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Marc Sabatella

Giving thanks

published6 days ago
2 min read

Hello! I'd like to thank all of you for helping make Mastering MuseScore the success it has been. It was only with some trepidation that I embarked on this journey several years ago, but seeing how many people I have been able to help and hearing all the great music you have created has been incredibly gratifying.

Of course, I am especially thankful for all of you who have pre-enrolled in my upcoming Mastering MuseScore 4 course - it's making me that much more excited for when I can launch it fully! As a reminder, I am running a "Black Friday" early enrollment sale now through "Cyber Monday":

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café with Marc Sabatella, I give you a sneak peek at Mastering MuseScore 4 and talk about why I think this course will be special.

The MuseScore Café is live on Wednesday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

Tip of the Week

As you probably realize by now, there are differences between MuseScore 4 and MuseScore 3, and in some cases, this will mean learning new ways to do things. For the most part, the changes are not actually that big, but some might catch you by surprise. One that people tend to notice quickly is, "+" is no longer the default shortcut for the tie command. Instead, the tie command is "T". This makes some sense as, after all, "S" is the shortcut for slur. Also, "T" is physically closer to the A-G keys used for pitch and thus feels a bit more natural. But that's not why the change was made. The change was to allow "+" to be the shortcut for sharp, along with "-" for flat and "=" for natural.

MuseScore has never had default shortcuts for the accidentals before, mostly because no one could agree on what they should be. All the good logical combinations created conflict with some other shortcut. For MuseScore 4, it was finally decided that accidentals were too important to not have shortcuts and that people could get used to "T" for tie.

Of course, you can still customize shortcuts via Edit / Preferences / Shortcuts, but I recommend living with the defaults for a little while to give them a chance. I am finding I really like having those accidental shortcuts (although I still use the arrow keys too), and I am doing pretty well at remembering to use "T" instead of "+" for tie.

All in all, this is a pretty good example of the care that is being taken concerning changes. The goal is for MuseScore 4 to be better, not just different.

Music Master Class

I'm taking this week off to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. I hope you are all able to take a moment to reflect on what you have to be thankful for as well!

In Theory

During last week's MuseScore Café, the subject of enharmonic spelling came up, and why sometimes it might make sense to call a particular chord Cb7 versus B7. The specific example was one that could go have gone either way, but there are others where there is a clear right answer. For example, in the key of C# minor, the leading note is definitely B#, not C. To see why, consider the following excerpts:

The B# spelling in the first line helps make the C# harmonic minor scale look like a scale and the G#7 look like a seventh chord. In the second line, the scale has a strange gap in it requires an extra accidental, and the seventh chord appears to have two adjacent notes within it. The correct spelling actually makes this easier to read, even though without this context, we might think of B# as "hard" somehow.

Moral of the story - in music, as in prose, spelling matters!