SCORE 4.0 Music Data Entry Reference Manual
Craig Stuart Sapp <>

Goto: [ Pitches | Rhythms | Marks | Beams | Slurs | Item Dictionary ]

In user input mode, each staff of music is entered one at a time, preferably starting with the bottom staff of a system and then working upwards.

For each staff, the user data entry of musical information is separated into five stages:

  1. pitch stage
  2. rhythm stage
  3. mark stage
  4. beam stage
  5. slur stage

Here are the types of musical items which are input for each stage:

  1. Pitch Stage:
  2. Rhythm Stage:
    • note/rest durations.
  3. Mark Stage:
  4. Beam Stage:
    • beaming of note groups
  5. Slur Stage:

Items which cannot be entered in input mode and which must be created after the input stage.

  • text, such as lyrics
  • tempo markings
  • system braces

General structure of user input

    Individual items in each stage of input are separated by a slash (/) or a comma (,). You can add spaces between items and slashes. The end of a stage of input is indicated by a semi-colon (;) followed by a return. For example, here is a sample of pitch input:

       tr/k1f/4 4/f4/a/c5/m;

    The elements separated by slashes in the above example are:
      tr = treble clef
      k1f = key signature with one flat.
      4 4 = 4/4 time signature
      f4 = the note F above middle C
      a = the note A in the same octave as F4 (i.e., A4)
      c5 = the note one octave above middle C
      m = a barline (measure).

Other things to keep in mind when dealing with the input stage data entry:

  • input is case insensitive (i.e., E and e mean the same thing)
Example musical encoding:

    Pitch Stage: tr/3 4/e4/m/cu/aj/m/f/d/m/bj/b/cu/d/e/m/c/aj/eu/m/cu/aj/m/
    Rhythm Stage: q/h/q/h/q/q/e/e/e/e/q/q/q/h/q/h/q/q/e/e/e/e/q/q;
    Mark Stage: p 1;
    Beam Stage: 2b1;
    Slur Stage: 2 3/4 5/7 10/11 12/14 15/16 17/19 22;


    This stage is the most complex for user data entry. The same musical data can be entered in many different ways.

    The backbone of pitch stage input are the pitch names of notes on the stage. The general structure of a pitch name is:

      pitch class name - accidental - octave number

    The pitch class names are: A, B, C, D, E, F, G.


    s = sharp ss = double sharp
    f = flat ff = double flat
    n = natural

    cautionary accidentals are in the form "(x", where x is the accidental code to place in parentheses, e.g: b(f4 is the pitch b-flat 4.

alternate accidental notation:

    flats: double pitch class name, e.g.: BB = Bf = B-flat
    sharps: triple pitch class name, e.g.: CCC = Cs = C-sharp
    naturals: quadruple pitch class name, e.g.: EEEE = En = E-natural

octave number:

    This is the most variable item in the pitch stage. The basic form is a number indicating the octave set from c through the b above that c. The octave starting at middle C is assigned to be octave 4. The C octave beyond the middle C octave is octave 5 and the octave below middle C is octave 3. Here are the notes of a C triad starting on middle C and going upwards:


    The standard convention in pitch input is to leave off the octave number for successive pitches in the same octave, so the previous octave can be written more succinctly as:

    This will be interpreted by the computer as:

    The default standard shorthand method of octave specification is called the "ordinary mode", you can explicitly indicate the ordinary mode by placing the letter "o" before the note that starts in ordinary mode, so the previous example can also be written as:


    Another method of octave number shorthand is called "proximity mode" which is indicated by the letter "p" preceding the first note to use this mode, for example:

    will be interpreted as
    -- not to interesting yet. "Proximity mode" means that the nearest note the the last note will be chosen rather than the note in the same octave. For example, here is an example that shows the difference between ordinary and proximity modes:
               C4/oB/E/G   --->   C4/B4/E4/G4
               C4/pB/E/G   --->   C4/B3/E4/G4

    Note that the second note in the example (B) is different in each type of octave mode. In ordinary mode, the note is B4 since the previous note's octave was 4. In proximity mode the note is B3 because B3 is only a minor second away from C4, while B4 would be farther away with an interval of a major seventh.

    You can temporarily escape from the active octave mode with the "u" and "j" commands which follow a note name:

    "u" means to jump up to the next pitch class away from the last note. For example:

                        pC4/A    --->   C4/A3
                but     pC4/Au   --->   C4/A4

    "j" means to jump down to the next note down from the last note. Remember this command by thinking of "j" as pointing downwards. For example:

                        oG4/A    --->   G4/A4
                but     oG4/Aj   --->   G4/A3

    The "u" and "j" commands will not exceed one octave, so if the interval is greater than an octave, you must specify the octave number of the following note.

                        oE5/Dj   --->   E5/D5  (not E5/D4)
Cue notes:

    You can input cue notes in the pitch stage by adding a Q+ item into the input string. Q- or Q0 will restore the size of notes to normal.

      Q+   start creating cue-sized notes
      Q-stop creating cue-sized notes
      Q0stop creating cue-sized notes

Alternative forms of note name input:

    You can input note names by clicking with the mouse on the input staff. Also, you can use a MIDI keyboard can be used to input note names. This method is especially useful for chord entry. See the Score 3.11 manual addition for more information about MIDI data input.


    Rests are entered in the pitch stage with the symbol "r". An exception occurs with whole rests that are supposed to be centered in the measure. This type of whole rest is input as "rw". This type of whole rest is not necessarily 4 quarter notes long. You will have to enter the correct performance duration later in the rhythm input stage that follows the pitch input stage.

    Here are the types of rests that can be input:

      Rrest (shape will be assigned in rhythm stage)
      RFrest with fermata
      RUrest shifted upward on staff above normal position
      RDrest shifted downward on staff below normal position
      Rx   rest with the number x placed above it
      RIinvisible rest

    The following items have special requirements in the rhythm stage. These items must have a duration equal to one measure since they are to be centered in a measure.

      RW centered measure whole rest
      RPcentered measure repeat sign


    TR = treble clef
    BA = bass clef
    AL = alto clef
    TE = tenor clef

    Other clefs cannot be entered in input mode. Clef changes in a line of music will automatically be given a smaller size.

    If you don't read a particular clef you can superimpose a temporary input clef by adding a minus sign before the input clef. For example:


    will result in music on the bass clef, but positions which are the same as for the notes C4/E4/G4 on the treble clef. The above example will be converted to this form by the computer:


Key Signatures:

    For sharp key signatures, use KxS, where x is the number of sharps in the signatures. For example:

    		K1S = G major key signature
    		K2S = D major key signature

    For flat key signatures, use KxF, where x is the number of flats in the signatures. For example:

    		K1F = F major key signature
    		K2F = B-flat major key signature

    Cancellation signatures:

      KxSN = cancellation signature in the form of a sharp key signature.
      KxFN = cancellation signature in the form of a flat key signature.

Time Signatures:

    COM = common time
    CUT = cut time
    4 4 = 4/4 time signature (numerator denominator)
    3 4 = 3/4 time signature
    12 8 = 12/8 time signature
    4 = single centered number as the time signature

    compound time signatures can only be created in edit mode.


      M = single barline
      MD = double barline (two thin lines)
      MH = final barline (measure heavy)
      ML = left pointing repeat barline
      MR = right pointing repeat barline
      MRD = double repeat barline
      MS = dashed barline
      MI = invisible barline

    System braces such as { or [ are created from measure items in the edit mode.

    Multi-staff barlines are specified on the bottom staff only. The number of staves to span with the barline is given by a number following the measure type. A staff span number is remembered from measure to measure like octave numbers in pitch name items. For example:

    		m2/c/e/g/m    --->   m2/c/e/g/m2

Stem Directions:

    Note stem directions can be controlled with the following pitch stage commands which are separate items in the input. Forcing the stems in a particular direction is useful for multiple voices on a single line, such as an in an orchestral score, or in a 4-part choral piano reduction.

      SU   force stems upwards for notes following this command
      SDforce stems downwards for note following this command
      Soreturn to the ordinary stem direction method

Staff placement of notes:

    For keyboard music, it is common to indicate hand assignment to notes by staff. This is one case in which the staff placement might be useful. These command are separate input items:

      S+   following notes are displayed on staff above the current one.
      S-display following notes on staff below current one.
      S0return notes to normal staff


    C4:E:G is a major chord. It is a single input item, so it is separated from other items in the input line with slashes (/). The octave numbers are assigned in the same manner as consecutive note items. "j" and "u" commands also work inside of chords.

    A quick method for writing chord is to use the "+" or "-" signs to indicate an octave dyad. For example:

          C4+   --->   C4:C5
          C4-   --->   C4:C3

    There are two types of shorthand for entering repeated chords that have an intervening measure or rest between the repeated chords. The first case deals with repeated chords which are repeated over barlines or after intervening rests:

          c:ef:g/m/./   --->   c:ef:g/m/c:e:g/
          c:ef:g/r/./   --->   c:ef:g/r/c:e:g/

    For the second case, a double dot item would repeat the accidentals of the previous chord:

          c:ef:g/m/../   --->   c:ef:g/m/c:ef:g/
          c:ef:g/r/../   --->   c:ef:g/r/c:ef:g/
    The apostrophe (') can be used instead of the colon (:) for marking notes in the chord:
          c'e'g   <--->   c:e:g


    For every item entered in the pitch stage which requires a duration, you muse enter a rhythm value. Rhythm values can be entered with character mnemonics, or as the inverse value of the rhythm in relation to the whole note.

    Here are the character values for rhythms:

      Ddouble whole note
      Wwhole note
      Hhalf note
      Qquarter note
      Eeighth note
      Ssixteenth note
      Tx   triplet, e.g., TE = triplet eighth note
      . dot of prolongation, e.g., H. = dotted half-note

    For more complex rhythmic values, the inverse value of the duration with respect to the whole note are used, for example:

      1whole note
      2half note
      3triplet quarter note
      4quarter note
      5quintuplet quarter note
      6triplet quarter note
      7septuplet quarter note
      8eighth note
      16sixteenth note
      3232nd note
      6464th note
      128   128th note

    Dots of prolongation can also be used with the numeric rhythmic values:

      4. dotted quarter note
      4.. doubly dotted quarter note

    Note that the rest "rw" is displayed as a whole rest, but it actually takes the duration of a full measure, which may be a dotted half note duration in 3/4 meter.

Grace notes:

    Grace notes are given a rhythmic value of "g" to indicate that they do not take up any time for spacing of the page.

      G     grace note

Shortcut methods for the pitch and rhythm stages

    There are several shorthand techniques that can be used to input pitch an rhythm data into SCORE.

    The first short-cut method is to add an extra slash after an item. This will cause SCORE to repeat the previous item:

          A4//   --->   A4/A4/
          Q///   --->   Q/Q/Q/

X method:

    Another method for repeated items is to add an "x" and then the number of times to repeat that item:

          Ex4   --->   E/E/E/E/
          Cx2   --->   C/C/

    You can repeat phrases by having an "x" as a separate input item followed by the number of previous note entries to repeat without space, then a space and the repetition number. For example:

          fs4/e/df/c/x4 2/   --->   fs4/e/df/c/f4/e/d/c/

    Chord spellings can be either repeated or removed when duplicating a chord. By default, the chord accidentals are not repeated when using the x character:

          c:ef:gx3   --->   c:ef:g/c:e:g/c:e:g/

    If you want to maintain the accidentals, use "z" instead of "x":

          c:ef:gz3   --->   c:ef:g/c:ef:g/c:ef:g/


    The final type of shorthand is called macros. Macros are defined by enclosing input data between square brackets, []. The name of the macro is given by a single letter preceding the open bracket. The macro can then be invoked by typing an "@" symbol and then the name of the macro:

          z[c4/g/e]/a/a/@z/   --->   c4/g/e/a/a/c4/g/e/
    Note that it is wise to add the octave number of the first pitch in a macro so that no unusual register placements occur.

    You can give a number following a macro invocation. The meaning of the number depends on the particular stage that is being used. For pitch stage macros, the following number is used to transpose the pitch motive by steps. For example:

       z[a4/b/gs]/@z-1/@z2/   --->   a4/b4/gs4/g4/a4/fs4/c5/d5/bs4/

    In the rhythm stage, the number represents a diminution or augmentation of the motive rhythms.

Marks, Beams, and Slur Stages.

    After the rhythm stage is complete, numbers will be temporarily displayed above each note that was entered in the pitch stage. These numbers are for referencing notes in the next three stages.


    The symbol x in the table below usually indicates a note index or range of notes on which to place the specified mark. Score automatically numbers the notes during the mark stage for this purpose. You can add a fractional part to the note index to give an offset to the mark from the note to which it is attached.

    A x accent
    AC x word accel.
    ACT x accented tenuto
    Ao x word arco
    AR x arsis accent
    AS x accented staccato
    C+ x y crecendo from note x to note y
    C- x y decrecendo from note x to note y
    CR x word cresc.
    D x downbow
    DI x word dim.
    F x forte
    FE x fermata
    FF x fortissimo
    FFF x fortississimo
    FIF x musica ficta flat on a note
    FIN x musica ficta natural on a note
    FIS x musica ficta sharp on a note
    FP x forte piano
    Fx y fingering number x for note y
    H x harmonic
    HW x wedge staccato accent
    IM x inverted mordent
    MF x mezzo forte
    MO x mordent
    MP x mezzo piano
    PL x plus sign note mark
    P x piano
    PP x pianissmo
    PPP x pianississmo
    PZ x word pizz.
    RI x word rit.
    S x staccato
    SF x sf sforzando
    SFZ x sfz sforzando
    T x tenuto
    TH x thesis accent
    TM1 x one-line tremolo on note stem
    TM2 x two-line tremolo on note stem
    TM3 x three-line tremolo on note stem
    TM4 x four-line tremolo on note stem
    TME x one-line tremolo on note stem
    TMS x two-line tremolo on note stem
    TMT x three-line tremolo on note stem
    TR x trill (marks stage)
    TRF x trill with a flat
    TRN x trill with a natural
    TRS x trill with a sharp
    TRW x y trill with a wavy line from note x to note y
    TRFW x y flat trill with a wavy line from note x to note y
    TRSW x y sharp trill with a wavy line from note x to note y
    TRNW x y natural trill with a wavy line from note x to note y
    TS x tenuto staccato
    U x upbow
    W x wedge accent
    WS x wedge staccato

    you can add marks to several notes by continuously entering the note numbers after a mark that requires only one value to place an item. For example:

          /s 3 5 12 14/   --->   /s 3/s 5/s 12/s 14/

    Crescendos are followed by two numbers, the first indicates the note that starts the crescendo, and the second number indicates the ending note of the crescendo. Floating-point numbers can be used to position the ending points of a crescendo between notes. Here are the marks with two end points:

    C+ x y crecendo from note x to note y
    C- x y decrecendo from note x to note y
    TRW x y trill with a wavy line from note x to note y
    TRFW x y flat trill with a wavy line from note x to note y
    TRSW x y sharp trill with a wavy line from note x to note y
    TRNW x y natural trill with a wavy line from note x to note y

    Marks have a default placement either above or below a note or staff. You can move the mark to the other size of the note or staff by adding a minus sign before the mark:

    -x place mark on reverse position of note, where x is a mark item. For example /-s 1/ would place a staccato on the stem side of note 1.

Shorthand for indicating a range of note indices:

    You can specify a range of notes to apply a mark to by giving the starting note and then ending note separated by a colon (:). For example, to add staccatos to all notes between notes 5 and 12 (inclusive), you could enter:

          /s 5:12/   --->   /s 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12/

Less common symbols:

    You can input any code 9 symbol in the mark stage. To do so, input an "N" then the number of the code 9 symbol without spaces, then a space and any notes to attach the symbol to. Here is a list of some possible code 9 symbol marks:

      N458va sign
      N468ba sign
      N4715ma sign
      N82Bartok pizz.
      N181parentheses breath mark
      N206end of stimme marker
      N210niente mark
      N280sfffz mark
      N282sfzp mark
      N283sffzp mark
      N216solid triangle down
      N217hollow triangle down
      N221Riemann Roman Number I
      N222Riemann Roman Number II
      N227Riemann Roman Number VII
      N231Riemann Roman Number i
      N232Riemann Roman Number ii
      N237Riemann Roman Number vii
      N2286/4 chord inversion
      N2296/5 chord inversion
      N2384/2 chord inversion
      N2394/3 chord inversion
      N270hollow circle
      N271solid circle
      N272half solid circle
      N660 - N699   percussion symbols


Automatic beam grouping:

    You can specify automatic beaming with the for xB, where x is the number of eighth note durations in a beaming group. For example, to beam an input staff by quarter notes you would type:


    If a staff starts with pickup notes, then you must specify that number of notes in the pickup beat(2) that are to be skipped with automatically beaming. For example, if there is one quarter note pickup, and the rest of the notes are beamed by quarter note, type:

    Note that the pickup number following the "B" is not a duration but is the count of notes to skip before automatically beaming. If there are two sixteenth note pickups, then you would type:
    This would beam automatically by quarter notes, skipping the first two notes (which would not be beamed).

    No other beaming information can be given on the line if using automatic beaming.

Forcing the beaming direction

    To force any beaming to be done above the notes, precede either the start or ending note index with a "+" sign.

    To force any beaming to be done below the notes precede either the start or ending note index with a "-" sign.

    Automatic beaming can also use "+" or "-" to force the directions of beaming. For example:

    would beam by quarter note with all beaming done above the notes.


    The input format for a slur is:

    For example, to slur note 1 and note 2 on the input staff, you would type:
          /1 2/

    There is a shorthand method for slurring between two adjacent notes. If you repeat a number for the termination number of a slur, then it is assumed that you want the slur to go to the next note. For example:

          /1 1/   --->   /1 2/

Slur direction:

    You can force a slur to arc upwards by placing a + sign before the start of the slur:
          /+1 2/

    You can force a slur to arc downwards by placing a - sign before the start of the slur:

          /-1 2/

Slurring to/from previous/next system:

    You can specify that a slur continues from the left or right of a staff by using value 0 as an item starting on the far left of the staff, or item 99 as an item ending on the far right of the staff. For example, to carry over a tie to the next staff from note 12, this is what you would type:
          /12 99/

    To carry over a tie from the previous staff would do something like this:

          /0 1/
    which would tie to note 1 on the current staff.

Tuplet brackets:

    Tuplet brackets are indicated by adding two digits to the starting index of a slur. The initial slur number of a tuplet slur is in the form X0Y where X is the displayed tuplet value, and Y is the actual starting index of the slur, with a 0 used to separate the two values. For example, to indicate a quintuplet slur over notes 13 through 17 on a staff, you would enter:
          /5013 17/

Mouse input:

    You can click with the left mouse button to start a slur and the right mouse button to end a slur.

Item Dictionary for Score Input Mode

    _. augmentation dot (rhythm stage)
    _.. double augmentation dot (rhythm stage)
    . chord repeat after measure or rest (pitch stage)
    .. chord repeat after measure or rest, keep accidentals (pitch stage)
    -_ place mark on reverse side of note (mark stage)
    / item separator (all stages)
    @[] Macro definition(pitch stage)
    , a synonym for the "/" character (all stages)
    : chord separator (pitch stage), or range indicator (mark stage)
    ' a synonym for ":" which is a chord note separator (pitch stage)
    ; stage terminator (all stages)
    -x place mark on reverse position of note, where x is a mark item
    4 the single number time signature "4", any number (pitch stage)
    4 4 4/4 time signature, any pair of numbers (pitch stage)
    A the pitch class name A (pitch stage), or accent (mark stage)
    AA A-flat, any double pitch name (pitch stage)
    AAA A-sharp, any triple pitch name (pitch stage)
    AAAA A-natural, any quadruple letter name (pitch stage)
    AC word accel. (mark stage)
    ACT accented tenuto (mark stage)
    AF A-flat, A=any pitch name (pitch stage)
    AL alto clef (pitch stage)
    AN A-natural, A=any pitch name (pitch stage)
    Ao word arco (mark stage)
    AR arsis accent (mark stage)
    AS A-sharp, A=any pitch name (pitch stage), or accented staccato in (mark stage)
    xB group beaming by every x eighth note durations (beam stage)
    BA bass clef (pitch stage)
    C+ crescendo (mark stage)
    C- diminuendo (mark stage)
    C4 middle C, C=any pitch name, 4=any octave number (pitch stage)
    COM common time signature (pitch stage)
    CR word cresc. (mark stage)
    CUT cut time signature (pitch stage)
    D downbow (mark stage), or double whole note (rhythm stage)
    DI word dim. (mark stage)
    E eighth note (rhythm stage)
    _F flat note, "_"=pitch class name (pitch stage)
    F flat, or the pitch class F (pitch stage), forte (mark stage)
    FF fortissimo (mark stage)
    FFF fortississimo (mark stage)
    FE fermata (mark stage)
    FIF musica ficta flat on a note (mark stage)
    FIN musica ficta natural on a note (mark stage)
    FIS musica ficta sharp on a note (mark stage)
    FP forte piano (mark stage)
    Fx fingering number x for note (mark stage)
    G grace note (rhythm stage)
    H harmonic (mark stage)
    HW wedge staccato accent (mark stage)
    IM inverted mordent (mark stage)
    _J follows note name "_", for choosing note class in register below last note
    K1F key signature with one flat (pitch stage)
    K1FN cancellation key signature with one natural in flats position (pitch stage)
    K1S key signature with one sharp (pitch stage)
    K1SN cancellation key signature with one natural in sharps position (pitch stage)
    M single barline (pitch stage)
    Mx multiple staff barline up from the current staff by x staves (pitch stage)
    MD double barline (pitch stage)
    MF mezzo forte (mark stage)
    MH final barline (pitch stage)
    MI invisible barline (pitch stage)
    ML left pointing repeat barline (pitch stage)
    MO mordent (mark stage)
    MR right pointer repeat barline (pitch stage)
    MRD double repeat barline (pitch stage)
    MS dashed barline (pitch stage)
    Nx code 9 symbol number x (mark stage)
    o_ Octave ordinary mode, precedes note name
    P_ Octave proximity mode, precedes note name (pitch stage)
    P piano (mark stage)
    PL plus sign note mark (mark stage)
    PP pianissimo (mark stage)
    PP pianississimo (mark stage)
    R rest (pitch stage)
    Rx rest with the number x above it (pitch stage)
    RD rest down: lower than normal (pitch stage)
    RF rest with a fermata (pitch stage)
    RI invisible rest (pitch stage), or word rit. (mark stage)
    RP repeat bar sign (pitch stage)
    RU rest up: higher than normal (pitch stage)
    RW centered whole rest (pitch stage)
    S staccato (mark stage), or sixteenth-note duration (rhythm stage)
    S+ position following notes on staff above the current staff (pitch stage)
    S- position following notes on staff below the current staff (pitch stage)
    S0 position following notes on the current staff (pitch stage)
    SD stems down (pitch stage)
    SU stems up (pitch stage)
    So stems in ordinary direction (pitch stage)
    SF sf sforzando (mark stage)
    SFZ sfz sforzando (mark stage)
    T tenuto (mark stage), or triplet indication (rhythm stage)
    T_ triplet indication followed by a rhythmic value (rhythm stage)
    TE tenor clef (pitch stage)
    TH thesis accent (mark stage)
    TM1 one-line tremolandi on a note stem (mark stage)
    TME one-line tremolandi on a note stem (mark stage)
    TMS two-line tremolandi on a note stem (mark stage)
    TM2 two-line tremolandi on a note stem (mark stage)
    TMT three-line tremolandi on a note stem (mark stage)
    TM3 three-line tremolandi on a note stem (mark stage)
    TM4 four-line tremolandi on a note stem (mark stage)
    TR treble clef (pitch stage), or trill (mark stage)
    TRF trill with a flat (mark stage)
    TRFW x ytrill with flat and wavy line from note x to note y (mark stage)
    TRN trill with a natural (mark stage)
    TRNW x ytrill with a natural and wavy line from note x to note y (mark stage)
    TRS trill with a sharp (mark stage)
    TRSW x ytrill with a sharp and wavy line from note x to note y (mark stage)
    TRW x ytrill with wavy line from note x to note y
    TS tenuto staccato (mark stage)
    _U follows note name, means to choose note above last note (pitch stage)
    U upbow (mark stage)
    W wedge accent (mark stage), or whole note (rhythm stage)
    WS wedge staccato (mark stage)
    X repetition sign (pitch and rhythm stages)
    Z repetition sign repeating accidentals (pitch stage)