MuseScore 3.3 Release
Today we are pleased to announce a significant update, MuseScore 3.3. In addition to dozens of bug fixes and new features, it introduces substantial usability improvements for palettes, note input workflow and accessibility.
Download MuseScore 3.3 Release
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Palettes panel is one of the most commonly used UI elements in the editor. By the way, there are many reports from users who don't understand how to customize palette cells, how to add custom elements and rearrange existing palettes.
In collaboration with @Tantacrul, we focused on simplifying the interaction with the palette elements and ease of customization. We made the interactions more intuitive and integrated the semantic of Master Palette to the palette panel.
Check out the video describing all the palette improvements!
Note Input Workflow
We have already implemented essential improvements related to the appearance, usability, and customization possibilities of the palettes. We are focusing on new users to let them understand MuseScore's facilities faster and easier, yet keep the workflow for experienced users the same or significantly simplify it.
One more thing we wanted to see in the MuseScore 3.3 release is the Tantacrul's Note Input workflow redesign implementation. Mattmcclinch generously helped the project and implemented the most significant part of the usability improvements. The changes were not massive, but significantly improve the UX of the Note Input workflow. It allows entering notes right after clicking proper duration without extra clicking "N".
MuseScore has long made accessibility for blind and visually impaired users a priority, and previous releases of MuseScore have provided some degree of keyboard and screen reader support to allow blind users to navigate and read scores. But many operations - especially operations relating to creating or editing scores - continued to rely on the mouse or fail to provide appropriate screen reader feedback. Blind users were thus limited in what they could do.
For MuseScore 3.3, we have removed most of the remaining accessibility barriers. Navigation commands now give keyboard access to almost all score elements, and the screen reader feedback (using NVDA on Windows) has been enhanced and optimized to be as complete as possible and also reduce redundancy. The navigation commands also continue to work and to pick up where you left off even when the selection is cleared.
We also improved the tab ordering of various windows and made other improvements to keyboard access of controls within MuseScore. Perhaps most significantly, the palette redesign discussed above includes keyboard navigation support, allowing blind users full access to all the symbols provided by MuseScore. With MuseScore 3.3, blind users are able to read, edit, and create scores, with access to almost all program features.
MuseScore is one of the very few score writers able to make that claim, and this will open up the world of music notation for many blind musicians.
Special thanks to Marc Sabatella for implementing most of the accessibility improvements.
Chord symbol improvements
Chord Symbol Formatting
Past releases of MuseScore have supported super scripting within chord symbols, but only when using the Jazz style and the corresponding MuseJazz font, and only the fixed amount built into the font. With MuseScore 3.3, you can now set super scripting options within Format / Style / Chord Symbols, whether using the Jazz style or not. There are separate controls for the size and position of extensions and modifiers (the "7" and "b9" respectively in "C7b9").
Roman Numeral Analysis
MuseScore 3.3 adds native support for Roman numeral analysis (RNA) through a new command, font, and style settings. To add RNA to your score, select a note or rest and use Add / Text / Roman Numeral Analysis (or define a shortcut for this command). You can then type your analysis using ordinary characters, like "IV64", and it will be rendered with appropriate formatting using the new Campania font and the Roman Numeral Analysis style settings. You can then use Space or any of the other shortcuts used when entering chord symbols to enter additional analysis on other notes.
Nashville Number System
MuseScore 3.3 adds native support for Nashville notation through a new command and style settings. To add Nashville notation to your score, select a note or rest and use Add / Text / Nashville Number (or define a shortcut for this command). You can then type your notation using ordinary characters, like "4m7/6", and it will be rendered using formatting similar to that used for chord symbols and the Nashville Number text style settings. You can then use Space or any of the other shortcuts used when entering chord symbols to enter an additional notation on other notes.
Special thanks to Marc Sabatella for implementing all of the chord symbol improvements.
MuseScore 3.3 adds a lot of new possibilities to the plugins API.
- Plugins have now a direct (read-only) access to the list of selected elements which greatly simplifies writing plugins to automate certain user actions on selected elements.
- Plugins have also gained a possibility to alter the playback of notes by altering parameters of their play events, which are later used to generate the actual MIDI events for playback. This ability can be used to implement custom ornamentation playback or improve phrasing capabilities in playback. A great example of plugin making use of these capabilities is Articulation and Ornamentation Control plugin written by BSG which is aimed exactly towards improving phrasing in playback.
MuseScore 3.3 also features an experimental change that allows plugins to get notified of potential changes in score state. In particular, this allows tracking selection changes or certain score edits, which is especially useful for writing interactive dock plugins. Here are examples of plugins making use of this feature:
- Articulation and Ornamentation Control — allows interactive editing play event parameters to improve phrasing in playback (author: BSG)
- Fretboard — a simple guitar fretboard allowing note input and visualizing selected chords on a guitar fretboard (author: dmitrio95)
A full list of changes is available here.