enharmonic changes

• Feb 2, 2015 - 11:31

Hello everybody,
somebody please deactivate the function "Vorzeichen neu berechnen" (newly calculate the accidentals) when changing the "klingende Notation" (score transposed or as it sounds). It should just transpose by a real interval (e.g. for Horns in F: display all notes up a real fifth, no diminished sixth, no double-extended fourth)! I spent a lot of time on revising those transposing instruments and changing all those flats and sharps back.
(By the way, I don't think It's even possible to calculate the accidentals. To do this, you need a complete harmonic analysis of the peace and even then, e.g. in the case of an enharmonic modulation, not every accidental is definable! So the button "Vorzeichen neu berechnen" is useless in my opinion.)


Could you provide an example of what you are talking about? I guess "klingende Notation" must refer to what in English is called the "Concert Pitch" button. The accidentals *should* be calculated correctly according to the key; are you encountering some sort of case where they are not? If so, please post a sample score and steps to reproduce. Also say what version of MuseScore you are talking about.

This is the melody I have in mind:
[[nodetitle:Horn sample in F]]
Notice, how, switching between notated pitch and concert pitch, in measure 8 the a sharp becomes an f natural. I'd like it to become an e sharp (for the correct enharmonic context). Somehow, the e double sharp of measure 5 gets mixed up, too.

By the way: there is this rule, that an accidental is valid until the beginning of the next measure. However, in ALL literature edited today, this Situation is marked additionally (in my exmple in measure 11). Please Programm the automatism to set these additional accidentals in that next measure. (I've got one rehearsal and the orchestra is sight-playing!)

Attachment Size
Horn sample in F.mscz 6.25 KB

In reply to by danchricob2

Ah, so you're specifically talking about E#, Fb, Cb, B#, and double sharps & flats then? All other cases should already be handled correctly as far as I know. In current 2.0 builds, even E# at al and double flats/sharps should work the way you want. I suspect you created this score with an older build before this behavior was changed (some time in the last couple of months). There is still no guarantee it will always do what you want, but try a current build and see for yourself. You will have to re-enter the notes to see the new behavior.

Ultimately, I would like to see an option to control whether you want your pitches "simplified" by default or not. But meanwhile, in 2.0, you can override these choices individually by selecting a note or notes and pressing "J" to choose a different enharmonic spelling. This also allows you to deliberately change a Bb into an A# even if "Bb" is the correct spelling, which can often be useful for readability of highly chromatic lines. The spellings in concert and transposed modes are maintained separately, so you can have it spelled however you like in either mode. Still, I agree an option to change how the defaults works would be nice at some point.

As for accidentals in the next measure - these are called "courtesy accidentals" in English, and you can create them manually by using the toolbar or palette icons. Automation is something I'd like to see added too, but realistically, everyone will have a different idea of when they should be applied (only in next measure, or next N measures; different octaves or not, use parentheses or not, etc). So we'd need to develop a dialog box and a set of rules to follow. It's the sort of thing I could eventually see being part of MsueScore, probably under the Edit / Tools menu. But meanwhile, I do have some hope it might be possible to create a plugin for this. There are some issues with the plugin framework that made it impossible to fully automate it in 1.3, although there is a plugin to at least mark the spots for you. The situation should be better for 2.0, but still not totally there I fear.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

A teacher of Music theory warned me about squandering these courtesy accidentals.
"In scores edited nowadays, the viola gets an extra c natural, just because the third trombone had a c sharp thirty measures earlier"
Considering that, my proposal is: courtesy accidentals are to be set automatically:
- without brackets
- in the same stave
- in the same octave
- in the next bar
look at the horn example. An f sharp following an f natural in the same Instrument in the next measure.
Unfortunately, I can't estimate the programming work it takes to get there...

In reply to by danchricob2

It's not a difficult function to implement. But I would like to see it done "right", with a dialog that lets you control various aspects of how they added. So I am hopeful a fully automatic plugin could be a stop-gap, but I'd want to have the more flexible version built into MuseScore when that eventually happens.

I also would like to see an "Accidental Rules" dialog or preference which allows for the user to define the normal rules for his works. We could also have presets which notate accidentals according to the rules of a historical period.

Myself, I use a lot of un-measured staves, so I have to create a ghost time signature, then hide all the barlines, re-do the spacing, then after the manuscript has been entered, space it visually, THEN after all that, go thru and fix the accidental display. For me, accidentals hold until the end of the staff, or if there is a double-barline defining a new key.

Perhaps the dialog or preferences can account for these types of accidental rules (any or all):

Accidentals hold until:
[] End of measure
[] End of staff
[] Next key signature
[] Explicitly called
[] One note only
[] Same note in all octaves
[] Same note in all systems

Courtesy accidentals are automatically added only if:
* Never
* Change in next measure after an explicit change
[] Only if in same staff
[] Any octave
* Every measure where notes do not belong to key

Hopefully this will help when constructing a dialog or adding extra preferences in the Accidental category.

In reply to by harbinger

For the record, in 2.0, it will no longer be necessary to do all. Simply use the new "join" and "split" commands under Edit / Measure to assemble your piece as you go; no hiding of time signatures or barlines required. And most importantly, the measure then *is* the staff (system), so the regular rule for accidentals work just fine.

And you even in 1.3 (as well as 2.0), you can force display of accidentals simply by entering them via the toolbar or palette rather than asking MuseScore to calculate them for you via up/down.

Not that a new option wouldn't be nice, but I suspect you are not doing things the most efficient way currently.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The join and split commands I didn't think of using, so i'll try that.

Yes, I force accidentals all the time because of my weird rules. It just would nice to have that done automatically as it would save a lot of time micromanaging the score production.

This isn't a dealbreaker though. I love this application and it gives me a chance to self-publish these countless manuscripts I've written over the years. And I love that you're constantly developing it and making it better. Eat your heart out, Finale!

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