MuseScore chord symbols editor

UX/UI Design
CLIENT
MuseScore BVBA
project year
2021
platform
Desktop (MacOS, Windows, Linux)
Key skills
UX/UI Design
tools
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About

I led a project for MuseScore, in conjunction with the 2021 Google Summer of Code, to design a new chord symbol editor for MuseScore 4.

The brief was to provide users with a few well designed and consistent preset options for various chord symbol styles, as well as the ability to customise those styles.

Approach

I conducted a survey of music notation software users, which attracted 355 respondents. Most respondents indicated only basic levels of customisation requirements. I also investigated a wide range of existing published scores and conducted competitor analyses of other notation apps. I published the findings of my research in our company’s wiki to seek further input from my colleagues.  

I designed two interface screens: a basic popup for toggling between preset styles, and a more complex editor for editing them.

Challenge

Chord symbols are surprisingly complicated engraving elements in notated music. There are myriad inconsistencies and anomalies in the literature, and it was a real challenge to learn how they are used across different musical genres (jazz, pop/contemporary, music theatre, etc.).

My biggest challenge was to develop a range of preset styles that could be used consistently across scores, with no errors or engraving anomalies. My extensive knowledge of music theory was critical in creating style sheets, organised by musical genre and chord type, showing how different elements needed to be customisable within each style. 

Prototype

Click to watch the working prototype in action
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Let's work together!

Send me a message if you'd like to engage my services or collaborate on a project and I will get back to you within 24 hours.

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