MuseScore 4. Moving from notation software to composition software.

• Jun 11, 2020 - 15:02

Hello, fellow musicians!

Today, we are happy to announce a new chapter in the history of MuseScore: we are now actively working on the development of MuseScore 4!

Moving from Notation Software to Composition Software

Although notation is always of paramount importance to MuseScore, we want to expand our capabilities to include other areas of modern composition: experimentation, sharing & collaboration, working with mixed media, sophisticated organisation and being able to produce high-quality audio. MuseScore 4 is the first step in achieving this expanded focus.

However, this does not mean that we are going to start adding new features at the expense of existing ones. In order to achieve our goals, we need to look ‘inwards’ first. Armed with two years of user feedback on MuseScore 3, we have begun the process of making significant improvements to almost all aspects of the application: improved engraving defaults, simplification of the interface, more powerful functionality and an overhaul of its appearance, to name a few.

Product side of MuseScore 4

Although we are still in the early stages of development, we wanted to show a few examples of what we are planning.


One common issue we’ve found with MuseScore is that users often find it difficult to find and install SoundFonts and extensions. In fact, many users don’t even know they exist in the first place! We intend to fix this by creating a single place where these options are more visible and easy to access. In the long-term, we plan to continuously expand this space to eventually become your one-stop for everything: extensions, audio plugins, languages, external templates, fonts, libraries, preferences, tutorials, account information, etc.

Improved interface

Under the design direction of Martin Keary, we are making significant improvements to the interaction models and interface of MuseScore 4. Our focus is on ensuring that new users and professionals are able to work as quickly and easily as possible. All key actions should be conveniently "to hand" with more complex actions still being easy to find.

We are taking some of the new interaction ideas we introduced in the latest ‘Palettes’ panel updates and are now applying them across the app. Eventually, the MuseScore interface will reflect some of the interface advancements seen in modern DAW’s and visual creation apps.

The first (and probably the most significant) change we are making is to the ‘Inspector’ panel. This is a gigantic overhaul: we have simplified thousands of individual settings, making them much easier to find and understand, while paving the way for much more powerful settings and controls in the future.

We are also changing the default options found in the top bar, adding options for tuplets as well as some of the most common articulations. In addition, we will also make it easier for users to edit this toolbar to tailor it to their own unique workflow. We are also improving the playback panel to be more descriptive and aesthetically pleasing.

Instruments Panel

We have completely reimagined the system for adding and editing instruments, giving users a much faster and intuitive way to alter the layout and appearance of their scores.

The Sequencer

Building on our existing piano roll, the sequencer is a new page in MuseScore’s history. The ambition is to eventually allow composers to create highly polished audio - bypassing the need for a companion DAW. We will fully synchronize the ability to work in both the Notation and Sequencer modes, with the option to detach the piano roll as a separate interface element.

Collaboration and cloud features

Building on our existing ‘Publishing’ capability, where users can upload their scores directly to, we will also provide an convenient (and free) way for users to save their ‘works-in-progress’ privately. MuseScore will start supporting cloud storage by default but will not prevent you from storing your files locally.

This is the first step in building up a sophisticated sharing and co-working capability. Next, we plan to add the ability to share your work with other musicians, who can add annotations (using the website, mobile or desktop apps) which will sync with your project. This will allow students and teachers, as well as arrangers and musicians to optimize the process of working together. No more emailing PDF’s to musicians to get feedback. They can look at and listen to your score online and make comments that will sync with your project immediately.


Probably the most exciting part of our plans include a new audio engine as well as VST support. We plan to implement integration with Steinberg's VSTi SDK, while making sure that our system will integrate with NotePerformer. To that end, we are in constant communication with the engineers from the NotePerformer team to ensure that the integration goes smoothly.

If you are interested in hearing more about these plans, we are creating a YouTube video to be released soon. Subscribe to our channel now if you don’t want to miss it!

Technical side of MuseScore 4

In order to implement the concept of the new version of the editor, we made several important decisions:

  • We have moved to the new code style. Previously, we used the unpopular Banner style with weird 6-spaces indents and bracket positions. Now we stick to Qt-like code style and partly borrow ideas from Google Codestyle. This greatly reduces the entry barrier for experienced users who get used to 4-spaces indents and natural code styles.
  • We begin to actively use QML in UI development.
    • The first experiment of using QML in the editor interface was Palettes. The process of implementing and supporting Palettes has shown that QML simplifies the process of constructing an interface for a developer and provides a clear implementation of the MVC pattern. In addition, QML supports animations, touch interfaces and better support for accessibility features right out of the box.
    • The second approach was to implement a new UI for the inspector. The new inspector can already be tried in the master branch and nightly builds. Implementing such an interface using QWidgets would be very very difficult and time consuming.

More about the pros and cons of QML is explained by Vasily Perverzev in details on MuseScore Development YouTube channel.

Few words about MuseScore 3

We are proud of what has been achieved in MuseScore 3. Smart layout, new palettes, single note dynamics and literally a thousand of small and significant improvements comparing to what we had in MuseScore 2.

We are preparing MuseScore 3.5 release right now with more than three hundred of fixes and improvements thanks to the valuable impact of more than 20 contributors all over the world.

We want to make MuseScore 3 as stable as possible. This is because there will be no minor updates to the MuseScore 3 series anymore. We are planning to make patch releases like 3.5.1 if needed, but our main focus starting from now is MuseScore 4.


April 12, 2021: See Our Progress on MuseScore 4.


Looking very interesting and thanks Anatoly for the write-up. Any reason the article doesn't fully show in the RSS feed? It's very inconvenient being only able to read the very first paragraph. I tend to just delete such RSS feeds as that is not the reason I put them in my RSS reader. Can this be tweaked / changed so that the full articles are delivered? Thanks for considering.

This is very interesting! congratulations and encouragement to all developers to make this free project a reality.
I would like to ask a couple of things:
- One option I use frequently is image capture. Will it be easy for the user to add it to the top bar?
- Will the transition to musescore 4 for the basic user in writing scores be easy?

Thank you all very much

These are some amazingly ambitious plans, but so far the current team has proved very capable of getting a lot done quickly. So I'm quite confident we'll be able to get this happening in less time than it took to get from MuseScore 1 to 2 or 2 to 3 (around 4-5 years each), even given we're already a year and half into MuseScore 3.

Big thanks to Martin for charting the course, Anatoly for captaining the ship, and Vasily, Igor, and everyone else for all the hard work I know is in store!

FWIW, my personal main interest remains on the notation side, so I'll be especially excited to participate in the engraving improvements. We have ideas we've been tossing around regarding note, measure, and staff spacing in particular. I also plan to be making sure all the fancy new UI designs are fully accessible for blind users, and hopefully some of the under-the-hood code changes (both the move to QML but also some changes to the internal score representation) will allow us to finally get MuseScore working with VoiceOver.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

I've been learning to compose with MuseScore since 6th grade, far before I knew I would be studying Computer Science (along with Music Composition, of course!) in University. I want to help with the development process in anyway that I can. I am proficient in Java and C, and am currently learning C++, which I know is the primary language in which MuseScore is written. Aside from the languages however, I have been studying data structures, algorithms, and problem solving for far longer, and I am an avid composer with experience in production with Ableton. I am starting to write out an entire resume before knowing any details, but I just wanted to know if and how I could volunteer with the development process. Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear back from you!

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thank you Jojo-Schmitz. I just never had a chance to, so I don't know, how it's done. Except for 3.5 i always tried stable versions only. Are those builds a downloadable app version, or do the have to be recompiled, and where are they anyway? For myself i would love to try things , once the significant chunk or build has been accomplished. Although it happenes anyway if I participate in a chat of a particular thread/topic, I was just wondering, if there is something like a centralized communication about the state of the version 4, or is it what you get by participating in all the relevant chats?

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

Accessibility is a combination of two main things: making sure things can be done via keyboard, and making sure a screen reader can give spoken feedback on everything.

Prior to the current release, we had decent keyboard control on all platforms, and supported the NVDA screen reader (available for Windows only). As of earlier this year we started supporting the JAWS screen reader (also available for Windows only). As of 3.5 we also support Orca (available for Linux only).

So, our accessibility story continues to improve, and currently it is very good on Windows and Linux.

This is really exciting, thanks for sharing, you've been killing it with the new designs!

The fact that MuseScore is open-source is important to me, but compared to most proprietary solutions figuring out which VSTs worked for me involved (still does actually) a huge amount of head-scratching for relative beginners like me, I love that the home page has some space for them.

By the way, regarding the new "sequencer" : something I often do is overlay recorded parts from my own instrument over the rest of an orchestral score played by Musescore. Right now I link Musescore to Ardour to do it, but that's a tad overkill (I don't really need all the fancy audio routing/tweaking capabilities Ardour has). Are there any plans to implement a basic version of audio recording? Or is that out of scope for what you're planning?

I am extremely excited about all of this! This is definitely next level. THANK YOU MuseScore dev team for always working hard to push this program to be better and better. You all RULE!

This is very exciting. I hope that it will read MuseScore 3 files without "This is an ancient MuseScore 3 file; would you like to re-lay it out?" and carefully laid-out stuff is totally hashed (as was the case with 2->3).

In reply to by Howard-C

Well, that's not really true, it's really at least as much (I think most would say "more") about the audio architecture changes and new sequencer mode. But that aside, there is an interesting sentence in the announcement: "we have begun the process of making significant improvements to almost all aspects of the application: improved engraving defaults, simplification of the interface, more powerful functionality and an overhaul of its appearance, to name a few." Improved engraving defaults got top billing there, so it's reasonable to be concerned.

At this point, it's hard to know for sure what this will end up entailing. However, my feeling at this extremely early stage is that these changes will be more about things like improving style default settings, perhaps adding more such settings where needed, improving the templates to take better advantage of these, etc. Plus, on thing I definitely want to see: improvements to the note spacing algorithm, which produces uneven spacing in many cases right now where it really shouldn't. Those change would be more subtle than anything from MuseScore 2 to 3, and ver possibly the new note spacing algorithm would be something you'd need to switch on to enable for older scores.In most cases the only effect would be to make a few measures narrower where they are too wide now, but not by so much that it would cause additional measures to fit on a system very often. We'll see, if it ends up affecting lots of scores adversely, I'll recommend having this option by by default for older scores.

Again, all of this is extremely preliminary, I'm just speaking from what I know of where things might go.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I'm looking forwards to the sequencer addition. My main question though is if musescore could improve its midi input functionality. Right now I can't easily take midi from my DAW and input it to musescore, which is keeping me from posting any piece I compose in my DAW.

Also as a part of the sequencer will there be more mixing options? I'd hope to be able to add effects such as compression, etc, from my list of third party vsts. I'd also love it if musescore came with quality default effects, like those in REAPER and other DAWs. Thanks!

In reply to by ♩♫𝓂𝓃𝓂𝓌𝑒𝓇𝓉♫♩

Not sure what's getting in your way there, MuseScore's MIDI import is among the best in the business. But feel free to start a new thread discussing the problems you are having and we can try to help you. Do realize that MIDI is entirely inadequate for representing notated music, so it's always a given a lot of editing will be required after to fix all the things that MIDI simply didn't allow to be transmitted.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

BSG's comment gets me worried. I am a fairly new user to MuseScore, about a year and a half. I am very fastidious about placement and layout, sometimes using a 400% view to get the placement of a slur just right, or the like; and I've managed to create some pretty damned fine looking scores, if I say so myself. I hate to think that a version 4 would not be able to read these, and that all this hard work would get messed up.

In reply to by wfazekas1

That's price for progress, I'm afraid.
But you are not helpless. For your old scores, you can download and save on your computer the installation of version of MuseScore that you need. If you can find the portable installation (no need to install on Windows, just run it from folder, that would be best).
I done the same for my scores with annotated roman numerals, before roman numerals were implemented in MuseScore, for my free online ebook:

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It would be very good if several versions of Musescore could be used on the same computer. "Blender" an extremely capable open source software for 3D rendering and animation etc. has a great approach, The program is a file which you can put with the files you made with it in a folder and that assures that it always works properly. I would love to see such with Musecsore. So you could just open the older files with an older Musecsore version. The huge advantage of the Blender approach is that you do not even need to install the program, you just open the Blender program file. It is sometimes quite annoying when you download older Musecsore files and need to rearrange a lot of slurs and other things.

In reply to by Arpicembalo

"Uploaded versions" is also rather a generic statement.
And if you're talking about, then see about why almost nobody here is talking about that.

What is a thing though, is that between major versions there indeed can be quite some differences in layout (especially between MS3 and everything before that). The more "tricks" (or carefully laid-out as you put it) used, the higher the chance that something indeed breaks layoutwise in a future version.
As it stands though, you might benefit from the fact that major versions of MuseScore can coexist on the same computer (I have 1.3; 2.3.2 and the current 3.5.2 all installed). When loading an older score into 3.5.2 gives too much wierdness, I check the Score Properties (in the File Menu) to see in which version the score was created. Then I can open it with the best fitting version available.

I am a relatively new user to Musescore. I volunteer teaching cello in a high Andean city in Ecuador. I have 8 students. To make lessons more interesting and fun for my students, I encourage them to choose songs they especially like. So far, I have found every song requested on Musescore. The music is not always for cello, but it is so easy to transpose that it has not been an issue. Thank you for helping me to be a fun cello teacher.

Impressive ! I have been using Musescore since version 2 and the changes you guys have been making just keeps getting better.

I am excited to see the improvements to come in MuseScore 4! Hoping for improvements that would allow me to finalize a professional quality end product (ex. pdf, mp3 export) , without resorting to other software. (ex. Magnetic Layout)

What impact will note performer's proprietary licensing have on Musescore?

Will Musescore's VST host allow switching between projects without having to reload every sample library?

Will the Musescore VST host be a separate process so that if Musescore crashes it doesn't take down all the plugins too?

Will the plugins be sandboxed so that if they crash the effect on other plugins and Musescore is minimized?

Will development continue on sending MIDI data out from Musescore so that we can host our VSTs and plugin formats not supported by Musescore (LV2 for example) on other machines or in other hosts?

Incredible news!

Lot of the things that I wished they exist in MuseScore and I was afraid that you will never implement them. I thought, you consider MuseScore is good enough now and you will only implement some minor changes in future (like smaller UI improvements) and everything else will just exist in my dreams :)

However, these are really, really BIG improvements (love the sequencer)!
I wish you the best, these will require a lot of work!

Now, I even start to hope again that you will implement things like:
- playing of cross stave arpeggios (in piano grand staff)
- two notes (chords) tremolos that occur across measure line
- before the beat or on the beat ornaments

Thank you for the good news!

In reply to by sr3323

That might be a good solution in some situations. But if you have few mordents that all have to be before the beat, it will look quite crowded in the score. I'm for solution where the notation is simple but you can choose between the two conventions for playing: play ornaments (mordents or grace notes) so that the main note falls on the beat or after the beat.

In reply to by hstanekovic

You can also do the same thing to get multi-staff arpeggios, you add the left-hand note as an invisible note affixed to some random line, you change the real left-hand note to not play and add an arpeggio in the RH that is moved so it looks like it is for both staves.

In reply to by sr3323

Ok, I understand different options but they are complicated to implement. SItuations that happen often should not be complicated to implement but directly supported by the software. Also, it might be easier to move just play time of notes in piano-roll view (which does not change how they look in the score) but even that is not a direct support. Of course, for rare situations, it is ok when they are complicated.

I like these ideas and improvements :-).
But please also stay in mind about the memory requirements. MuseScore should be first of all stay free as music notation application and simple and fast running be available for every user also with low minimum requirements all over the world.

This is truly exciting news and development potential. I'm looking forward to this new free source compositional software beyond Finale, Sibelius. Steinberg's Dorico is compositional as well. This is where things are going and it is good. VST instruments, etc. yea!!!

I am sooooo excited for this!!! As long as the Musescore software itself stays away from a subscription pricing model, I will support this project until the day I die.

Wow, this looks cool. Especially the cloud collaboration stuff. Can anyone confirm that the cloud collaboration wouldn't be tied down to an official MuseScore server or a non-free server specification in any way?

It is great to see that Musescore is taking a leap on professional notation software. If this ambitious project comes to fruition, maybe you can consider in being in the same spot with Dorico since that is the direction Musescore is going for.

Though, some recommendations for the developers to take so they can drastically improve Musescore.

1) Condensing parts, scores

My thought for this one is straight forward, It would be nice to implode and explode parts easily. And since that piano roll is getting a new overhaul the same way as Dorico. Imagine that I have bass trombone+tuba doubling the low brass section, I'd like to join a Bass Trombone with a Tuba in the same staff.

2) Non-destructive notes to be changed in playback without effecting Notation.

I believe this one would be a game changer for those who like to use DAW for modifying the way it is played, adding a humanising option the way notes can be played.

3) Creating/Editing Expression maps (articulations)

This one is also to create or edit articulations for certain VSTs to allow better playback.

4) Simplifying the creation of Divisi

There is a way currently in Musescore that we can achieve this process (hiding bars). If there was a simple way of adding these divisi sections, like Gli Altri, solos.

I would like to see Musescore succeed in this ambitious project. I am interested to see that the mixer and piano roll are changing for the best and fitting to the future of composition.

In reply to by frfancha

Agreed. It seems this is the right path to making Musescore look professional but free to use at the same time. Also an improved inspector in general would be great.

I just have one question, will Musescore by then be able to use automation more than 1 CC controller. Some VSTs use various CC to control vibrato, legato, etc.

In reply to by frfancha

yeah, I was all excited when I read about Insert Mode on MuseScore's handbook, but then in practice it only does half what it's described there. (Deleting notes and rests is still the same and doesn't move remaining music "backwards" as described) and, even with the option of "Remove Selected Region", all this also messes up with all other staves and voices, so it's not what I was dreaming of.
I have tried other apps and also Dorico, but my reference for an "insert mode" workflow would be Notion, which reminds me of writing with a pen and an eraser (I'm not talking handwriting, tho).
And this also includes a much easier and friendlier way to create and handling tuplets by the way.

In reply to by elerouxx

I don't understand, deleting notes with Ctrl+Delete most definitely does move remaining notes backwards. But if you just mean it doesn't also do this in note input mode, that's what my PR fixes. But the point is, the functionality is already there, and has been for a year and a half now. You just have to be in normal mode to access it.

Not sure how you'd imagine deleting time from one staff somehow not doing this from other staves. Are you proposing different staves could have different durations for the same measure? Sounds like a nightmare to me!

In reply to by Cat Sonata

One of Dorico's central selling points is its mostly superior default engraving/layout. MuseScore will need many improvements to its layout in order to compete with Dorico in that regard. As far as ease of use is concerned, MuseScore is already on par with or better than the big commercial scorewriters based on what I've seen.

In reply to by BarnieSnyman

If you like Dorico so much, please use Dorico. Becoming more like some other program removes the awe from Musescore itself. The goal of all these updates is to make Musescore standout and be better than other softwares, and not to become Dorico. @Jojo-Schmitz, sorry for these troubles.

In reply to by mcaeln

Improving MuseScore's engraving would add to its awe, not subtract from it, and most certainly not preclude other features unique to it. And make no mistake, I love MuseScore. Which is why I try to offer constructive critique. I don't use Dorico because I can't afford it.

You have the plan to add NotePerformer to the right Musescore! Only NotePerformer costs $ 129, I understand that MuseScore will not reward its users with this. MuseScore has always been and always will be free!
Do you intend to create a basic free version and a full paid version?

In reply to by reddiesel41264

FWIW I'm paying for Note Performer and I think it's totally worth it. They structure the payments on a 12-month basis so it feels like a small subscription, only unlike most companies that do a subscription, once you've paid your 12 months you just own it. To me that seems totally fair. Not everything can be free (I mean, nothing is actually free right?) -- EDIT: meant to reply to previous post, my bad. I'm new to this forum

Looking very forward to this.
Vst-support is the biggie for me. But, also aiming to create good enough mockups for me to bypass the DAW-step.
Big thumbs up!


I"ve got this beast to where I can run a stereo mix with Midi out mixing Fluid with one or two other apps using notation mode. (no keyboard) I hope I don't have to change too much. Best wishes and thank you.

Wow, these are really big plans! :O I already use MuseScore for composing, and can easily imagine how I'll be using the new features. Since my primary use of MuseScore is creating high quality scores, I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed that the most frequent and difficult-to-manually-correct layout issues gets fixed in MuseScore 4. Thank you all for the hard work, love and dedication you've put into creating an already great free scorewriter!

Very exciting and cool! I switched to Musescore from Sibelius for writing scores over a decade ago – never had any regrets. Most of my projects are structured around both Musescore and Logic Pro. I have tried integrating them via MusicXML but it ends up being more hassle than its is worth. So I tend to use Musescore for the conceptual side, producing scores for collaborators, and then transcribe them into Logic for all recording work. I am very interested to find out if it will be possible to get rid of Logic altogether!

Any way of integrating the program to Android and touch capabilities for tablets?
Any way to create a virtual fretboard for us neglected guitar players?
Any new ideas for inputting notes the quickest compared to Finale or Sibelius?
Thank you!

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thank you, I installed the plugin, it looks good I like the advancing arrows on the fretboard however I wonder why we can't advance from beat to beat using any of the keys of a computer keyboard on the left side and not so much using the arrows > < on the computer keyboard.

In reply to by BarnieSnyman

Ok, but it is still slow on all those programs there must be a more efficient way of inputting other than writing with a touch pen which usually is very avoided by most of the current notation software programmers, due to all the difficulties. However it would be the most ideal method for composers.

Does VST support include any library I have? What I would love for a DAW is for there to be an option to manually program articulations to play back from a different sample. For instance, if I had a trumpet legato sample loaded on a staff, I would want to program it so that when I put staccato articulations on the notes (on manuscript view), it would automatically play it from a staccato trumpet sample that I programmed it to. So many VST libraries currently require separate tracks to use separate articulations and dynamics for the same instrument. I would love to be able to assign any articulation or dynamic to any sample for each staff, and then save everything as a template. That would a game-changer for composing with VSTs in manuscript view with any library I want. I can't stand composing on piano roll views.

In reply to by DrewCollier

Not to mention the ability to manually set the length of a note (a quarter note or something) using piano roll and apply it to all future notes of the same type on that particular staff. Too many DAWs with notation editors can't play back repeating notes correctly because their notation editor puts the piano roll notes right next to each other without any gaps. When that happens, many VST instruments interprets it as to simply not play the next note because the trigger is lost without that tiny gap. So, these unintuitive DAW notation editors literally make you use dotted eights instead of quarter notes with repeating notes so that the piano roll can hit all of the sample triggers. Ability to edit the default length of every kind of note for each staff would help solve this problem.

In reply to by DrewCollier

Hi, I think we need for the second option is the option of unlink the midi of the representation in the score, even in a realtime quantization (score is very convenient to keep quantized while midi side can retain or edit the values/grid position whitout changes in notation side), but this can be some confusing for much people, I consider a solution for both to have an expert menu like an option.

In reply to by DrewCollier

I've come up with a way to do this in current MuseScore. My method is a bit technical but it works for me.

You can edit the instruments.xml (or create a new one) and add channels to each instrument that has multiple sound sets. Trumpets already do this with an open and muted sound and you can notice that each channel can be assigned to a different MIDI channel. You can create channels such as Open Legato and Open Staccato and the same for the muted samples. You can also do this for percussion where keyboard instruments can have normal stroke and roll sample sets.

I've currently only done this with my drumline stuff. I have two snare drum sample sets. One for an entire snare drum line and another for just one snare drummer.

Here is the portion of the XML file that I've edited.

Here's how that reflects in the mixer with separate channels.

Full snareline

Solo snare

In reply to by Quads are Awesome

I forgot to include how to access these other channels. You'd need to add staff text to the note where you want the channel change to happen. Then you right-click the text and go to staff text properties. Then select the voices you want it to affect. Then you can select which channel it changes to. Below are some images of how I do this in my MuseScore.

This is fantastic! I just want to say, I have been using MuseScore professionally for writing chamber, orchestral and choral music for a year and a half and to me there is no better tool to compose music! The improvements discussed here will make MuseScore probably the best alternative for musicians and composers all around the world! I truly have no words for expressing my gratitude! Keep it up! Greetings from Peru!

Wow, I'm really excited! But I just hope to get in this new update a video player to sincronize, or at least, more information than just minutes and seconds.

Hello, I want to give a suggestion as a Musescore user :

At the new sequencing window and could you make the piano roll section being able to be pop-up (not like Dorico in what it only shows at the timeline)?
Because I tried on the Dorico but that piano-roll window on the timeline was too small and it was difficult to put the notes quickly (slower than using sheet music mode) and also harder to menage the notes for the tuplets and even for the other type of rhythms than menaging it on the sheet music mode.
And there's less precision for the mouse cursor by lower quality graphique interface of the piano-roll in Dorico's case.

Anyway, being able to use the piano roll like in a DAW in Musescore will be really great.
In that case, I could even recommend to my composer friends who are using the other company's application.

For now, when I'm composing a contemporary classical piece, I work on a DAW at first to benefit the flexibility of the piano roll then, make the sheet music in Musescore but it takes many hours to do that. Sometimes, I have to put more hours to make the sheet music than composing my music.


best regards

In reply to by ilwoong.seo

Also, It would be very usable to be able to change:
- the height of each piano-roll lane
- the vertical zoom of each piano-roll lane
- the horizontal zoom of all piano-roll lanes (together)

By the way, this is also possible in Dorico, however it is not apparent on the first look.

In reply to by coliveira

You can't really patent a feature "idea", it has to be an extremely specific design with detailed documentation - a very involved, process that often takes years. If you want to make money off the idea, better to simply hire someone to implement it. But since MuseScore is open source software, it's pretty much the exact opposite of all that. So you'd need to find someone who wants to develop a separate program.

I'm very excited to see where you all take this. As someone who wants to work on the sound side of music more, this will be a great advantage since I'll be able to take my sheet music knowledge and apply it. Thank you, I can't wait for the release!

This is really exiciting! Can't wait! (Take your time though)

One thing i'm a bit worried about, I hope the inspector isn't changing too much. I like how it exposes functionality for each part of the inheritance chain, and i really like the design of it currently, hope it doesn't get completely overhauled.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Great news! I hope that the new inspector, right from its start, will not have that unpractical behavior (already mentioned in the forums) that moving the mouse wheel when the mouse pointer is over a numeric field changes the field value instead of scrolls inspector up-down. A common solution to such a problem is that you must click in the filed i.e. give the focus to the numeric field and only after that the mouse wheel changes numeric value.

At this moment if you move the insert point to empty bars it will jump always to the first beat of each one. If you select for example a quarter note you can not move freely through each of the four empty beats, just the first one for each bar and start filling in at least with rests. Will there be any modifications to this behavior so that it will work more like a DAW? Thank you.

This is an interesting development.

A couple of questions.

Will there be a major increase in midi ports out (Jackmidi in my case) from the sequencer? Routing to something like a big standalone instance of linuxsampler. (preferably at least 128 ports)

And related to this, how many tracks will the user be able to add to the sequencer?

Will LV2 instruments be welcome, or are you only coding for VST?

How many plugin instances are you planning for as a maximum, if you decide to set a limit at all?

If you're going to associate a staff in score view to a sequencer track (for example) will you ensure each track can accommodate 16 channels, so we can assign midi playback by articulation per channel, instead of only by midi number? We're not all using soundfonts.

Just some thoughts.


In reply to by alextone

Hi, it's possible tu create many ports now in musescore 3, each port with 16 channels, for 128 channels you need only 8 ports. Is in the mixer view.

LV2 is ease to implement compared to VST (in this moment VST3 is the only available possibility for Steinberg licensing policy), I think LV2 is a important Standard in linux.

This new features site Musescore in a definitivile new position in the game.

This is SO exciting. I've been thinking about purchasing either Dorico Pro 3.5 or Sibelius 8 just because they work with NotePerformer, are compatible with VST Plugins and have several DAW features. But with this amazing news, I'll just have to wait patiently until MuseScore 4 is released. I've used MuseScore since I started composing, so I will stick with it until then, I know my way around the program very well and I'm very comfortable using it, so why would I switch?

My only question is: Will it still be a FREE piece of software or will there be a price on it? Or will it be free for the users that have had the program for years now and priced for new users? I would love to have more information on this, if it's possible.

I wish you the best of luck in this project. Anything I can do, I would gladly do for the successful development of this huge update. Just let me know.

Thank you SO much for all these years, MuseScore was one of the main reasons I started composing in the first place, back in like 2011 haha.

Pura vida from Costa Rica!

In reply to by MichaelDude

Notation and getting a beautiful score will still be the main purpose of MuseScore.

Whilst the main focus of MS3 was a huge improvement in a better default score layout and collision avoidance, the jump to MS4 has two big focus points: a redesigned UI (for the first time driven by professional input on the matter) and better integration with playback libraries.
This doesn't diminish the notation aspect value of the software.

In reply to by Toby.

"I like the Early Music extension."
Well, I hadn't seen it on the Add-ons picture yet. I'm a little surprised at this. For the moment, the acquis (which is at least two years old) is being preserved willy-nilly. I don't know anything more about it, no new plans in perspective as far I know, and it's all the more surprising since no developer has been working on this section for a long time. If anyone could say more, it would be appreciated.

As a professional software developer myself, I am always astonished at what your teams are able to achieve – "at all, not just efficiently and to the highest apparent standard of quality."

As a musician, several years ago when I was feeling very flush I decided that I was going to invest in a top-of-the line version either of Sibelius or Finale. "Oh, but first, let me check out the open-source world." A few other products didn't impress me much or couldn't run on my gear without a VM and so-forth, but then ... Then ...

"And, I stopped looking." I've never looked since. Musescore, even in much-earlier releases, not only met all of my needs but well-exceeded them. I've only encountered one true "crash bug" in many years now. Release 4 looks like it will blow everything else away ... again.

"Well done, team."

I am super hyped and I am grateful you guys and all of the community has granted us with these unimaginably premium privileges (mostly) for free!!! thank you guys <3

Please, when implementing the sequencer: the piano grand staff (that is both the lower and upper piano staff) should be shown in one track (lane). So that it is easy to edit them together. For instance, to implement arpeggio that is across both lower and upper piano staff (by editing start time and duration of each note of chord). Also, some kind of flexible rhythmic grid and snap should be available in sequencer.

I know it's probably not important to you guys, maybe it is, but are there any plans to add an improved choral soundfont for MuseScore 4? The built in choral ahh's are okay at best. The tuning of the notes are wacky and the sound quality sounds washed out. I know there are other choral soundfonts out there, but most of them are pretty bad and even worse than this one in my opinion. I know this is free stuff and it isn't straightforward to make stuff like this, but I'm not expecting any $599 Spitfire Eric Whitacre Choir level of quality, just something comparable to the excellent strings revamp you guys did a little earlier. You could have the fast and swell variants and possibly even the expressive variants with cresc./decresc. if that's feasible. As a choral composer who heavily relies on listening more so than notation alone, this kind of thing is really important to me. For now, most of us choral oriented composers rely on just the piano, strings, or woodwinds to emulate the choir. The Choral Ahh's aren't cutting it. Thank you very much for reading and for your incredible work on this notation software during this unprecedented time.

In reply to by xXTacocubesXx

I've noticed that the timbre of the choral soundfont doesn't make a distinction between men's and women's voices, but isn't consistent, either--so a middle C will sound like it is being sung by tenors (even if it were written in an alto part), but a D will sound like altos, and E tenors again. Also, it would be nice if there were different soundfonts for solo voices and group parts. But this is perhaps an issue best discussed with soundfont plug-ins.

In reply to by xXTacocubesXx

VST support could open huge possibilities for this! If a choir VST has different voices and phonemes, there could be execution rules, or a way of switching the sounds manually with each or some notes.

Years ago I made this video with Miroslav Philharmonik choir and other notation software, which has execution rules for VSTs. Miroslav was relatively cheap all-in-one orchestral instrument, and it was on sale for about $100 a year ago because they launched Version 2 ($499 now... yikes).
The choir contains male and female ohs, ahs, as well as note phonemes (Do Re Mi Fa 'So' La 'Ti' Do) in either male or female, legato or staccato, which I think is a great and cheap alternative to just "aahs and oohs".

I first programmed the rules to sign the notes (i.e. "If the note is a C, sing the Do sound. If it's a D, play the Re sound...") and it was very fun, since this "solfege" was both educational and also gave an overall feeling of singing something without extra work.

But in this video I manually programmed every note to make a switch to the sound I thought was closer to the real lyrics.

Hi, I am very interested in the new composing orientation plus the notation, and many ideas come to my mind during many years.

For a composer (in the midi domain how abstraction, because a score is very limited in the standard form to indicate many elements with presition) much of the time/dynamics thinking is a curve. Video editors, VFX programs and video composing tools have a CurveEditor for animation and many other properties, this work through bezier curves (a continuous curve) rather a quantyzed/discrete form. Both modes are compatible for precise control, but drawing curves many of these work is done in a intuitive and fast way. For a tempo map or crescendo/decrescendo lines this is a powerful way to work.

These videos are examples of these tools, in blender this is called Graph Editor and is very very powerful, the first example have a demo of both modes coexisting in other program:

Another interesting capacity is to save fragments of music in a virtual clipboard or notebook, a kind of repository of ideas (possibilities, options, discarded material from a point but available for another point, etc.).

Awesome news! I must say that this announcement moved me back to MuseScore.
I am amazed about everything that has been accomplished. And I already love the inspector and some new features in 3.5 beta.
I still feel that there's room for improvements on note input, and maybe that's why Insert mode came up and why that discussion always comes back, specially now that the "composition" word appeared in the title. I think not every composer just writes music left to right, thinking rhythm first then duration and using mainly letters and shortcuts. For these composers, as for transcribing tasks or any task in which the musical material has been thought or defined in advance, the workflow is working perfectly.
But when you use MuseScore as a composition tool and you work with series, inversions, transformations, rotations, there is a lot of rework involved.
Currently, it's extremely easy to repitch any passage once the rhythm is defined, either by shortcuts, mouse dragging, clicks, transposing tools...
But on the other side re-rhythming a series of pitches requires so many steps - or so much copy and paste - than it's easier to delete the whole section and rewrite it from zero, left-to-right, specially on a multipart score and specially when tuplets are involved.
The Insert Mode should help, along with ctrl+del, but currently can't be used to, say, rework a measure on the bassoon in the middle of an orchestral score, because inserting notes will insert rests at that time segment in every other part, and ctrl+del will delete all across parts. So it's only good if I copy the section to a scratchpad staff, do my thing, then paste it back.
Fortunately, I see there are several ongoing ideas to give MuseScore even more tools, flexibility and options to "tailor it to each unique workflow", of course without breaking what already works perfectly for so many people, and always with engraving quality as a priority.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

You don't believe WHAT is true? Just look at how many plugin developers there are for VST/AAX/AU, then compare how many of them have Linux builds. There are hundreds of developers and only a handful of them do Linux versions of their plugins. This is easily verifiable.

Of course Wallander Instruments, developers of NotePerformer will not allow their software to be used for free with MuseScore. Consider it as another plugin you have to buy - it's the same even if you're Sibelius or Dorico or Finale user - NotePerformer is a separate puchase, nobody gets it for free. Of course, nobody forces you to buy it or even use it.

In reply to by EvilDragon

I am also on Linux (Ubuntu) as OS. I have no problem paying for NotePerformer at all (I think it fully deserves the price), but I want it to run in MuseScore on Linux.

So I wrote to Wallander and this was the response:
I'm afraid we have no plans to make a special Linux port. There's a chance it would work under Wine (I don't know exactly how that would work, unless Musescore was also run through Wine).

Unfortunately we don't know exactly what plug-in formats Musescore 4 will support. I don't think these details are fully worked out yet. We would be happy to support Musescore, but we're still waiting for the technical specifications of it.

Best regards,
Wallander Instruments

Where on this forum should I best place this to let the developers know that there is demand for this?

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

I don't want to run MuseScore via Wine. That was a suggestion from Arne from Wallander Instruments.
Since you can run vst plugins via Wine in a natively running DAW in Linux, I hope that this will also be possible in MuseScore4 with NotePerformer.
(I might open a new thread later to draw the developer's attention to this.)

In reply to by sprock

MuseScore has plugins and VST relies on plugins to other apps. That doesn't mean that a MuseScore plugin can connect MuseScore to VST. For instance, MuseScore plugins, although they can alter playback attributes of the score, are not invoked or notified as scores play, which would sort of be required for live interconnection (and that's not a small "ask", as the real-time performance of playback is critical, and thus cannot involve Javascript interpretation). In this case, "plugin does not equal plugin". Maybe VST works over MIDI, I don't now, and a plugin could help send metadata via shell commands, I don't know, but at first look, this does not seem promising.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

Question: Do you know if in since MuseScore 4 I would be able to use EastWest Sounds? Like since it's supposed to be more DAW-like. . .

I've always wanted to use their sound library on MuseScore, but unfortunately, it's not compatible.

P.S. Sorry I'm replying to this message, but it won't let me post my own thing. . .

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

The word "telemetry" refers to how MuseScore optionally collected information on how you use MuseScore and sends it to the development team. It has nothing to do with how your score looks. I think you probably replied to the wrong comment and created some confusion.

To answer your question - which has nothing to do with telemetry - the default spacing between notes is "mostly" correct, but there are some cases where it is not. For instance, there are places where adding an accidental can have a slight effect on spacing throughout that system when it should have none. It's small detail like that we wish to improve for MuseScore 4.

This looks really impressive - and I speak as a user of Dorico, Notion, Sibelius and Overture as well as various DAWs including Cubase Pro and REAPER.

There has been a gradual convergence between pure notation and the DAW side of things with varying degree of priority and success. The new Musescore 4 streamlined layout, VST support and sequencer are going to raise the ante in the notation world. It'll be really interesting to see how things develop.

Great vision from the Musescore team!

I think it is ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL that Tantacrul is overseeing the UI/UX direction of MS4! His videos are a goldmine of great observations and fair criticism. I cannot wait to see this go live!

In reply to by EvilDragon

I absolutely love his videos on notation programmes and what could be done to improve them. Unlike the other products, I am so glad Musescore have taken his observations on board as an opportunity to improve usabiliy, not as something to ignore or become defensive about.

The fact that he is overseeing the UI/UX development is great news, and shows how seriously the team take their product.

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