lute tablature question -- what to do about bass notes?

• Apr 11, 2015 - 17:58

musescore is great -- thank you! I am running v2.0.0 c68b108 under Windows 7.

Now I'm trying to notate some Italian lute tablature for the theorbo. I created a score, selected theorbo as the instrument and I am getting a staff where I can notate six strings. That's all good, but I can't figure out how to add the bass notes. They are normally placed in the space above the top physical line of the tab staff.

Is that supported in the current version of musescore?


I can just about strum a lute. I had, however, to Google "Theorbo" and find insufficient information about it. Can you show us a picture of some music that you want to replicate/emulate?

Theorbo? Great. Welcome aboard :)

I don't know which result you expect. It could be useful to know.

Maybe that (from Kapsberger?) The red "0" above the staff (italian type, ) represents the 7th course, "8" the 8 th course, until "14" the 14th course.
1) When the tab for theorbo (eg: staff type common 6-str) in the wizard is choosen -> Right-click on the tab-> Staff properties -> Advanced style properties ->
You change the number of lines 6->14, and after some other changes (tick "upside down", Tab italian, notes symbols, etc.), you may have this configuration:


2) You obtain this first result after entering eg the open strings:

3) When the input of your score is finished: delete in "String Data" (in Staff Properties") the strings 14->7, and change the number of lines (14->6, in Staff properties eg). So, you get:

4) Now, simply add text (Ctrl +T) for numbers 0, 8, 9 etc. above the Tab, and add red color via the Inspector (F8). You receive:

5) To finish the job: Select the "former" numbers (square red), and make them invisible ("V" key eg). Finally, go to View -> Untick "Show invisible".

So, you have good display and good playback, as you can hear in this file: theorbo playback.mscz

In reply to by cadiz1

Well, entering notes on the main six tab lines is very easy (more or less WYSIWYG).

But entering bass notes requires a very different procedure and one has to reenter some of the notes additionally as text. However, I can imagine that programmatically it might be very difficult/impossible to design a simpler input scheme. But since Italian tab only has six lines plus an extra slot for the basses, it would be cool to be able to just click the extra slot and enter the number of the bass course. The same thing could apply analogously to French tab.

Anyway, I need to try it myself first and see how difficult it is (what you described). It's already 10 pm here so I will check out for the night. I'll try to report back soon once I enter some notes.

In reply to by garbo

@cadiz1: I created my first little theorbo tablature today (theorbo_test_1.mscz). This is a very simple piece from the Schemellis Gesangbuch. There are only two "voices". For performance, it would need a full basso continuo realisation but I am just interested in this for counterpoint studies.

I didn't try to delete the extra tablature lines yet because there is another more pressing problem. I can't seem to get the rhythms to APPEAR correctly (although they SOUND correctly).

Can you look at this and see what I mean? (Your theorbo score looked good -- Are you a lutenist?)

Thanks for the help!!!

BTW: The piece you inserted at the top is in fact Kapsberger's Preludio No. 13 from Libro Quarto d'Intavolatura di Chitarone.

In reply to by garbo

I reply recently at the same question in this thread (it's for a bass, but the principe is identical)
In your case, the better for you now is the second choice: Staff properties -> Advanced style properties -> Note values -> Tick "Show rests"
(I'm mostly classical guitarist, but I play also instruments of early music, lute and guitar Renaissance and Baroque mainly, and I've also owned a theorbo there a few years back)

"BTW: The piece you inserted at the top is in fact Kapsberger's Preludio No. 13 from Libro Quarto d'Intavolatura di Chitarone."
Yes, I know that of course.
EDIT: Could you attach also "the piece from the Schemellis Gesangbuch"?
I look at your file. I don't unterstand for the moment why some note values symbols overlaps the 14th line, and why the rests aren't displayed while you have already tick "show rests"

By choosing to display "Stems and beams", it works (rests also). I join the file and continue to investigate (don't forget to attach the piece from the Schemellis Gesangbuch. Thanks): theorbo_test_2.mscz

In reply to by garbo

Furthermore, please, try to remember exactly in which order (with precise steps) you have made the operations, all the operations if possible (in the wizard, in advanced style properties, etc.), because it seems there is an issue somewhere (I begin to understand, but it is fuzzy for now) Thanks.

EDIT: oops... sorry. By rereading a previous message, you wrote: "I can't seem to get the rhythms to APPEAR correctly (although they SOUND correctly)."
I confused rhythm and rests display (frequent question for Tab)! The question is not exactly the same ;-)
So: for a more complete display of notes values in Tab: Staff Properties -> Advanced style properties -> Notes values -> Repeat: tick "Always"

However, the query for an explanation (steps) of your score's entry is still valid. Thanks.
der tag.jpg

In reply to by garbo

@garbo: Well, not necessary now to reproduce your way to do. I understand.
I practiced the Tab in MuseScore since a few months... I have a very distant memory of this behaviour, and because I mainly practice with an other manner!
The response to the fact that some symbols of note values overlaps the top line? It's because "Show rests" (in Advanced style properties) is ticked by default when you choose "Tab Italian" in the wizard.
In contrast, the "Tab French" don't display rests by default. Don't know why.
And if you tick "Show rests" (Tab French), you receive the image below (in this example: alternation of quarter notes and quarter rests). Is it the behavior expected? Probably, I don't see other thing after quick check in the time.
A feature? Unexpected because the representation of a rest is not that of a note symbol. I don't know really also :(
value notes.jpg
So, for the moment, by untick "Show rests" in this file, and tick Repeat "Always", I get this result : theorbo__4.mscz (with correct note values, I hope all of them, I don't verified all by lack of time)
By hoping that "garbo" likes the result.

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