Damping harp strings

• Apr 17, 2020 - 15:07

I play the wire strung harp and would find it very helpful if there were an easy way to mark when strings needed to be damped. Something like this:
After some discussion in the support forum, I have tried using silent notes with different heads, grace notes, notes in different voices, pasting images etc., but all of these have some drawbacks. They are all rather time consuming, requiring a lot of offsetting, and most cause unnecessary degrees of disruption to the spacing and appearance of the other notes.
Ideally it would be possible to have the mark just before or after a note (immediately adjacent to the note, rather than after a notes duration) and it would place on the stave like a regular note, automatically creating ledger lines where required, but not interfering with playback (I hope I'm communicating the idea clearly enough, as I'm not particularly fluent in general musical terminology). Being able to add fingering as with normal notes would also be useful.
Would something like this be feasible?


I'm certainly no expert in this, but would it be possible to create a 'dampen' dynamic in the instruments.xml file, and use that in the score, in the same way the instruments.xml file has dynamic variations for Harp like staccato and flageoletti?
Checkout the 'Violins' instrument in the main instruments.xml file to see a few dynamic variations eg. pizzicato and tremolo contained in channels within the instrument.
These are chosen as 'separate' patches in Synthesiser (e.g. Violins Tremolo), while relying on the base Violins patch with the addition of the unique controller and program values to get a tremolo effect. In this case with Violins, you can then select a new 'patch' called 'Violins Tremolo'.

To make this happen, you would need to:
a) identify the closest controller/value /program value combination to 'dampened' harp, and then;
b) add the settings to the Harp instrument in instruments.xml file.

Note: it's preferable to not potentially corrupt your main instruments.xml file by editing only a secondary .xml file (see Settings - Instrument 2 - the file of which will merge with your main instruments.xml file).

In reply to by Lofo

My understanding of MuseScore isn't very technical, so forgive me if I am misunderstanding your post. It seems to me that what you are describing has more to do with effects in playback, whereas my issue is with notation. The cross-headed 'notes' that are in the example above are not additional notes, but markings to indicate that strings needs to be stopped by putting fingers down on the strings. So in the image below the red cross is an indicator that the harpist needs to stop the red note (whilst simultaneously plucking the blue and stopping the green).
Am I making sense?

In reply to by OCham

Yes @OCham, makes sense. Sorry if I misunderstood, I was indeed thinking of the playback patch selection. I'm not sure how to deal with the harp notation you need, perhaps someone with a better understanding of the relationship between notation, and what's played could advise. Shoichi's reference above explains the issue well, and possible workarounds, but given the underlying structure of MuseScore scores and SoundFonts, it isn't terribly easy.

In MuseScore and SoundFonts, all you really get to do is select an Instrument Change at a particular stave's note which chooses a new patch (albeit with any dynamics specified in the instruments.xml file), and ultimately it's not very practical to specify a new Instrument Change every time you want a new dynamic option (eg. pizzicato for strings or an equivalent in harp scores), because this would need to be done on a note-by-note basis and you'd end up with a vast mixer patch configuration each time a note needs new dynamics. So, as I understand it's possible, but not really practical. Someone with more expertise in the relationship between notes and patch selection could perhaps advise. (BSG has described the issue for pipe organs in the forum).

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