MuseJazz Font

• Apr 12, 2022 - 21:26

Hello MuseScore,
I've been doing some jazz work today, and I've noticed how ugly it actually looks. Would it be possible to overhaul the MuseJazz font, just like you did with Leland, because it looks a little outdated?
All the best,


In reply to by jeetee

Thanks for the quick reply. As you guessed correctly, this alternative won't probably be satisfactory in the long run. Still, the chord symbols are in the MuseJazz font, and it would certainly be great to have it overhauled and integrated.

In reply to by MRJ_MRJ

As mentioned, you can change chord symbols too - all text in MsueScore can be made whatever font you like. Just set then in Format / Style / Text Styles. If you use Petaluma for your notation, then it makes sense to use Petaluma Script for your chord symbols (and to turn off the "Jazz" option under Appearance in Format / Style / Chord Symbols, which only works with MuseJazz.

Can you explain more about what changes you would like to see? Perhaps point to a font you think looks betters?

MuseJazz was designed to emulate the look of the publications from Sher Music, generally regarding as being among the best-engraved jazz charts around. I don't think of these editions as outdated; they are actually still considered state-of-the-art. but no doubt, there are other worthy publishers whose looks could be emulate as well, and existing fonts that could someday be incorporated, license permitting.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hello Marc,
I'm pointing to the Real Book Style font, or the Finale Jazz Font/ Broadway Copyist. It would be great to see some rounder edges and some more inspiration to the Real Book, because most jazz musicians (me included) are more familiar with this type of font, than the Sher Music font, of which I have never heard.


In reply to by MRJ_MRJ

It's important to realize that preferences are personal. But most professional musicians I know think of the old college-student-produced Real Book as a particularly bad example, and definitely not one to emulate. But the Sher Music publications, like "The New Real Book", also the Jazz Piano Book, Jazz Theory Book, Salsa Guidebook, and tons of others, are almost universally praised for their engraving. Still, if the look of the Real Book i what you personally prefer, simply find a font that emulates that, and installs nd use that for whatever text you like - chord symbols, titles, whatever. MuseScore allows you to use whatever font you like for whatever text you like.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The NorPen font, from NorFonts, is better for me. (Example here: Of course, it is a question of taste.) It is relatively inexpensive, but I can only use it with Finale, which in turn forces me to use Windows instead of Linux, and abandon all benefits of using MuseScore (too long to list here). Of course, my preference for MuseScore and Linux is also a question of personal choice. It would be good to make switching fonts in MuseScore as easy as it is in other applications.

In reply to by MRJ_MRJ

You don't need to do anything special, just install the font normally - see the documentation for your computer's OS (Windows, macOS, or Linux) to learn more about how to install fonts. Usually it's something simple like double-click the file and the system guides you from there.

In reply to by MRJ_MRJ

Once you install the font according to the usual way of installing fonts on your computer, then MiuseScore will recognize it automatically. At most you might need to restart MuseScore. But then you should see it available to select in all of the dropdown boxes where you can select text fonts (eg, the Inspector, or Format / Style / Text Styles).

In reply to by MRJ_MRJ

If you install the font normally, MuseScore won't magically know you want to use it - you would need to select int normally, same as any other font, using the Inspector or style settings I have said.

If the particular font you want to use has the same name as one of the existing built-in font - a bad idea in general and will likely lead to problems in the future - then MuseScore should use it automatically instead of the built-in font. But instructions on how to do that will depend on your OS and the font itself - MuseScore itself doesn't support this kind of hack directly. Better to install and use fonts normally.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc. Can I take you back to this comment from earlier this year? I've been using John's LilyJazz font version that carries that MuseJazz Text name in MuseScore v3 (described and linked on this page) and loving it.

But, MuseScore v4 doesn't want to play the game by the same rules. v4 only uses the built-in MuseJazz Text font and seems to ignore John's edited version even after being reinstalled. Any ideas as to how this can be overcome? Thanks.

Congrats on your contributions to v4 BTW. Was pleased to see you called out in the video.

In reply to by satchmo67

Hello, and thanks for your comments! I definitely don't recommend relying on any specific behaviors in terms of how your system might happen to resolve font conflicts when you have multiple fonts of the same name. much better for each font to have its own name - that's how it was designed to work. Any hacks to get around this are indeed likely to break from release to release of MuseScore and/or your OS. So rather than try to find a new hack, I recommend simply fixing the font.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks very much, Marc. I took your advice and saved the font with a new name "BadgerLilyJazzText-Regular.otf" using Glyphr Studio. The new font behaves exactly as expected in MuseScore v3 however MuseScore v4 completely ignores it. Even after restart / uninstall / reinstall it won't show the font as available for selection.

The screenshot on the left is the font selection list from v4 while the screenshot on the right (with my font highlighted) is from v3. Has v4 been built to somehow restrict the use of custom fonts, differently to v3?

Attachment Size
Screenshot 2022-12-18 132947.jpg 111.07 KB

In reply to by satchmo67

Saving the file with a different name won't help - the actual font name needs to be changed. I warned about this earlier - you simply cannot depend on what will happen if two fonts with the same name are installed. it's like flipping a coin as to which will end up getting used. could be a different result in each OS, in each version of MuseScore, in each font, heck even each time you open the program. You're asking for trouble having two fonts with the same name.

So, you need to fix the error caused by whomever gave the font a name that was already taken, by using a font editor to give it a new name.

In reply to by MRJ_MRJ

Instrument and part names can be set to whatever font you like. Just make sure you set them in Format / Style / Text Styles along with everything else you want to use your preferred font. When you have a score set up the way you like, simply save it to your Templates folder and then it is available to select every time you create a new score. You can also use Format / Save Style to create a style file you can load into older scores.

In reply to by MRJ_MRJ

Double-click on the Dal Segno or the Coda sign. In the bottom left-hand corner, a Text Properties toolbar appears. You can change the font type and/or you can click a bottom on the far left called "insert special characters" from which you can select all sorts of things.

The MuseJazz font (after installing the modified font version) has a pretty good Dal Segno and Coda.

Personally, I like the boxes surrounding the Sal Segno and Coda sign, so I change the font to JazzText (a font that I think appeared when I installed a trial version of Finale) and I select its version as a special character.

Regarding the Feature Request Above,
I would like to ask if it's possible to emulate the picture with MuseScore. If so, how would one go about it?
(The quality may be a bit bad, sorry)

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Jazz.jpg 20.14 KB

In reply to by MRJ_MRJ

Seems the website that offers this is insecure and browsers won't let you there, but if you keep looking, probably something will turn up.

As to whether it's worth it, as I said, taste in fonts is subjective. To me it's a somewhat amateurish look, and I much prefer simpler text in my jazz charts. But it definitely became popular for a while back in the 90's when it was the only handwritten font available for Finale and was provided by default just as MuseJazz is for MuseScore.

These days there are many other alternatives, just do a web search for "handwritten font" or any similar phrase. Maybe add "jazz" and/or "chord symbols" to the search. As mentioned, Petaluma Script comes with MuseScore and is also very well-regarded by professional musicians, and perhaps it would suit your tastes better than MuseJazz. But I don't think it has those special brackets.

In reply to by johngreen

It didn't work for me. Once installed, the font was available under the name "MuseJazz Text" in a word processor, but in MuseScore, when selected for chord symbol (and using the "Standard" style for chords), I still get the old (ugly) MuseScore Text characters. I had to change the name of the font in FontForge to make it work. Maybe a specific problem under Linux, but in any case, it doesn't seem a good idea to replace a font without changing its name. I changed the name to MuseJazz Text Komika.

Another problem is that "o" no longer works as a symbol to enter a diminished chord. I get a big O instead, which isn't even the capital O of the font

Screenshot from 2022-04-15 09-41-11.png

It seems that this is a lowercase "o" from another font that MuseScore displays when it doesn't find the right character at the right location, although with some fonts, it doesn't display anything. Using the lower case "o" of the MuseJazz Komika font, it should render like this:

Screenshot from 2022-04-15 09-58-16.png

It happens that the symbol used by MuseScore for the diminished chord isn't the western "o" but the Greek one (omicron), in location U+03BF. After copying the "o" to this position, everything seems to be working. Here are the modified versions in FontForge and OTF format.

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