Capo and LInked staff/Tablature

• Jan 1, 2022 - 03:06

Following instructions here:
https://musescore.org/en/handbook/3/capo-playback
I have set the capo to 4 using the staff text properties.

I can see it in the uncompressed file that the capo fretId is set.
I am assuming that somehow fredId=5 is somehow fret 4
(I don't know how to show xml in a post here)
but it seems first note is displayed as an F. I would expect it to be an A.
Curiously, the playback is an A.

What am I doing wrong?

Attachment Size
Capo4.mscz 5.96 KB
Capo4.mscx 22.3 KB

Comments

See:
https://musescore.org/en/handbook/3/capo-playback
which states:
"MuseScore allows you to transpose the playback of a staff, without affecting the music notation."

So, normally (without a capo), pressing the first fret of the low (open) E string is notated as F (3 ledger lines below the staff).
With capo at fret 4 the notation is not affected, so F is still the first fret (though now above the capo). Because one fret above the capo is actually fret 5, an A is sounded instead of F.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

I guess I want it to affect the music notation. Taking the low E string as an example, if the capo is on 4, and the fret one is indicated, (i.e. fret 5, an A) then A should be in the notated in the treble clef staff. It plays the A, so it knows what it is, but the notation doesn't reflect that . This is as designed?

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Because when playing fret 5 with a capo on fret 4, you don't think of it as fret 5, you think of it as fret 1. Furthermore, if someone decided they want to play the song with the capo at fret 3, for which there are valid reasons, then they could still read the tab at face value, instead of having to transpose (i.e. subtract 2) from each note.

In reply to by allelopath

You wrote:
...you don't think of it as fret 5, you think of it as fret 1.

Exactly! So if you think of it as fret 1, also think of it as F, because fret 5 (which you're not thinking of) is A.

Furthermore, if someone decided they want to play the song with the capo at fret 3, for which there are valid reasons, then they could still read the tab at face value.

Here is a score with different capo settings and the TAB has the same "face value":
Adjust_Capo.mscz

Earlier you wrote:
I guess I want it to affect the music notation. Taking the low E string as an example, if the capo is on 4, and the fret one is indicated, (i.e. fret 5, an A) then A should be in the notated in the treble clef staff.

O.K. But the capo is normally used by those who wish to read exactly the same notation, but only hear the sounding pitches higher (or lower if moving capo from e.g., 5th to 2nd fret). They read the same displayed notation regardless of the key in which they are actually playing. If you are a guitarist, I'm sure you have seen beginners who have mastered a few basic chord forms and play various songs in different keys using the same few chord forms but rely on different capo settings for key changes.

If you want "fret 1, pitch A" to be "notated" in the treble clef staff, have a look at this:
Tuning transposition.mscz

In reply to by Jm6stringer

First to be clear, i will talk about the notes on the treble clef as "notation" and the numbers on the TAB as "tab".

>>But the capo is normally used by those who wish to read exactly the same notation
I disagree. Consider now in addition to the linked tab/notation, we have a stave below those with a melody. Now if the notation and the playback sound do not match, its makes it difficult to write a melody.

I've done the tuning transposition that you demonstrate. This technique has its own problems.

In reply to by allelopath

You wrote:
>>But the capo is normally used by those who wish to read exactly the same notation
I disagree.

OK, so MuseScore got it wrong? What were they thinking when they designed it "to transpose the playback of a staff, without affecting the music notation."?
Most capo users I know read from a printed sheet (for example, a songbook) and can change the key, when necessary for any 'diva vocalist', by using a capo and reading from the same old sheet they've played from many times before. This is what MuseScore does.

You wrote:
Consider now in addition to the linked tab/notation, we have a stave below those with a melody.

"Consider now in addition"...?
It's difficult to decipher what your ultimate goal is. The target keeps moving when any new and/or additional considerations get introduced and add more complexity. Also, attachments that don't show the whole picture can lead to incomplete solutions. You should try to explain more fully from the start. (Like why is there a hidden piano in one of your attachments?)

You wrote:
Now if the notation and the playback sound do not match, its makes it difficult to write a melody.

If you are composing a melody, you can initially write everything in concert pitch. Clarinets, saxes, and other (transposing) instruments fall into the "notation and playback sound do not match" category which is why concert pitch comes in handy. It facilitates constructing chordal harmonies across different instruments. Then again, maybe you aren't writing for those instruments. It's hard to tell from here without the complete picture.
So why worry about capo at all at this stage? Get everything sounding ok, then create a TAB for anyone who needs it. Whether they use it the intended way, or they want it to represent a "barre finger" held on a given fret while the music is notated on the treble staff as it actually sounds, there are ways to achieve it, as shown above.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

First, thanks for all your work in your responses.

>>The target keeps moving when any new and/or additional considerations get introduced and add more complexity.
I apologize if my snippet has caused confusion. I was trying to provide a SSCCE of sorts (see www.sscce.org). I thought the problem was with me because it was (and still is) incomprehensible that the notation and the playback would not match. With the SSCCE, I wanted to isolate the problem to a couple measures rather than providing an entire score.

>>OK, so MuseScore got it wrong?
The capo functionality is poorly designed. In fact it doesn’t appear to have been designed, but rather tacked on as an afterthought.

At the very least, the user should be given the option of which way the notation should be displayed.

Another implementation issue is that the capo is treated as a Staff Text Property which is just wrong. It should be a Staff Property, along side the “Edit String Data …” button.

Furthermore, as it is, the user changes the capo fret to 4 in the Capo Settings tab and then must take care that the text is “Capo 4”. Anything can be put in the text at that point, the user could put “Banana” or worse, “Capo 3”. In computers, anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

>>So why worry about capo at all at this stage?
The song is written. As I was singing it, I realized that it would suit my voice, limited as it is, to move the capo. If the notation corresponded to the capo/frets, then I could easily read the music to play on piano as well as guitar.

In reply to by allelopath

The reason capo is a staff text property is to make it easy to change capo settings mid-score - that's an important feature for many users.

As for how it was designed, like transposition and most similar features in MuseScore, it does assume you've already entered music correctly and now you want to alter something about how it is displayed without changing the basic music. For most people most of the time, this makes sense, but for the cases where you are trying to do something different, it might indeed take an extra step or two to get the specific results you want.

In reply to by allelopath

My guess is that it was implemented as a text property due to some program code considerations that made it easier. It works but is definitely an odd place for it. I have never seen a guitar piece which requires a mid-score capo change but maybe someone else has.

It is actually a huge improvement over the previous capo workaround.

Jo-jo has said that it should be an instrument property: https://musescore.org/en/node/299561 so maybe it will be moved for MS4.

In reply to by yonah_ag

Hmm, maybe people who didn’t grow up in the 70’s don’t remember just how common it was for pop songs to modulate up by half steps for the final choruses, but it was definitely a thing. And people I knew just slid their capos up.

Anyhow, no reason there couldn’t be controls in both places of course. But in general, having similar controls in two different places often clutters an interface and causes confusion. So it’s not a decision to be done without careful consideration.

On the other hand, the mismatch between the totally unrelated capo features for playback vs chord symbol display - definitely huge room for improvement there.

In reply to by allelopath

Junji Shirota frequently changes capo position, usually on DADGAD tuned guitar. He's does it with a C-clamp style capo, like a Kayser brand capo.

Alec Finn, on Irish bouzouki tuned DAD, uses an old style elastic strap capo. You can see him slide the capo from the 7th fret to the nut right around 1:23. In this video Finn changes from Capo 7 to Capo 3 around 1:40, unfortunately it's not caught on camera.

Nevertheless I think it would be best if MuseScore migrates Capo settings to Instrument or Staff properties. And I think it's smart to offer an override option for mid score capo changes, like the current Text Property method but more elegantly implemented.

scorster

In reply to by allelopath

allelopath wrote > ... as it is, the user changes the capo fret to 4 in the Capo Settings tab and then must take care that the text is “Capo 4”. Anything can be put in the text at that point, the user could put “Banana” or worse, “Capo 3”.

Agreed.

I think the Text object should accurately and automatically display the capo setting ... unless the user explicitly overrides it.

scorster

At last! This is what should have been your first post, (your SSCCE):
The song is written. As I was singing it, I realized that it would suit my voice, limited as it is, to move the capo. If the notation corresponded to the capo/frets, then I could easily read the music to play on piano as well as guitar.

O.K. You are playing the song on your guitar. You move the capo to suit your voice. Then how difficult would it be to transpose your written score to whatever key your capo has shifted the guitar? MuseScore is pretty adept at stuff like that. Then you could "easily read the (transposed) music to play on piano".

You wrote:
The capo functionality is poorly designed. In fact it doesn’t appear to have been designed, but rather tacked on as an afterthought.

I guess the developers never thought to ask you as a piano player how you would want a capoed guitar score to be displayed. Instead, they went with most guitarists' preference.
That's not to say your request is without merit.

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