MuseScore 2.1 is released

While the development of MuseScore 3 is ongoing and we are rebuilding a lot of features from the ground up, we wanted to bring you some of that work sooner—so here comes MuseScore 2.1! Built on top of the 2.0 series, with cherry-picked developments from the in-progress MuseScore 3, MuseScore 2.1 offers a bunch of new features and 300+ bug fixes and user interface improvements, making it both our most powerful and our most stable version yet.

Download MuseScore 2.1

New features

A picture is worth a thousand words… so how about a video. Watch and listen to Isaac Weiss walking you through some of the new features in MuseScore 2.1.

New features in MuseScore 2.1

For those who prefer reading, here are some of the highlights:

  • New note input modes allow you to play music on a MIDI keyboard in real time and have MuseScore transcribe both pitches and rhythms, either using the built-in metronome or your foot pedal to keep the tempo
  • New input mode to allow entry of rhythm first, pitches later
  • New command to rewrite rhythms to show beat divisions according to time signature rules
  • New and improved commands to change duration of existing notes while in note input mode, including adding and removing augmentation dots
  • Synthesizer improvements, including updates to the default SoundFont and better support for SFZ format
  • Ability to upload audio to along with your score, so others can hear your score with your chosen SoundFont or SFZ
  • Improved historical tablature support, including lute bass strings
  • When changing instruments mid-score (e.g., from flute to clarinet), the transposition is now handled correctly
  • Improved selection controls, including the ability to select notes of the same pitch, duration, or notehead, and the ability to select or deselect all element types in the Selection Filter
  • New command to swap selection with clipboard (simultaneously paste to and copy from the selected range)
  • More controls: ability to reorder score tabs, customize pause length of breaths and caesuras, add/remove brackets on accidentals, set MP3 bitrate, add page breaks when creating albums, include fingering in tablature staves
  • New and improved templates and instruments, including various marching bands and percussion ensembles, a general percussion staff, more standard clefs for basses, additional ethnic instruments
  • UI improvements in Staff Properties, New Score Wizard, Edit Drumset, and other windows

There are many more improvements than that, including some under the hood; check out the release notes for an exhaustive list of new features and fixed bugs.

Note that though MuseScore 2.1 is almost fully compatible with the 2.0 series in both directions, there are a few corner cases where scores may be rendered slightly differently in the different versions of MuseScore, documented here.


On top of the long-time contributors who participated in creating MuseScore 2.1, we are very proud to welcome 20 new contributors since the release of version 2.0.3 last year. It brings the total number of MuseScore contributors to exactly 100.

Thanks to all the code contributors, translators and documentation writers!

What’s next?

While the development of MuseScore 3 continues behind the scenes, following up on the redesign of earlier this year, a new design for is also on its way. It will make it easier to follow and contribute to conversations from mobile and touch devices, and also improve access to support and help resources to make the learning curve easier for new users. We will also officially launch the OpenScore initiative soon, in collaboration with IMSLP.


Thank you for your hard work, really love Musescore!!

Can I ask when the portable and 64bit windows version will be available?


Just installed MuseScore 2.1 on my mid-2009 Macbook Pro running El Capitan, 10.11.6 (can't go to Sierra). Spends a long time verifying the install, then reports that MuseScore will damage my Mac and should be moved to trash.

The only other option offered in cancel.

Cancelled and tried to open MuseScore again. This time it opened with no problem.

Thank you so much!
It's already fantastic, and is on it's way to be amazing!!

Congratulations once again to the Musescore team! A lot of work and many improvements in this new version since 2.0.3. For such a small group of developers this is really an achievement! Musescore, as a notation software has already reached professional standards and is in par with Sibelius or Finale. Actually with some playback improvements, Musescore will be a replacement for its expensive counterparts.

I really, really love Musescore!

If it were a commercial software, with so many significant improvements and bug fixes, the version number had already reached to !

We are aware of the very intense work behind the scenes.

Thank you, everyone.

Way to go! I appreciate the time put into making this release a reality.

Nunca me cansaré de felicitar al equipo de MuseScore... y esta es otra más de esas oportunidades. Como músico, utilizo constantemente MuseScore, incluso teniendo TAMBIÉN instalado Finale. Hay veces que vuestro programa me resulta más rápido, claro y amigable para el usuario. Como docente, lo recomiendo SIEMPRE a mis estudiantes. Una vez que lo instalan y juegan con él, se enamoran de MuseScore. Una vez más, desde Uruguay, ¡FELICITACIONES! ¡MILLONES DE GRACIAS!

I will never tire of congratulating the MuseScore team ... and this is yet another of those opportunities. As a musician, I constantly use MuseScore, even having ALSO installed Finale. There are times when your program is faster, clearer and user-friendly. As a teacher, I ALWAYS recommend to my students. Once they install it and play with it, they fall in love with MuseScore. Once again, from Uruguay, CONGRATULATIONS! MILLIONS OF THANKS!

I can't wait to install it! looking forward to everything!!!!!!!!

I can't wait for the next version to come out! Just installed today!

Wow! This is epic. I would've never noticed the new features if it wasn't for the video, the rhythm regroup would be very useful!!

I look forward to 3.0's release.

Really like the new sounds and instruments! Would love to see the chinese Pipa be added in the future, though!

Assuming that doesn't require any new forms of notation, can you tell us the string tuning?

Sure! The tuning is (from thickest to thinnest string) A-D-E-A.
You can check out the Atlas Ensembles page on the Pipa, it's great!

Standard notation, no tablature; default to treble clef?

As I've read it it has been in bass clef (with the 8va under) in standard notation. There might be other variations in China, but as I said: this is how I've read it in the past.

Please feed all this info into the issue tracker as a feature request, for it to not get lost

I think the issue tracker is going away pretty soon, but this should be easy to do quickly.

For what it's worth I added it to the tracker now. Don't forget to check that Atlas Ensemble page, it might help filling out the blanks!

There is a solution for the issue tracker in the works. But more about this later!

After some testing, I've finished publishing the builds of MuseScore 2.1 for openSUSE and SUSE-based enterprise distributions. The packages can be downloaded from the multimedia:musescore2 repository of the Open Build Service. Enjoy! (I sure do! I can't live without MuseScore.)

Thanks, I took advantage of it, for those on the other side of the pond:

Thank's ganglia: just installed your package and it works as expected ;-)

Someone asked a question about a portable version of MuseScore 2.1. As I use that a lot, I tried an "experiment" of some sort, namely swapping the program files of the 2.0.3 portable version with those of the 2.1 installed version. Well, believe it or not, all works as it should and, apart from a splash screen saying that you are still launching version 2.0.3 (which is not true), version 2.1 is used and apparently perfectly efficient. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you as it works for me.

This works even without having 2.1 installed?
Edit: It indeed does work! You probably should replace the other files in ...App/MuseScore too though, like the soundfont, templates, translations

Copy MuseScorePortable.ini file from appfolder\Other\Source to the same folder of MuseScorePortable.exe, open that ini file.

Change MuseScoreExecutable=mscore.exe to musescore.exe
change DisableSplashScreen=false to true

this way, it won't show splash screen.

Open-source projects such as Musescore give me hope for humanity.
Thanks so much everyone who contributed to this new release!!.

Is the portable version on its way? I can't use an installer at work.

Fine work, but I'm very disappointed that even this time the MIDI OUT function was not implemented.
I have the PC connected to my keyboards and I need to hear if what I write is trustworthy (sound card and/or software voices are not professional), so I just have to do the same job each time: write on Muse Score, save as MIDI, recharge on Aria Maestosa (other freeware music editor who HAS MIDI OUT), and finally listen.
Too much work!
Hopefully (but not so much) waiting for 3.0 version...

I've always been able to use Midi Out, even in past I remember being able to send the musescore midi out to my midi keyboard's hardware synth. You might have some other problem. Can you verify that your keyboard synth is able to receive midi messages? Have you made sure that the physical and virtual connections between musescore and your keyboard have been made correctly?

Please, explain to me what have been your method to play the MuseScore files via MIDI.
I regularly use MIDI OUT on other software (Band in a Box, PowerTracks, ecc.) with no problems.
I only set the preferences to MIDI OUT via USB interface.
MuseScore has NOT a MIDI OUT function, but only MIDI IN.
If you want, you can read a past thread on this topic (from many years I'm asking this to the team):
(especially last post - #45 - by Programmus Maximus six months ago).
Thanks anyway for your kindness!

Mauro 58

I remember using Jack. First start Jack and then start musescore and then in qjackcontrol I made a connection from musescore to my midi keyboard.

In fact, it seemed odd to me that it was a direct link.
If you've read the post I linked, unfortunately this system does not work with my hw / sw configuration. I now have a i7 PC with Windows 10 Pro and a Yamaha PSR-8000 workstation connected via USB interface.
Thank you so much for your time.

I did skim the post. Sorry midi out doesn't work without jack. Apparently some people are able to use jack on windows. Or you could run musescore inside a Linux VM and pass though a usb midi device.

But as Thomas said, unfortunately midi out without jack is something that will require someone to implement. But there is no way to force someone to implement it.

@Mauro Nothing happens by itself unfortunately. A developer needs to come along willing to scratch his own itch on adding MIDI out to MuseScore. So far this didn't happen. We do all what we can to evangelise MuseScore at open source conferences such as fosdem and rmll, as well as through programs such as GSoC, in order to bring developer talent on board of MuseScore. Ask yourself though: what can you do to make sure this will be added in MuseScore 3?

@ Thomas

Unfortunately, nothing gives me this certainty.
It is just one of my wishes to be able to use a very good software in a professional way.
If you read carefully my post, you see that i said "hopefully"...
But it seems to me very strange that in so many years no one of the developer has considered this matter: as I said before, other free software has MIDI OUT!
I consider MuseScore the best software available for notation (even better of some professional ones), so I'd like to have this function, too.
Anyway, no matter. Have a nice day!

My laptop screen's tiny enough as it is, and now that the keyboard size has been increased my workspace is even smaller. Also, I can't see the full keyboard anymore. Can't find any option to resize it, apart from length wise which I don't want, so I'm assuming there is none. Guess I'll just stick with the old version for now.

See and use Ctrl+scrollwheel to shrink or grow it

This update is very good, but the updates to the default soundfont makes drum rolls sound ugly!!! Is there a way to revert the soundfonts back into 2.0.3? SERIOUSLY, they sounded better back then. But, everything else sounded much better!!

Fantastic upload!
Just the piano keybord is very large and it avoid work easily like in Musescore 2.0.3.

You can change its size with Ctrl+Scrollwheel, just like you zoom the score too

It's really good work! Just one tiny thing: pause by breath mark breaks the rhytm! It shall 'take' the time from previous or nex note, am I right?

The improvement for sf* support is my most favorite improvement, because it makes the Famicom/NES soundfont I modified sound much better. Thank you for this release.

From a proud user of over half of a decade.

I am from Trinidad and Tobago where the Steel Pan is our national instrument and the go to for instrumentalists. It would be really nice is the Steel Drums could sustain the full note value as this would be easier when arranging or composing hearing the full effect of the notes.

Having trouble with the install. At some point, the dialog box goes almost completely off the screen via upper left corner, leaving me with the box's X as the only control. I can't pull the box back onto the screen so I can read it and respond; I can't do anything else. When I clicked on the X and restarted the msi file, I was asked if I wanted to repair or remove MS. Opted for repair; wound up in the same predicament. Any ideas as to why this is happening and how it can be prevented or corrected? Thank you.

Never mind. Was finally able to enlarge the view of the window enough to realize it wanted to finish the installation; all it needed was the Return key.

This is great but for some reason the new update has removed the upper and lower registrar of the marching percussion tenor drums... is this a bug or was it intentional?

Does anyone know why the violin's high notes sounds really weird and loud?

Hello, team|

A little question: is there a way to insert a symbol for the repetition of two bars, instead of only one (%)?

I don't know if other people have used the Synth Bass 1,3, or 4; or the rain synth (as far as i know of), but those instruments seem to be making these clicking/popping sounds at random. I was doing an arpeggio with the rain synth, and it made the clicking sounds for every downbeat. And the synth bass can just do the popping whenever. I really want this to be fixed and hope this won't happen in later updates.

I don't know if other people have used the Synth Bass 1,3, or 4; or the rain synth (as far as i know of), but those instruments seem to be making these clicking/popping sounds at random. I was doing an arpeggio with the rain synth, and it made the clicking sounds for every downbeat. And the synth bass can just do the popping whenever. I really want this to be fixed and hope this won't happen in later updates.

unintentional second. sorry about that.

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