MuseScore 3 Released

• Dec 24, 2018 - 08:50

Today we are excited to announce the release of MuseScore 3, a major step forward for the world's most popular music notation software.

The strengths of MuseScore have long been its ease of use, the large community of creators and wide availability of sheet music on, and of course, the fact that it is free. We are also proud of how powerful MuseScore is and the quality of the engraving that it can produce. With the release of MuseScore 3 - almost four years in the making - we are making it easier than ever to create beautiful, professional-looking scores.

Download MuseScore 3 Release

Automatic Placement

The most significant advance is the new Automatic Placement (autoplace) system that detects and avoids collisions between score elements.

  • This allows you to keep your focus on your music, with much less need to spend time manually adjusting things to look good. As you enter notes, musical symbols, and text, MuseScore 3 automatically formats your music and arranges the various markings in ways that closely follow professional music engraving standards.
  • You can continue to exercise full control of the layout when and where you want.
  • Autoplace does exactly what a professional engraver would do most of the time without your having to think about it, but it steps out of the way and lets you position things manually when appropriate. Users of other notation programs with similar functionality can attest to how valuable this can be.
  • Our automatic placement system strikes an ideal balance between simplicity and flexibility.



An integration with Sparkle and WinSparkle autoupdate engines has been implemented and included in MuseScore 3. Keeping up to date with new releases no longer requires you to manually go find and download them. Just let the autoupdater handle downloading and installing of the new version for you! Receiving our latest bugfixes and features has never been easier.

Watch the video to see how it works on Windows.

Software Update 2018-12-24 11-07-45.png

Note, the autoupdater uses your OS locale which means that the language of the autoupdater interface will always be the same to your OS language.

First time user experience

MuseScore 3 introduces a number of other new features to make the program easier to learn and use.

  • To get you up and running quickly without the need for manuals, we have created a set of Tours that appear automatically and provide instant help on specific common topics as you first encounter them.
  • We have also added a search facility and better organization to the palettes, making it easier to find symbols to add to your score.
  • To customize the appearance and behavior of score elements, the various properties and styles associated with them can now be controlled almost entirely from an enhanced Inspector window. New properties are provided, such as placement above or below the staff, and stacking order to control how different elements overlap each other.
  • A new Timewise note input and editing feature allows you to insert and delete notes and rests within measures, automatically shifting subsequent music forwards or backwards. This can be useful for correcting mistakes as well as creating unmetered music.

    Monosnap 2018-12-24 15-56-24.png


  • For navigation, a Single Page mode provides a vertically scrolling view of your score.
  • A new Timeline window provides an instant overview of your score, displaying the rehearsal marks, tempo, key, and time signature changes, and showing where each instrument is playing versus resting. This enables you to easily jump to specific sections of your score.
  • The Score Comparison Tool shows you the differences between two versions of a score.

    All_Dudes 2018-12-24 16-01-11.png

Notation improvements

MuseScore 3 supports a number of additional notations that have been commonly requested.

  • The MuseJazz font can now be used to give all elements of your score a handwritten appearance.
  • System dividers can be added automatically.
  • Staff properties such as number of lines can be changed mid-score, and you can define a staff as a "cutaway" staff or to use named noteheads.
  • When generating parts from your score, you can have separate parts for each voice of a given staff.

    Parts 2018-12-24 16-05-58.png

Brand new Mixer and Piano Roll

The playback controls have been redesigned to increase their usefulness. The Play Panel is docked to take less space. In the Mixer, you can mute the voices for a staff individually. Multiple channels for an instrument are now collapsed by default, and you can define the MIDI port and channel number for each. The Piano Roll Editor has been greatly enhanced to make it much easier to edit the playback parameters of each note in your score.


Dark theme

MuseScore users can switch to Dark Mode to transform the UI to a darkened color scheme, putting the focus on the content while controls recede into the background. You don't need to restart MuseScore anymore to apply changed UI settings.

Automatic_Placement 2018-12-24 15-53-09.png


We are appreciate everyone's efforts to make MuseScore better. Thanks to everyone who submitted PRs and created bug reports as well as suggestions and feature requests.

Today, we want to introduce every contributor in personal. The list is available here and will be enriched soon. Don't hesitate to say thank you to someone personally :)

Contributions statistics in 2018

  • More than 1000 PRs were created, 860 PRs were merged
  • More than 50 contributors made about 1500 commits

Important notes

  • MuseScore 2.3.2 and MuseScore 3.0 can co-exist on one machine. Installation of the MuseScore 3 will create the association with .mscz/.mscx files, but you can keep using both versions of MuseScore on one machine.
  • Beta testers won't get notifications from the autoupdater. You need to install official release manually. The official release will be continuously updated. Beta packages will be used for testing prereleases in future, but they could be unistalled for now.


"A brand new autoupdate engine has been developed" does not seem truthful. It would be more accurate to say that the Sparkle updating framework was integrated.

In reply to by RobFog

Could “a brand new autoupdate engine has been developed” be true once Linux is included? Or perhaps “Flatpak/Flathub updating framework was integrated”

Sparkle → macOS
WinSparkle → Windows
Flathub → Linux

The MuseScore link on Flathub is:

Could, for each and every release of MuseScore, MuseScore autoupdate:

> I really need a notification for this or something.…
Perhaps collaboration with @jurf could help make this autoupdate work

Issue “MuseScore 3.0.0 Release” opened here:

What do you think?

Thank you

In reply to by Óvári

Hey, just to pop in – if any of the devs want to take over/help out with the maintenance of the Flathub package, just ask. It is, in the end, how Flathub should function.

Regarding the notification, I subscribed to the releases via GitHub, but for some reason it failed to notify me. Thanks for the ping @Óvári.

In reply to by panomax

You can't just switch from a 32bit version of Windows to a 64bit one, this requires a complete and destructive reinstall. All or at least most users of XP or Vista, a 32bit version at the time, that upgraded to 7 or later had to stay on 32bit to not loose all their data and other installed programs. For newer PCs though I agree, they should all be a) 64bit capable and b) have come with a 64bit Windows or c) have no good reason to install a 32bit version (unless some legacy device the user needs lacks a 64bit driver)

I still note an issue continuing through the Alpha, Beta and RC versions. In Page view, lyrics are properly spaced, but in Continuous view mode, lyrics text overlaps the next staff. Mind you, at this stage, I have only imported scores from MS2, but the issue exists, nonetheless. I believe this was on a list of issues to address, but was unlikely to be solved for the first release. Many thanks, MS3 looks great!

In reply to by Anatoly-os

There is a minimal amount of auto avoidance included in the continuous view, and that is mostly fine because for the most part overlaps aren't visible until after the elements are placed. Lyrics are an exception to this. I would propose (and probably did elsewhere) that MuseScore add enough space between staves to allow lyrics not to overlap the actual staff below. In normal composition this will make for few collisions with items below because in choral arrangements the voices are usually last and in lieder type songs, there are few ledger lines. They use ottavas instead.

One other possible solution is to make the up arrow spacer work like it did in version 2 so it will put the space between the top of the staff and the bottom of what's displayed for the staff above it. This will allow for a 1 (or even the default 3) space spacer to prevent collisions between lyrics and the staff below.

In reply to by Anatoly-os

I'm sorry to be making suggestions in an announcement thread, but how about a new view mode which is page-based, but always has one system per page and never hides staves? This would have relatively good horizontal continuity and enables full autoplacement on a per-system basis.

In reply to by Thingy Person


thank you for your suggestion. It is better to create separate issue to forum topic to discuss the idea with the community. I know @danieljray has some thoughts about better layout of the continuous view which similar to your suggestion. Feel free to share details or sketches there as well.

The new mixer is wonderful and it is now very easy to use Musescore with external software (particularly VEPro). Thank you so much for all the hard work.

Great work, already loving it.
One somewhat substantial issue I've come across though is that in Text Styles a handful of the categories change together with the "Size changes with staff space setting" checkbox. I can see how this idea might be good on paper, but when Instrument Names, Footers, and Headers either ALL have to change with staff spacing or ALL have set font sizes. So for symphony scores, I either have normal sized copyright line and page numbers with crowded instrument names, or instrument names that are scaled and fit properly with unreadable copyright and page numbers. That's just the first example I've come across I'm sure more will arise as I continue to check it out.
Then again, I am mostly enjoying it, I just want it to be as good as it can be.
Thank you

Automatic Placement with images seems to not work. Attached file looks okay with MuseScore version 2.3, but with version 3.0 it doesn't. Can this be fixed? Thank you

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MegyAGozos.mscz 106.67 KB

I really appriciate your updates and I like them. Thank you very much. :)
• I think that one thing is missing: how can i put more bars in one line than I should? (in other words: how to prevent from line braking?). I think that feature is very usefull. I used it many times in Guitar Pro.
• Guitar Pro has also one feature that i used: editor view - one big sheet of paper of the width of the screen. It adjusted to the screen width. Here we have only "single paper continuous" - so the paper width is fixed.
Thank you once again for the programm and new version.

The Flatpak version doesn't seem to include Jack (it doesn't show up in the I/O preferences) however it does show up with the AppImage. Could anyone confirm this or tell me why this is the case?


The manipulation of slurs in Musescore 3 is very poor compared to version 2.3.2.
The legato still does not work on Musescore 3

Can MuseScore 2.3.2 open MuseScore 3.0 files? I have an old netbook that I travel with and, given it's 32bit, can only use the 32bit version of 2.3.2 (as there's no 32.bit version 3.0). So if I upgrade to v 3.0 on my desktop can I use the netbook to view/edit files newly created on the desktop?

I'm impressed! As a fairly new composer, I look forward to using this from now on, especially since I've just started using the advanced settings a few days ago.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Awesome! Lots of potential for composing purely in the Piano Roll. I've gone past this but many beginners to music theory (generally EDM producers wanting to learn about sheet music) compose on a piano roll. Having a more streamlined way to compose on the Piano Roll would help not only them but also add a new way to compose quicker. DAWs like Ableton and FL Studio are the favorites of producers not only because of their workflow but also because of their intuitive and easy-to-use Piano Rolls.

I might have not looked in the right place, but is there a written guide or an updated version of the MuseScore handbook accommodating MuseScore 3.0? I have always been keeping up with its versions but this one is especially new and different in which I have a lot of how-to questions for it. Thanks!

A bit of a dumb question, but how do I listen to just the instrument part in a score? Like for example, if I had a brass quintet score and I wanted to listen to only the trumpets. How would I do that?

In reply to by P.Nicolaou

This is the complete release for 3.0. From before it was released there were plans to update it often, about once a month. Preparations are already being made for the first bug fix release. Since this has never happened under the new management, I don't know when it will happen. Each release will be an improvement over the previous release and there will be features that are added at some point, like plugins that do not currently work.

Some 1.5 years ago, I tried out the in-development MuseScore 3 back when it was still apocalyptically broken. It's a surprise to be running the official release so soon after that impression. But it is glorious. Without manual changes, my large concert band score now looks presentable instead of like chicken scratch. Dynamics and hairpins coexist peacefully. Slurs across multiple notes now look professional instead of whatever I managed to produce before by dragging the nodes around. The timeline lets me get around without slowing my machine to a crawl by zooming out or using the navigator. That said, the overall experience is even slower (on my budget asus laptop) and local relayout only seems to work when dragging notes around, which I never do. But by god, it is beautiful to see how a huge score rearranges itself in real time around a note which I'm wildly flailing up and down, when doing this would've locked up the program before. And those slurs, unf. So despite the substantial slowdown (and the duplicate time signatures I can't seem to get rid of) I've switched to MuseScore 3 for all my activities. Congratulations to the team and the new supreme overlords for the release. This initial release shows such promise that I don't doubt it'll get even better in the near future.

I keep experiencing crashes. Like, if I'm working with more than three instruments, after about three minutes of working, it'll crash, and won't auto-save my music.

In reply to by Group 3

In order for us to assist with that, please start a new thread and attach your score and steps to reproduce the problem. We have fixed several crashes since the original release, so perhaps a current nightly build fixes your problem. An update including these fixes will also be released soon.

Reporting a bug regarding cross staff beaming in musescore 3. Musescore 3 not displaying beams when I do Ctrl + Shift + Up arrow for moving the notes from bottom staff to the upper. 16th notes are displayed as quarter notes. But playback is fine. Anyone experiencing this ?

I love the new updates! Musescore has become my mainstay for composing. I just need that live midi input and it would be perfect!

In reply to by Silvio Rossini

Try using the command line and run it with the -w option. If you open the start menu and select Run Command you can type musescore3 -w to test this. A few people have reported this working for them. Let us know the results and about your internet connection if it works.

There are so many problems with Musescore 3 at the moment. The option to transpose selected groups of note has been moved or removed, and I don't know where it is. I have been resorting to create the new notes with the interval tab, and then deleting the old ones, which is painstakingly slow compared to the old method. On my smaller laptop, the new mixer is too big and I can't make the window as small as I'd like. Selecting a single measure by clicking on it has become extremely tedious, especially when said measure has a significant amount of content. Also as it currently stands, the feature to create stemless note heads, like slashes to indicate comping or soloing in jazz is bugged and doesn't work the first time you select the option in "measure properties."

I understand the attempts to make musescore better in this new version, and I'm certain at the very least the new version will have fewer general bugs and less crashing, but I struggle to understand many of the new changes.

In reply to by M Thompson

It is best to start new threads to discuss specific problems, so in the future, please do so. But for the record, the transpose command is in Tools. The up/down arrow commands also continue to work as they always have, so no need to resort to the interval command even if you couldn't find the Transpose command. Not sure what you mean about slash notation, Measure Properties has never been the correct way to do that. Instead, you should have been using the Fill With Slashes and Rhythmic Slash Notation tools, both in 2.x (under Edit / Tools) and in 3.0 (more easily accessed now, under Tools). These commands automatically set the correct notehead and disable transposition and playback, all in a single command. Or, if for some reason you need to manually create stemless noteheads for reasons unrelated to slash notation, the Inspector has also long been the correct way to do that. The stemless option in Measure Properties is not intended for this and would be an incredibly painfully slow way of doing it both in 2.3.2 and 3.0, but you are right that there appears to be a bug where it doesn't update the display immediately (it does the next time the screen redraws), so feel free to report it officially to the issue tracker via Help / Report a Bug. Still, this is a feature that really has almost no reason to exist given the slash tools and the Inspector - it's left in for historical reasons primarily.

As for clicking a measure to select, nothing has changed about that as far as I can tell, can you be more specific about that - perhaps attach your score and precise steps to reproduce the problem?

The much-improved Mixer is indeed a bit bigger and there is still ongoing work to shrink it.

Will there be a marching drum line extension for version 3? Also, is there any future of a suspended cymbal being added to the instruments in the unpitched percussion tab or even the 5 line percussion staff?

In reply to by fourmalletfreakshow7

Hi there,
As a percussionist myself, I definitely want to see realistic percussion sounds included in the next iteration of MuseScore Drumline. We recently conducted a survey and users overwhelmingly let us know that the biggest thing the plug-in was missing was realistic keyboard percussion, timpani, and accessory percussion/cymbal sounds.

This is a large undertaking, as it requires a new recording process. A new recording process requires money (musicians, studio time, mastering, etc) and so it's not something we can deliver right away.

Are the Percussion Consultant for MuseScore and the Percussion Community Manager for MuseScore and MuseScore Drumline (MDL), I've made it a point to strongly recommend this is a project that's pursued and completed during 2019.

Please continue to check in throughout the year and I hope to be able to give tangible updates on this.


Community Manager// Percussion Consultant//

I would like to switch to version 3, but I can't find a way to move my old work from 2 to 3. Does anyone know if this is possible? Thanks!

Good evening,
some people from our choir are using musescore portable (to be run on a USB key). We are encoding some music using musescore3. And the new partitions cannot be read by musescore portable or by musescore2. Is it possible to save the new partitions to be used with previous versions? Or when will be the new musescore portable available?

For some odd reason I can't download & install Musescore 3. I am using Windows 10. When I click the link to download it very quickly appears to be downloaded, but when I click on the .msi file I get the following message:

"This installation package could not be opened. Contact the application vendor to verify that this is a valid Windows installer package."

Is anyone else having this issue? Any ideas on how I can fix it?


I have downloaded Musescore 3. I think from the technical aspects, it's very good. A lot of the things that needed to be fixed got fixed. Reading this announcement, I think it is clear to see the vast difference between the interface's design on macOS vs windows. The photos you have on the announcement show mac, I will attach windows. In dark mode, it looks better but not by a lot. Honestly, I think the design for Musescore 2 was better.

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Hi, I've recently downloaded MuseScore 3, but all audio is playing through my laptop speakers, and not my headphones or wireless earphones.

Is there anything I can do? Thank you.

In reply to by Krissstinaaa

Generally it helps to connect your devices before starting MuseScore. if you change devices later, you may need to go to Edit / Preferences / I/O and select the new device, and also press the "Restart Audio and MIDI Devices" button.

In the future, when asking for helping using MsueScore, please start a new thread rather than commenting on an unrelated existing one.

Hi so when I downloaded musescore3 everything was fine, but when I tried to open it it would say "MuseScore 3 can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software." and underneath that, it would say, "This software needs to be updated. Contact the developer for more information."

Can someone help me understand what's happening???

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