Playback of strong accent (marcato) on quaver

• Feb 8, 2016 - 13:34

I am afraid I have to write a eighth note instead of a quaver when using a strong accent to get the desired sound on playback. Or am I missing something? I have attatched two snippets. One, how i should look like and the second how I managed to have it sound right. Does anyone have a hint for me?

Attachment Size
How it should look like.png 27.46 KB
How it should sound.png 29.6 KB


I think you are saying you want the marcato accent to plaback as shorter as well as louder. This is indeed the most common interpretation of the marking, and it is how MuseScore interpretes it by default. Not as short as staccato, but shorter than without the marking. Listen carefully, you should hear it. This is controlled by a parameter in the instruments.xml file, so if you have customzied that file, that could be why you aren't hearing it. If you prefer it shorter, you can probably create a customzied instruments.xml to do that. Eventually I hope to see us make this sort of thing more easily customizable.

If you are experiencing a case where it is not playing shorter at all, please post the score you are having problems with.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

It would, by changing instrument to the same as before. Not a task MuseScore should do automatically IMHO. These are global settings (which could get added automatically), but some instruments have local overrides for eine of these, and watching them would impose problems, esp. when their names are translated

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

The score I was talking about has indeed been imported from a capella capx-file.
So I created a sample from scratch and played back with the JL-Trombone sound font.
For my taste the accented quater notes still extend the expected duration. (I see that I have used the wrong term "quaver" initially when talking about a crotchet).

I have attached the musescore file.

Attachment Size
marcato demo.mscz 5.2 KB

In reply to by SlyDr

I gave editing the instruments.xml a try and have edited it this way:


Now gate time has the same value as staccato.
It seems to me as if this setting does not affect the first quater note of a measure in the same way it effects the following ones. Is there an additional setting to emphasize the first note that overrules the attempt to keep the marcato short?

btw: the xml-Source does not render as I'd expected. I have added a snapshot.

Attachment Size
marcato demo 2.mscz 5.87 KB
xml.PNG 6.46 KB

In reply to by SlyDr

To me, the very short interpretation you prefer is really specific to maybe jazz and related styles. Other styles of music would not normally play this so short. So I think the default is probably about right, but you are welcome to customize, and as I said, it would be good if we made this easier some day.

As for a difference betwene first note and others, I don't hear it. Is there a specific score where you are heairng this? Could be the time of that note was modified somehow.

In reply to by SlyDr

Could be a defect in the soundfont you are using then; it sounds perfectly normal with the default soundfont. Unless I am somehow misunderstanding something. You are talking about the first two notes in the first measure? They are exactly the same length. You can turn off reverbn in View / Synthesizer to hear more clearly, and/or export to an audio file and examine it in Audacity or the like. Also helps to make the pitches the same in case your particular soundfont does something different with the different pitches.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you for your help and patience,

I have checked the output again. I still seem to hear some prolongation on the first count but that is likely a psychological effect. After exporting the wave file a check in an audio editor did not show any difference in the shape and lenght on the first count in comparison to the same note on count two.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc, I’m writing big band music in Musescore and as you said, in jazz the Marcato needs to be shorter than the classical interpretation without the need to add a staccato as well. In Sibelius there is an area where you define what percentage of note length is given with staccato or marcato and I’m wondering if this has eventuated in Musescore yet. I see about 8 years ago you were agreeing that it would be useful. I’m hoping not to have to dive in and edit the xml file but if I have to please give me a quick hint where to find the marcato value I need to reduce. Thanks in advance. Chris 🎺

In reply to by Chris Weber

MuseScore 3 used the jazz intepretation but MsueScore 4 does not. There are definitely plans to make it possible to customize this in the future, but no, nothing yet. THe new playback system in MuseScore 4 provides a new opportunity to do this in a more meaningful way than was ever possible before, though.

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