MuseScore 3.5 Release

• Aug 7, 2020 - 10:28

Today we are glad to announce a MuseScore 3.5. Although MuseScore 3.5 is considered a "minor" release, it contains an unusually long list of new features, bug fixes, and other improvements, and we expect that it will set a new standard for stability and usability.

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MuseScore 3.5 announcement

Win portable version

We're glad to announce a new portable version for Windows. Which is available here

Chord Symbol Playback

One of the most requested features for many years has been playback of chord symbols. Peter Hieu Vu implemented this as part of the Google Summer of Code last year and this facility is now available in MuseScore 3.5. For now, it is disabled by default. To hear playback of chord symbols, go to Edit > Preferences > Note Input and enable the Play Chord Symbols option. There is also an option there to control whether chord symbols are played while editing them, and additional style settings and properties you can set in the Inspector to control how the chord symbols are played.


Another Google Summer of Code project that has been incorporated into MuseScore 3.5 is a series of improvements to how you work with instruments. Much of this work was originally done by Josh Wood and was then adapted by the in-house MuseScore team. Upon adding an instrument change text from the palette, MuseScore will automatically display the dialog to allow you to select the new instrument, and it will automatically update the instrument name accordingly. MuseScore will also add a clef and key signature change if appropriate; these will be deleted automatically if you remove the instrument change.

In addition to these improvements, we've made it easier to control the display of instrument names, with double-click automatically opening the Staff/Part Properties dialog, and provide better control over the display of instrument names and brackets when hiding empty staves. Similar instruments are also numbered automatically when creating a new score, and there are improvements to the Instruments dialog to make it easier to control the position of newly added instruments.

Voices to Parts

One of the new features in MuseScore 3 was the ability to generate parts from individual voices on a staff, allowing you to combine multiple flutes or clarinets (for example) on a single staff. Unfortunately, a number of serious bugs in this feature prevented it from actually being usable. New contributor Niek van den Berg has made it a priority to get this working, and we're happy to report that MuseScore 3.5 has much improved support for this feature. To generate parts from a single voice of a staff, go to File > Parts, press the Single Part button, select the instrument, press the "+" button, and select the voice you wish to use. Repeat this process for the other voice(s) you wish to use.

Simplified Editing of Lines

When you want to change the duration of a crescendo or diminuendo, most users instinctively try to drag the handles. But this never actually did what you would expect — it just altered the length of the line without changing which note it was logically attached to. You needed to use Shift plus the cursor keys to actually change the duration. Martin Keary (aka Tantacrul), MuseScore’s Head of Design, pushed for us to improve this, and now we have. In MuseScore 3.5, dragging the end handles of hairpins and other lines will change their actual durations. There are other improvements to the behavior of editing lines as well, but since one of the goals was to make the process more discoverable, we'd like you to try things out and see for yourself!

Tremolo Layout

New contributor Howard Chang has made some really nice improvements to the layout of tremolos, meaning you will need to do a lot less manual adjustments. However, this also means if you’ve made careful adjustments for tremolos in previous versions, they now need a reset. MuseScore 3.5 also support the "beamed half note" style of minim-based two-note tremolo commonly used in older piano and orchestral music. You can select this style in the Inspector.

Enharmonic Transposition

Howard Chang also implemented a long-requested feature allowing you to specify—in Staff/Part Properties for an instrument—whether transposition should prefer flats or sharps in the key signature. So saxophonists who prefer seeing Db major over C# major when transposing from B major concert will be happy!

Piano Roll Editor

Mark McKay, who implemented a bunch of piano roll improvements a few releases ago, has implemented many more for 3.5, including tools to make it easier to edit notes (adding and erasing, cut and paste, dragging groups of notes, adjusting ties), keyboard shortcuts for zooming, a way to highlight individual rows in the note area, and enhancements to the levels window to make it possible to set levels for multiple notes at a time.

Measure and Multimeasure Rest Numbers

Measure numbers now support a number of new features, including the ability to display centered under the measures. Multimeasure rests can also be customized further. The relevant settings can be found in the Inspector and in Format > Style.


We continued to make advances in the accessibility of MuseScore, both with respect to keyboard navigation and screenreader feedback. In MuseScore 3.5, the navigation of the palettes is improved dramatically, and screenreader feedback is improved for a number of elements. We also can now support the Orca screenreader on Linux, and improvements to MusicXML export will facilitate conversion to Braille music.


  • Double-click a header, footer, or instrument name to access the dialog for editing it
  • Score tabs can now be closed using mouse middle button
  • Improved layout of two-note and single-note tremolos, with and without stem
  • Smooth scrolling during playback in Continuous view
  • Various improvements to simplify searching and loading backup files
  • Metric modulation for dotted eighth to quarter
  • Automatic collision avoidance between rests and notes/rests in other voices
  • Staff property to automatically merge rests between voices
  • Allow selection of multiple similar items with shift+click
  • Allow repeating a note by clicking a notehead then pressing R in normal mode
  • Changes made in Preferences are applied significantly faster
  • Style options to align chord symbols within systems
  • More zoom controls
  • Additional plugin capabilities
  • Altered keyboard and mouse zoom precision and consistency
  • Improved performance of applying preferences
  • Chords playback is on by default (untick the "play" property to disable it)
  • Adding notes to a tuplet now adds them with respect to the tuplet's space
  • Altered Shift+L/R for leading space while in edit mode upon notehead
  • All symbols are now available for the plugins
  • There are many, many more improvements for you to explore in the MuseScore 3.5 Release Notes


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

But just I wonder - in sense of usability - if this checkbox should be available in another tab of preferences, or should be activated by default, in a future version. In sense of, what's the more desired behavior: "smooth scrolling" or not.

I've uninstalled everything from the old version I've had of MuseScore to reinstall the newer one, but I can't re-install the Drumline extension for some reason. The message says: "unable to extract files from the extension".

Dear Sirs,
I downloaded the 3.5 release and I point out the following problem (if a real problem it is).
Playing a score I have the "impression" that some instruments are not perfecly audio tunes, even if the tone score is formally correct. For example the clarinet sound.
I hadn't this "sensation" using the previous release 3.4.2.
I attach a file that "sounds" not fine with the new release.
I inform you that I use the sound library "Timbres of heaven".
Thanks in advance for your opinion about this subjiect.
Anto Sax

Attachment Size
Echo Duet for Flute & Cl..mscz 35.55 KB

The new feature allowing playback of chord symbols is neat, for both while editing and playing back a track that has chord symbols on it. However, I don't know how to disable this. I don't always want the automatic chords playing, especially during playback, ESPECIALLY if exporting to a sound file or uploading to

How do I disable all automatic chord playback? I like the feature, but I don't always want it on.

In reply to by Dogman15

In preferences under the Note input tab is an option to play chords while you enter them. Currently, you must select a chord, disable playback for it in the inspector then press the S to the right of this option to apply it to all chords in the score (including those you will enter later).

This process will be easier in version 3.5.1.

What about the accents with staccatos, what is the solution to that? When you have a regular dynamic and a staccato, you need to be able to put accents on top of it and have staccato to play. Please have this in mind for v3.5.1

Well, I have mixed feelings about the new format. It seems mostly the same as Musescore 2.1. (Yes that was the last version I used before finally updating) Some things that bug me are 1st: that you cannot change the first note of a measure until you add another note in the same staff (previously I could add, say, a G, get rid of that note and then add a different note in its place. Not in this case.) 2nd: I really don't understand why the accidentals changed, meaning. I can no longer create a note and immediately click on an accidental ( well, I can technically, but it does nothing ) and that note will have that accidental. Now, I believe I have to create that note, move on to the next and THEN add an accidental to the previous note. I suppose I'm more disappointed with 3.5 than not.

In reply to by Lord Thane

The situation you described first make no sense. You can select a note while not in note input mode, press a note button and the note will change to that. This part is the same as 2.1.

Accidentals on the toolbar now need to be selected before you enter the note. This makes it so that you hear the correct note when you enter it rather than wrong note followed by right note. This was often asked for. I've been using the old way for so long that I now use the palette to apply accidentals rather than the toolbar. The problem is my shortcuts don't work on the palette.

In reply to by Lord Thane

Regarding the first thing you mention, it isn't clear what you mean. I am confident we can help you, but it would be best to start a new thread and explain in more detail, ideally with a sample score. In general, there should be nothing to prevent you from replacing a note, though, and certainly, nothing has changed recently in that regard.

With respect to accidentals, this is something that many years over the years request we change. Accidentals used to work backwards from everything else. For duration, you first select the duration, then enter the note, Same with voices. Accidentals were the other way around - you had to first enter the (wrong) note then fix it with the accidental button afterwards. After many complaints about this, we finally changed it a year or so ago - this isn't new with 3.5. So now it works the same as everything else - first select the accidental, then add the note. If you're used to the old inconsistent way of doing things, it can take a minute to get used to, but consistency really is better. And for the times you forget and enter the note without accidental first, you can simply use Up and Down keys to change the pitch.

Anyhow, if you're just updating from 2.1, there have been hundreds of really incredible improvements it will probably take you a while to discover and learn to use. So give it time, I'm quite sure you'll be more and more amazed at how much more is possible and easy now!

Something I've addressed and will retouch on here.
I've recently found it out in greater detail is: I place a note in a measure (F for example) and even if I do delete the note or not, as I move my courser around, a note (just an average quarter note) will rather follow me around so that I can immediately add a note. (sometimes If I accidentally clicked, a note would be created for example) In regards to my original thought this is what I must do now: 1: Create a note. 2: Add another note on the same stem. 3: Then delete the previous note on the same stem (the note I first created.)
My last comment did not seem to make much sense, and I hope this one does.

In reply to by Lord Thane

Unfortunately it’s still clear what you mean, but as I said, I’m sure we can help - but it is best to start a new thread, since it is unlikely what get you are describing is specific to 3.5. With a new thread, a sample score and precise steps we follow, we should have you sorted out within hours if not minutes.

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