Easy Transposition Tool for creating parts for transposing instruments

• May 16, 2022 - 15:57

This is mainly for making lead sheets.

I have just moved from Sibelius to Musecore as I would like to give it a chance, So far my experience has been great for a free program.

However, I mainly use notation software to create lead sheets for my bands, in which there are players playing on transposed instruments in Bb and Eb.

Musescore doesn't have an efficient way to just create transposed parts from a main lead sheet. Ideally, I should be able to create my concert pitch lead sheets and then create Bb and Eb parts. Instead, I have to add an Alto and Tenor saxophone to the main score and create 3 different parts. And then manually edit the layout in each part as Musescore resets all bar breaks. This is time-consuming and not ideal

This is because I can't simply edit the key in one part without changing the key in the other two.

Surely there can be a feature added that simply helps the user create transposed parts from a lead sheet. Just an option to transpose a part that you are creating or disable the posses that copies any editing across all parts.

Even if there is a plugin that can easily create transposed parts, maintaining the layout and only editing the key or clef.


In reply to by Shoichi

Yes, I have already seen these, the issue I have with the current version of muse score is that when I create parts from the main score in C and then edit those parts to create different transposed versions I run into a problem.

You cannot transpose parts separately, once one of them is transposed it affects all of the other parts including the main score.

In Sibelius parts can be created and transposed separately, meaning that I don't need to add instruments I just make new parts that maintain the layout and simply edit the key or clef. And then I can export all of the parts conveniently into the same pdf.

I'm sure this can be fixed by adding an option that disables any editing to be repeated across parts.

This does seem like something that a plugin could be useful for. There is one that can copy score layout to parts, this could be useful already.

Not sure what you mean about editing key, though. Why would you need to do that When you add the alto and tenor, the key should be correct automatically.

FWIW, I don't typically add the extra parts. I simply transpose the score directly (Tools / Transpose, or Staff/Part Properties, Change Instrument). Takes just a couple of seconds each. If I do spend time fiddling with layout and enharmonic spelling, I'll sometimes save that as a new copy, in case I need to revisit this chart later and don't want to have to repeat that work.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

What is the plug-in that copies a score's layout?

In terms of editing the key, I would rather not add many instruments to a lead sheet, they are not scores they are single melody lines with harmonic information for Jazz performance.

The workflow that I had on Sibelius would be,

  1. Make a lead sheet with the perfect layout for the band, one instrument one melody line.
  2. Copy the main lead sheet into three parts (layout is maintained)
  3. Transpose the three parts to make a Bb, Eb and Bass clef version (Transposing one part does not interfere with another)
  4. Export all parts to one pdf file convenient to print

Musescore cannot perform steps 2 and 3. The layout is not maintained and it does not currently have an option to transpose one part only as the transposition tool affects all parts at once meaning that I can't have three individually transposed parts in the same session.

Having an option to individually transpose parts would be a lifesaver and will bring muse score to the same level as Sibelius in terms of Lead sheet workflow.

In reply to by Michael ORourke

Part of an answer might be to change the order in which you do things. Don't make your lead sheet first and then add other parts. That doesn't work with out a bunch of work.
Layout all the instruments you need first as a score. Choose one in C to create the lead part. C+P that into the other parts. You'll have to fiddle with the layout. But you can manipulate parts individually. Then export the parts you want as one PDF.

In reply to by Michael ORourke

I can see why that might be a good way to do this in other programs. In MuseScore, it would be a different way that would work best. If you want everything in one file, I'd make a score for all three instruments - including the C -rhn write the notes & chords in the top staff and then copy/paste to the others. Then generate parts for all (including the C - so the C lead sheet is actually just another part) and use the plugin to synchronize the breaks. Should be virtually the same as what you're used to in terms of overall efficiency, it's just a bit different.

As I said, for me it's even more efficient to not mess with separate parts at all. I just have the one lead sheet which I export to PDF, transpose, export, transpose, export.

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