Accordion stuff

• Dec 15, 2022 - 12:50

Hi there,
my primary instrument is the accordion, not the piano. It would be nice if a couple of additional features were added to Musescore specifically for accordion. The first that springs to mind is that by default everything in the accordion Bass staff (left hand for the musician) is stacatto by default. It would be nice to be able to set this as an option when the instrument is one of the accordion types.

Secondly, under the Bass staff I put the button indicators. This uses the same text as Chord Text, but goes under the staff instead of above. Additionally for the Bass staff it uses a dash like a Tenuto, or a double dash like an equals sign to signify which row the button required is located in (fundamental row, counterbass row, or extra row if the instrument is configured French/Bassetti style rather than Italian/Stradella). (Unlike a piano, an accordion has redundancy - you get exactly the same sound from different buttons.) It would be nice if button indicator text was available instead of having to cludge Chord Text.

Thirdly, it would be nice to be able to adjust the volume of the Bass Clef and Treble Clef independently for accordion. These are independently adjustable on Roland electronic accordions. I'm sure that workarounds for this problem exist. But it would be a nice feature to have available.


For (3) a possible workaround is to use Two instruments instead, but remove the bottom staff from the first and the top staff from the 2nd.

Pertaining to your issues with staccatos, in Musescore 4, they added a new feature to allow you to have every note placed have a staccato - simply click the staccato button next to the other articulations at the top bar (the same bar with the note lengths). I don't believe this feature is available in Musescore 3, however.

As for your problem with accordion indicators, I'm pretty sure that the 'Accordion' Pallette is probably what you're looking for - to access it, go to the left box and click 'Add Palettes,' then search for 'Accordion' on the list. I think that's what you're looking for.

Regarding (2). In MuseScore 4. there is a Palette named "Fingering". It is not the same as Chords (Ctrl+K). If you want to change where fingering indicators are placed (i.e. above/ below staff), select indicator (mous-click) and then press "x" on the keyboard.
Elaborating on above: you can select multiple fingering indicators (shift + mouse-click) and then by pressing "x" on keyboard you can change placement (above/ below staff) for all of them at once.

I'm Martin and I use the accordion as a primary instrument. What reallye disapoints me is the sound - it sound really terrible with the standard musescore sound. I got two sound fonts but the don't sound good, too. Have you any suggestions to get a propper accordion sound?
Regards, Martin

In reply to by festina16095

Hi Martin,
I can't really help unless I know what version of Musescore and what sound files you are using. I remember when I used Musescore 2 with it's standard accompaniment of sound files, that the accordion rendition was really awful. But since using Musescore 3, with it's sound files, it hasn't been too bad for me. I tried uploading Musescore 4, but have never been able to get that to work. But I have spent a lot of time fiddling in the View/Mixer menu option to get the sort of sounds I like. Maybe you should try downloading one of my recent arrangements as a Musescore compressed file, open in your version of Musescore and try playing this to see if it sounds any better.

In reply to by davechristie94

Hi, thank you for your quick response!
I'm using Musescore 4 and it seems that the changing of accordion registers has no effect to the sound. It always sounds like an outdated synthesizer, really bad.
I opened one of your songs in Musescore 4 and first there is an error message and you have to install an update but I could play it. The sound was not what I heard when I played it in the search engine for sheets.
May be Musescore 4 isn't just ready for the accordion sounds...
I keep on searching :-)
Kind Regards, Martin

Hi Dave. You make valid points all. Personally, I like the freedom Musescore gives me to notate my accordion scores that makes sense to me, and I finger- and chord-notate everything. We accordion players are a different breed, after all, so we need our own way of doing things.

For instance, I use Lyric notation for the right-hand and Figured Bass (Ctrl-G) for bass fingering. To signify bass/counterbass when needed I use a circled "1" for counter and a rectangle-framed "2" for bass, according to how I might play a particular passage.

I treat the chords as 3-note piano chord triads, notated with the Chord symbols (Ctrl-K) as needed. On the same staff as the bass, but as Voice 1 (bass is Voice 2).

And yes, playback is a cheap synthesizer, but it is more than adequate to confirm my notes are correct...or incorrect. :-) The important playback issue how it sounds on accordion. I use MU4 with no Muse Hub or sound add-ons, by the way.

I enjoyed this thread. Just adding my opinion. Could be wrong.

In reply to by daveburkevt

All very valid points. I think each of us has our own wee foibles. I never actually put 'fingering' information in my accordion parts in arrangements. But then where my left hand is concerned, I don't play the accordion like most anyway. When I was a kid at school the middle finger of my left hand was crushed in a school gate. So I tend to use the annular finger of my left hand where most would be using the middle finger. That's why I chose the Basetti (French) configuration for my Roland, rather than the standard Stradella (Italian). It makes it easier for me to play jazz chords, especially minor sevenths.

I've always found it annoying to have to mark as staccato every note in the accordion bass clef. I think it would be a simple software tweak to provide this as the default (optional) for accordion bass part. I've also found it annoying to have to use the inspector (properties for Musescore 4) to move text created using CTRL-T under the bass part. Again, it shouldn't be too difficult to make below the default for accordion. Maybe there already is a way to do this that I don't know about?

I don't find the sound playback too bad in Musescore 3 onwards, although versions before 3 were really naff in this respect. But it would also be nice if we could set the musette detune for accordion. That's what gives accordions in different countries their characteristic sound. For example Irish accordions typically use 5 - 10 cents of detune, Italian accordions 15 - 20 cents, French accordions 25 - 30 cents, Scottish accordions 40 - 45 cents, and Cajun accordions 45 - 50 cents. Scottish accordions typically use double musette with no top pipe. (I think they are unique in this respect.) My point is that it would be nice if we could make the accordion sound more like Irish if the tune is Irish, Scottish if the tune is Scottish, and so on. I found that adding another instrument such as clarinet (which I've never seen used in a Scottish Ceilidh band) can help make the overall sound more pleasant. And of course, being able to change the sound by changing the register settings would be icing on the cake.

In reply to by daveburkevt

When I add chords in the accordion left hand in my arrangements, I tend to put in three notes, like piano, rather than using the international standard single note. After all, it's only symbolic and it's not what the accordion actually plays anyway. And I've experimented with the actual note selection for left hand chords, and seem to have settled on what I prefer. You can only play one inversion of left hand chords on acoustic accordions anyway. The Roland electronic accordions do allow you to play inversions, but I've never really used this feature.

In reply to by davechristie94

Wow, Dave. You certainly know about the nuances of Accordion sounds. You'd think MuseHub would have the capability to be programmed to provide the variations you're describing.

I'm a triad chord writer as well. More of a piano composition approach, I suppose. It does fill out the sound on playback, though as I mentioned, the overall sound quality of Musescore playback has never been a priority for me.

CTRL-T = Staff Text. Didn't know that. I always enjoy learning new shortcuts!

In reply to by daveburkevt

Do a search for 'The Black Velvet Band' and find my arrangement for this. In the comments for this arrangement I've put some info about accordion 'rules'. This explains a bit about how the accordion works. You should remember that the accordion plays everything as chords, and what is written in the score is symbolic only, indicating part of what is actually played. The accordion basically relies upon tricking the ear into focussing on a particular octave, generally the lowest one (because that is the loudest). So we hear the root version of the chord being played with the left hand, although all three inversions are generally being played at the same time. When a Roland electronic accordion allows you to change the inversion of a chord, what it is actually doing is adjusting the volume of the notes within the chord, so your ear focusses on the inversion selected. Hope this is making sense.

I too have learned to put left hand chords in my arrangements as triads like a piano. I do this because to my ear it sounds better this way on Musescore playback. The international standard for accordion music has the left hand written as a single note, accompanied by a letter below the bass clef to indicate which button to use (M, m, 7, 0) for bass chords. (The nearest button in the row.)

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