MuseScore 3.1 Beta Release

• Apr 11, 2019 - 17:07

Today we are pleased to announce the Beta release of a significant update, MuseScore 3.1.

Download MuseScore 3.1 Beta Release

MuseScore 3.1 Beta can be installed along with the stable release.

Both versions will share the same data directory Documents/MuseScore3. Files created in MuseScore 3.1 are fully compatible with MuseScore 3.0.5.


There are a few major features which are requested all the time, e.g. the first user request for single-note dynamics was in 2010!

Single-note Dynamics

MuseScore will now play, out of the box, crescendos, and diminuendos on single notes; fortepianos and other dynamics with changing volumes; and dynamic articulations. Before, separate notes would only play at a single dynamic for their entire duration.

This is thanks to an update to the MuseScore General soundfont and a significant amount of programming that allows dynamics playback to be controlled while a note is still being played. This isn’t just volume – timbre, and other subtle effects change based on the dynamics.

One of the things that was prioritized when developing this was the correct importing of older scores. All older scores should be imported in such a way that they play with these new features enabled, without any action needed from the user. Of course, if something isn’t working as you think it should, please submit an issue in the issue tracker.

A high-quality soundfont is available as an extension in the Resource Manager.

Special thanks to @jthistle (James Thistlewood) and S. Christian Collins

Single-note Dynamics Customization Options

The new dynamics method is powerful enough to allow you to customize how playback sounds while being simple enough for it to work without any customization.

For hairpins, there is a choice between how the dynamics are interpolated:

  • Linear (the default). Dynamics change at a constant rate.
  • Ease-in, ease-out or ease-in and out. Dynamics will change slowly at first (ease-in), or change slowly when they come to the end of the hairpin (ease-out), or do both (ease-in and out).
  • Exponential. Dynamics will start off changing very slowly but will grow very quickly towards the end of the change.

Here is a creative example of what could be done with this feature.

Linearization Feature

Users often take advantage of jumps and repeats during "prototyping" of a song and, after a while, decide to linearize the score before continuing with the arrangement. This is especially common in larger arrangements, where structural parts (Verses, Choruses, etc) are seldom repeated exactly. MuseScore 3.1 now provides the Tools > Unroll Repeats command to automate this process.

Special thanks to @velochy (Margus Niitsoo)

Half/Double Duration

MuseScore 3.1 includes new commands Edit > Paste Half Duration and Edit > Paste Double Duration to halve or double rhythms when pasting a selection. These allow you to quickly turn a passage notated in eighth notes into one notated in sixteenths or vice versa. Unlike earlier plugins, these commands work on tuplets and multiple voices.

Special thanks to @MarcSabatella (Marc Sabatella)

UX improvements

We carefully listen to the feedback and especially the feedback from a professional musician and designer Martin Keary.

We implemented a few things that make the user experience smoother:

  • Selecting notes after deleting various elements
  • Copying hairpins and adjusted dynamics
  • Clearing target measures on copy-pasting elements

We appreciate the critical feedback and going to implement more suggestions in the final MuseScore 3.1 release.

Special thanks to @tantacul (Martin Keary) and @dmitrio95 (Dmitri Ovodok)

Other Improvements and Fixes


  • High-quality soundfont with better strings and synth instruments available as an extension in the Resource Manager
  • Internal computational approach that allows creating 256th, 512th, 1024th notes and any kind of compound tuplets
  • Online documentation for Plugin API is available


  • Fix significant lag on iterating over notes with left-right arrows


  • Accent-staccato didn't work in the default template
  • Some properties were not kept on saving score
  • Incorrect key/time signatures and clefs appeared in the score in specific cases
  • User-modified barlines were not linking correctly between staves of a score, parts, and multimeasure rests
  • Ties were laid out incorrectly in some cases
  • Problems with the layout of the beams, slurs, tuplets, and tremolo in cross-staff notation
  • Brackets didn't appear after a section break
  • Users were automatically logged out after 5 hours when using Save Online
  • Phrasing in target measure was not cleared on copy-pasting
  • ChordIdentifier Plugin didn't work with MuseScore 3

For a complete list of changes, see the MuseScore 3.1 Beta release notes.

MuseScore 3.1 Beta Update (May 5, 2019)


  • Option to completely disable Auto Placement


  • "MuseScore File" string (under File -> Save As...) now indicates which version you are about to save (MuseScore 3)
  • Move the whole segment on dragging a note in edit mode
  • Allow changing duration of multiple notes
  • Solo instruments related to selected measures if any when starting playback
  • Multiple fixes and improvements for fretboard diagrams


  • Layout of small staves was incorrect in some cases
  • Key signatures displayed incorrectly after clef change
  • Grace notes (after) collided with accidentals on main note
  • Key signature disappeared in all but first stave
  • Note's dot's visibility was incorrect when toggling visibility with note and dot selected
  • Couldn't pan score while playing when a note was selected
  • Instrument Change didn't transpose
  • Couldn't delete clef change at the start of a system

For a complete list of changes, see the MuseScore 3.1 Beta Update release notes.

Important notes

  • Plugins API documentation is available online


I always thought single-note dynamics were a structural omission in MuseScore that would always make playback sound janky compared to the commercial offerings (which is fine for a notation program), now it's here anyway and after trying it, it brought my score to life. The controls are excellent too. Really, compliments to the contributors for getting such a well-sounding and complete solution ready at breakneck pace.

In reply to by Thingy Person

I didn't think that it would cause playback problems(after all, a crescendo is a crescendo) but I'm glad that they are bringing single note dynamics. There are some situations(such as my orchestration of the Pathetique Sonata) that just require single note dynamics. Now I've always treated fortepiano as 2 separate dynamics(forte for the starting note, and piano for notes after that) and I write it as such in my scoring. But this may come from experience as a pianist where I can't change the dynamic within a single note.

For anyone trying to find the new soundfont it downloads to:

After installing beta a few days ago, now clicking help>check for update gives me an "Update Error!". Does this mean I just needed to manually find if there is an update for beta? And if so, where do i go to check that?

Thanks for the wonderful job!

I've noticed that crescendo playback works only with those soundfonts marked with "Expr."
What are the differences between creating a normal sf or a sf with "Expr"?
I'd like to create some brass soundfonts that work with crescendo playback because the existing sfs are not satisfying for me.

P.S. I don't know if this reply is off topic. In that case I could start a new discussion.

Single note dynamics! :D Oh, I've wanted that for so long. I wonder if perhaps playback for rallentandos and accelerandos is somewhere in the works? After single note dynamics, it's my most wanted feature.

The new strings soundfonts are the best I've ever heard from any soundfont!! I seriously cannot thank you guys enough. I can't really tell if the new single note dynamics are working yet but I'm just really happy for the soundfonts. Can't wait to try the rest of the sounds!

For me, I don't know if this has happened to others but when I try to insert a sextuplet on a quarter note (I haven't tried this with any other notes), there is a 3 under it instead of a six. Yes, it still is a sextuplet, there are 6 notes when I insert it, however whenever I close and re-open my score, it says that the score is corrupted and when I go to the sextuplet part it is all messed up probably because of the 3 there instead of the six. Also, when I try to crescendo on a bass drum whole note with a tremolo (again haven't tried this with any other percussion instruments), the crescendo doesn't work.

I think it would be helpful to find MuseScore 3.1 Beta Release also under Development builds and not only under news.

Great job! The Single-note Dynamics problem finally gets rusolved. I have been looking forward to this for a long time. Thanks very much!

While this is really nice, I'm concerned as to how to make the single-note dynamic feature work with other soundfonts. What would take changing? I've tried messing around with dynamic settings, to no avail.

In reply to by TheOtherJThistle

I did manage to get this method to work (though it didn't necessarily want to sometimes), but the sound is... off. Sounds like every instrument is using its loudest striking samples, just quieted- this is especially noticeable on the piano.

Some instruments at a quiet dynamic are so quiet you can barely hear them.

How much of the 3.1 development has specifically tested what's happening on Windows?

I've ended up going back to 2.x as much as possible because 3.0.x crashes frequently, has an unnatural look and feel (the kind of mismatch between a toolkit and native apps that we were used to seeing back in the java 1.2 days but not in recent years), and has performance issues. I think it likely these are all primarily windows-specific problems not getting attention from devs using linux.

In reply to by Belteshazzar_

There are devs using Linux, Mac and Windows, so all platforms are in use. And MuseScore should look mostly identical on all 3, within the limits of what the OS requires.
I don't see any recent bug report from you, if you don't report bug you find, they won't get fixed.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yes, I imagined it likely there were some devs using Windows, but thought they might be strongly outnumbered by those using other platforms, while of course the user base is unfortunately the opposite.

I haven't filed bug reports for the crashes because I haven't detected patterns to when they occur. I have submitted crash reports, though not many lately because I've been using 2.x when I can.

If an app looks entirely identical across platforms, then all platforms are forced to make unpleasant compromises. Almost all cross-platform apps these days do minor things to adapt to the native look and feel of each platform. In MuseScore 3.x on Windows, the text in menus and toolbars is quite a bit smaller than in 2.x or any normal Windows application. The shape and shading of buttons etc doesn't reflect platform standards as much as 2.x did. And, most notably, it's not using platform standard subpixel font rendering, causing text to look blurry, out of focus, and less legible than native apps or 2.x.

I've attached a screenshot; if you zoom in you can easily tell that while 2.x has sharp subpixel font rendering 3.x has blurry grayscale full-pixel font rendering, and the tiny font sizes and crowded left toolbar make the font rendering problem all the more noticeable.

There are other usability 'paper cuts' I'm not remembering right now; most of them are not very noticeable on their own but add up to an impaired user experience.

Attachment Size
musescore-comparison.png 325.23 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

OK, having spent a little time actually trying to get work done in Musescore 3 for the first time in a while, I take it back. We're not talking about usability papercuts, we're talking about loads of stopper bugs.

Slurs didn't change voice when I took a freshly pasted line and switched it to be voice 2, resulting in the slurs acting between rests in the blank voice 1. No way to force these slurs back to voice 2.

Attempted to select one whole note in a 3/2 measure, Musescore instead selects full measure; trying to narrow selection by using left arrow key instead grows the selection to include the previous measure.

When I selected the individual note heads and copied them, I could then paste them anywhere in my score EXCEPT the measure I'd created to put them in; instead, that resulted in overwriting the note in the next measure.

I've never had any of these kinds of issues with musescore 2, it's always seemed relatively usable and polished. For me as a Windows user musescore 3.0.5 seems more like alpha1 if not pre-alpha rather than a fifth stable point release.

In reply to by cadiz1

Practically nothing here is at all specific to any score. I don't see how attaching one helps.

The interface problems are evident as soon as you launch MuseScore 3 on a windows system. Can't anyone around tell the difference between badly blurry fonts and sharp ones? It's also not hard to see that interface fonts have shrunk needlessly, and these two problems compound one another.

The crashing seems unpredictable, as does the failure to resize and the drawing widgets like the inspector on top of each other. These have both happened under plenty of very different circumstances, with scores disparate enough that I'm sure it has nothing to do with the score.

The 'slurs won't change voice' thing happens every time with any music whatsoever.

The only one that seems to have any relation to the score at hand is the selection and paste failure. I'll make a new topic for that and attach it. But I think this is all missing the point.

I mean, I can open up a half dozen bugs and then start opening another additional bug for every two minutes I spend trying to use v3 on Windows, regardless of what score I'm working on. This is not a situation where the problems are so obscure and isolated and particular to one score or workflow that unearthing the problems in careful bug reports is what requires effort. Any of the devs could find the same and plenty more by spending 5 minutes trying to get anything whatsoever done on Windows.

In reply to by Belteshazzar_

"Any of the devs could find the same and plenty more by spending 5 minutes trying to get anything whatsoever done on Windows."
I am running Windows (by spending a lot of hours), and I haven't the same experience at all. Please, begin to do: menu "Help" -> Revert to Factory Settings.
After that, if issues are remaining, as inquired, open a new thread for each one.

In reply to by cadiz1

The reset caused Musescore to start using proper subpixel font rendering. Though I'm certainly glad of that, it's very strange to me that it did so. It's not as though I had a preference set which should have caused issues with that. I'll have to spend time to see whether or not it fixed the crashing and resizing problems; they didn't manifest immediately.

But the reset didn't fix the rest. I'll have to open a boatload of bugs when I have a bit more time.

Just a note: Great improvements all around!
One issue i just noticed: can't make a double-dotted note. I'm sure it was accidentally overlooked. Can you fix this please?

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