Alternative Drumkit Notations

• Sep 19, 2022 - 16:59

There seems to be some variety in the way drumkit parts are notated. For example the toms and the open/closed hi-hat. Some drum websites do not make it clear what the different symbols mean.

It would be really useful if MuseScore had a button that could flip between displaying the current drum notation and the notation used by Trinity College London (perhaps other common formats too?).
The reason that I have suggested the feature in this way is because I may wish to copy a drum part from a website that is written in some non-Trinity format into MuseScore, then flip it into Trinity format and print it out. That way, I don't need to think about what the non-Trinity format means (making transcription errors along the way) - I just type in what I see, then get MuseScore to convert it to Trinity format.


It's easy enough to make most such customization via the "Edit Drumset" dialog, and you can have alternate sets you load there. But, for hi hat in particular, there is currently no automatic way to convert between the convention of showing a special notehead versus showing an articulation. For that, someone would need to write a plugin. Maybe some percussionist with programming skills would want to give it a shot!

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

You are missing my point.
I don't want a customised drumset, I want a feature that displays a drum part in either your current format or Trinity format, just by clicking a button. So I can type in a score from the web in your format, see that it looks the same as on the web, then display and print it in Trinity format.

In reply to by DonH

What you are describing is a customized drumset - one customized according to the Trinity format. So I'm just pointing out that the capability exists already - click Edit Drumset followed by Load and then selecting the Trinity file that either you or someone else will have previously created. So, three clicks instead of one, true, but a plugin could streamline it from those three clicks to just one, and also handle the difference in articulation.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Ooooh. So if I create a customised drumkit for Trinity, can I then load a single drumscore and view it in both the current and the Trinity style? It should play the same regardless of which drumkit I am using.
How would I revert the score back to your current format? Would I have to use "Save as" to make a copy of your format first, before I customise it for Trinity?

In reply to by DonH

Since you have this need often I'd consider going through the troubles of setting up an additional instruments.xml file with the "Trinity Drumkit" instrument in it: Start with a copy from the built-in instruments.xml file and remove all but the Drumset instrument, then modify that as needed.

With that in place you can now add both a normal Drumset and a Trinity Drumkit to your score and copy-paste between them.

In reply to by DonH

@jeetee's suggestion is a good one, although it might be a bit more "techy" than some might be comfortable with.

The alternative I had in mind is going to Edit Drumset on a score that is using all defaults, then immediately hit Save to create a "MuseScore Standard.drm" file (or whatever you want to call it. Then do the customizations that are needed and do another Save, this time calling it "Trinity.drm" or whatever. Now all you'll need to do from then on in any score is select between those two using the Load button. And yes, assuming you don't also change to a non-standard soundfont, playback isn't affected.

Again, the main thing that it won't get is articulations - only the lines/spaces/stems/noteheads. So if Trinity uses a special articulation to mean open hi hat like I know some people do, you'd need to deal with that separately. Changing drumsets also won't change voices. So there's where a dedicated plugin could come in handy. If enough people use this Trinity format, then perhaps one of them will have the programming experience needed to pull that off.

OK. So after that discussion, my feature request is to have an easy way to swap between displaying the existing drum notation and Trinity notation.
The minimum requirement is to improve the drumset editor so that I can specify what articulation is required for each drum "note" (mainly the + and o on the hi-hat and the z for a buzz roll). I could then create a Trinity drumset and flip between the two.
The maximum requirement, as before is a toggle button to toggle between the two.

Hope that makes sense and can be squeezed into MuseScore V4.

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