Playing back sound of chord?

• Jun 24, 2010 - 04:33

I'm a beginner here. So when I use left.right arrow past a note, it will play back the sound of the note, which is nice. But when I have a chord, it will only play the top note. Is there a way for it to play all the notes of the chord? Thanks for any help.


You're correct, when you scroll or step through a score using the arrow keys, MuseScore only plays one note of chords. You have to click where you want to start playing and hit the play control (either use the keyboard shortcut or the use the mouse on the play pause control) to hear chords it seems.

I don't know if playing entire chords when scrolling through a score is a planned feature but I imagine you could enter it as a feature request.

I have the same question as museuser_ , only 5 years later. Any update on being able to play back all notes in a chord while manually scrolling through the score?

In reply to by Nate Gusakov

At the same time? No. But you can navigate vertically as well as horizontally, using Alt+Up/Down. The cursor navigation is based on a single note, as that is what you normally need while editing a score - to change the pitch of a single note, for example. So MuseScore plays the single note that is selected.

Can you describe your use case? I could imagine someone wanting to hear full chords while navigating as a substitute for the "scrubbing playback" provide in some programs, where you can hear the music played back across all staves as you move the mouse.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Just as you surmise, I want to be able to essentially scrub the playback with the keyboard but have the option to listen to all (or selected) chord notes together as I move back and forth. Perhaps an option to turn 'chord playback mode' on or off?…(composing a piece for solo piano at the moment). The Alt+Up/Down is helpful, thanks for that!

In reply to by Nate Gusakov

I think even if there were such an option for keyboard navigation, it would have to be interpreted as literally just the current chord - same staff/voice. That really wouldn't get you scrubbing playback. So I think it makes more sense to think about what a scrubbing mode would look like in MuseScore. It wouldn't have to be mouse-only; it could involve keyboard to move the playback cursor. But the point is, it wouldn't be an option to the existing navigation - which is based on selecting individual notes - but something tied to a more general scrubbing mode that uses the playback cursor to make it clear you are potentially hearing all staves / voices at once (a way to limit which staves play back is not out of the question either).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I'd like the ability to sound the chord on a given staff at a given point in the score with a keypress, too. My use case is that I am writing an accompaniment under a melody, the notes of which will mostly reflect the notes in said chord. Before I split it apart (e.g., arpeggiate it) I want to see how I feel about the basic voicing. Using playback to do this is cumbersome, as typically I will have a few surrounding measures bracketed for playback, which I have to turn off with SHIFT+L, then pick the start note (i.e., the chord), etc.

In reply to by manonash

There's a cheat to do this: go to the page where you want to hear the chord, then insert a new tempo marking of QTR = 0. Then click on a note in the chord, and press the space bar (or hit "play"). The midi player will sound that vertical group and stay there until you stop playback.

Also, while it's sounding the chord, you can moving the cursor to a different note, and it will then sound that chord.


In reply to by Aldo Cugnini


Nice hack. Thank you, Aldo.

Still, it would be useful to have a more conventional command sequence to attain the same effect: analyzing chords and other events vertically, one by one, across all staves. I guess "scrubbing" is the technical term now. I learned this as "stepping" through an arrangement. Iow, you proceed step by step.

I am happy with the playback in MuseScore 2.1. I want to congratulate the team on doing a great job, and hope that they will continue the good work. The file I am attaching is not my work, so please do not publish it. I typed it into MuseScore to use the playback to help me to learn the piece, and am delighted with the result.
(I hope that some day you will get a steelpan expert involved to introduce sustaining long notes with genuine steelpan sound. I don't use tremolo because it doesn't produce a genuine steelpan sound. Meanwhile I am delighted with what the software can do so far!)

Attachment Size
Entertainer rehearsal.mscz 35.01 KB

That would be a handy feature...being able to play all the notes of a chord for a part at once to hear how each chord sounds when writing music..
Or better yet being able to click on a beat to hear all the parts being played on that beat to hear how a song sounds beat by beat for finding bugs in the score you want to fix or what beat to start adding an additional part when writing a song.

In reply to by Adria Sorensen

Great enhancement to the new feature suggestion! One wants to hear not just the notes that occur on a particular beat, but also those notes that are still sounding from previous beats.

In the meantime, the 'tempo=0' hack does work. It doesn't actually stop the clock. Instead, MuseScore playback is reduced to some system minimum. But try it - you'll get the hang of it.


In reply to by avalonbaya

In 2.1 this is really easy: that version doesn’t play back chord symbols at all

Edit, oops you meant chords, not chord symbols.
Go to Edit > Preferences > Note Input and disable plaxybacl of chords there
And update to 2.3.2, at least (2.1 is really antediluvian meanwhile), and consider upgrading to 3.6.2 in parallel

When using the left and right arrow keys, you can play a chord by moving the cursor off the chord to the right, and then back to the left onto the chord.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.