Accidental button doesn't work?

• Nov 6, 2021 - 07:41

(MS v3.6) I wanted to add a “courtesy” natural to an F an octave above the sharped F preceding it. The manual (p. 80) says:

> To add ... a cautionary or reminder accidental ... use one of the following options:
Select a note and click on an accidental in the toolbar above the score.
Select a note and click an accidental in the Accidentals palette...

The 2nd method worked, but the first had no effect (even though the button became selected).


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I don't see that it is a bug; rather it is by design since MuseScore (in my view inadvisedly) changed to require the accidental to be specified before the note name during note entry. After entering say, #C D E C, if you then click on the accidental in the tool bar in an attempt to apply a courtesy accidental to the last C it will actually apply the accidental to the next note entered. It can't do both that and apply a courtesy accidental to the last note entered. So, it works as designed. If you want a courtesy sharp on that C you need to specify it before you enter the C.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

It is consistent with other pallet items. They can only be applied to something that already exists (at least, I can't think of any exceptions to that rule). The accidentals in the tool bar apply to something that may exist in the future. (This is getting a bit metaphysical!) And the pallet at least gives the user a way to revisit the note just entered to add something to it. If you recall, the "accidental first" mode was introduced because some users complained about hearing the unmodified pitch before the accidental was entered. Personally I could live with that and found it difficult to call a note sharp-C rather than C-sharp (but if I recall correctly sharp-C is the way it notes are named in Germany).

To make pallet behaviour consistent with the way accidentals behave in note entry would mean having to specify all articulations etc. before the note is entered. I would rather stick with inconsistency (or change back to applying the accidental after the note is entered).

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

The current way is definitely way more consistent than the old way, or some of the proposals for improving it. But it's not necessarily the case that consistency is always the best goal. So to me it's still worth considering if there is room for improvement.

The consistency is this:

In note input mode, all relevant toolbar buttons now set the stage for the next note to be entered, not the current note (durations, accidentals, voice - all treated the same). In normal mode, since there is no next note to be entered, they all affect the selection.

Palette icons always affect the current selection - they have no "state" to them and thus cannot work like toolbar buttons in note input mode to set the stage for the next. They affect the selection, which in note input mode is usually the most recent note entered.

In reply to by Andy Fielding

If you point out which part of what has been said thus far is confusing, we can try to explain again/differently. But what I'd say in summary:

  • The toolbar buttons work differently in note input mode than in normal mode, In note input, they set the stage for the next note. In normal mode, they affect the current selection.
  • The palette icons always affect the current selection.

This basic use model ends up being consistent enough to be learnable, also intuitive enough that in most cases you don't really need to think about it. But it's not the only way things could have been done, and indeed, it's evolved slowly over many years based on tons and tons and tons of user feedback and discussion here, to gradually arrive on what is so far the best consensus that has been found.

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