How to Import "System Text" or "Tempo Text" via MusicXML?

• Apr 5, 2015 - 20:40

I've searched the forum but can;t find anything related to this question.

Using MusicXML, I would like to import tempo directions into MuseScore with the "System flag" set. By Tempo directions I mean text directions like "Moderately Slow" or "rallantando", which would appear once at the top of the score and also in every part.

It appears that MusicXml doesn't directly support such an attribute, but MuseScore is smart enough to set the system flag automatically for imported metronome text and rehearsal markers, so evidently it is possible.

Is there a way to tell MuseScore via MusicXML that a particular text direction is meant as Tempo text (or System Text)? Or is there something I'm missing?



The explanation for this behavior is that metronome text, rehearsal markers and generic text are three different datatypes in MusicXML. The first two import with the system flag set, the last one with the system flag reset. This is logical, as the first two contain score information, while the last one typically applies to a single staff.

There is no reliable way for the importer to know if a generic textual direction applies to a single staff or to all. The importer conforms to the implied meaning and attaches textual directions only the the staff they are assigned to. The workaround is to manually set the system flag where required (right click, select "text properties", set system flag).

In reply to by Leon Vinken

Thanks for the explanation, Leon.

I know about the "System Flag" which appears in the inspector. This is one of the features that attracted me to MuseScore from Sibelius. Data structures and applied operations are much more transparent.

However, setting the text directions manually will be tedious and prone to error because
I am producing several orchestra scores algorithmically, and there are hundreds of such text directions in each score.

Perhaps one of the unused MusicXML attributes for Directions can be used as a de facto "System Flag"? For example, although the "Metronome, "Rehearsal" and "Words" directions are already used as you describe, MuseScore does not appear to currently use the "Other-Direction" attribute. Perhaps it can be used to signal to the MXML Importer that embedded text should have the System Flag set.

According to the MXML docs:
"The other-direction type is used to define any direction symbols not yet in the current version of the MusicXML format. This allows extended representation, though without application interoperability."


Just thinking out loud here: would it be possible to write a plugin to do the job of somehow recognizing certain text elements as "System" and setting the System Flag? Perhaps I could export text elements with a marker of some sort, like an initial "*", which the plugin could recognize, remove, and set the System Flag.

So my question then becomes: Is this behaviour possible for a MuseScore plugin?


In reply to by [DELETED] 5

I've tried pasting more extensive text into a Metronome direction, but MuseScore (and Sibelius, etc) returns an error that such text is not allowed.

As as far as I can tell from the MusicXML docs, a Metronome direction only allows text of the form "quarter note symbol, 8th note, etc = 120"


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