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By introducing a plugin interface for the design of staff styles (more at Dynamic Notation – A Solution to the Conundrum of Non-Standard Music Practice), the MaxScore and LiveScore editors allow you to assign notation styles per staff. This way, one staff can represent music in standard notation while another displays music in the Extended Helmholtz-Ellis JI Pitch notation, in Bohlen-Pierce chromatic notation or in percussion notation, among others. This is particularly practical when the same music is supposed to be represented in a format that can either be easily executed by a performer (instrumental notation) or is immediately intelligible to the reader in terms of harmonic and melodic relationships (cognitive notation).

Clef Designer

The Clef Designer style editor adds a variety of new staff layouts and clefs to MaxScore’s repertoire of styles. You can either choose from 15 pre-defined styles or create your own. User-defined styles will be saved to the current score but can also be exported and imported to another score at a later time. An alias can be given to a style so that it will appear in the Style menu as a separate entry from the editor itself.

You can access the Style menu from the Staff Manager.

Clef Designer -style

Pre-defined styles contain rare C-clefs such as the soprano, mezzo-soprano and baritone clefs as well as OpenMusic-style multi-staff systems with several clefs.


MaxScore also contains a tablature tool which accommodates a wide range of instruments with equal fret intervals. There is a number of instruments to choose from plus you can add your own definitions including number of strings, string tunings and fret interval. The notation of music for microtonal guitars such as the ones built by luthier Ron Sword III poses a challenge which this tablature tool meets. The tool possess its own user interface representing the neck of instrument.

By choosing Tablaturethe little circle next to the styles menu turns black and allows you to open the editor with the guitar fretting set by default.

A C major scale on C2 is thus turned into regular tablature notation.

Choose 10-string 41-tone guitar for an example of a guitar with an unusual number of strings, tunings and fret spacing (i.e. interval)

Now the notation is changing to the following tablature with automatic adjustments of the pitches to the given tuning (41 tones per octave).

The tablature tool will allow you to shift pitches up and own a string by using the “u” (up) and “j” (down) keys. Pitches can also be transferred to other strings with the pitch mover (drag number with cmd-click [Mac] or ctrl-click [Windows] ). In the following examples all pitches were dragged to the adjacent string automatically adding an offset of 13 frets (3.8 semitones with the 0.293 cent fret interval).

A future version of the editor will also accommodate unequal fret spacing such as with just intonation guitars built by Sword, Chouard, Çoğulu and others.

For more information visit  Sword, Chouard, Çoğulu .

BP-chromatic notation

This style tool includes four Bohlen-Pierce clefs  (N, U, T and Z) in Müller-Hajdu chromatic notation which can be  combined with two microtonal modes yielding the Bohlen-Pierce triple [39ED3] and quintuple [65ED3] scales, the latter virtually identical to 41EDO). The triple and quintuple scales introduce their own sets of accidentals supporting enharmonic equivalence.

BP chromatic notation

Create your own style

  • A new notation style can be created by modifying one of the existing style maps. This usually consists of
  • Defining a style by specifying its name, the Max file to be used, an accidental map (also referred to as microMap), and the clef to be used (use default if no clef change is intended).
  • Optionally creating a clef  by specifying its name, the Unicode character to be used, the x and y offsets as well as font name and font size.
  • Creating a map (left frame) calculating displayed pitch from sounding pitch.
  • Creating an inverse map (right frame) reconstructing sounding pitch from displayed pitch


43-tone Partch scale in Extended Helmholtz-Ellis JI Pitch Notation with ratio labels.

Bohlen-Pierce scales and modes in Müller-Hajdu

notation T clef.