Add Tubular Bells to the Instruments list

• Mar 27, 2019 - 22:31
Reported version
S3 - Major
by design

Since v2.3.1 Tubular Bells has disapeared from the Instruments list.
Has been replaced by Chimes.

The impact of that decision is to make people searching for Tubular Bells have to test the sound of the most approching instrument. Quite difficult, and time consuming.

As MuseScore respects standards, rename the instrument loose the standard.
Tubular Bells are on MIDI Channel 14 and are named in the General Midi Standard: Tubular Bells.
In MusicXML the ID is "pitched-percussion.tubular-bells"

By chance, people in other country than US can translate to retrieve the exact name.
I understand Chimes can make sense for some people.

To have the best of the 2 world, it would be nice to have the 2 names in instrument list sharing the same instrument configuration.

Some post since 2018 has already complain that, and it is really a regression since 2.3.1


I believe this is not a stand alone issue, but part of a larger localization effort. Currently, MuseScore does not differentiate well enough between various English speaking markets (US, CA, UK, AU, NZ, ZA,, etc.). Rather than incorporate all possible variants, we should use most common terms and spellings used by publishers within each market for each individual localization.

Regarding this particular issue, maybe @mhperc (works for MuseScore... holds M.M. in Percussion Performance from Boston Conservatory), can... um... chime in here? :-)

Status active by design

Chimes and tubular bells are the same instrument in a different languages, American vs. British English.
This had been discussed at length about a year ago.

In reply to by Daniel

As I tell Tubular Bells is in the MIDI GM Standard and MusicXML definition.
If you prefer use Chimes, no problems, but understand that musician people in other countries do not use that name but the one define.
And for France, we do not use the name Chimes same in other European countries.
You could accept to have the 2 names for the same instrument.
And each people will use one for it's own convenience.

In reply to by JLWaltener

The MIDI standard uses "tubular bells" because it is an international standard, so it uses international English, not American English.

Most percussionists in US under the age of 50 or that are not used to reading parts from international publishers would likely have no idea what "tubular bells" would refer to.

Again, I believe this is a localization issue and EN-US version should use "chimes", while EN-UK and others should use "tubular bells". Also, this is just one of very many terminology issues that can be improved with more specific localization.

Hey Everyone,
A little example for reference:

Both Gary Cook's "Teaching Percussion" and James A. Strain's "Dictionary for the Modern Percussionist" use "chimes", as they are American authors (and authoritative texts on writing for percussion in the modern age). The reputable Elaine Gould's book "Behind Bars" uses "tubular bells" (British author/publisher).

I think the best solution here is to get a localization initiative set up. There's no need to petition to change MusicXML; all we need to do is create localizations of instrument names/language for different forms of English throughout the world. This would allow users to see/use whichever term they prefer, while also consolidating the instrument list. We want to steer clear of duplicates (i.e.: "chimes" vs "tubular bells", "timpani" or "tympani" vs. "kettle drums", etc.).

I will create a Feature Request to form an English-localization initiative. :)

In reply to by Daniel

I don't think so, in US you have not only native american, but also many other country people.
And Musescore is not only American but Really Internationnal,
It's not a good idea to consider that MuseCore should have US only native language.
One more I think for people as you, you can use Chimes, but let other people, even in the US, to use the right name of the instrument, and have the two in the list.
What it is important ? the users of museScore around the world ? Or otherthings ?

In reply to by JLWaltener

@JLWaltener again, I think this would be adequately resolved through localized versions of English (EN-US, EN-UK, EN-CA, etc.).

The terms that are most common and most appropriate for the specific localization would be what appear in the version you select. This is not an issue specific to just chimes vs. tubular bells.

Moving forward, I see benefits of part names in scores (and other text) being fully-localized, where it is not actually coded in the score, but is adapted based on the instrument ID or other identifiers.

For example, if you opened a score that had in a version of MuseScore with EN-UK localization, the part would be automatically labelled as "Tubular Bells", but in EN-US localization it would be labelled as "Chimes" .... regardless of what was written by the original composer in the original source.

We need to be thinking more about future potential vs. past.

In reply to by JLWaltener

@JLWaltener I am 100% in agreement, which is why there should be appropriate localizations for every language and regional variation practical.

EN-US - Chimes
EN-UK - Tubular Bells
DE-DE - Röhrenglocken
DE-CH - Keinekuhglocke
ES-AR - Campanas tubulares
FR-CA - Carillon tubulaire
RU-RU - Колокола
JA-JP - チューブラーベル

.... and so on.

In reply to by Daniel

The differences is due to a bad definition in EN-US, and a not needed change.
Each country have to decide it's own translation that differ from one to one.
But you can't change the Internatinnal name of things.

As EN-us is the source for translatable strings and EN-Internationnal does not exist, it's why I suggest to include the Internationnal names of instrument, and the american one for their convenience.
Very simple and each country and each people will be happy.

In reply to by JLWaltener

The tag "Developer comments" of the .ts file could be use to specify "American specific" or nothing to tells "Internationnal"
With that, translators will not translate the american one and leave the name to the native language, it will be to the user to choose it's own preference.

In reply to by JLWaltener

This brings up an interesting point:

  • Need for an International English version

That version should be the source of all translation strings, rather than US-EN.

This is the more effective way to solve these issues, rather than have unnecessary and potentially confusing terms in the US-EN version.

This discussion also brings up another point - authority of localized terms.

As we move forward, I believe the best way to ensure that our localized terminology is in line with the current and commonly used terms for each language/market is to seek out partners in each of these markets that will take ownership of/endorse the localized version.

For example, I am currently exploring a pilot of this effort for Lithuanian language in which the Lithuanian Academy of Music & Theatre would take ownership of and endorse the Lithuanian localization. In this case, you could have confidence that the translation will be 100% correct and appropriate.

A similar approach for each unique localization is the best way to ensure that we have terminology that meets the exact needs of each local market.

Regression Yes No
Status active by design
Type Functional Wording/Translation
Workaround No Yes

Again, this is by design and after a lengthy discussion, and is translated as Tubular Bells in en_UK, (and as Röhrenglocken im German, errnously as Windspiel before i was made aware of this difference) and has a comment about this attached to that string on transifex (after that above mentioned translation mistake of mine)
It is not a regression, had been translated that way in MuseScore 2 too. The workaround is to rename it in the score and maybe create a template for it or to switch to en_UK.

In reply to by Daniel

Regression No Yes
Status by design active
Type Wording/Translation Functional
Workaround Yes No

Why not, it depend of the disponibility of people.
For France, you can try to contact one or more "Conservatoire Nationnal de musique"
It is them that teach music and decern nationnal awards that permit of musician to be recognize internationnaly.
but pay attention, certain of them are quite classicals :)

But the most important for now, and the more quick possibility, is to have an International .ts file that respect the General MIDI and MusicXML names of instruments.

Regression No Yes
Type Functional Wording/Translation

@Jojo-Schmitz it's a regression of previous version of MuseScore, and Active because to be repaired.
If you close by design, this bug would be forgotten and we will have this behavior for years.

As @Daniel propose is to create an internationnal .ts file that should be the source of translatable strings for all countries included US.
this issue would be closed as the PR, when it will be available, will be merged.

Regression Yes No
Status active by design
Workaround No Yes

It was the same in MuseScore 2 and is by design! It is not a bug hence doesn't need a fix.
These is a ts file for instruments and that instrument is translated.

Regression Yes No
Status active by design

Yes it was tubular bells in en_UK and still is, it is chimes in en_US, resp. instruments.xml.

Regression Yes No

This is an issue that was discussed at length many months ago.
There is a reasonable suggestion to create an International English version for use at base version for localization instead of US-EN.
This approach will avoid potential confusion in the US-EN version (again, this issue is not only about "Tubular Bells").
I don't know what else is left to discuss on this point?

Status active by design

en is the international version, the source, by definition and en_US is a pseudo translation, just to be able to fix the odd typo without having to change the code between releases, believe me back in the day requested by me for exactly this purpose. So this is by design and please leave it at that.

If there is a need for more English variants, like for Canada, Australia, New Zealand, create a feature request AKA suggestion, but I really doubt it to be needed as these 3 happily take either of the existing variants.

And this issue here is about Tubular Bells and that only...

I don't understand the objection to adding Tubular Bells as an instrument with the same definition as chimes. If us older users are too stupid to know that there is no such thing as a tubular bell then cater to us stupid users. MuseScore has made other similar concessions and the stance of one individual has never prevented several options before.

Can I bring this up again? It's confusing when transcribing music that it says tubular bells but you can't find it on the instruments list. I agree that the instruments list should allow you to find instruments by other names it has. This makes MuseScore easier to use. Plus, can we add suspended cymbals to the list too?