Adding organ manual notations (i.e. Gt, Sw, Ch, Pd)

• Apr 23, 2024 - 01:00

What's the best way to add a notation to indicate which organ keyboard should be used, and when to switch? Would you use system text, staff text, or something else? Ideally I'd like to draw a bracket and attach the label (Gt, Sw, Ch) to the bracket, since you can be playing on different keyboards within the same system.


In reply to by Magnus Johansson

As far as the text goes, I would (and have) used Staff Text (especially if different staves are on different manuals), and adjusted the position accordingly. Of course, it's not going to affect playback in any way.

But I had a feeling you were talking about those funny little braces--look at Master Palette (Shift+F9)-->Symbols-->Staff brackets and dividers. Select a notehead, click on the bracket symbol, then adjust position to where you want it. It's a little small, and might not fill the whole space between the staves, but it gets the message across.

Attachment Size
Funny_little_braces.mscz 21.6 KB

In reply to by wfazekas1

Thanks - this would work but isn't as clear as I'd like it to be. In my arrangement, I start with both hands on Swell, then (in the middle of a measure) the right hand goes to Great while the left stays on swell. So I'm changing manuals on the same line of notes. Ideally I'd bracket both the treble and bass clefs at the beginning and label it "Sw", then bracket off just the top note and label it "Gt" at the right place.

In reply to by JonLHarris

Hmm-I think I know the notation you'd like: a thin, vertical bracket which extends over one or both staves, depending on case, and is hooked at one or both ends. I'm sure that's possible on Musescore, but, having learned it on Ms3, I'm not sure where everything is on Ms4 yet--I tried the appropriate style under the "brackets" palette, but it only creates brackets at the beginnings of systems. Perhaps "lines"?

Would you specify the stops you wanted for each keyboard? If you specified three manuals plus pedals would that prohibit performance on a two manual organ?

Most organists I know would prefer to decide it all for themselves

In reply to by Scarpia

On this particular arrangement, I'm not making any registration suggestions. I just want to indicate when you should move from Manual I to Manual II on the same staff, without indicating Great or Swell. I agree most organists like to decide for themselves; I certainly do. If I had 3 main registrations, I'd specify I, II, and III and let the organist figure out how to play it on a 2-manual instrument.

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