chord symbol playback

• Jan 1, 2021 - 06:27

I'm using and having trouble with the chord symbol playback.
I have three staffs, voice, piano (treble only) and bass.
When I enter the chord symbols connected to the bass, there doesn't seem to be a way to shut them off.
I didn't select NNS for the chords above the vocal line, just typed numbers and it doesn't recognize them (that's what I want).
Haven't tried entering them using the piano, doesn't work with the page layout I want, I like them naming the bass note.

These are the two settings I'm messing with MuseScore>Preferences>Advanced -
score/harmony/play/disableCompatibility - default is checked—no playback
score/harmony/play/disableNew - default is unchecked - playback (so I checked it)
Any suggestions?

Attachment Size
Screen Shot 2021-01-01 at 1.23.01 PM.png 86.93 KB


It sounds like you are asking about turning off the playback that happens while editing, as opposed to during normal score playback? See Edit / Preferences / Note Input.

Regarding the Nashville numbers, you can certainly typing numbers without using the builtin system if you want, but it's 10 times more work., Ther builtin system does the formatting for you, and provides nice shortcuts to easily navigate note to note, beat to beat, measure to measure, etc. And if you don't want them to playback, they won't, they are controlled by the same option as chord symbols.

Not sure what layout problem you mean with the piano, but if you attach your score itself and describe the problem in more detail, we can understand and assist better.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

OK – attached a file so you can hear it.

Overview is that I’m showing students the number system and connecting it to solfege.

I didn’t use NNS intentionally because it was playing the chords, I didn’t know about muting them in Preferences>Advanced at the time and figured out that just using numbers solved it for me. AOK.

A little later in the process I decided I’d like to show the chord names too. At first I attached them to the piano line so they appeared below the solfege.

I did that, they were playing, asked in the forum , found I could mute them via Preferences>Advanced and that worked. (thanks!)

Then I decided it was a little cluttered with lyric, solfege and chord names all together and decided it would be better if chord names appear above the bass line because they also name the note.

I started by using the lyrics below the piano to avoid the auto playback issue, but was a bit of a pain to have to use the ‘special symbol’ every time I needed a flat and apparently FreeSerif doesn’t have musical symbols, couldn’t just copy and paste. I like that font better than the musejazz or bravura.

So that’s when I tried using the chords attached to the bass – where we are now – and can’t make the piano chords go away.

What I’m trying to do is pull the piano and voice down a bit in the mix so the bass is easier to hear.

So you can see/hear this easily, in Auld Lang Syne – C, first line I didn’t add the chords and can get that mix, no problem.

Second line has the chords connected to the bass and I can’t make them go away unless I mute the bass.

Marc- after you mentioned it I tried unchecking the Preferences>Note Input>play chord symbol when editing, and >play whole chord when editing, didn’t work.

Preferences>Advanced>score/harmony/play/disableCompatibility - default is checked—no playback
Preferences>Advanced>score/harmony/play/disableNew - default is unchecked - playback (so I checked it)

I think I’ve tried every combination.

And I can still do what I want to by using the piano lyric line, just have to re-enter the flat via special character a thousand times.


Attachment Size
3 Auld Lang Syne C & Eb.mscz 501.42 KB

In reply to by Duke Sharp

Those preferences only apply when either creating a new score or when "importing" a score from an older version; they don't affect scores already created in a current version.

See… where it shows a couple of options:

option A: Format → Style → Chord Symbols: uncheck "play"

option B: Select a chord symbol in the score. In the Inspector (F8) uncheck the option "Play" in the Chord Symbol area. Then press the "S" (set as style) button at the far right of that setting

option C: Open the mixer (F10). Expand the Electric Bass track to show its sub channels. Press the "Mute" button for the "-harmony" channel

In reply to by Duke Sharp

If you think about it, there are basically three kinds of scores in the world that you might be trying to work with

1) scores last saved using a version of MuseScore prior to 3.5
2) scores last saved using a version of MuseScore 3.5 or later
3) scores not yet saved - ones you created just now

Scores in category 1) are the ones where we don't know if the person who created the score would have wanted the chord symbols to play or not. To be safe, chord symbol playback disabled by default so it will sound the same as it sounded to person who created the score. A user of 3.5 can choose to enable the chords as documented - either with the Inspector / Style dialog, or by setting a preference to do this automatically on import. But either way, once that user saves the score, it's now in category 2).

For scores in the second cateogry, the person saving the score had ample opportunity to decide if he wanted chords to play or not, and we assume that however he saved the score is how he wants it heard. So we always load the score that way. If the score says to play chord symbols, they play, If it says not to, they don't.

For scores in category 3) - those newly created - we default to chord symbol playback on by default. But we know a handful of users want it off more often than not, so that is why the disableNew preference exists, to force it off when creating a new score. But again, either way, once you save that score, it's in category 2), and what you say goes. Anyone else loading the score will hear the same as you did.

In reply to by Duke Sharp

I still don't really understand the layout issue you refer to, but I'll make a few observations:

  • Nashville numbers, again, will always work better than lyrics or plain text because of the navigation but also the automatic formatting like converting "b" to flat, also adding appropriate superscripting, etc.

  • If for whatever reason you do resort to using plain text for things that are really meant to be chord symbols of Nashville numbers - and again, I can't think of any reason one would do this regardless if one wants them to playback or not - you can easily enter accidentals into plain text as Ctrl+Shift+b/#/h.

  • You can also drag characters from Special Characters to your own palette for easy reuse. I've done this to make the superscripted 7, half-diminished, and other special symbols useful in analysis available to me outside the context of the built-on Roman Numeral Analysis feature.

  • It's important to realize the disableCompatibility and disableNew preferences aren't really the main things controlling anything, they are just convenient ways to automatically override the style defaults when opening older scores (where the style default is normally off) or when creating new ones (where the style default is normally on). Those settings are only active at the moment you open the score. But after that, you still retain full and complete control over what happens to your chord symbols on playback via the Inspector / Style dialog. So even without those Preferences, you'd still be able to enable chord symbol playback on older scores, or disable it on newer ones, int five seconds flat using the Inspector or Style dialog. Once a score is open, those remain the place to go to change the behavior of anything,

  • the preference I mentioned in the Note input tab is for editing - it controls what happens while inputting the chord symbol. Again, whether it plays during playback is controlled by style settings, as described previously.

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