What does "respell pitches" do? I can't get it to change a double sharp to something enharmonic

• Jun 17, 2024 - 13:33

I'd like to be able to have the double sharps (showing scale degree) on my main score and the enharmonic equivalents on parts (showing what actual fingering must be used on a wind instrument), but the only way I've found to reach the enharmonic equivalents has been to move the note up and down with the arrow keys, which changes it in the main score too.


In reply to by Nicola Rulli

Sorry, I guess I need to actually read what you want. I don't know of a way to have the score be different from the part. You might open the part, make changes print or save just that part. Then go back to the score to revert (because changing the part also changed the score).

You wrote:
I'd like to be able to have the double sharps... on my main score and the enharmonic equivalents on parts (showing what actual fingering must be used on a wind instrument)...

I mainly play fretted, stringed instruments and have a question.
Regarding, let's say, F double sharp...
On a wind instrument, is the actual fingering for the enharmonic G different (perhaps easier to finger) than a notated F double sharp?
In other words, is it easier to finger a G - which is why you want it in the part - instead of fingering an F double sharp; or is it just that you find it easier to read a G instead of reading F double sharp (either note having identical fingering)?

In reply to by Jm6stringer

No. All common wind instruments use the same fingering for Fx as for G, just as they use the same fingering for F# and Gb. However, in certain contexts, it might be easier to read the G instead of Fx. Certainly, not any of the common situations where that note might occur (e.g., arpeggiating the V chord in the key of G# minor, or as a leading tone leading to the tonic in that same key, or as a ascending chromatic passing tone between F# and G# in any key where the latter two notes are diatonic). But there can definitely exist more angular highly chromatic passages where telling the occasional enharmonic 'lie" makes sense. That's not unique to winds, but it does tend to happen often when writing, for example, "sax soli" sections in a big band part where the complex harmonization involved can create all sorts of strange combinations of accidentals that are awkward to read without respelling.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for the reply.
At first, I thought the OP's desire for notating an enharmonic G instead of Fx might have something to do with specific intonation on that wind instrument, but you say Fx and G are fingered identically (so equal temperament).

Thus, a single G in a melody might be easier to read than Fx, especially if the part is for, say, a student ensemble.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

And then, consider the trumpet. Three valves. how many combinations can there be? This F double sharp and G are not a problem. But consider D5. It can be fingered 1+3, or just 1. 1+3 tends to be a bit sharp. the player has to extend the third valve slide to bring it into tune. And next to it is E5. Can be fingered 0pen or 1+2. Different overtones of the root length of tubing. Each slightly different in pitch. There are times when different fingering is easier. The player decides that and what needs to happen to get the note in tune.
Imagine, then, a clarinet where there are long and short fingerings. Or a trombone. Very scary. Instruments aren't perfectly in tune with themselves.
On some level, composers who understand what instrumentalists are up against can best write for them.

"J" changes enharmonic spelling in both score and parts.
"Ctrl+J" changes it in the current tab only.

The "Respell pitches" command works on an entire selection and applies a heuristic algorithm developed and presented in a research paper some years ago to automatically determine the "best" spelling for every accidental in the selection. Supposedly it does well for the Mozart music it was trained on, but it seems not really very useful in general.

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