Chop notation project

• Mar 5, 2021 - 22:55

Could you consider adding support for the chop notation project by Casey Driessen and Oriol Saña please? Chopping is a percussive technique for the violin and string family which opens a world of new opportunities for the instruments. If you would like more information the project paper can be downloaded for free from Casey Driessen's website. We also have a Facebook page called world of chop where the chopping community share our work if you would like a chance to speak to those who would benefit from this. To my knowledge adding this would make musescore the first notation software to officially support chopping and I believe could go a long way towards getting the technique adopted by more composers.

Thank you!


Feel free to post a link here! But, if it involves any new symbols, the first step to getting notation software to implement it would be to first get some music published using this notation, then using that as leverage to getting SMuFL folks to standardize the symbols and include them in their references fonts. Then notation programs can begin to think about implementing it.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for the reply, here is the link to the project:

The symbols are all pretty minor modifications of existing symbols so I was thinking they could be made by combining existing resources but I'm not a graphic designer so I don't know how hard that would be. When you say get sheets published do you mean commercially or just as a proof of concept?

In reply to by Harry Wales

I mean having an actual established music publisher start using this notation. The SMuFL folks are concerned with making sure fonts can support the notations actually found in published music, not so much inventing new notations. But even if there standard fonts don't support those symbols, just create your own font with those symbols and use that. Or create those symbols as SVG or PNG graphics and fill a custom palette with them, then you can use them all you want.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I do already have a custom palette which I'm talking to Casey about releasing properly with his other resources. I'm just no graphic artist and it still takes a bit of playing with obscure settings to use properly so I thought proper support would help accessibility. I'll have to try and get some of my work published when I graduate I guess. Thank you for the advice :)

In reply to by bobjp

I did mention in a previous comment that I already use my own palette, the symbols aren't a perfect match for any of the fonts so they can look a bit out of place and although you can combine other symbols to make them the amount you need makes it impractical plus the placement is a bit off when you use images which can take a long time to tidy up. I'm not saying it can't be done without official support, I just thought it was worth asking for ease of access as not everyone is familiar enough with musescore to set this up which can put people off plus even once you have all the symbols added you need to do some poking around with inspector to get the noteheads right and if you want playback you will need to add at least two additional hidden tracks per chopping instrument as to prevent the slash notation from just playing whatever note its on the main instrument has to be muted and you also need a percussion track to represent the chops. Right now its definitely possible to use chop notation in musescore but from experience it can be incredibly time consuming when you take all of this into account

In reply to by Harry Wales

It looks to me like you also need a chop sound font. Either a modification of something already out there, or something new. Might not be as hard as you think. I'm not sure that the sound font or the symbol palette are official MuseScore issues. The software is open source, and designed to be modified by users. Whatever symbols you end up with need to be able to trigger the appropriate sound in the font. I'm just kind of thinking out loud.
The question for me is how were the symbols in the video made? Those are what need to be in a palette. The manual says that images can be put into a palette. I haven't gotten the instructions to work.

In reply to by bobjp

Yeah definitely. I'm planning on making one soon but I'm currently in my last term of uni so my hands are a bit full until summer. The symbols in the video are png images made by Casey to work with sibelius so when you put them into musescore they start off way too huge to use and need to be centred in the palette images which was very time consuming. I'm hoping we can get official support eventually, this post is mostly asking so we know what needs to be done next to get them adopted. The palettes are a bit weird, to insert an image you need to drag the file onto a note or the score lines, resize it to the scale you want then to save it to a palette you need to make a custom palette with editing enabled and drag the image off the score onto the palette holding shift and control. Usually images won't be centred if they will resized so it can look like there is nothing in the palette but if you right click the palette and go to properties you can use put the scale below zero to see where the symbol is hiding and put it in the middle before going back to full size. When you see all that I think you should have an idea of why more professional support would be nice, its certainly doable as it is and I think you can even share these palettes as a file but there is a lot of work to do to get them working and even after that the scores you use them on take an incredible amount of tweaking to get right because none of the positioning data is in place

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Casey Driessen has many published works that use this notation these are a few of them that he has free.

In the Chop notation Glossary there is an etude using all of the notation listed in these files towards the last few pages

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc, great news, the chop notation in question here has been included in SMuFL 1.4 and has been incorporated into the latest version of Bravura. Tech details here:….

I'd like to share this with the Musescore users in our string community. I understand that Bravura is included with there a way that users can swap out their current Bravura font for the new version so they can use the symbols more easily? Or does Musescore need to include the new Bravura in an update?

Thanks for any tips or direction,

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Hi Jojo, thanks for letting me know. That's fantastic to hear!

...Does this mean that it's not possible for a current Musescore user to update their Bravura in order to use the chop notation more easily? I want to get my facts straight before I announce to our community.


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