Option for editing abbreviated staff names in instrument changes

• Nov 27, 2015 - 18:27
Reported version
P1 - High
S5 - Suggestion
PR created

Currently in nightly builds, transposition is honored in mid-staff changes. (Thanks, Marc Sabatella). I Suggest that in Instrument selection could there be a field for changing staff abbreviated name. Marc has asked me if it would be good enough an automatic change. That is good but I think is better if you can edit such field. Sometimes I copy scores in different languages or with no non standard instrument names. It would terrible to have to change the entire interface language (in preferences) and restarting Musescore only to have the staff in the right language.


Title Option for editin abbreviated staff names in instrument changes. Option for editing abbreviated staff names in instrument changes

I think it should be of a high priority in v3.
See at: https://musescore.org/en/node/110491

Comment: When choosing "Change instrument" the instrument name should be changed from that point to the new instrument name: In the score abbreviated name should be changed until new change. In parts, no abbreviated name is needed, just "muta to" or "->Instrument"

A non-printable symbol displayed next to the Instrument Name should show the instrument change which takes effect.

With this, creating one single part would be easier, than to create one part with two or more staves.
Furthermore, that change could be applied at any point in the system (EDITED: without need for a system break).

For the record, I tried to do this when I fixed the transposition code, but a limitation in how we handle instrument names prevented it from working. I have a feeling the "new layout" algorithms for 3. probably change this significantly enough that there is a good chance it could be made to work more easily. Definitely something we should try to do.

Since this is the active issue, I'm going to post here. I took a pic of the short instrument abbreviations from a Barenreiter - a publisher that is one of my top authorities, along with Breitkopf & Hartel. I don't think Musescore is currently capable of doing abbreviations in this style at all - the instrument names followed by the part numbers by the stave makes things immensely clear, all transpositions are noted, etc. I think this is what we should be aiming for. IMAG0477.jpg

And of course, a little later those transposing instruments are in different keys, the oboe stave is an english horn stave for a system, and the violin I part suddenly becomes a violino solo.

Paging through it, it looks like they keep the ob. I/II throughout, and uses voices and the a2 marking to make it clear who's playing what. Fl I becomes Fl I & II after the Picc. drops out, though, so there is still need for editing abbreviations without any instrument changes... but Marc's pull will help.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I don't think I'm doing anything wrong, but it seems you completely broke instrument changes. I put an instrument change from the palette to a violin, right clicked it and changed to a Bb trumpet. Only the mixer changed (*almost) properly but the score display is 100% violin. Key changes don't happen (neither on the next system nor by adding a new key signature) and the original instrument short name remains in the next system. Playback did change properly on the main score - I haven't looked at parts due to other known bugs.

*almost - the right arrow on the instrument with the change is not black to indicate there are additional channels available, but this is true of all instruments (viola, trumpet...). I don't know when this change happened.

Status active needs info

Are you sure you are testing with a build that includes this change? It was only merged a few hours ago. I just tried and it all worked as expected. Name changed as per my change, I see all five channels in mixer (three for violin, two for trumpet), key change if there was one there to begin with (this was a limitation before my change today, no different from 2.3.2).

If you're still seeing a problem with the latest nighly, please attach score and steps to reproduce. But it all seems to work for me.

BTW, the right place I think to set names is in Inspector for instrument change element. Along with a button to bring up the instrument selection dialog. Right now Instrument Change piggy-backs off staff text (I did that so it could get the placement control it was previous lacking), but it wouldn't be too hard to make a full-fledged instrument change inspector.

I'm using the last nightly, so I know your PR is merged. I didn't even restart Musescore but I did close and reopen the score I'm testing on. It now seems to work except short instrument name remains unchanged.


I did the following:

Insert instrument change
Right click it to change instrument to Bb Trumpet
Inserted key change that would be obvious

Before I closed and reopened the score, when it seemed to not work I had left the score open, closed MuseScore, installed the latest nightly in place of it, started MuseScore 3 nightly. The results are as I previously stated, now after closing and reopening the score it doesn't display the instrument name properly.

In reply to by mike320

Sometimes nightly builds by more than you'd think. Best to check Help / About and report the revision number here. All I can say is, it works fine for me in my tests. Your score, however, crashes for me on load :-(
(in code having nothing to do with instrument changes).

Try the score I've attached. Looks like this for me:


The explicit key change is, again, needed in order to see it work, both in 2.3.2 and in 3.0

Attachment Size
instrument-change.mscz 10.9 KB

BTW, relevant to original request: now that MuseScore pays attention to the instrument definitions when displaying staff names, there are now two ways to customize these even without a UI. One if to edit the MSCX file (open the MSCZ as an archvie, edit the MSCX text file within) and change the short name there (just search for the old name to find it). The other is to create a custom instruments.xml file. First method is easier if you only do this every so often or need to do it differently every time. Second method could e worth it if you're constantly wanting this for the same basic set of instruments.

But sure, hopefully soon there will be a UI.

Status needs info active

The instrument change now works properly and the mixer works properly. The problem remains that the names on the staves are still no able to be edited. Going into the .mscx file to fix anything is never an acceptable workaround.

In reply to by mike320

Kudos on the new way instrument changes are handled. It's very clever! It's actually caused me some problems though, now that I've updated to 3.0, and I'm not quite sure what to do about it. Hopefully someone can help.

I'm working on an arrangement of the Rite of Spring for two pianos and two percussionists. Each percussionist plays many instruments, so I gave them each multiple staves. (I'm a classically trained percussionists and having multiple staves is by far my preferred method for managing many pitch/non-pitched instruments.) Before the update, each percussion staff was named either Percussion 1 or Percussion 2 and given a short name of either P1 or P2 and bracketed accordingly. After opening the .mcz file in 3.0, the names of the percussion staves now change dynamically depending on what instrument is being used (chimes, marimba, timpani, etc.).

Is there anyway to override this change so that I can change the staff abbreviations back to P1 and P2? Percussionists are accustomed to many instrument changes, so it's much more helpful to have the parts labeled P1, P2, etc. so we know who is playing what instrument, rather than what instrument is being played, especially since in this arrangement Percussion 1 and Percussion 2 both play chimes, marimba, and vibraphone. Having text within the staves to indicate instrument changes is sufficient. And Having P1 and P2 abbreviations will be really critical for the separate percussion part.

I've attached two images: one a screenshot from a pdf page of the score I created from 2.3.2; the other from the .mcz file of the same page but with the staff abbreviations changed. If at all possible, I'd really like to change the staff names back to just P1 and P2.

I understand this might be a peculiar percussion problem. I imagine most people will benefit from the automatic staff name changes.

My apologies if there is an easy fix to this, but I haven't been able to find one.

Attachment Size
New problem version.png 204.67 KB
Old P1 and P2 version .png 331.25 KB

In reply to by mike320

Yup I thought about that, but if I change the short name of chimes, for example, to "P1" in the mscx file, it will also show up as "P1" in the set of staves that I've designated for Percussion 2 when they have to play chimes, which would be really confusing and misleading.

I guess this really is a weird percussion thing, but it would be nice to have a global override :/

Status active PR created

Since it came up in the Tantacrul UI review video (see https://musescore.org/en/handbook/developers-handbook/ux-design/design-…) that Staff Properties should be able to accomplish the change instrument operation if you start the operation in a measure at or after the instrument change text, and this had also come up as a possible way to accomplish the staff name change with no additional UI elements, and all the underlying support was already in place, I went ahead and made this PR that implements exactly this: