Percussion Note Heads

• Jan 14, 2011 - 17:53

A follow up question to the two comments in the middle of this post....

I can change percussion note heads to a cross, diamond, or triangle, but only by editing the drumset for the entire staff? I can't, for example, make one note in a measure of snare drum notes a cross (to maybe indicate a rimshot), it has to be the entire staff or nothing?


In reply to by [DELETED] 5

That's disappointing, since it seems to me that a percussion staff would be the place where I would most likely want to change one or a small group of notes, as opposed to say a trumpet staff (or some other instrument). But it appears that I can change a single notehead on a trumpet staff to any of the eleven different heads, but not on a percussion staff.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems a little counterintuitive.

I think in the next version of MuseScore you should be able to change the percussion note heads just like any other instrument. I've never seen trumpet music with 12 different note heads. Actually, I've never seen any instrument other that percussion with different note heads. Most people score crash cymbals with the circle x. Unfortunately You cannot do this with musescore. Sad ;( . overall good program. but this just seems like it should not even be an issue.

Please make this better!! All percussionist would love this.

Not being able to change the note heads freely really is a MAJOR weakness of MuseScore that should be fixed, especially since I also can't change the cleff of a pitched instrument with changed note heads, such as a trumpet to the percussion clef to 'disguise' what instrument is actually being used being used.

Having the ability to change the note heads in editing the drumset would change it for the entire staff. However most often you would just like 1 note to appear in a cross with circle and possible remaining notes would be the regular cross symbol.
I admit I just have started to use Musescore, and apart from this weird behaviour, it is a great program. Really hope we will get the ability to change any note head in a drumset for individual notes.

In reply to by Henk De Groot

For what purpose would you like 1 note to appear differently? Normally it would be to indicate a different sound, in which case, Edit drumset is exactly what you would need - you'd assign that notehead to the sound you want. That's what this facility is there for - to let you assign different notes to different sounds

I actually can't think of any other reason you need to change heads *except* to indicate a different sound, but if your have some special scenario in mind where you would want to do this, you can add the appropriate symnbol from the symbols palette. I have a feeling though, that you might be misunderstanding how to use the drumset editor, because really, I can't think think of any real world use cases where you'd need to change noteheads *without* changing sounds.

If you think you have such a case in mind, maybe you could post the score and explain why having two different noteheads for the same sound is necessary in that context?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The purpose would be not to indicate that there is a different sound but to indicate the length of the note. I am mostly involved with all kinds of percussion parts (including drumset) in the windband/brassband world. Here it is often important to easy spot the note duration.
An open cross is something I have never seen in any part that I have played or edit.
So to be able to see the duration of the note, I really want to have the cross symbol ability (as this indicates a specific instrument like crash cymbal) and a circle around the cross when this would be a note with the duration of 2 quaters (or longer). As in this case the sound remains the same, it is really down to the length of note. I.e. it could be important that you need to damp the cymbal after it's allowed duration as the next beat might be a moment where it is not supposed to hear any percussion sound.

I have included a sample score in which I tried to show how the different options currently look like. It is the last drumset line that I would like to have, however this is currently using another instrument to allow me to select the appropiate noteheads.
The sample score just has 1 "sound" in the drumset, but normally you would have multiple. Again the open cross is not really that obvious to "see" when you are used to regular windband/brassband notation.

Attachment Size
Notation_Test.mscz 7.58 KB

In reply to by Henk De Groot

Hmm, so if I understand you correctly, it sounds like you want to manually change noteheads as a workaround for the fact that by default, the specific noteheads used for quarter versus half versus notes are not the way you would like? Seems it would be much better to just fix that if it is really a problem. That is, make the half-note version of the various special noteheads look the way they should look, if the current versions are not correct. Otherwise, you are stuck manually changing noteheads - possibly hundreds of times over the course of a score. And having to remember to change the noteheads if you change rhythms. That's not a good solution at all, it seems to me. Better to get it right than require awkward manual workarounds.

The versions we have now do seem to match the published music I see, but I haven't made a detailed study of it. Can you post some excerpts from some published music that show things being done the way you are wanting? If it's something that is not standard but nonetheless used by some significant minority of publishers, maybe it would just be a matter of providing an alternate notation font set up this way. Or, having the drumset definition allow you to specify not just the notehead group, but the specific notehead glyphs to use for quarter, half, and whole.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

That sounds even better, perhaps a config option on the drumset on which type of notehead to use for half and whole. I.e. open cross or circle with cross.

I will check if I can find some samples for you quickly.
-edit- samples attached
The jpg files show the ending of the piece where the ride cymbal is played and ends with a roll.
Band Of Brothers has a very good example in the percussion 3 part.
The first bars of the drumset in Gimme Hope Jo'anna also show the option I am looking for.

Not to annoy there might be other people that love the open cross, still believe a configurable option would be the best.

In reply to by Henk De Groot

As I look through the music on my shelf, I also see open diamond or open slash noteheads being used for half notes for durms that would otherwise use "x".

How about the half note version of other noteheads - slash, diamond, etc - or is this mostly about the "x" notehead for you?

Seems to me the logical full customization would be to be able to specific for each "head group", which specific glyphs should be used for whole notes, half notes, and quarter & smaller. And potentially, this doesn't apply to just drumsets, but to any notation where one uses these alternate head groups.

But in practice, I suspect it's only an issue for the "x", and a single style option "use XCircle notehead for half and whole notes in Cross group". would suffice. Or, conversely, "use Cross ntoehead for quarter notes and shorter in XCircle group", and then you'd define your drumsets to use that group instead of Cross where desired.

Either way, I think we're on to something!

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I have seen some music scores as well using the diamond head. I see this mainly for half or whole notes used. So the config option to specify the type to use for half or whole note would be best.

For me, I am mainly interested i the cross for a quarter or lower note value and circled cross for half and whole note values.

Creating a group like you mention would be excellent.

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