialog asking: "Do you want this linked staff to appear in your existing Part for this staff?"

Problem solved. There would be no guesswork. And:

  • nobody would get an extra staff added to their Part without their permission
  • no one would have to recreate a Part from scratch.

I know this is work for developers, but it seems reasonable.

Anybody?

scorester

I do not understand the need for generating a part from a score created for solo instrument. It seems redundant - like making a duplicate copy of the score.
I do however observe the disconnect to which you refer and wonder if you have some ulterior objective for needing a "part" from a solo instrument score, because, in a certain sense, a solo instrument is the part.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Jm6Stringer wrote >** *I do not understand the need for generating a part from a score created for solo instrument.

Good point. Sorry if my example score created any confusion. It would have been clearer if I had created a main score with at least two parts.

I was trying to created an example with the least possible steps, so others could easily replicate and observe the behavior.

Indeed the scores in which I've needed to show linked tablature part had: a melody part, a harmony part and a bass part and sometimes percussion.

scorster

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Actually that use case is an argument for the current behavior, you create a score for guitar, generate the part, then assume the linked staff to the main score and hide the normal staff (this is possible only in the main score), and now have both a Tablature and a normal staff to print out separately

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Separately displaying/porinting the normal notation and tablature is not relevant to my request.

I want both the normal and linked tab notation in the main score AND the part. Easy to do if the score has the linked tab before Part generation; no go if the Part is generated prior to adding the linked tab staff.

Or did I misunderstand your use case argument?

scorster

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

In what follows, I will use "part" to mean an instrument part on a score, and "Part" to mean a derived part.

It seems to me that the state of play in the current "debate" is:

Pro: It would often be convenient that, when a staff is added to a part on the "main score", it would also be added to any Part that incorporated that part. (Note: a linked tab staff is only one example of a staff that can be added to a part.)

Con: If that happened, then layout changes that had already been made on the affected Part would be disrupted.

Rebuttal: True, for certain kinds of layout changes. (For example, system breaks would not be disrupted, and if for the Part a style property as to system spacing had been established, that would still be followed.) But if so, the scorist could then do what was needed to bring the layout to the condition she wants. If that was more trouble than starting over for the Part (to now include the added staff), she could choose to do that.

Doug

In reply to by Doug Kerr

I, too, will use "part" to mean an instrument part on a score, and "Part" to mean a derived part.
You wrote:
Note: a linked tab staff is only one example of a staff that can be added to a part.

OK...
Consider a piano "part" consisting of a single treble clef staff. The derived (i.e., generated) Part would also display a single treble staff.
Suppose one then adds a bass clef staff to the part on the "main score". As you say; it would also be added to any Part that incorporated that part. OK, thus far.
You then state: system breaks would not be disrupted...
Well, suppose the treble clef staff of that piano part was strictly comprised of whole notes/chords, and then the added bass clef contained an Alberti bass accompaniment, or arpeggiated (broken) chords running as 16th notes. In this case the measures on the bass clef staff may need to expand to contain all those notes, thus disrupting the system breaks.

With regard to this whole "linked staff" discussion, my main issue was with velocities for linked TAB/Standard notation on the same sheet of paper (not as a Part). That discussion happened a while back.
I still think that a "Linked" TAB staff should be treated differently from a "linked" Part staff.
In other words, Parts generated from parts are linked, but not identical to how TAB staves are "Linked" to notation staves.
There are "parts" and "Parts", "linked" and "Linked".

In reply to by Jm6stringer

j,

You say:

"Well, suppose the treble clef staff of that piano part was strictly comprised of whole notes/chords, and then the added bass clef contained an Alberti bass accompaniment, or arpeggiated (broken) chords running as 16th notes. In this case the measures on the bass clef staff may need to expand to contain all those notes, thus disrupting the system breaks."

Point well taken.

Doug

In reply to by Doug Kerr

I must say that I am impressed by scorster's tenacity in trying to nail down the logic behind all of this.
(Likewise your tireless analysis of the "peculiarities" found in MusicXML).
As they say, "the devil is in the details", and understanding the details is what paves the road to progress.
Regards.

In reply to by Doug Kerr

There has been concern expressed that, were we to allow that when a staff was added to a part on a main score from which a part had earlier been generated, that staff addition would also apply to the Part, the addition of the staff to the Parts might conflict with and mess up layout refinements already made to the part. True enough.

But note that (forget the matter of Parts) when we add a staff to a part on a score to which we have made various layout refinements, the addition of that staff equally might conflict with and mess up those layout refinements. Yet we do not prevent the addition of a staff to a part on the main score after the score is born.

It seems that a way to deal with this concern is that, if we add a staff to a part on the main score when there is already a Part created from that score (one including the part of interest), we should have the option (perhaps through a check box on the Instrument dialog) to either have the staff added on the Part (in a straightforward way, just as when the staff is added to the main score), or not.

Doug

In reply to by Doug Kerr

Doug Kerr wrote (paraphrased) > [Concern has been expressed that] on the addition of a [linked] staff to a part on a main score, from which a part had earlier been generated, were [MuseScore] to allow the staff addition to also apply to the Part that addition [... the result] might conflict with and mess up layout refinements already made to the part. True enough.

> But (forget the matter of Parts) and note that when we add a staff to a part on a score to which we have made various layout refinements, the addition of that staff equally might conflict with and mess up those layout refinements. Yet we do not prevent the addition of a staff to a part on the main score after the score is born.

Thanks Doug Kerr. That was precisely the thought that entered my mind when I read certain objections.

In staring this post I was merely suggesting an additional option to which nobody need be obliged. I'll try to summarize later, cast out the strawmen arguments, and—if possible—clarify that I'm not trying to change the default behavior nor impose an altered result on anyone.

> It seems that a way to deal with this concern is that, if we add a staff to a part on the main score when there is already a Part created from that score (one including the part of interest), we should have the option (perhaps through a check box on the Instrument dialog) to either have the staff added on the Part (in a straightforward way, just as when the staff is added to the main score), or not.

A checkbox in the Instrument dialog! Excellent idea Doug.

So now we have two UI concepts that omit any MuseScore/AI guesswork and that allow a useful option without conking anyone's traditional workflow. (The other concept being my previous suggestion of an intervening dialog asking the the user wants to display the newly added linked tablature staff in the relevant extant Part.)

I tend to prefer Doug's suggestion, and the previously requested option (raised in a few other posts) to show/hide any staff in an instrument! And nobody's ox gets gored!

What remains would be the matter of manifesting this possibility by adding the interface and creating the supporting code.

scorster

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