Handbook 2.0

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

Getting started

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.


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.

See also →Advanced topics further down and →Basics further up

Sound and playback

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.


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 AddText.

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.


Advanced topics

New features in MuseScore 2.0

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...


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.



The not-used-in-English abbreviation resp. appears near the top of this page and on numerous pages throughout the handbook. It appears to be a literal translation of the German bzw. See http://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/6491/what-does-resp-mean-in-these... for a good discussion of the matter. The nearest simple English equivalent is "or" or "and/or" in most cases. In some cases the entire sentence may need to be rewritten differently. I have changed resp. to "or" in a few places in the handbook, but have not done so here. The original author or others may wish to review its use here and elsewhere.

You are most probably right, so go ahead and fix it... :-)

Done on this page.

Until recently Swing at node 39046 was valid, but it appears to have been recently broken. Please check whether the reference here needs to be changed to a new node number.

(I tested the Swing feature yesterday but was unable to observe that it actually worked.)

That is bad. Thomas, any idea where that page moved/why it vanished?

I removed it as it was requested in the first comment of that handbook page. Perhaps I was too quick? Can we recover it via a Google cached version?

I recovered the Google cache but potentially it was not the most recent version: http://musescore.org/en/node/43206

Apologies again. I should have simply unpublished the page instead of removing it. First time I make a mistake like this 6 years working on this site :/

Was that the duplicate?

I reapplied the updates I had made earlier to the page (more or less, by memory). You may wish to review it. I also updated the node number under New Features on the main Handbook 2.0 page.

I've been wrtiting a piece for 3 hours... then MS crashed and I lost all... It has crashed the save file. I was about to finish it... :'(

Have you still the file mscz, (with the , in the extension) , that would be the last time you saved it just before. You can rename it, (without the coma and changing the name before the extension) and open it to musescore..... it may works and save you some time...

Do you know why it has crased ...? do you remember what you was doing when it crased ?
By the way it should be better to post here http://musescore.org/en/forum for this kind of things

I just spent a lot of time making a score, but I made it on MuseScore 2.0, instead of 1.3, so it won't upload. is their a way to copy+paste music or downgrade music?

Export as XML, import in 1.3. But his is something you could discuss or even seache in the forum, not in the handbook...

Hey well noobs gotta noob, right? Thanks anyway.

Seems a page on articulations and ornaments is missing?

May be good to add and explain that not every articulation/ornement can be played back ;)
but we should be aware not to make a "list" page ;)

That may also be a right improvement from Handook for 1.3 as I don't see them at first look

Workspace is in Advanced Topics twice. And Accessibility is at the end, whereas the other items are in alphabetic order.


What about capitalization? I think all page titles should be Title Case, shouldn't they?
What about the headings? Title Case too, I'd think.

David Bolton, the editor of the first handbook had issued some guidelines containing a topic on title casing. I'll try to dig it up, so hold your horses before changing things.

lasconic had something too, (mainly?) concerning the UI strings.

Here's my original rational for using sentence case rather than title case for headings in the handbook:

How can you stretch the arpeggio so it takes the entire staff of the the instrument???

Hi Silverous Black

This isn't the right place to ask.

Besides double-clicking and dragging the handle, this is likely the answer: #23100: Snap To for arpeggio and glissando

For support questions the best place to ask is: http://musescore.org/en/forum/6

Full handbook on a single html page, with a TOC:

As far as I can see only 3 handbook pages require some more significant work:

Where the latter could probably just get removed, as this topic is now covered in Tools, I have removed it from the book outline for now.

Create slash notation is unpublished.

one down, two to go ;-)

This is a very minor point, perhaps hardly worth making. Under Support the word enquiring is used. That is proper usage in UK English, but in US and AU English inquiring is used almost exclusively. UK tends more toward the French derivation 'en' while US tends more toward the Latin 'in'. In the UK enquiring means informal asking while inquiring means formal investigation. In the US that distinction has ceased to exist. Even the Oxford English Dictionary prefers inquiring for both meanings and gives enquiring as an alternate and obsolete form of the same word. Isn't language interesting? Do as you please.

Avoiding that now and bring into sync with what the headind reads on http://musescore.org/en/node/36586, not sure why it went out of sync with that.

It's me unable to find it or the dialogue box about "Staff Text Properties" is nowhere documented? I mean the dlg box you get by right clicking a staff text and selecting "Staff Text Properties".

As it is rather esoteric (I never really understood its various elements), some documentation is in order, I believe.

Right here: http://musescore.org/en/node/38491#properties

EDIT: My bad, I misread your comment. I admit it's hard to find, but here's something: http://musescore.org/en/node/35961#mid-staff-change

But there should probably be more documentation than this. I can put something together over the next couple of days.

On another note, there should be a way to search the Handbook, shouldn't there? If nobody else already has, I'll file a feature request.

I have used musescore for finding music to play for quite a while. In the older version there was a MuseScore Connect where you could load sheet music that others had posted. This feature does not appear to be in the new Musescore 2.0. Will it be added back? If not, is there another quick and easy way to access and edit others scores that I am unaware of?

The place for questions like this is the forums (http://musescore.org/en/forum), but the closest thing to MuseScore Connect is now in the new Start Center, which, if not set to show by default when you open the application, can be accessed from the View menu.

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