Must repeat accidentals within a bar?

• Mar 22, 2018 - 22:17

It’s my understanding that if there’s an accidental at the beginning of a bar (say G#) it’s unnecessary to repeat the accidental if that same note is repeated within that same bar.
However, when I started a new score in Musescore I found that that was not happening. If I want to repeat that G# (or any other note with an accidental) I have to enter the accidental again within that same bar or the note will be wrong.

Is there any way to fix that? I’m also using this with an online class & was told that it should not need an additional accidental within that same bar.

(The file shown below just has ideas that I'm working with, but the 2nd accidental within each bar was necessary because it wouldn't play correctly without it.)

Hope you can help,

Karen Elliott
The Wanderer.mscz


I suspect that you are adding the accidentals after the notes are all entered in the measure. If that is the case, MuseScore expects you to know what you are doing and only changes the note you put the accidental on. If you enter the note G then #, then G again, both notes will become a G#. If you want to change all G's to G#, then click one, ctrl+click the rest of them and press the up arrow once and they will all become G#'s. Be aware that if the key signature had an Ab in it, the G#'s would turn into Ab not G#.

In reply to by mike320

No, I'm not. I'm entering the accidentals to each note (where needed) before going to the next note. The only reason I went back to enter the # in the 2nd note (that needed the same #) is because I was expecting the 2nd sharp to be automatically played within the same measure (as it does in Sibelius) but when I played it back, & it didn't play back correctly, I went back & put sharps on those other same notes in the measure.

In reply to by Karen Elliott 2

Again, if the two notes are on the same staff/octave/line space, MuseScore most definitely does play it with the sharp automatically Try it again and you'll see. If you are still confused, please tell us more precisely - step by step - what you are doing, what you expect to see/hear, and what happens instead. Then we'll be able to guide you better.

As mentioned above, you should be entering your accidentals as you go, not later on. But also, be aware that accidentals only apply to notes on the same staff and same line/space. So for instance, in bar 2 of your piece, it is absolutely correct to need explicit sharp signs on both G's in the left hand part. However, in measure 10, you don't need the second sharp in the right hand part, since the first sharp applies to both notes on that staff. Delete that second sharp and you'll hear the note is still a G#. If you entered both of these as G's and then changed the first to G#, MuseScore doesn't assume you also want to change the second. If you want to change it to G#, dn't use the toolbar - that always adds the sharp even though it is not needed. Instead, use the Up cursor key to raise the pitch - MuseScore automatically chooses the spelling and knows whether a sharp is needed or not. But had you entered the sharp on the first note right away, none of this would have come up - entering the second G would have automatically made it a G#.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for your reply. Referring to your last sentence, I did enter the sharp on the first note right away (before entering the next note) so I don't know why it played a G natural the second time within the bar (treble & bass clefs). Why is it that the left hand part needs the second sharp but the right hand part doesn't? (I'll have to listen back to the score when I'm home. It's too noisy to listen to it where we are now, so I'll comment more later.) I'm just starting to use MuseScore. I'm more accustomed to how Sibelius works for entering notes. Maybe that's part of the problem?

In reply to by Karen Elliott 2

In the bottom staff, the two G's are usually in different octaves - hence different lines/spaces. That is why it is necessary to put the sharps on both. For the top staff in measure 10, the G's are the same octave - same line. So only the first sharp is needed. And if you delete the contents of the measure and re-enter, you'll see it works exactly as I said. Try enter the first G, adding the sharp, then the other eighths, and then the next G. If you enter the second G on the same line as the first, you'll hear it is a G# already. If you enter it in a different octave - such as what would happen if you used the keyboard and typed "G" right after the E - then you will indeed get a G natural, with no accidental - which is correct. Hit Ctrl+Down to lower it an octave and it will remain G natual, and now an accidental is added to make sure it is G natural - again, totally correct. Now to change it to G#, simply press Up to raise the pitch as mentioned earlier.

Overall, MuseScore works extremely similarly to Sibelius in terms of note entry, but indeed there are a few differences here and there, so maybe you are trying to do things the "Sibelius way" too much. Do read the handbook and watch the tutorial videos; they help a lot.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Maybe this is something similar, so not sure. I was adding notes to the piano staff, beat by beat. In the attached screenshot, the first eighth note chord in the second measure is a Dm7. I was in note entry mode, and placed each of the three notes with the mouse (Ab-D-G, with the flat added to the A by using the down arrow once, not by adding an accidental). I then added the tied F eighth notes, followed by the next chord (C#-F-G-A). I was about to put a natural accidental on the A (by nudging up with the arrow) when I noticed it was already an A natural in MuseScore (with no accidental marking; look at the bottom of the MuseScore screen for the actual note). Shouldn't the A be an Ab until changed since it is in the same measure as the original Ab? I have attached a screenshot and score file. It is measure 50 at rehearsal mark C. Just curious as to if this is normal operation or a bug or user error. Thanks!

In reply to by mjzwick

In MuseScore accidentals are considered to apply only to notes in the same octave, not other octaves. There are have been various opinion about this history and it's always best to avoid any doubt and use accidentals to explicitly show what is expected in other octaves.

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