Fonts, microtonal accidentals

I see there are some interesting font sets (used for ‘text’, ‘lyrics’, etc in the score window) like “Steinberg Notat Classical” (see image). When you type letters and numbers, it actually “prints” musical symbols instead on numbers and letters (like wingdings font).

I was hoping (praying) that I might be able to find a font set that has microtonal accidental symbols? Or is there a way to make a font set with them, and import them into Cubase? (note: The “user symbol” section won’t work for my purposes for a few specific reasons).

Cubase only has regular western style accidentals.

But you can cobble together the accidentals you want. There are many fonts with microtone symbols out there, the best is the Bravura font, it’s based on SMuFL, a standard developed by the Dorico team and others, it comes with Cubase 11, and Dorico. It contains approx. one gazillion accidental symbols.

It will not be an actual accidental as far as Cubase is concerned, just a graphic element. You would simply use plain text on the Notation Layer. There are also other ways, beyond the scope of this post…

Create a Font Set like the one in the attached image, and find the accidental you want in this document, starting on page 98 (there are 40 pages of accidentals! From Johnston style to Helmholtz to Turkish etc., etc., etc):

The easiest thing to do would be to copy the accidental from the pdf and paste it right into the text field in Cubase.


Tremendous! I copied a few microtonal symbols into the “Words” section of the inspector (as custom accidentals). As you indicated, the Bravura font allows me to actually see the pasted symbol (other fonts just show a blank space). I wouldn’t have figured that out without your help!

A couple other questions, in Cubase 11 how are the smufl fonts loaded (I’m currently on 10.5)?

In 11, in the Score Settings, would I select “Dorico Bravura” as the “Score Font” and then have all the different options under “Font”? Would those font options (in Score Settings, usually Arial, etc.) show up with the names in the PDF (like “U+E280–U+E28F”, etc)? If so I assume that a quarter-tone symbol, might show up by typing a certain qwerty letter or something? If so, I guess that I’d have to load different “fonts” if I needed symbols from different “U+E…” font/accidentals sets?

Sorry for all the questions. Your help is very much appreciated.


A couple other questions, in Cubase 11 how are the smufl fonts loaded (I’m currently on 10.5)?

Bravura can be used as the native font in C11. However, that doesn’t extend to accidentals, so you would use the above method still.

As far as how to type them in, on Windows you are supposed to be able to type the code (without U+) and then hit alt-x:
e477 alt-x. But I could not get that to work in Cubase… Didn’t investigate further- I have tons of keyboard customizations so I don’t know if Cubase blocks this or I did. :confused:

Looks like this in the menu:

You are going to be amazed at how the Score editor has grown. Check out this video of Greg Ondo’s

These GUI improvements are great. Can we have the note play softer as we make the notehead smaller?


Unfortunately I ran into a problem. In C10.5, using the Bravura font, the pasted microtonal symbols show up, but I have to use a very large font size to make them the same size as the usual score accidentals.

The problem is that when I place the custom-text-accidental in, the extra large area (from the large font, and the extraneous blank text space created below and above the symbol in the text area) shifts the nearby staves in the score (as it would if you move an inserted text field way above the staff… it would move the next staff above it away, to make room).

Would C11’s Dorico Bravura font have a better representation of the symbol size (thus not needing to expand the font size so much)? Are there other fonts besides Bravura (in C10.5) that would show the pasted accidental in a more size-accurate way? Any other options to paste different web based accidentals?

I think you are working in Edit mode. Does the same thing happen in Page mode? Here, no.

You are correct, in Page Mode nearby staves don’t readjust their positions, but unfortunately I have to do most all of my work in Edit Mode (as it auto formats everything), but the large font is sending the staves a bit too much out of whack to work efficiently.

Any other brainstorming on how I might get around that font size problem? (other font accidentals that could added somehow, or if C11 would offer some kind of a solution?)

I would try another font.

Based on the excellent post by Steve, I made a small tutorial for a not so bad workaround in the Cubase 11 scoring section.
You need Cubase 11 installed for best results. (there is a font size difference between v11 and v10.5)

Here you go:

Are there any other fonts besides Bravura font will visually show the pasted microtonal accidentals properly? When I try others, the symbols copied from the pdf show up as random symbols (square box, etc) in Cubase (as text).

Have a look at what SMuFL is about:

But the symbols are simply characters in a font, exactly like letters and numbers, so find a font somewhere with the characters you need.

For instance: