A range of alternative noteheads can be accessed via the Note Heads palette of the Advanced workspace, or the Inspector (see Change notehead group, below).
Note: The design of the notehead may vary depending on the music font selected (Leland, Emmentaler, Gonville, Bravura, MuseJazz, Petaluma). Those in the palette are displayed as half notes in Bravura font.
MuseScore supports a range of notehead styles:
- Normal: A standard notehead.
- Crosshead (Ghost note): Used in percussion notation to represent cymbals. It also indicates muted and/or percussive effects in stringed instruments such as the guitar.
- Diamond: Used to indicate harmonic notes in instruments such as the guitar, violin etc.
- Slash: Used to notate rhythms (e.g. guitar strums).
- Triangle up/down: Used in percussion notation.
- Shape notes: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti.
- Circle cross: Used in percussion notation.
- Circled noteheads
- Slashed notehead: A notehead with an oblique line through it.
- Plus noteheads
- Alt. Brevis: Used in early music notation.
- Brackets (Parentheses): applied around an existing note (or accidental).
Change notehead group
To change the shape of one or more noteheads in the score, use one of the following:
- Select one or more notes and click a notehead in a palette (double-click in versions prior to 3.4).
- Drag a notehead from a palette onto a note in the score.
- Select one or more notes and change the notehead in the Inspector, using the drop-down list under Note → Head group (not supported for drum staves).
Change notehead type
Occasionally you may need to change the apparent duration of a notehead—i.e. notehead type—without altering its actual, underlying duration:
- Select one or more notes.
- Choose one of the following options from the Inspector under Note → Head type:
- Auto: Automatic, i.e. apparent duration = actual duration.
- Whole: Whole notehead, regardless of actual duration.
- Half: Half notehead, regardless of actual duration.
- Quarter: Quarter notehead, regardless of actual duration.
- Breve: Breve notehead, regardless of actual duration.
When two notes in different voices, but of the same written pitch, fall on the same beat, one of two things may happen:
- The notes may share the same notehead.
- The notes may be offset: i.e. arranged side by side.
MuseScore uses the following rules:
- Notes with stems in the same direction do not share noteheads.
- Dotted notes do not share noteheads with undotted notes.
- Black notes do not share noteheads with white notes.
- Whole notes never share noteheads.
Note: If two unison notes occur in the same voice they are always offset.
Change offset noteheads to shared
To turn offset noteheads in opposite voices into shared noteheads :
- Make the smaller-value notehead invisible by selecting it and using the keyboard shortcut V (or unchecking the "Visible" option in the Inspector).
In a small minority of cases (where the smaller value note is dotted) this workaround is not applicable, so use the following alternative:
- Select the smaller value notehead and, in the "Note" section of the Inspector, change "Head type" to match that of the larger value note in the opposite voice.
Examples of notehead sharing
In the first example below, the notes of voices 1 and 2 share noteheads by default, because they are all black, undotted notes:
By contrast, in the next example, white notes cannot share noteheads with black notes, so are offset to the right:
To create a shared notehead, change the black eighth note's head type to match that of the white note or, pre-3.5, make it invisible (as explained above):
Remove duplicate fret marks
In certain cases, a shared notehead, when pasted to a tablature staff, may result in two separate fret marks on adjacent strings. To correct this, make any extraneous tablature notes invisible by selecting them and using the keyboard shortcut V (or by unchecking the "visible" option in the Inspector).