Organ pedal marks

• Jun 15, 2019 - 05:07

William Weinmann ( sent a message: Organ pedaling marks are similar to bowing marks in stringed instruments. The difference is that when they're below the staff, they are upside down. Would it be possible to add pedaling marks to the fingerings menu? You could copy the upbow and downbow forms from the articulation menu and modify them to invert themselves when on the lower side of the staff.
Thanks for thinking about this, please let me know If I can be of assistance in this matter.
William H. Weinmann


In reply to by mike320

This works but the symbols are oversize and thus ugly, and can't be resized. They also auto-position incorrectly (guaranteed).
I have asked about this before and tried several workarounds by editing workspace.xml but nothing was satisfactory. What is needed is an expansion of properties in palette symbols to let you tweak font, size, positioning hints (which for fingering were hardcoded when I looked a the source code a few years ago).
It gets asked on a regular basis, and I asked in 2015: . I found this thread because I felt I could take a fresh look, but nothing seems to have changed and I've run out of freshness for today.
Regarding sound fonts, I only use Musescore's playback to check for glaring notation errors, if I want decent sound I just play it into a real* organ. Not an option for everyone [ * "real" usually means Hauptwerk ]

In reply to by waltern

Possible workaround which didn't used to behave, but works better in Musescore 3.2. However, these create text elements, not symbols, and are attached to the staff, not the note - so only good for final typesetting. If notes move around, the pedal marks don't move with them.
(1) use a custom palette, open up fingering
Then for each symbol needed:
(2) Select a note. Ctrl-T, then F2 and select the pedalling symbol from the palette. I found them about halfway through "All symbols" just below note symbols (fortunately it remembers where you are in this dialog). Double click to add to the note.
(3) Edit the font size if you like, I enlarged then slightly for my taste (from 10pt to 12pt).
(3) Hold Shift+Ctrl keys and drag the pedal mark from the score onto the fingering palette and make a new entry.
Drag from palette onto note; or select note & doubleclick the palette cell.

In reply to by waltern

If you add them as fingerings, using a custom text style, position will be relative to the notehead. The custom text is the key, otherwise indeed they will be positioned according to fingering rules.

Not entirely sure what the intended special effect is - the symbols should already be a standard size according to the designers of the font they come from - but if you attach your score and give more detail, we can probably guide you further.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The problem is the designers of the font then But they're all the same. Maybe the font should set the size, but the fact is that they are huge. Picture attached.
As you have noted, custom text style has issues because the palette is part of the workspace, the style is part of the score.
Score I'm working on attached - no copyright issues. Look at bars 24-26 .. I'm sure even if you know nothing about organ music, you'll agree these symbols are large and distracting.
I went looking for a score done in some other program - there must be some on But mostly scores don't show pedal marks (or fingering; and the older stuff on imslp is even less likely) and there is no way to search, so I'll post this while I have time or I might not.

Attachment Size
pedals-example.png 42.25 KB
Concerto_in_G_minor_(Op_4,_No_1).mscz 39.05 KB

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It would. How do I do that, though? Do you literally mean something like this:
1) Use existing fingering to add say a "3" to the note
2) Change the text of the fingering object (using F2 selector to insert the "V" symbol)
3) Shift+Ctrl+Drag that back to the palette as a new "fingering" object.
Because if that worked I'd be delighted, but...
(a) They're now smaller than I want (see picture, the first high G note at left) - and I can't change the "Fingering" style to be bigger without changing all the actual fingering ( 1 2 3 4 5) which is the correct size at 8pt.
(b) They still don't autoposition anything like the right place. In fact, it drops right on top of the note! See picture, the second high G note at right) Even this would be liveable if I could then move the symbol up or down with the arrow keys, but the only way to move these symbols is to click on them and that selects the note. So you have to Ctrl-Click before moving with the arrow keys (not the mouse). It's an awful pain.

I appreciate all the attention you're giving this Marc, I know you are spread around a lot of Musescore. I also know there is no simple solution!

The perfect situation here I guess is to be able to define objects in palette as fingerings, but with a default style like (pedalling left foot) which sets the font size, colour if I wanted etc, and possibly the offset (although that would be better set on the object since there is scope for that). And even more perfect, to be able to set keystrokes so I can just select the note, hit a keystroke, and then right arrow to move to the next note. (I thought there was a fingering mode like that, but maybe it was just asked for. At the moment the closest seems to be assigning Ctrl-Alt-F to Add>Text>Fingering as you've suggested in another topic, but without support for special keys for the V ^ O symbols that isn't all that brilliant... and notice that you still can't use up/down arrow keys to move it to the right position. )

Attachment Size
pedal mark as fingering.png 6.45 KB

In reply to by waltern

As far as I can tell, everything you want is already possible. First, please attach your actual score in its current state (with the fingerings as you've added them) so we can see how you're doing it and better advise you on how it can be improved. But the size of fingering can be changed using Inspector, you can use arrow keys to adjust position (you do need to leave edit mode), you can customize default size, position, color, etc for elements via text style, and as I said, if you use a User (custom) style for the fingering, then the automatic piano-based rules are defeated so you can apply your offset directly from the notehead.

The only thing you can't currently do is define a shortcut for individual palette elements, but this is in the works too.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Just quickly because music is for pleasure not my day job, and I have to run for now.

"the size of fingering can be changed using Inspector, you can use arrow keys to adjust position"
These seem to behave inconsistently for me using 3.0.2 on Linux (Kubuntu/KDE) , although I just tried again now and it appeared to work. However apart from the automatic positioning this actually gets what I'm looking for, thank you.
A style is the best way to adjust font size, I agree, but I'm going to have to experiment, I have avoided playing with styles up to this point. I Having to add the same style to every score I create could be problematic (although I could try to use a template consistently) - the plus side, it should be portable for that score only if I need to send the .mscz to someone else. It isn't so hot having the style name (presumably) stored in the Workspace file.
Sounds like I need to create an empty score and also test using the Windows version, to try and isolate what looks like several independent issues which are conspiring against the job I'm actually trying to do! (I definitely think there is a problem with the inspector not saving some properties until I also click into the controls for some other property, or something like that)
I also think some value for documenting this in an easier-to-find place!

In reply to by waltern

Again, if you don't want things automatically positioned as for piano, then don't use the piano Fingering text style - switch to one of the User styles, then offsets are placed relate to the notehead as I said.

Applying a style to an existing score is as easy as Format / Load Style, but indeed, better still to simply use a template. You can also make a style be your default in Edit / Preferences / Score.

Inspector controls are not reliable if you try messing with them while still in edit mode, try in normal mode.

So again, as far as I can tell, everything you want is doable, and quite simply too. If you continue to have problems, again, please attach your actual score in a state representing your best attempt, then describe what is still off, and we can probably show you how to correct it.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I just tried the Alt+Right key combination to add fingering (you added this recently and it appears in 3.0.2), and it seems you can double click on the palette (symbols!) and it adds them .. as fingering. This is brilliant but unfortunately problems remain: one would be fairly easy to fix (appearance/size of the symbol*)
The other is much harder: the position of a fingering mark in piano music (and the manual staves for organ) is determined by rules of which voice / direction of stem. Pretty straightforward.
In organ pedal lines, however the most common convention is that left foot is shown underneath the note, right foot above the note: in addition to V = right toe, ^ = left toe. For heel, many people including me prefer an O symbol to U, because it is more obviously different to V (especially when hand written), and then position is critical.
So after all this, looks like I would be over the moon if Musescore got two improvements, both of which I think would have widespread appeal not just for those notating organ music!

(a) allow customisation of the positioning and size (& font, colour for that matter) parameters for a symbol in the fingering palette; Or any object in palette in fact
(b) to be able to assigning a shortcut key to palette objects (same action as double click).

Then I could have my own private adding-organ-pedal-mark technique: perhaps Ctrl-Alt-V (add right toe), Ctrl-Alt-A (left toe) Ctrl-Alt-U (right heel) etc and the Alt-Right /Alt-Left to move between notes. More complex combinations like V-O (start on toe and switch to heel without lifting foot) or V-^ (switch feet without releasing note between) are so rarely used so the double-click doesn't slow down.

And (c) if there was a pair of key combinations to move an object up or down (ideally while it is being edited) then I'd never complain it was in the wrong place ever again. There might be already but at the moment the only reliable method is to exit editing mode and then use the mouse.

  • p.s. it seems I can't directly change the font size, font, colour of a fingering object with (F8) inspector. This might be a Linux bug, I haven't looked in detail.

Thanks, Walter

In reply to by William Weinmann

This is a horribly complex issue (I'm an organist). General MIDI synths such as MuseScore can't "do" organ repertoire reasonably. To get three different registerable staves, create three single-staff instruments (i.e., violin, violin, cello) and brace them like organ music. As to what it should sound like if you don't like that plenum effect on both hands and pedal, either find a third-party soundfont with different organ registrations, acquire a Virtual Pipe Organ system (which will require YouTube to let MuseScore play the sound), or use various non-organ instruments (e.g., pan flute, recorder, oboe, various mixes) to simulate organ sounds (this can be done very reasonably), but there is no good solution other than virtual (or real) pipe organs via midi. See all the posts in .

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

I figured as much. None of the other notation software programs can do that either. The purpose of the program is actually to create a well laid out, printable score. If it does other things, that is a nice bonus, but as long as it creates a good score, I'm happy.

Thank you so much for the reply.
It's amazing how many organists there still are among us.

In reply to by William Weinmann

As I say in one of the opening posts in that group, organs (real or virtual) and MIDI are incompatible synthesizer models (yes, I'm calling pipe organs synthesizers). In MIDI, you choose a (single) sound for a channel. On an organ, you compose sounds on a "channel" (division). While orchestral composers often treat the orchestra as organ-stops (i.e., "colla parte"), MuseScore can't do that either. The amount of CPU required for what virtual pipe organs do is outside the scale of MuseScore.

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