Symbols in Staff Text

• Nov 30, 2015 - 22:17

Is there a way to insert a symbol (e.g. an accidental) into staff text? I'm trying to notate a Roman numeral chord progression using staff text, but when I insert "b" it remains a "b," and doesn't become a flat. I'd like it to look like this (the "b" should be a flat symbol):


I also tried inserting a flat symbol with the symbol palette, to no avail.

If I try to insert this as a chord (Ctrl-K), the little b turns into a capital B.



Symbols can be added by pressing F2 while editing text. There are also shortcuts for the most commonly used one - eg, Ctrl+Shift+B for flat, Ctrl+(Shift)+# for sharp.

There are also specially designed fonts intended for Roman numeral analysis - they include the horizontal bars on the V, also allow for the superscripted numbers for inversions, etc.

In reply to by darkstream

Hmm, this is odd. When the flat symbol is part of an instrument name, an automatically generated part name, or a chord symbol, it's larger and much better positioned. Why the poor default positioning (and different poor default positionings) if added via Special Characters? Bb.png

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

I am not up on all the details, but I also believe there are different flat characters - the old standard Unicode ones and the new SMuFL ones. The old ones could be sized and positioned any old way, but the SMUFL ones are, I think, designed to be sized and positioned to look correct next to a SMuFL note character, which in turn is designed to look correct when placed relative to SMuFL staff line characters. In other words, to facilitate creating readable music in a reliable way using text only. But the characters may or may not look good in ordinary text. This was the issue we faced with thenote characters for metronome markings - the regular SMuFL note characters were not intended for that purpose, so they had to add new metronome mark glyphs just for that purpose. Perhaps ultimately they will need to do the same with accidentals and maybe other symbols.

In reply to by ericr

But also, note for people in 2021 as opposed to 2015 - MuseScore now support Roman Numeral Analysis directly, no need to resort to staff text with symbols. Add / Text / Roman Numberal Analysis, then type normally, with "b" for flat etc. Numbers for inversions format themselves automatically, etc. See the Handbook for more info.

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