Early music features

• Apr 25, 2016 - 19:24

I've been using text based linux engravers (MUP and MusiXTeX) for decades for engraving my early music editions, first in WIMA and since 2012 in IMSLP, and I'll definitely continue to do so. Recently, however, I've encountered the need to adapt former Finale engravings and decided to give MuseScore a try. I managed to get musicxml exports from the Finale files and have spent many nice hours working with the Finale stuff imported into MuseScore (2.0.3 AppImage).

Recently I've adapted a motet Ascendens Christus for recorders. I've managed to create a really fine score plus separate parts. But I've not been able to apply a few features which are possible with MUP

- 'Incipits' displaying original clef, time signature, note shapes and durations. With MUP that's doable though 'restarts': the incipit is a tiny piece of its own followed by an empty frame. Then a new piece starts where I can have full size 'modern' clefs and time signature. With MuseScore I can start with original clefs. But I can only have clef change (reduced size) clefs in the first ordinary measure. And I didn't figure out how to add in an empty frame between the incipit and the ordinary score.

- Ambitus: MuseScore offers a convenient way of adding ambitus in the full score. But in the extracted separate parts the ambitus does not appear if the parts starts with more than a few measure rests. Furthermore, if I apply another transposition in the parts (in this case an octave up for treble recorders) the ambitus is not transposed.

- Longa: in mensuration notation longae have their stems right aligned regardless of stem direction. In MUP I can fake through with some drawing. In MuseScore I can implement concluding longae (signifying fermata) through non-marked tuplets (adapted to the duration of the final note) combined with 'alt brevis' note heads. That's really nice. But I haven't figured out how to right align the longa stem.

My MuseScore engraving file is available in IMSLP //imslp.org/wiki/File:PMLP229350-Ascendens_Christus.zip


Regarding incipits you could try to use a horizontal frame to divide the incipit from the first real measure. It is in the advanced palettes and will be added before a selected measure (first real measure then).
To insert a clef at the beginning of the first real measure you can select the first note or rest and then double-click on the clef you wish (palette): it will be inserted at the beginning of the measure in the correct size.
See attached image:

In reply to by MLutz

Thanks so much for the hint on inserting a horizontal frame in front of the first ordinary measure. The result is - almost - like a MUP 'restart', There are a few differences, though, most important: the long instrument names in front of the incipit measure are repeated in front on the first ordinary measure. Is there a way of suppressing the repeated instrument names?

With a proper incipt measure at hand I want to populate it with its usual content: a leading mensuration symbol followed by a few rests and notes in mensuration style. Mensuration notes and rests must be equally spaced regardless of their durations. In order to achieve that I'm attempting to apply a trick which works for me with MUP: I add a number of invisible 1/16 rests (in MUP terms uncollapseable spaces) on which to anchor my mensuration symbols. I've tried 2 different approaches:

1. on each 1/16 rest I define an unmarked (no digits and brackets) tuplet. For example I need a 16/1 tuplet to replace a 1/16 rest with a semibrevis (whole-note) note. I uncheck the play mark on the note and alter its note-head to diamond style. The drawback is that the incipit notes are transposed in separate parts. You'll notice that in the Cantus part of my attached MS file. While my complete score is notated in concert pitch I apply a commonly used notation for treble recorders solo music (like braque era solo sonatas) ... I omit a longish explanation on recorder ensemble notation.

2. to each 1/16 rest I anchor a mensuration rest- or note symbol from then 'Bravura' collection. Rests, note-heads and various up- and down stems are available. Their horizontal and vertical positions can be tweaked through the inspector. The drawback with this approach is that the attached symbols do not go into the extracted parts as you'll notice in the Quintus part of my attached MS file. Is there a way to configure MS such that attached symbols are reflected in part extractions? I prefer this method of populating an incipit. The result looks better IMHO.

I still have a problem with ambitus marks. They're not reflected in separate parts if there are leading measure rests.

Attachment Size
Ascendens_Christus_In_Altum_Test.mscz 88.67 KB

Re: Longa stem alignment

You can mirror the head of the longa (see inspector F8 / Note / Mirror head / Left) and this will flip the stem. Then you may need to adjust slightly the head position (inspector F8 / Chord / Horizontal offset) to align with the note heads in other staves.

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