ShakuScore Handbook

Visit ShakuScore. Version 2 is released.

This handbook is obsolete.
New handbook (version 1.1) for ShakuScore Version 1.1 is available.

Version 1.0 (old version)


How to create or save score file

Page settings

Part settings

Layout editing

Exporting files


Translation of symbols and texts. Change of font and note names



What is ShakuScore?

ShakuScore generates scores in shakuhachi notation from scores in staff notation. It reads MusicXML format files and generates scores in shakuhachi notation. It also allows you to edit the layout of the shakuhachi score. For example, you can change directions of score, size of fonts, lengths of measures, and so on. When you completed the layout of the score, you can save it in ShakuScore file format or export to PDF and SVG files.

To prepare scores in staff notation, using MuseScore might be a good choice, which is free and easy to use. A plugin for MuseScore, which enables you to start ShakuScore from MuseScore, is included in the ShakuScore installation file.


Importing MusicXML format files

Import MusicXML format (*.xml) file from FILE menu. The file is opened and a score in Shakuhachi notation will be automatically generated.

Many of music notation editors have functionality to export score data to MusicXML files. I love to use musescore. When you are using MuseScore, save score data in MusicXML(*.xml) format or
call ShakuScore directly on MuseScore using a plugin.

Re-importing MusicXML format files

[ReImport] command re-imports a musicXML file while preserving layout data. The numbers of measures and parts must be the same between the current score and re-imported musicXML.

Open and save ShakuScore format file

ShakuScore uses its own ShakuScore format(*.sscx) to store score data. For file operations, there are Open, Save, SaveAs, Close commands.

Starting Shakuscore from MuseScore plugin

You can open the current score on MuseScore by ShakuScore by clicking “Open in ShakuScore” plugin.

How to install the plugin:Copy “OpenInShakuScore.js” file in the installation folder to MuseScore plugin folder. Edit the line (shown below) in theOpenInShakuScore.js so that it points to ShakuScore program on your computer.(If you installed ShakuScore in C://Program Files/, the change will not be necessary.)
// *** Please change the line below to point to ShakuScore program on your computer. ***
var ShakuScoreProg = “C://Program Files/ShakuScore/ShakuScore.exe”;

Shee size, orientatin, page margins


You can sellect Sheet Sizes from A3/A4/B4/B5 and Sheet Orientation from Landscape and Portrait. Set Page Margins when you want to change.

Change directions of score

You can select direction, Horizontal (from left to right) or Vertical (from top to down). The operation to change direction from one to another is not undoable. Please choose replace (OK) or SaveAs with a different name to continue.
Here is an example of a vertical score.

Output multipage score in a single page

It would be useful to output mulitpage score in a single page for uses of displaying and scrolling scores on computer or tablet screens. To output multipage score in a sigle page of PDF or SVG, check Combined, otherwise select Separate (default).

Numbers of measures in a line

You can tell ShakuScore how to layout measures in each line. Specify fixed numbers of measures in a line or check Automatic with Measure Scale Rate which applies to all measures. If Fit Last Line to Page Width, the last line will be enlarged and fitted to Page area width.

Adjustment of line height and intervals

Specify Line height rate to change measure height and specify Line Interval in mm to change intervals between lines. If Fit Last Line to Page Height is checked, the intervals of lines will be adjusted so that lines are expanded to fill the page area.

Edit part name and part abbreviation

To change part settings, select one part from Part List on the left side of Part Dialog.

Part name and part abbreviation can be edited.

Notatiton style, font, font size

Select a notation Style from {Simplified-Kinko/Simplified-Tozan/Shinobue-Yamakawa/Shinobue-Fukuhara}. (Version 1.0 supports only Simplified-Kinko.)
Select Font Name from ones provided for the selected notation style. Font Size can be changed. It affects all elements of the part.

Key of Insrument (Transposition)

If you want to transpose notes in a part, specify key in relative chromatic steps from base D key (or 1.8 shaku length shakuhachi).

Settings of lyrics

Check Output to output lyrics. Font Size can be specified. Select font from Font Property. (Size value in Font Dialog will be ignored.)

To stretch or shorten measures

To stretch or shorten measures, select a measure or measures at first and issue Stretch or Shorten Measure command. To select a measure, click on a measure. To select multi measures, select second measure with Control key depressed. Measures between the two measures are selected.

Forced line breaks and page breaks

You can insert line breaks and page breaks to cause breaks forcibly.

Select a measure where line or page break should be inserted and issue Insert Line or Page Break command. Line break mark (blue rectangle) and Page break mark (red rectanble) will be displayed at the right-bottom corner of the measure as shown above. Select these rectangle and issue Delete command to delete breaks.

Export to PDF file

You can Export score to PDF file. See also Mulitipage Output Format.
The exported PDF file will be opened automatically. To print score, please use PDF application.

Export to SVG file

You can also Export score to SVG file. See also Mulitipage Outpu Format. Mulitipage score will be saved to multi files with names “name_p001.svg”, “name_p002.svg”, …
SVG files can be edited using software such as InkScape and Illustrator.

Pallete, Navigator, and Zoom

Pallete window can be displayed at the left of main window.(Pallete window is currently empty.)
Navigator window will be displayed at the bottom (or right) side of the main window. By dragging semi-transparent blue rectangle, displayed area of score can be moved. To zoom in or out or reset zoom, issue a coresponding command. You can also zoom in or out by rotating the mouse wheel with Control key depressed.

Translation of symbols and texts

Many of symbols and texts positions can be moved. Select one item and drag & drop.
Movable elements:Kan or Otsu instruction, text, lyrics, dynamics(p,pp,f,ff,mp,mf, etc.), articulations(staccatos, accents, etc.)
Not movable elements:tie, slur, creschendo, dimuniendo, coda, segno, etc.
When direction of score is changed, edited positions will be cleared. See also Undo and Redo.

Font setting

Fonts of texts in the header area such as Title and Subtitle can be changed. Right-click a text and select Font Property from context menu. To change font of lyics see Settings of lyrics.

To change note name

Some note may have alternate names (for alternate fingerings, for example). To change note name for such notes, select such a note and right-click to show the context menu and select Set Different Note Name. Then, Change Note Name dialog will be displayed.

Undo and Redo

Most editing commands are Undoed or Redoed. Exceptional cases are:
1) To change score directions from Horizontal to Vertical and vice versa.
2) To change notation style from one to the other.
When you want to keep previous score state, choose SaveAs to continue the command operation.


I have beein using Shakuhachi and Shinobue plugin for several years. This plugin enables adding shakuhachi notations on the staff notation score. I thank Tachibana-san for providing the plugin very much.

The plugin is very useful, but I still wished to have a full-scale shakuhachi score generator and editor. To develop such a software may involve very high-level software technology which seems too diffcult for me to achieve. My dream seemed so far away.

Last year, Mr. Razvan developed ShakuViewer. Which inspired me very much and I started to figure out how to design and develop such software. Now, after one year since I started to develop ShakuScore, I think that I realized the minimum set of basic functions that I wanted to have, although there are many functions left to be added.

Without contributions of Tachibana-san and Razvan-san, I could not have developed ShakuScore. I greatly thank both of them.

I also thank MuseScore development team for providing nice and easy-to-use functionality.

I also thank Qt team. I believe only Qt enabled me to develop ShakuScore.

Hiro Kisai Sato
Feb. 14th, 2015.

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