Supported notehead schemes

Updated 6 months ago
This page shows old instructions for MuseScore 3.
For MuseScore 4 users, see Supported notehead schemes.

Download this testing score file ms3_noteheadschemes.mscz

Notehead schemes are used by musicians to designate notehead shape meaning, see the main chapter Noteheads. In Musescore 3, scheme option for all notes on a staff is named "Notehead Scheme", scheme option for individual note is named "Head scheme". Specific Notehead shape can also be assigned to individual note directly, when a note has specific notehead shape assigned, it does not use pitch information to determine notehead shape.

Musescore supports nine schemes. Five of them are directly fully supported, notes written create correct playback. Four "shape note notations" are supported in terms of notehead engraving, users need to take advantage of 'Transposing instruments' feature to create desired playback, see Noteheads. To create custom "shape note notations" using a scheme other than the four, see Noteheads: adding pitch info.

The nine supported by Musescore are:

  • Normal: The default scheme used by vast majority of musicians.

4 solfege related notations:

  • Pitch name: Noteheads automatically and dynamically change to include the English pitch name in the notehead.
  • German pitch name: similar to Pitch name but B replaced with H, and B♭ with B.
  • Solfège Movable Do (also called Tonic Solfa): Noteheads with solfege literally written. It uses Ti and not Si.
  • Solfège Fixed Do: Noteheads with solfege literally written. Used in France, Italy, Spain, etc. It uses Si and not Ti.

4 shape note notations, need further config if you wish to create desired playback:

  • 4 Shape (Walker): used in books such as William Walker’s Southern Harmony (1835).
  • 7 Shape (Aikin): used in books such as Jesse B. Aikin’s The Christian Minstrel (1846), and books by the Ruebush & Kieffer Publishing Company. It's the most used 7-shape system.
  • 7 Shape (Funk): used in books such as Joseph Funk’s Harmonia Sacra (1851).
  • 7 Shape (Walker): used in books such as William Walker’s Christian Harmony (1867).

External links

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