MuseScore Tour - Create Sheet Music

MuseScore provides a powerful yet easy to use set of tools for creating scores of all kinds, from piano music to choral music to lead sheets to big band and orchestra arrangements.

Set up your score

Create New Score wizard

The Create New Score wizard includes a variety of templates that are set up for common score types such as Piano, Choir SATB, Concert Band, Jazz Lead Sheet, Jazz Big Band, UK Brass Band, Chamber Orchestra, etc. You can use one of these templates as is, or start with a template and make your own customizations.

If none of the provided templates suit your needs, you can also start from scratch and select the instruments yourself. MuseScore supports an unlimited number of staves, and it automatically handles transposition for instruments that require it.

The wizard also allows you to set the initial key signature, time signature, pickup measure (anacrusis), and number of measures in your score. Once the wizard has finished setting up your score, you can add brackets to group related staves, and customize other details of the staves and the layout.

Enter your music

If you can think of it, MuseScore can probably notate it! MuseScore allows you to enter your music in several ways. If you already have it in another program, MuseScore supports import of MusicXML, MIDI, and other formats. But MuseScore also makes it easy to enter music yourself, even if you have never used computer music notation software before.

Notes and Rests

Note Input mode

You can enter notes directly into MuseScore using your computer keyboard, mouse, or a MIDI keyboard, using note entry mode. With just a click, enter notes (including tuplets), rests, accidentals, ties, grace notes, and more. MuseScore supports up to four voices per staff, and you can change clefs, key signatures, and time signatures at any point in the score. You can also flip stems, break and join beams, and even beam across staves. MuseScore supports operations on selections, including copy/cut/paste, transposition, voice exchange, and explode/implode. You can of course add or delete measures, and MuseScore allows scores of unlimited length.

Markings

notes and markings

jazz notation

MuseScore supports most musical markings, including dynamics, tempo markings, slurs, articulations, arpeggios and glissandi, double bars and repeats, voltas (endings), segnos and codas, crescendo/diminuendo, octave, trill, and pedal markings, fingerings, and rehearsal marks.

lyrics

And of course, you can add your own text, including lyrics and chord symbols. MuseScore even includes a special font (MuseJazz) for a handwritten look.

lead sheet

MuseScore also supports drum notation, slash notation, microtonal notation, custom graphics, and other special notations such as those required for jazz, pop, early music, shape music notation, and modern music with non-standard key or time signatures.

Lay out your score

MuseScore does a great job of laying out your score automatically in most cases, but it also provides many options to override these defaults. Many of the settings used to control the appearance of your score can be saved as a Style that can be applied to other scores with just a couple of clicks. And you can create your own templates as well, set up exactly how you like, that will appear in the New Score Wizard along with the pre-installed ones.

Notation

Style dialog

dragIf you do not like the default position of an element, you can usually just drag it where you want it. And the default appearance and position of most elements can be customized by Style options.

Edit ModeThe size and shape of many elements can be modified in Edit Mode; this applies to things like stems, beams, ties, slurs, crescendos, etc.

Page

page layout

The overall page layout can be controlled throughout a number of means. The Layout->Page Settings dialog controls the paper size, margins, and the overall size of the staves (which in turn scales most other elements). The Style->Edit General Style dialog controls the distance between staves and between systems as well as other formatting settings, including as a global note spacing setting that controls how close together MuseScore places notes. You can override the global note spacing for selected measures to "stretch" the spacing as needed. You can also place breaks, spacers, and frames to further control layout and spacing for specific purposes, and you can run a plugin to set a fixed number of measures per system for all or portions of your music.

Score and Parts

extracted part

When you are done with a score for multiple instruments, you can extract parts. Elements like voltas, segnos, and tempo markings will automatically be copied to all parts, and multi-measure rests will be automatically created as appropriate. If any instruments require transposition, that will be handled automatically as well.

In your score, you can also hide empty staves to produce a condensed score.

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