Percussion Notation

• Apr 23, 2018 - 05:40

The way I've seen it done, the smorgasbord of noteheads that MuseScore has used for percussion isn't used in music literature the way MuseScore uses them. Things like triangles, or x-circles, or any of those wacky shapes, are rarely seen, and if they are, it's in an auxiliary part for a concert band piece written by a composer who is not a percussionist. 98% of the time, instruments are just differentiated by line (concert bass on bottom space of staff, crash cymbals below that, snare on second space, etc), with staff text dictating the instrument the first time it's included in the piece.

As far as what IS actually a different looking note, we have the concept of marching buzzes. Right now MuseScore is using the the diamond shaped notehead for marching buzzes- EVERY piece for marching I've ever seen uses a regular notehead with a z across the stem to notate a buzz. Right now all MuseScore stems are the same, so I don't know exactly how they'd implement this, but if it could be implemented the same way we drummers use the single tremolo mark as a diddle, that would be perfect.

This is a super simple concept, but I feel like, if implemented, it would ease a lot of peoples' minds by just being much more familiar.


In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

For drumline music, the creator of this post is completely correct. Marching snare needs a five bar staff just like everything else. This may be used for some advanced symphonic percussion for all I know, but more commonly, what is being described is used.

@QuadSquad1 sorry for the lag on this. Didn't see it when it was originally posted (traveling back from MuseScore meetings @ WGI) and only caught it on the bump.

What you are talking about 100% understood and we are actually working on this right now.

Here is what is happening for 2.3:

  • Buzzes will be notated normally (also throwing in Crushes)
  • Rolls will trigger a specific roll sample, rather than tremolo on a hit
  • New noteheads are being added to align as best we can with Virtual Drumline standard -
  • Hugh Smith who created the VDL templates/notation standard is currently working with us on helping to get this locked for MuseScore (
  • We're actually adding instruments and some articulations that VDL doesn't have (ex: Flubs)
  • We are in the process of creating a new soundfont for marching percussion
  • We recently recorded our own library of marching percussion samples at a studio in LA. Amir Oosman (you're a tenor player, so don't need to explain who that is ;-) ) put together the players and drove technical aspects of the session
  • New soundfont will have 4 samples for each hit and will randomly alternate between these for more realistic sound (will be in SFZ not SF2/SF3 format)
  • Though users will have the flexibility to notate however they feel, we will be creating a notation standard based on VDL that we will encourage the community to use for improved consistency and better sharing
  • Integration with Mainstage 3 via MIDI out for sample triggering on playback

There may be a few things that will be a bit different from VDL (ex: tenor crossovers), but should be pretty familiar for VDL users or anyone that comes from a line where they were reading stuff from the default VDL templates.

Greetings, im a snare drummer from South Africa, i have a deep passion in learning the musescore program, i have all the tutorial videos including sdjmalik, but i struggle on double beating note values with rests... U seem like the right guy to help me out 🙏🏼 how can i get hold of you via social media or email???

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