editorial articulations in brackets

• Nov 5, 2015 - 14:08

I often need to be able to put articulation marks in brackets, to indicate that they are editorial (just as you can put accidentals in brackets, or make a dotted or dashed slur). At the moment, I think the only way that this is possible is to manually insert the brackets as text and then move them into position, which takes time and sometimes when, creating parts or changing the scaling size these, be displaced. I don't mind doing this, but it can be very time consuming, for example in a baroque concerto, where there can be dozens of editorial articulation marks.

Would it be possible for me to create these using the custom palette tool? I was hoping I could somehow combine a bracket and a staccato (for example) and save it to a new workspace, but I haven't been succesful. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


All articulation symbols are available as text in using the Special Characters palette (press F2 while editing text) so you should be able to create a text marking like "(>)". Finding the relevant symbols in the the palette can be a bit of a pain in the current release, but it's much easier in the nightly builds. You could create the marking in a nightly build then copy and paste the text it to a score in the stable version.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you for your quick response. I couldn't find any musical symbols in the Special Characters palette, but there were a lot of question marks, so perhaps they are hidden in there somewhere? I also can't get any of the nightly builds to download.
Would I be able to copy and paste if someone uploaded a mscz with the articulations as text included? I'm looking for keils/daggers and staccati, both surrounded by backets - (x) and with one bracket either side (x & x), for a few notes in a row with editorial marks.

In reply to by Kaspar

Like I said, it's much easier to find them in the nightly builds, so you might try one of those. but they *are* there in 2.0.2 as well. You just need to keep moving through the code pages via the control at the top of the dialog until you find them.

In reply to by SRH

@SRH: Sure?

Dotted or dashed line indicates editorial additions for slurs (or ties), not sure this apply also to signs like '-', '>' or '·'; in fact I'm rather sure it does not (a dotted or dashed staccato dot would be hard to notice!) and thatround parentheses or square brackets are the commonest way to indicate editorially supplied articulation marks.

In reply to by SRH

I don't see any possibility in 2.0.3 (or 2.1.0 nightly) to change the lines of, say, an up-bow mark to dotted or dashed. I only see options for color, horizontal and vertical offset, direction, anchor, time stretch, and ornament style (Default or Baroque).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The symbols from the master palette don't really solve the problem. It would be good to have a bracket that can bracket some more symbols than just accidentals and notes. I believe there are quite a few users who would use this.

It is tedious to put these things in brackets because the bracket is not anchored where for example a staccato marking is anchored. Every time the score is reformated the brackets walk away and need to be re-placed. I have done it though not for a while.

For some markings one can use other tricks to distinguish them: Use a smaller font or a different font for dynamics; dotted or dashed lines for slurs etc. But brackets are almost certainly the best choice for staccato dots and similar markings as well as for ornaments.

The quality of Musescore has improved to a point where it is a good choice for things like Urtext editions. This request is the punishment for making the program as good as it is...

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

This is a little off topic but here goes:

Editorial up and down bow markings are really only a topic in music for beginners and in exercises/etudes. Music at middle and higher difficulty does not require them; this decision can safely be left to the players (who will likely cross out the editor's markings and pencil in their own anyway). Unless the original contains bow markings (hopefully by the composer, not by some 19th century editor) I think one should not put any into the score at all in most cases. The same is true for fingerings except in cases where special sound effects are intended (open strings; harmonics).

Just ask any string player how often he/she is using printed fingerings or bowings. Almost all of them will tell you: practically never.

As far as using dotted/dashed bow markings: I think they'd look funny. I'd rather go with parentheses around them; I don't remember ever seeing dotted or dashed ones; you see them either smaller or in parentheses.

In reply to by SRH

Is there an official editorial marking design rule at all? If so practically all my printed music that has such markings is against the rules. Anyhow, accidentals and articulation markings (and ornament sand dynamics as well) are put into brackets by many editors (the reason has already been pointed out). Another often used option is to make them smaller but I can't do that on Musescore either. This option actually looks better and is less distracting for the (sight)reader though the distinction between original and editorial markings is a bit harder to see and can be lost if the printing is not perfect.

I want to joint those who wish for a bracket in the articulations palette that behaves like the one in the accidentals palette (or the option to use that one for accidentals and articulation marks both).

In reply to by azumbrunn

The same parentheses in the accidentals works on notes also. Add ornaments to the list of what can be put in parentheses, especially since several of the ornaments affect the playback and a text box doesn't allow for that.

In reply to by azumbrunn

Just to clarify, do you mean [square brackets]? This seems to be the way articulations like staccati and keils are indicated in urtext editions, but I also see some in parentheses (sometimes called round brackets). I also just noticed in a Wiener Urtext edition I have of some CPE Bach sonatas, both kinds of brackets are used also so show editorial slurs and ties. I'm not sure I would use that myself...

I'm glad this discussion has started again.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.