Notation font - Typefaces

• Jan 1, 2021 - 14:51

I read that a new notation font (Leland) will be available with Musescore 3.6.
I can hardly judge between one notation font and another, and I usually keep the default (I see Emmentaler).

Is there some point in the documentation on this topic, and anything to help choosing:
- features of a Emmentaler, Bravura, Gonville, MuseJazz, Leland;
- specific application (if any) for each font (for example, MuseJazz surely address jazz style, but the others?);
- comparison collection of PDF...

or, is it just a matter of personal preferences, as I might prefer Arial versus Courier in my text documents?
Thanks and... happy new year!


It's subjective. Subtle differences in relative sizes and thicknesses of things, etc. Arial vs Courier is actually to me a much more significant difference - Courier is a fixed-width font whose main purpose was to help things line up in columns before the days of tables in word processors and has really no other qualities that would make one choose it. But between Arial and Times, it's mostly about whether you subjectively want serifs or not, and that's more like the decision between different music fonts too - they all serve the same basic purpose, none are as special-purpose as Courier. Well, except the handwritten ones, of course.

As Marc mentioned, it's really a matter of personal preference. Just as a reader, engrossed in a novel's plot, won't notice or care what font the book is set in, the average player won't consciously notice the music font s/he's reading from--s/he'll be too engrossed with playing the right notes. But you, as composer/engraver, may care a great deal.

Here's a nifty tool which allows you to toggle back and forth between two fonts:
(Bravura, Emmenthaler, and Gonville are all included.)

I'm waiting until a stable release of 3.6 to download it, but I'm intersted in seeing what Leland looks like; although I expect I can look at some old SCORE-engraved scores to get a good idea.

In reply to by wfazekas1

Sorry, you've been around long enough I assumed you knew :-)

Unfortunately, you've missed the window for providing any really major feedback in terms of influencing the overall design of the font or the other changes - the alpha or beta periods a couple of months ago would have been better. At this point its more about finding and fixing critical showstopper issues, at least as far 3.6 itself is concerned. But that is definitely very valuable in itself. And broader feedback could certainly be considered for 3.6.1 etc, or MuseScore 4.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Purely to satisfy my own curiosity, last night I dashed off a little, one-page waltz (for viola and piano), which I then set in Emmentaler, Bravura, and Gonville. I also downloaded the RC of 3.6 (now that I know how to do that!), and did a version in Leland/Edwin, as well another in Emmentaler/Edwin, as I understand the accidentals are slightly different. I tried to include as many glyphs as possible, in a brief but semantically coherent context.

Do you think it would be of any interest to share these files on this forum, on this or a new thread? If so, where?

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