This handbook is for MuseScore version 2.0 and above (for 1.x it is available here). In order to help improve or translate the handbook, leave a post in the MuseScore documentation or translation forum and apply to become a handbook contributor or translator.
Also check handbook 2.0 collaboration.
This handbook is also available as just one printer friendly page, including a table of contents and as a PDF
This chapter helps you to install and run MuseScore for the first time. The chapter will also show you how to create a new score.
The previous →"Getting started" chapter guides you through the installation and process for creating a new score. The "Basics" chapter gives an overview of MuseScore and describes the general methods for interacting with the score.
- Create new score (→Getting started)
- Note input
- Concert pitch
- Copy and paste
- Edit mode
- Measure operations
- Selection modes
- Undo and redo
- View modes
- File format
- Share scores online
In the previous →"Basics" chapter you learn how to enter notes and interact with the palette. The "Notation" chapter describes the different types of notation in more detail, including more advanced music notation.
- Note input (→Basics)
- Palette (→Basics)
- Arpeggio and glissando
- Bar line
- Breath and pause
- Drum notation
- Grace note
- Key signature
- Measure rest
- Time signature
- Volta (1st and 2nd time endings)
MuseScore has "Sound and playback" capabilities built-in. This chapter covers the playback controls and ways to extend the instrument sounds beyond the built-in piano sound.
- MIDI import
- Mid-staff instrument change
- Play mode
- Change and adjust sound
The previous chapter covers text that affects playback tempo, but there are many other types of text available in MuseScore: lyrics, chord symbols, dynamic markings, fingering, heading, rehearsal marks, plus many more. These are all accessible from the main menu via Add → Text.
For short generic text, use staff or system text. The difference between these two texts is whether you want it to apply to a single staff, or to the whole system. This distinction can be clear when extracting parts.
- Grid-based movement of symbols and staff text
- Rehearsal marks
- Text editing
- Text style
- Chord symbols
- Tempo (→Sound and playback)
- Cross staff beaming
- Custom palette
- Early music features
- Figured bass
- Fretboard diagram
- Inspector and object properties
- Master palette
- Part extraction
- Replace pitches without changing rhythms
- Score information
- Staff type properties
For an overview about the new features, see What's New in MuseScore 2, MuseScore 2.0 Release Notes and Changes for MuseScore 2.0.
Documentation of new features are available in the chapter they belong to logically (except the one that is referring to upgrading from 1.3 to 2.0) , but for users coming from 1.x here's a collection of links to be able to see at a glance what can be done now...
- Album (→Advanced topics)
- View modes: Continuous view and Navigator (→Basics)
- Copy and paste: Selection filter (→Basics)
- Custom palette (→Advanced topics)
- Early music features (→Advanced topics)
- Figured bass (→Advanced topics)
- Grid-based movement of symbols and staff text (→Text)
- Image capture (→Formatting)
- Inspector and object properties (→Advanced topics)
- Measure operations: Split and join (→Basics)
- MIDI import (→Sound and playback)
- Mid-staff instrument change (→Sound and playback)
- Save/Export (→Basics) - Staff type properties (→Advanced topics)
- Swing (→Sound and playback)
- Tablature (→Advanced topics)
- Workspace (→Advanced topics)
- Master palette (→Advanced topics)
- Layout and formatting (some options have changed, and there is a new "apply to all parts" feature) (→Formatting)
- Breaks and spacers, section break (→Formatting)
- Selection modes, select all similar new options (same subtype) (→Basics)
- Create a new score, start center (→Basics)
- Languages settings and translation Updates (→Basics)
- Helping and improve translation (→Support)
- Accidentals, respell pitches (→Notation)
- Replace pitches without changing rhythms (→Advanced topics)
- Tools (→Advanced topics)
- Meta tags (→Advanced topics)
- Upgrading from MuseScore 1.x
This chapter describes how to find help using MuseScore: the best places to look, the best way to ask a question on the forums, and tips for reporting a bug.
- Helping and improve translation
- How to ask for support or file reports
- Revert to factory settings
- Known incompatibilities