MusAnalysis, a new font for RNA and functional symbols

To your last question, I think so. I’m embarrassed to admit I was largely ignorant of these functional analysis symbols until just recently.

I know DD is the dominant of the dominant (V/V), and the slash indicates rootless voicing. Also, the lower number (to indicate inversion in the bass) these days is written directly underneath the symbol, which MusAnalysis can do easily as well.

Just a quick note to say that there’s now a public forum for discussing MusAnalysis (and other products from Notation Central): Forum – Notation Central

For the sake of the other users here, let’s move future discussion of feature requests and errors to that forum. Thanks all.

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I’m reworking MusAnalysis to be a bit easier to enter stacks of numerals, and most importantly, to stack more kinds of things, since several folks had requested more flexible stacking. Like this, which was entered as V6\4’===5.n:


If anyone would be willing to test it for errors, here’s a beta version. I’m trying to find any errors in extender lines or stacking. All double-stack numerals should work in this beta (alpha?), but triple stacks don’t yet.

To get the placeholder accidental (that represents the 3rd of the chord), use a period prefix.

Slashed numbers have a backslash suffix. 2, 4, and 5 can be written as funky plus glyphs using a single quote suffix. Everything else should be unchanged from the previous version, so the documentation is still valid.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!


It’s changed just in the last 20 years, I think. The younger theory professors we hired around 2010 all used it, and although we are dear friends it was one of the matters on which we were never able to see eye to eye. To me, it’s simply an abuse of language to make V 6/4 mean one thing in a passing context, and another in a cadence. They would say that in the latter case the 6/4 are voicing figures above the Roman numeral that will resolve to 5/3. I understand that concept, but in practice they never made the distinction clear enough to avoid confusion for students. We eventually compromised on CAD 6/4 for cadential situations, which we could all live with. Until my retirement, after which they probably reverted to “their” way. Which is one of the many things I have to remind myself that I no longer need to, or should, think about.

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You can blame the V6/4 on Schenker, who used roman numerals only to show large harmonic areas and the arabic numbers to show the voice leading within those areas, as if they were figured bass numbers showing the movement of the intervals above the structural bass.

I agree that calling an isolated chord a V 6/4 would be very confusing to beginning harmony students who are dealing with music on a chord-by-chord basis. It would be better to postpone that nomenclature until the student has had some counterpoint instruction and is ready to understand musical structure in a more advanced way.

Incidentally, I was able to edit this the day after I wrote it. I have finally been “remembered” as trustworthy!

I’ve updated and expanded MusAnalysis to 2.0. I called it 2.0 because it (unfortunately) breaks a few things from previous versions. Most of the changes relate to how MusAnalysis stacks triple numbers.

The reason for the change was to allow greater flexibility in stacking glyphs. You can now use the following glyphs in number stacks:


You can also display flat, natural, or sharp by itself in a stack to indicate an altered 3:


I added enclosures for numbers 1–100 and letters A–Z:

…and a handful of other small improvements. Version 2.0 will update on Notation Central soon. In the meantime, if you’d be willing to try out the new version to look for errors, please send me a PM.


Hi @DanKreider ,

I have to input a string as shown in the image below. Using your wonderful font and
(besides the urgent spacing adjustments that I need to make) everything works very well with input - except for the symbol in orange:

It’s a triple stack that’s supposed to show #3b5 in upper row, and then 5 and 6 in their lower two rows, lined up to II scale degree.

I enter the following into popover: II%#bss3556 but it comes out with this:

I’ve tried multiple strings but nothing seems to force two accidentals as well as two numbers into a single top row of a stack. How can I do that?

What version of MusAnalysis are you using? 2.0?

Yes, version 2.0.


Wouldn’t you just want one s? %b#s35s I think. If I’m understanding you rightly.

What I’m looking for is this (might be hard to see):

The problem I have is I can’t force the two accidentals to stand in a single line next two each other.

Try %#563ssbss5

Oh wow, this is perfect! Thank you.

Could explain the logic behind this please? It seems this string runs differently than the typical sequential order I’ve been trying…

When you start a triple-stack sequence, you enter elements in row order sequentially until you’re done: row 1, row 2, row 3, then the next entry will be in row 1 column 2. So #56 stacks the first three. Then the second column is 3ss, third column is bss, and fourth column is 5ss. “s” is a “space” placeholder.

I can see in your example the alignment isn’t perfect, but I don’t think I have the strength to try to dig into it again… Developing the triple stack portion was brutal.

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That was exactly my issue, I was attempting the columns first, then rows.

Thanks again, very much!

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If you wanted to reduce the space between the top row elements, I would enter them as separate lyrics (at different rhythmic positions), then nudge them left and right as needed.

Right now I’m just reducing the size to try and get the symbols to fit:

I’ve also tried center/left text alignments but the differences do not seem that significant. There is only one chord that’s a serious problem (the one I’ve asked you about) and I can live the rest for the time being. Plus, in all honesty it would take me too long to figure out how to do what you’re suggesting!

But anyway, I love the font and the ingenious way you’ve found to add it to the system!

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Great, thanks!

For future reference, you can insert a lyric anywhere. To do that first turn on note input, then use the left and right arrows to navigate the caret to the rhythmic position you want… then with note input still active, Shift-L.

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Hi @DanKreider,
I just started playing with MusAnalysis and I really enjoy it so far! Thanks a lot for all that work!
I stumbled upon the following example with passing notes in the bass. I couldn’t figure out how or even if it’s possible to write with MusAnalysis:

I tried things like &2…3T or &1…2…3S but that won’t work.

Btw. I’m analyzing Bach Chorales with lyrics and found it really useful to set MusAnalysis only for the “is translated” option of Lyrics so that the original lyrics are not destroyed. Seems like a nice default way to do it for me.

Glad you’re finding it useful! Yes, this is totally possible. Check out this video: MusAnalysis demonstration - YouTube