1st measure of lead sheet has different chord font style from rest of measures

• Sep 8, 2012 - 10:38

Hello everyone,

I just started using MuseScore yesterday on my MacBook Pro and I really, really like it. So easy to use and it even looks like I can share music with my friends who use Sibelius. What's not to love?

I am, however, having one small problem that so far I've been unable to resolve. When I create a new lead sheet, I want the default font to be the jazzchords.xml pref file. This wasn't automatically working, so I got around this by removing the default file and renaming a copy of jazzchords to stdchords.xml. This seems to be working fine with one small exception: When I add chord symbols above the measures (I'm putting together some exercises for a community music project), the first measure of each line is in the standard Times New Roman, but each subsequent measure has the desired jazz chords format.

Does anyone know of a way to get around this? I've tried creating several new lead sheets, but the result is always the same.

This doesn't seem to be the case, however, if I select Jazz Combo or another template option when creating a new piece of music.

Has anyone else had this problem? If so, can anyone offer a fix or workaround?

Many thanks,



It's hard to say without seeing your score, but I think there a couple of things going on here.

First, note there are two different lead sheet templates. If you want to use the MuseJazz font, you should choose the Jazz Lead Sheet template, not the plain Lead Sheet template. Neither of these actually uses jazzchords.xml, though - that file is now pretty much obsolete, replaced by cchords_muse.xml. The old jazzchords.xml is still provided mostly for backwards compatibility, but unless you have a special reason for needing jazzchords.xml instead of cchords_muse.xml, you should use the latter. Basically, because of differences in how they work with fonts, jazzchords.xml does work better with the old plain Lead Sheet template, whereas is cchords_muse.xml is designed to work better with the new Jazz Lead Sheet template.

Also, if you you really do for some reason need to keep using the plain Lead Sheet template with jazzchords.xml instead of simply switching to the Jazz Lead Sheet template, you shouldn't do this by copying jazzchords.;xml on top of stdchords.xml. You should simply create your own template - create a document using Lead Sheet, change the chordname style, delete all measures, then save into the Templates folder. It isn't clear why you might *want* to do this rather than simply using the Jazz Lead Sheet template, but there are other differences between these templates, such as the fact that Jazz Lead Sheet also uses MuseJazz for titles and other text, and uses much bigger staff sizes). So if you prefer seeing titles and other text in Roman, or prefer the very small staff size used in the plain Lead Sheet template, by all means, creating your own template that does this.

Anyhow, all that said, there is no reason any combination of template and chord name style should results in font differences within a single chart. So I am guessing what is happening is that some of your chords are not being recognized at all. If you use a chordname style that expects "ma7" for major sevenths (as both jazzchords.xml and cchords_muse.xml do), but you try typing "M7" or "maj7", MuseScore won't recognize the chord, and will display it using a default font rather than the font used by your chordname style file. Such chords also will not transpose correctly, will not export to MusicXML correctly, and generally speaking are to be avoided. You need to enter chords in the style you have chosen. If you check out the Handbook section Chord name , you'll see there are a number of other style options, including "cchords_rb" that uses "maj7".

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

Thanks, it's good to be aboard.

I'll try to work through your comments one by one and hopefully we can find a resolution.

I chose the plain Lead Sheet instead of the Jazz Lead Sheet because the plain version automatically gives 4-bar lines (each measure a good size) whereas the Jazz Lead Sheet has 16 measures (all very small) to the line, which is no good for current purposes (I'm putting together examples of improv practice lines over II V I progressions). If there is way to get the Jazz Lead Sheet to save a new template version that has 4-bars to the line, that would be great and I'd be happy to go with that. Is that doable?

I tried opening Lead Sheet.mscz from the templates directory, changed the font choice to cchords_muse.xml, clicked apply, then saved this to my desktop and then moved it to the Templates directory. I then went back, created a new music project, selected My Lead Sheet and the same problem persist: I enter F-7 as the first chord over the first measure of the first line and I get the standard Times New Roman. I then add a Bb7 chord in the next measure and it creates this using the jazz font, as desired. No amount of trying to change this has so far made the first measure appear in the desired jazz font.

Having said that, I just tried entering F-7 over the first bar of a new project and it's been just like all the times before; however, this time I took out the "-" so that it was just F7 and this instantly changed to the jazz font. I then tried entering Fmin7, Fmi7 and Fm7, but none of these was recognized, so I'm stumped. I read the page you quoted on chord names before I tried setting up the project, but this didn't help me to correct the problem, unfortunately.

So basically, I just want to have a template that gives me 4 measures to the line, each measure of a useful size, and with the ability to enter chord names using the jazz font.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,


In reply to by willh

It's very simple to get four bars per line no matter how your score starts - just run Plugins->Break Every X Bars. You can even set it to have four bars for most of the score but five for the initial line to account for a pickup, or five for some other line to account for a first & second ending. You can also insert line breaks manually anywhere you like - just click a bar line and hit Enter. But in any event, you won't ever *really* see 16 bars per line. You are only seeing that on initial score creation because the measures are empty. MuseScore automatically puts an appropriate number of measures per line as you start actually entering music.

You may wish to check out the series of tutorials I did on lead sheets - they explain all this and much more. See the Basic and Advanced versions.

The reason your' "F-7" is showing up in Times is exactly as I explained above - that chord symbol is not recognized by the chordname style you are using. As shown in the Handbook entry I mentioned, you need "mi7" for minor seventh in that chordname style. If you prefer to use "-" for minor, see the cchords_rb style as I suggested before.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for the further feedback. I'll check out your two lead sheet tutorials after I finish some work today.

I finally got a template set up by going into the templates folder and directly double clicking on the plain Lead Sheet and adjusting prefs and saving as My Lead Sheet. This, however, hasn't worked completely as after setting up a new project via templates I can only add chord symbols by using right click + cmd and selecting text > chord name. The keyboard shortcut cmd+K now does not work for this template (works fine for others, though). I've scrapped this lead sheet.

Regarding the use of nomenclature for chord forms, as stated in my previous post, I tried F-7, Fmin7 and Fmi7, but *none* of these produced the correct result, so I'm wondering if perhaps there is a small glitch here.

Just now, while writing this, I used Jazz Lead Sheet to create a new template (My Lead Sheet) with symbol rather than word nomenclature for chord names and saved this into the templates directory. This seems to be working fine at the moment, so hopefully I'm set as far as quickly creating an exercise sheet goes.

Thanks for your help, Marc. Hopefully I won't have any more problems in future.

Have a good Sunday,


In reply to by willh

Hmm, unkess you have also changed you shortcuts in Edit / Preferences / Shortcuts, I can't think of anything a template could do that would disable this. Are you sure you are clicking a note or rest before hitti ctrl-K?

As for typing Fmi7, are you sure you typed exactly that, and not, say FMi7. Posting a sample score and steps to reproduce would help. Again, this does normally work, but jazzchords.xml is really obsolete and you should really consider using cchords_muse.xml instead.

Of course, if your new template based on Jazz Lead Sheet and the sym style is working for you, maybe it's not worth the effort to figure out what was going wrong before.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I tried all possible variations on F-7 (FMi7, Fmi7, Fmin7, etc.), but to no avail.

So far working with the new template based on Jazz Lead Sheet with the sym chord set is doing the trick, so I'm happy to just go with this.

It's been my experience that QT apps on a Mac are sometimes temperamental, so as we said as kids, "no blood, no foul".

Thanks again for your help. I'm really enjoying using MuseScore and have already told several friends about it.


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