Software: MuseScore

An effort is underway to add Clairnote support to MuseScore (along with support for other alternative notation systems).  Many thanks to Craig Fisher who took this on and has done some great work, putting in a lot of time and effort.  The project’s code lives at his GitHub repo and he has also blogged about it.  Ole Kirkeby has also contributed.

The new features have not (as yet) been added to the official MuseScore app, but it is possible to try things out by installing the modified version of MuseScore that is still in development.

Screenshot of Clairnote in MuseScore

Clairnote in MuseScore (Click to Enlarge)


While it’s still a work in progress, the most basic elements of Clairnote are already implemented (the chromatic staff, ledger lines, the 6-6 notehead pattern, etc.). You can create Clairnote scores from scratch or convert existing traditional scores to Clairnote and back. Some items still to be implemented are double stems to indicate half notes, correct stem lengths, and Clairnote’s accidental signs and key signatures.

If you want to try out the modified version of MuseScore, the system requirements are the same as for MuseScore 2.x.x.  If you are using Windows or GNU/Linux you will need to compile the source code that is available from the GitHub repo.  (Be forewarned that compiling your own binary app requires a non-trivial level of technical know-how.)  If you are using a Mac then you can download a pre-compiled binary app that is simple to install:

You will also need the following “staff type template” file (an XML file format) that contains the Clairnote settings to load into MuseScore:



StaffType Templates (Click to Enlarge)

Please contact us if you have questions about any of this.

While LilyPond produces excellent results and is much more feature-complete in terms of supporting Clairnote, MuseScore offers the kind of user-friendly graphical user interface that most people now expect.  Subscribe to the Clairnote blog to stay informed about progress on support for Clairnote in MuseScore.