Additional figured bass fonts

• May 11, 2021 - 13:38

First, many thanks to the MuseScore development team for including native support for figured bass!

I know from Internet searching that there are a few fonts out there designed to support figured bass. But I don’t think that any of them work with MuseScore. Are there any available in addition to the one installed by default?

(In case anyone is wondering why I want one, I am doing an engraving project of Baroque suites. I am using Garamond for all text in the project, because it has much more of an 18th-century feel than Edwin. I would like the figures to match the rest of the text.)


In reply to by Dan Kreider

Yes, I looked at the Figurato website. It acknowledges that MuseScore and Lily Pond provide native support for figured bass (but provides no other information), and then talks about using Figurato with Sibelius and other commercial products; this gave me the idea that it didn’t work with MuseScore.

If it does work, how does one install a new figured bass font? I saw the figured bass options in MuseScore, but it gives only one choice, the installed font. If I install Figurato or another font using the normal Windows procedures, will it show up in MuseScore as a figured bass choice? I’m guessing not, since none of the other system fonts appear in that drop-down.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yes, I realize that. (MuseScoreBC does not appear in the Windows font listing, so I assume it is internal to MuseScore.) Is it possible to choose a different font? Are there any available?

I realize that a font for this purpose will require special OpenType features. I have experience in font development. If I could get information about the required OT features and add them to one of my fonts, could I install it? Or is the figured base font hardcoded into MuseScore?

The figured bass facility does all sorts of fancy stuff that is designed to work only with the built-in fonts. But, Figurato is designed to do that fancy stuff for you - even if MuseScore allowed you to use Figurato for figured bass, it wouldn't work as expected, because now the formatting would be done twice in competing ways.

So if you want to use Figurato in MsueScore, don't use it with the actual figured bass facility. Instea,d use it with Roman numeral analysis, which does no fancy processing at all - it leaves everything up to the font (Campania by default, which I designed based on inspiration and ideas from Figurato). It's quite possible some particular Open Type feature that Figurato uses might not work on all platforms, but in general, I would expect most things to work. Try it and let us know!

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks, Marc. Figurato does (generally) work with Roman numeral analysis. Figurato is limited to one number and one sign together, as stated in the documentation. My score has 6#+ (or 6#x -- the 'plus sign' is slanted so it might be an x), and the combination doesn't work. That's not a MuseScore issue, of course (and, interestingly, MuseScore's native figured bass support handles this combination just fine).

Figurato also insists on putting an extra space between 7 and #, which did not happen when I experimented using an OpenOffice Writer document; see the last four measures in the attached file. (I tried OO Writer because of its excellent support for OT features.) That might be some weird interaction between Figurato and MuseScore's Roman numeral setup. Otherwise everything looks good.

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