chord symbol playback

• Feb 14, 2017 - 23:48

I'm new and working on my first project in MuseScore 2.

Is it true that MuseScore is NOT capable of chord symbol (above the staff) playback when chord slashes are used in the staff. Doing a jazz lead sheet.

I am hoping that there IS a way to simply playback chord symbols and that I just haven't figured it out yet.

I real pro does it and it is a HUGE help.


iReal Pro's whole purpose is to play back chord symbols; it doesn't do notation.

MuseScore's whole purpose is notation; it doesn't do chord symbol playback.

Similarly, a word processor's whole purpose is creating text documents; it doesn't do video editing. Whereas a video editor's whole purpose is editing video; it doesn't create text documents.

Not that MuseScore could not eventually benefit from this down the road, but it's more important to make MuseScore the best notation program it can be first, before worrying about adding additional features like chord symbol playback - or video editing :-)

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The comparison to word processing & video playback is far overstreched imho.
As a jazz musician writing lead sheets I typically write single note melody lines plus chord symbols. That's the standard approach to jazz notation.. having a super simple chord playback would really help creating lead sheets for jazz... i consider that a core capability of a sheet music editor and not a fancy or excotic feature..

sadly, most sheet music editors seem to be focussed on classical compositions with full arrangements and not on the jazz workflow...

being a programmer and a musician i would think of an implementation as follows: inspired by the way accordions are built i (1 button per chord - fixed voicings) i would have a static table of chord-voicings over two octaves and play them in the most simple rythmical fashion possible - on the first beat of each bar...

that minimal solution would add a LOT of comfort to composers of non-classical lead-sheet music (jazz, singer songwriter...)

Fancy AI approach with auto accompanyment is nice, but not necessary to just check if everything is typed correctly.. and honestly: even the best AI ryhtm-section simulation sounds like sh** ... so why bother? just having the computer strum basic chords already does the job...

thanks for that great piece of software anyways!

In reply to by flocko

You accordion method has a very bad limitation. If you have a different set of instruments playing the chord, say the saxes have their clarinets, bass clarinet and flutes out, and the trumpets are muted while a trombone plays the melody you then have a totally different set of instruments than what your one button will produce. No matter what music you write, you want the instruments your writing for to play back rather than some predefined instrument set.

I would suggest an algorithm that starts at the bottom instrument on the sheet (since this is usually the lowest pitched) and select a note in the middle of its range that is the bottom of the chord. For simplicity's sake lets select a C major chord. That instrument will play the C closest to the middle of it's range. The next instrument above it on the score will play the E nearest the middle of it's range. and so on up the list of instruments. I would tell the algorithm to look for any instruments written on a grand staff and make any of those instruments play the entire chord. C on the bass staff, E on the bass staff, G at the top of the bass staff, middle C, up to E, G then C again.

This gives the freedom to the music writer to use any instrumentation he wants and does not make it sound like the same jazz band every time. I would also keep it very simple and have the instruments automatically playing 1/2 notes or the longest note possible before the next chord change or measure break.

I'm not a programmer, but I believe this would be easier than having the possibility of introducing a previously unused instrument in your static table of chord-voicings.

Lead sheets are written for a variety of instrumentations for jazz ensembles, but this feature could be used by other genres as well and should have the flexibility to be applied to any instrumentation.

In reply to by flocko

Actually, I am a jazz musician and composer as well, and as such I am *very* focused on "jazz workflow". I implemented quite a lot of how chord symbol parsing and rendering works as well as slash notation and other notation features important for jazz. It is just as I said again - we have very limited resources and are focused on notation, not playback. It's not that we'd be opposed to having some sort of of rudimentary chord symbol playback; it's just that there is still too much work to do in the core notation areas for this to become a priority.

Since you are a programmer, and MuseScore is open source, feel free to contribute your skills as many of us have to improve MuseScore in the ways that are most important to you!

I would say, though, that a static table is limited in that it implies a finite list of possible chords. We don't actually have such a static list - there are a practically infinite number of legal chord symbols we can parse and understand. So it would probably be easier to generate voicings algorithmically.

I'm working on "Save the last dance for me" of Michael BuBlé, in the beginning, after the Intro, there is only the voice and only a guitar. I work for a concert Band with singer. In this case, the sound of the guitar is necessary. I add the piano, a little drum and I write each chords with notes. It's not a very long work, because it's often the same chords turning. I put the part of the score with this part, I only let guitar, bass, piano, bongos claves.
Have a listen. Zoom in 200% scrool down to the acoustic guitar

Save the last dance for me avec changements de tonalité xx.mscz

In reply to by Raymond Wicquart

I can't wait to listen to this! and I found my peeps! the jazz people lol. I'm honestly just trying to find people to collaborate with on anything really. 9 years I was in band. so I played everything pretty much. but composing and the re arrangements in my head of certain songs I can't seem to figure out or have the patience to figure them out to write down. but I do come up with good ideas so I just need someone who's maybe a little more advanced. awesome conversation in this thread. and yeah that stuff does sound like ..... whoever said that.

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