Boomwhacker colored noteheads?


I can’t find anything about boomwhacker colors.
Anybody has found how change colored noteheads with the boomwhacker colors?



There’s no built-in feature for this, but you should be able to do it reasonably easily by using the Edit > Filter > Notes By Pitch dialog to select notes of a given pitch in all octaves, and then set the colour using the Color property in the Common group of the Properties panel. It is a manual process, of course, and as the pitches of the notes change, you would have to reapply the correct colour to the edited note.

Hello Daniel,

Thank you.
Hoping for an easy plugin in the future.

Kind regards,


Johan, this came up on the Facebook group just a few days ago. Boomwhacker’s system is trademarked - Steinberg would need to license the rights to use the Boomwhackers system of colours.

Hello Pianoleo,

Then I will trademark the color black :slight_smile:

Kind regards, Johan

Since I’d love to work with colored notation too:
I already tried out the “Notes by Pitch” filter. And indeed it would be great if we just could save presets for it. Any chance to get that in the near future?
I tried to work around with macros but - except I’m doing it totally wrong - they don’t seem to work with the “Notes by Pitch” window.

Something like selecting a note and then having the options for “Select identical pitches” or “Select similar pitches” (for the same pitch in a different octave) would also work fine.

You probably can’t do that because it is too widely used already, but there are many colors that are trademarked by well known companies, including “UPS brown”, “Home Depot orange”, “3M purple”, and even a couple of US university football team colours.

The University of Texas closed down a couple of iPhone apps which used their trademarked “burnt orange”, and included the word Texas in the title. Only in the USA…

Just as likely that Boomwhacker has copyrighted/patented the order/pitch-association of the colors that the precise colors themselves.
But you can almost certainly re-create the pattern, just not sell it without a license.

And (following the Texas example) you can’t CALL it anything too similar to “Boomwhacker colours” in your own software or documentation even if it isn’t a “perfect copy” of the original.

That sort of naming limitation is widespread - for example everybody who knows what the real instrument sounds like can tell what Pianoteq’s “YC5” virtual instrument is based on, but unlike Steinway who have “authorized” a virtual model D and a virtual model B, a well known far eastern piano manufacturer hasn’t (yet) given them permission to call it by its real name.


Any new options for boomwhacker colors in version 3?

Thank you,


I do not believe it would need a license. I doubt there is any patent over the concept of color-coding notes. There probably is a trademark on “Boomwhacker”. But there should not be any problem if somebody offered a plug-in to color code notes by pitch without referring to “Boomwhacker”. One would hope the plug-in might allow for any arbitrary selection of colors, not just the particular Boomwhacker colors.

A patent is irrelevant, but a company could certainly trademark a colour scheme like Boomwhacker uses. See my earlier thread for well known examples.

Patent infringements can be complex and expensive to enforce in court, but legal action against “passing off” a product as being manufactured or endorsed by another company, by imitating its colour scheme, name, general design, packaging, etc, is a much quicker and cheaper legal process that claiming patent infringement, at least in the UK.

I don’t believe there is any chance such a claim could be enforced in the US if the software simply provided a means of coloring noteheads by pitch without respect to any other product.

It is the same reason why “Bright Mississippi” doesn’t infringe on “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Ko Ko” doesn’t infringe on “Cherokee” even though the changes are identical in both cases.

Now if you were to market the colored scores in such a way that was clearly designed to be used with Boomwhackers, that might be different.


I see in engrave there is an option to create pitched notehead sets.
But that looks complex.
Has somebody created his own colored notehead set?

Kind regard, Johan

It’s not possible for you as a user to practically create a set of coloured noteheads that match the Boomwhacker colours, I’m afraid. It would be possible for us to do, but I would feel more comfortable with having written permission from the copyright/trademark holder. I will see about asking them about it.

Whether or not that is true, the US legal system does not yet apply to 97% of the world population.

Yes, I’d suppose that if any mention of Boomwhacker was removed from the plugin/dialogue, and any set of colors was possible (perhaps no default would even be provided… or if there was, use the natural sequence of the rainbow) there should be no issue. While the sequence of colors may be trademarked relative to their brand, I’m quite certain that they surely aren’t the only people allowed to color noteheads in that sequence (much like you can’t copyright chord sequences). As mentioned above, you couldn’t sell music as specifically targeted to the boomwhacker users without their licensing, but offering colors, writ large, should be a total non-issue, especially if the sequence is user defined. That takes Dorico right out of the line of fire.

Right. Hosa (and others probably) uses the colors of the rainbow for some of their microphone snakes (red, orange, yellow, green, etc) You can’t trademark or copyright the rainbow. But if somebody offered a color coded patch panel and advertised it as “Hosa compliant” without permission, that’s a different story.

Don’t confuse copyright with trademarks and registered designs.

You can’t “copyright the rainbow”, but you can certainly register a design consisting of rainbow coloured stripes, and get legal protection on it.

(Note: “Cancelled” means “cancelled by the person who registered it,” not “disallowed because it was invalid or illegal”)