Creating a New Score in MuseScore with NVDA

• created 5 years ago • last updated 3 months ago

This draft tutorial has been copied across from MuseScore 2 tutorials. Feel free to help update it for MuseScore 3 and then remove this notice.


This short tutorial guides you through the process of creating a new score in MuseScore.

It assumes you have MuseScore 3.5.0 or above, and NVDA 2016.1 or later installed. If you have a Braille display, it is suggested that you use this as well.

Getting started

By default, MuseScore opens with a blank score entitled ‘My_First_score’. Later, you can change this so that MuseScore either starts with a new score, the score you were last working on, or with any specific score you choose.

New score wizard

MuseScore can guide you through the creation of a new score via the ‘New Score Wizard’. You can launch this by going to FileNew... or use the shortcut Ctrl+N. The New Score Wizard contains four pages.

In the first page, focus is placed in the title field where you can insert the name of your new score. Once completed, tab to the next box for subtitle, and so on for composer, lyricist and copyright. All fields are optional.

When completed, press Next >.

The second screen of the new score wizard allows you to specify the instruments and/or voices in your score. For convenience, MuseScore includes several templates for common scorings such as SATB for four-part voices, or string quartet or jazz ensemble. You can also select your own custom scoring.

Focus starts in a search box where you can search for a template. Press Tab to move to the list of available templates. The templates are grouped into categories. Press the Up or Down arrow keys to move through the list, and the Right and Left arrow keys to open or close each category.

If you don’t want any of the preset templates, the first option within the General category is ‘Choose Instruments’. Press Enter to choose your own instruments.

You will now see a list of instruments grouped into genres including:

  • All instruments
  • Common
  • Pop/Rock
  • Jazz
  • Choral
  • Orchestra
    etc.

Select any of these genres using Up or Down arrow keys, then press Tab to put focus on the instrument categories. This is a tree view, so press Right arrow to open the tree and Left arrow to close it again. Once you have found the instrument you require, press Tab once to the Add button. You can repeat this process as many times as you wish.

Note: The appropriate clef is automatically selected for each instrument.

Once you have selected the instruments/voices for your score, press Next >.

The third screen of the New Score Wizard lets you select the key signature for your piece. Use the arrow keys to select the key you want and then press Next > to move to the final screen of the New Score Wizard.

Note: Once the score has been set up, it is possible to select another key signature by going to the master key palette by pressing Shift+K with focus at the correct point in the score.

The final screen lets you select the time signature, optional pickup bar (anacrusis), the number of bars and optional tempo.

There are three radio buttons for selecting the time signature. The first allows you to select a custom numerical time signature and the second two are for common time and cut common time. If you choose a numerical time signature, two more fields appear where you can select the number of beats per bar and then the beat denomination. These are both spin boxes, so use the Up and Down arrow keys.

Press Tab and a check box allows you to specify whether or not your piece has an anacrusis. Press Space to tick or untick the check box. If ticked, you can tab to two further edit boxes to select the number and type of beat of the anacrusis.

Press Tab again to select the number of bars in your piece. Again it is a spin box so you can either type a value directly or use the Up or Down arrow keys. You can add or remove bars later on if needed.

Press Tab to select whether or not a tempo indication is included. Press Space to tick or untick the tempo indication check box. Then press Tab to select the beats per minute. This is a spin box so use up and down arrows to select the beats per minute.

Press Finish to complete the wizard. Focus will be left at the beginning of your piece.

You are now ready to start Entering notes into your score.

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