Add figured bass notation

Summary

Feature Toolbar Icon Default Keyboard shortcut
Figured Bass Text Figured Bass Ctrl + B or + B

What is Figured Bass Notation

Figured Bass notation is a way to represent chords, based on a note in the staff that serves as a bass note. From this note, we add numbers which represent the degrees added to the bass note to form the chord.

C Major

In this example, we add a 3rd and a 5th to have a major chord. As this chord is very common, the 3 and the 5 are usually omitted.

Here is how to represent the first and the second inversion of a C major chord.

First and second inversions

Alterations

It is possible to lower/raise degrees, by using and accidental, +, / and \. When an accidental appears alone, it means it is applied to the 3rd degree. You can see this with the minor C chord in the example below.

First and second inversions

There are different conventions on how to apply accidentals before degrees. One some conventions, the alteration for the degree is applied on top of the alteration of the key signature. On some other, the key signature alteration is ignored. If there is a flat at the key, a sharp before a figure digit could either result in the note sounding sharped or natural, depending on the convention in use.

Here are the list of notations you can write before a degree:

Alteration Text input on Flat Effect
Plus + Raise by 1/2 tone
Sharp # Raise by 1/2 tone
Double Sharp ## Raise by 1 tone
Natural n Cancel the key signature
Flat b Lower by 1/2 tone
Double Flat bb Lower by 1 tone

And here are the ones you can write after a degree:

Alteration Text input on Flat Effect
Slash / Lower by 1/2 tone
Back-Slash \ Raise by 1/2 tone

Figured Bass input on Flat

You need to be on the Text toolbar, and click on the Figured Bass icon. Then place the cursor where you want to input it, and write the degrees/alterations you need. You can stack degrees using Enter, and go to the next note with the left/right arrow keys.

First and second inversions

Figured Bass Keyboard Shortcuts

Go to the next Chord
Go to the previous Chord
Go to a lower Figure or Enter
Go to a higher Figure
Exit the Figured Bass mode Esc
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