I am arranging a piece of music, and I am having trouble figuring out how to notate a double stop with the notes G and G#. The key is G, and it's for mallet percussion. The notes are repeated once. The software I'm using (MuseScore) does it as in the picture below, but that looks really weird to me. Is it correct? If not, what is the correct way to notate it?

  • 6
    Of the two the second looks better and more clear. You can also use G-Ab as an option unless you need the enharmonic spelling of G#. Dec 12, 2020 at 17:51
  • They are both G♮ and a G♯, but MuseScore doesn't show the natural on the first one because it's natural in the key signature.
    – Skylar
    Dec 16, 2020 at 3:45
  • I don’t know that program but scoring software in general doesn’t always do what you want by default. Sometimes you have to tweak stuff to get it to look right. Dec 16, 2020 at 4:18
  • Is there a reason why the G sharp can't be written as an A flat?
    – phoog
    Dec 17, 2020 at 3:58
  • @phoog Only conventions, which are definitely not as important as making sense.
    – Skylar
    Dec 17, 2020 at 14:11

3 Answers 3


How about G and Ab as the notes. Wouldn't that be a lot clearer?

  • 1
    I agree. Think about it from the perspective of the player - they would be just as confused as you are looking at it right now. Sacrifice the theory for a moment from readability, or if you're really stringent, make note of it and explain it in the footnotes of the music Dec 14, 2020 at 10:29

There's also a curious but non-ambiguous way to do it: using a sort of a "secondary stem" like this:

enter image description here

(here the fourth chord contains both a B♭ and a B on the "secondary stem"). The only problem is that Musescore probably won't be able to render that. In that case, I would recommend writing G and A♭, as pointed out in the other answers.


Whatever the key signature, the first one is two G♯ notes. The second is a G♮ and a G♯.

  • They are both a G♮ and a G♯. The picture is how MuseScore is displaying it.
    – Skylar
    Dec 16, 2020 at 3:44
  • 2
    Then MuseScore is displaying it wrong! Dec 16, 2020 at 15:49

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