Nashville numbers and chord symbols

• Aug 8, 2021 - 18:38

Wouldn't it be nice if Musescore easily could convert Nashville numbers to chord symbols and vice versa, like the iPad app in the video, 1chart?


In theory this should be possible, we do have the necessary information available. There are some major changes to chord symbols coming for MuseScore 4, it's conceivable this could be incorporated, especially if there are other requests for it.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Actually, it would be most logical to have the number system as a chord style, not like it is now as text. But apart from that I think it would useful to be able to have two rows of chord symbols that you e.g. could use as one row of simple chords, and one row of advanced chords, as well as like now you can have one row of chords and one row of numbers.
When typing cmd/ctrl-K (after you already have chord symbols in the score) you could be presented with choice "additional row of chord symbols?" - additional row with N numbers?" or something like that.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I'm trying to use both Nashville numbers and the chord names in a bunch of examples I'm making for students, showing the numbers as well as ways to tweak progressions to make them 'original'
Often, not always, when I make an edit in one chord it will reverse them - instead of numbers above the names it will reverse a few of them - so far hasn't done the whole score.
In the attached score I made a change in Old Long Sign example, bottom half, and it flipped all of them, plus a few in Auld Lang Syne. The edit today was to bump all the chords ahead by an 8th note - I selected all in the chords in the example, copied them, deleted the existing ones, pasted them where I wanted them - worked fine on Auld Lang Syne - but when I did the bottom half they were all down side up.
Becoming a real nuisance.
Any clues?

Attachment Size
Auld Lang Syne copy.mscz 22.87 KB

In reply to by Duke Sharp

Normally one wouldn't have both in the same score. But if you do, the one entered first will be closest to the staff. So if you delete that and re-enter it, now it is no longer the one entered first, and it will be further away.

Probably better to customize the Nashville text style so it defaults to further away. But also, it appears you aren't actually using Nashville numbers - the Inspector is reporting these as ordinary chord symbols. Be sure to use the actual Nashville notation feature (see Add / Text, define a custom shortcut if desired in Edit / Preferences / Shortcuts). While you're at it, you should consider also customizing both that and your chord symbol text style to be larger. No reason you should have to do that individually for each chord - this is what text styles are for!

In reply to by Bjarne Bertelsen

I sure hope so! I do this kind of thing (creating new lead sheets from an existing chord chart, erasing the chords and using only NNS) all the time and it's one of the very few times Musescore creates a lot of extra work for me compared to other apps. Nashville Number Conversion plug-in please!

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

That was quick, thanks Marc!

I do enter the chord name first, then go back and add numbers above the chords in the first line - then copy/paste both to the places they turn up in the rest of the score. Then I 'select all similar' and use the inspector to make them all 20pt.

I'm a bit of a dunce with software, and you're correct, I just added numerals rather than try to figure out how to add the Nashville numbers - it worked for what I was trying to accomplish, or so I thought. My mistake.
*After I wrote this, per your suggestion I went and looked at adding Nashville numbers via 'add text' - couldn't possibly be easier - wotta blunder!
***And another thing - I'm adding the Nashville numbers to one that's in A minor, and I'm calling A minor the 1 chord, E minor 5 etc - but the numbers relate to the key of C - so when the chord name is A minor, the Nashville number recognizes it as 6, Em is 3 and would play both at once - I can select just the Nashville numbers in the inspector and leave them set to NOT play, while the chords DO play.

At this point there's close to 100 'scores' like this, very close to the end of the ones I'll be doing and until recently it hasn't been much of a problem - occasionally it would switch 1 or 2, easy to fix. But in the past week or so started doing it more frequently. Sometimes I'd save a score, close out, come back the next day and open it and there would be a handful that were bas-akwards. So I'd just drag them back and they'd stay put. Maybe. I hope.

Might there be a quick, easy way to convert the numerals in the existing examples to Nashville numbers? I kind of suspect not.

Thanks again!

Attachment Size
Gavotte in A Minor rockin 4:4 copy.mscz 31.18 KB

In reply to by Duke Sharp

Converting is easy - Nashville numbers really are just chord symbols that use the Nashville text style, and MuseScore then recognizes this as meaning something different and treats them accordingly. So, assuming you can figure out how to select just the symbols you want to turn into Nashville (if nothing else, Ctrl+click one by one), just use the Inspector to change the text style to Nashville.

Once you sort that out, it's easy to select just the Nashville notation - right-click one, Select / More / Same subtype. Then you can do things like turn off playback for them all at once.

Also, again - the way to get the Bashville numbers on top isn't by draggin, but by customizing their text style to default higher. So for example, in your score, trying set the default Y offset for Nashville numbers to -6 sp. Aolso set the default "minimum distance" to a large negative number, like -99. It's a little hard to explain what this does, but nasically it means, MuseScore will happily place chord symbols underneath them regardless of which order you add them in.

I don't think it would make sense to convert one to the other, like how we can toggle concert pitch on or off, or change out a font. But to simply generate one from the other, sure

In reply to by Bjarne Bertelsen

If you have a chart contain chord symbols, I am saying that I think would be a good feature to have a command that takes each of those chord symbols and leaves it exactly where it is, but also adds a Nashville number for it. So the end result is you have both. And if for whatever reason you decide you no longer want the chord symbols, you could delete them.

FWIW, though, in your case, why not simply transpose the chart to a key you're more comfortable with? Tools / Transpose.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It was just an example, but meant that my fellow musician wanted to sing an evergreen in Ab or even worse Db major on the spot. I wouldn't be able to do that (on guitar), but when converted to numbers I could do it.

Being able to add numbers with chords still there would of course be totally fine. And if I wanted to delete the chord symbols it would super if I didn't have to delete them one by one :)

In reply to by Bjarne Bertelsen

Meanwhile, probably someone could figure out a way to write a plugin to do this.

Also, for the record, you don't have to delete chord symbols (or anything else) one by one - just right-click one, Select / All Similar Elements.

Interesting, though. that you can play an Ab chord when you see it notated with Nashville but not when notated with chord symbols! It's actually more mental processing that way, but the mind has a mind of its own :-)

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Haha. My principal instruments are guitar and electric bass, and on those instruments the chords in all keys are located in the same geometrical shapes to each other, which corresponds to the number systems and also with function analysis, tonic, dominant an so on.
And that's the way I have always been thinking about chords, ever since I was a child. The relations, not the names.
Db Ab Bbm Gb takes time for me to understand, but not 1 5 6m 4. :)

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