You can choose from an extensive range of alternative noteheads including diamond, crosshead, and many others.

    Notehead shapes

    A number of alternative notehead systems are also available allowing you, for example, to write music with pitch names in noteheads, solfege, or shape-note music. e.g.

    Seven-shape system (Aikin)

    Changing notehead direction

    To flip a notehead horizontally (left to right of stem or vice-versa), use one of the following:

    • Press Shift+X.
    • Set Note direction in Properties: Note.
      Note direction

    This also works for a selection of notes.

    (Note: Contrast this command with X which flips the stem and beam vertically (top to bottom or vice versa)

    Changing notehead shape

    1. Select one or more noteheads;
    2. Use one of the following:
      • Select a notehead from Notehead type in Properties: Note.
      • Click on a notehead in the Noteheads palette.

    Alternatively, you can drag a notehead symbol from a palette onto a notehead in the score.

    Sharing noteheads between voices

    When two notes in different voices coincide on the same beat, they can either share a single notehead, or else be offset to allow the display of both noteheads. This is done automatically by MuseScore according to certain rules (see below).

    To force two offset noteheads in different voices to share a single notehead, use one of the following methods:

    • Make the smaller-value notehead invisible. This works for the majority of cases.
    • Select the smaller value notehead and in the Note section of the Properties toolbar change "Head type (visual only)" to that of the higher value note.

    Rules for automatically sharing or offsetting noteheads:

    • 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.

    Remove duplicate fretmarks in tablature

    If you are using paired standard and tablature staves you will come across situations where a shared notehead in the standard staff generates two fretmarks in tablature. In this case simply hide one of the fretmarks by making it invisible.

    Alternative notehead schemes

    To apply an alternative notehead scheme to all notes on a staff:

    1. Right click on an empty part of the desired staff and select Staff/Part properties
    2. Click on the Advanced style properties button
    3. Make a selection from the Notehead scheme dropdown.
    4. Click OK twice to exit the dialog.

    To apply an alternative notehead scheme to only selected notes on a staff:

    1. Select the notes to be changed
    2. In the Properties panel, select the desired option from the Notehead system dropdown in the Note section (you may need to click "Show more" at the bottom of the panel to reveal it).

    There is a choice of normal noteheads, noteheads enclosing pitch names, solfege or various shape-note styles.

    Adding pitch and velocity information to notes

    To edit the playback velocity of a note:

    • In the Playback: General section of the Properties panel, edit "Velocity". This adds or subtracts the displayed value to/from the absolute velocity of the note indicated in the score.

    To modify the playback pitch of a note (without altering notation):

    • In the Playback: General section of the Properties panel, edit "Tuning (cents)". This adds/subtracts the displayed value to/from the note pitch shown in the score.

    Notehead properties

    After selecting a notehead, the following properties can be edited in the Note section of the Properties panel:

    Notehead parentheses: Add or remove parentheses.
    Notehead type: See Changing notehead shape (above).
    Hide notehead: Makes notehead invisible (see also, Properties: visibility).
    Small notehead:
    Duration dot position: This provides an alternative vertical offset for the duration dot.
    Notehead system: See Alternative notehead systems (above).
    Notehead type (visual only): See Change offset noteheads to a shared notehead (above).
    Note direction: See Changing notehead direction (above).
    Notehead offset: This changes the offset of the notehead only (to change the offset of the complete note, use "Offset" in Properties: Appearance instead).