GSoC 2019: Chord Symbol Playback

Posted 6 months ago


My name is Peter Hieu Vu. I am an undergraduate student at the University of Washington Seattle and have been selected to work with MuseScore for this year's Google Summer of Code.

As a pianist who loves playing and writing lead sheets, chord symbols are essential for my music. When I first started using MuseScore, I remember transcribing a piece of music and pressing play. I had written a little melody and some spicy chords to go along with it, but ended up just hearing a lame melody. In hindsight, the melody was probably just not very good, but I still wished I could hear the chords being played too. Once I found out about GSoC and saw that other members of the community had similar wishes, I immediately jumped on the opportunity.

Over this coming summer, I will be working to implement playback for chord symbols

The idea of the project

MuseScore is a music notation software that's designed to notate (of course :)), compose, and engrave music. The goal of this project is not to compete with accompaniment software or other similar tools. The goal of this project is to, instead, provide a way to playback harmony to help with composing and notating music. We want to give users the ability get an idea of what their music will sound like without needing to be able to imagine what a chord might sound like in their heads.

As a user, you should be able to just add a chord symbol and have it be played. No extra steps. If something slightly different is needed, a user should be able to change some settings. Maybe a different instrument to play the chord. Maybe a different voicing. Maybe a different rhythm. Finally, users should be able to disable chord symbol playback if that is what they want.

And that's the main idea! Something simple, intuitive, but still with flexibility :)

Keeping up with the project

I'm very excited to get the chance to work with MuseScore, my mentor Marc Sabatella, and the rest of the community on this project! Thank you and feel free to leave any comments or suggestions!


I appreciate your project.
I'm a programmer and hobby-musician (trombone and singing) and use musescore for rehearsal.
For my improvisation-studies the ability of playing the chord-symbols would be an enormous benefit.
I hope that this will be implemented in future versions of musescore.
Good luck...