Viola da gamba in 2.0 missing pizzicato and tremolo channels

• May 28, 2015 - 07:17
S4 - Minor

Two things to address here:

First--apparently selecting 'Viola da Gamba' as the instrument for a staff does NOT automatically generate the two additional 'channels' for Viola da gamba-pizzicato and Viola da gamba-tremolo as happened in 1.3. This is a lack that needs to be corrected. Without this, trying to set Staff Text for a pizzicato section through Staff Text Properties will not work, and the playback will continue in arco.

Second--There is no instrument listing for the French 7-string Viola da Gamba, which has a wider range than the 6-string English gamba. In French, this instrument is known as the 'basse de viole française', and the bottom string is tuned to A1. This makes it possible to play anything that can be played on a violoncello without resorting to scordatura tunings, as is necessary for a 6-string gamba that needs to play down to a low C.


Will look into this

For the 7-sting Viola da Gamba I'd like some advice from e.g. @miwarre

Actually the existing Viola da gamba is defined with 7 strings, so I don't think any action is needed on that front? Just changing the instrument name in your score should do?

I do vaguely remember a discussion with miwarre about the several variants of these old instruments and their varying number of strings, but have forgotten the details.

Title Viola da gamba in 2.0 missing pizzicato and tremolo channels Viola da gamba in 2.0 missing pizzicate and tremolo channels
Status (old) patch (code needs review) active

In the 2.0.1 version I'm running, the lowest default note on the 'viola da gamba' is D2. A 7-string gamba has the 7th (lowest) string tuned to A1, so I have been assuming the VdG defined in 2.0 is a 6-string gamba.

Title Viola da gamba in 2.0 missing pizzicate and tremolo channels Viola da gamba in 2.0 missing pizzicato and tremolo channels
Status (old) active patch (code needs review)

But it does have 7 strings?

If Viola da Gamba player I would be really happy if the palettes both Gamba with 6 strings as well is mentioned the Gamba 7 strings. Also called the name "Vedel" in Dutch pallet. That is really an instrument other than a Viola da Gamba


As an amateur gambist

I don't see any viola da gamba in 2.0 or 2.1

During the Renaissance 3 violas da gamba were in use : bass, tenor, dessus, and sometimes alto, one note higher than tenor. These violas often played in consort, especially in Elizabethan England

Later the A1 string was added to the bass, (this was the instrument of French gambists), and during some decades a «pardessus de viole» played the range of violin.

Since I don't use mscore to play the scores I can't appreciate if one needs to have separate sound entries for these instruments. In my opinion one should be enough for the 6 and the 7 stringed ones.

Use that button at the top "Instruments courants" and switch that to what ever "Early music" translated to in French
Or just enter 'gamba' into the search box at the bottom

Thank you, Jojo--it's mind-boggling to see a problem raised and solved in so short a time-span. It's almost as if the people in charge of preventing anything from getting fixed were out to lunch.

Oh, wait! I almost forgot--I'm not dealing with a corporate entity whose sole goal is to firewall the users and 'manage' complaints instead of solving them. You guys are awesome. ;o)

How do I install the patch you just created? As a nightly build?--or will it be part of an official update?

Recent nightly builds have pizzicato/tremolo available for gamba (and others).
Additionally, it will be part of the next official release - whenever that may be.

Nightly builds may not be stable and aren't recommended for serious work, however, if I'm not mistaken, all you really need here is the updated instruments.xml file? In which case, you could install a nightly then simply borrow that file - tell 2.0.1 to use it via Edit / Preferences.

In fact, unless things did change since 2.0, there is a potentially disturbing side effect in adding tremolo and pizzicato channels to early music instruments in general and to VdG in particular.

If these channels are present, while engraving Renaissance / early Baroque 4-part or 5-part (or more!) instrumental pieces (viol consort pieces being a good example), the mixed is encumbered by (very often) unnecessary items: a 4-part piece triggers a 12-item mixer and 5-part piece a 15-item mixer.

I had consistently struggled with this issue in 1.x versions; I tried to by-pass this issue by manually removing those channels in the .MSCX file and eventually I settled for using only the generic "Voice" instrument, assigning the sound in the mixer; this also by-passes any range complication. But also forfeits the additions of specific instruments to MuseScore repertoire. I was glad those channels had been removed in 2.0.

I don''t know how serious this point is for other users; for me it is not irrelevant. Any chance to spend another five minutes considering this?



It's the same annoyance that we have to deal with for violins, trumpet, etc. I'd love to see improvements to the Mixer so these channels could be collapsed somehow. To me, it's not a reason to not have the channels, but given we do have instrument change text now, we can more afford to be conservative in creating them. That's not an specific opinion one way or the other on this particular case, just some observations.

Yes, improvements on the mixer would help too for this. Also mine were observations more than specific urges in one way or the other.