Disable Chord Playback (Version

• Aug 12, 2020 - 19:28

Since updating to version 3.5, my chord symbols automatically started playing back. (Especially annoying in the piano AND bass lines.) I've tried disabling through "Preferences>Note Input>Play Chords/Chord Symbols..." (see attached screenshot), but it still plays. Can anyone walk me through another way? Thanks for any help!


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Screen Shot 2020-08-12 at 2.24.20 PM.png 258.34 KB


In reply to by lucvdv

a) there's no need to revert to an older version, you can just disable this on a score by score basis, and actually in the contrary you should this, if you're uploading your scores to musescore.com, see https://musescore.org/en/faq#faq-308797.
b) 3.5.1 will hopefully include a patch that disables this for pre 3.5 scores, see https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore/pull/6259, it already does include patch that makes it easier to disable them, see above.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks for your reply.

Disabling on a score by score basis takes only a few mouse clicks, I know, but if you have to do it over a houndred times... So I thought if there is an option that turns them off, and not only for pre 3.5 scores, but always, then I'll better wait for that. On the other hand, I have to admit that I don't have to play all of my scores in musescore.

I just wonder how usefull the feature can be (for me). I use Musescore to digitalize my piano sheet music, allowing me to make some modifications, so I usually have left/right hand staves with text in between staves (although I hope that putting text under the lower stave will be implemented) and chords on top of the first stave, as you usually see in printed sheet music.
When left-hand notes are not available on the original, I use the chord letters to add a left hand acompaniment.

So I never want to have musescore play the chords, and if using chord symbols only as 'documentation' is considered 'bad practice', then I wonder what else I should have used. For me, it would be better if it was an option that has to be turned on in all current and future versions, instead of turned on by default.

But there is a way to turn it off, so it's not really a big deal.

This said, I am looking at what this feature means.
I'm looking for an explaination of the 'voicing options' in the Inspector
and also how to play the chord an ocave higher or lower, or to play an inversion instead of the base chord.
I also can't find these in the documentation.


In reply to by lucvdv

You'd only have to do it once you touch a score
And with 3.5.1 and that PR I mentioned you can also disable it completely and permanently, via the Advanced preferences

But yes, a section for the different playback and realization options is still missing in the handbook

In reply to by lucvdv

For 3.5.1, the plan is that existing scores created before 3.5 will have chord playback turned off by default (with a preference to change that). New scores will still have them turned on by default, but again you can set a preference to change that, so new scores will also have them off by default.

But. you can already do this in 3.5, just turn them off in one score and save that as a template or style file and use that for future scores rather than whatever template you are currently using when you create new score (e.g., Grand Staff or Piano).

In reply to by lucvdv

Also, to answer some of your other questions:

  • text below the staff is possible and always has been. For staff text, simply press "X" to move it below. Expression text is below by default.

  • I'm not sure why you wouldn't want the chords to play in a score that has no LH notes? Wouldn't that make it more accurate to how it will sound when actually played/

  • Inversions are notated the standard way: C/E, etc. The other voicing options are not currently described in any detail, but all but "close" and "drop 2" should be clear enough, I think? "Close" means all notes within an octave. "Drop 2" means the second to top note is dropped down an octave. These terms come from standard arranging / piano voicing usage, but they probably aren't well-known to most people.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Close is within the octave, not including the bass note - a standard definition of the term in this context. For this particular chord, indeed auto chooses a close voicing. This isn't necessarily always guaranteed, whether or not it happens to be true today for any given chords. So if you specifically want close, it is best to choose that.

Anyhow, yes, the voicings you show seem consistent with the standard definitions of those terms. The jazz voicing adds color tones but also potentially omits certain notes, where the specifics depend on both the chord itself and the context (the next chord in particular).

In reply to by lucvdv

Hi Luc,
So to repeat/summarize what others have said/explained:
We agree that even 1 second by score is too much, so luckily you only need to do it once for all scores, not once by score.
=> For future scores: by using a template in which you have set "play chords" to off
=> For past scores: well I have cheated a bit, currently it is once by score but very soon with 3.5.1 that will be the default (and you will be able to change that default, but clearly in your case you won't)

Hmm, the point about having the chords on multiple staves is a good one, basically it means chords get doubled. The solution is to mute the chord symbol sub-channel for all instruments but one.bols consistently

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It was a nice surprise when I was editing one of my big band scores! I understand how it’s helpful, but it definitely made me scratch my head when I heard block voicings rather than what was written. If it would be sensitive to instrument too, that would be super helpful. I ended up hearing block chords in nearly 3 octaves between bass, piano and guitar! :) muting it via mixer was definitely the quickest option for me!

Thanks for your reply!

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