Is there a good way to have some of the instruments not print?

• Oct 7, 2016 - 00:21

I'm writing a jazz score, and want to leave most of the playing of piano, guitar, and drums to the discretion of the player, and indicate that on their staffs - but for playback purposes also write specific stuff for the same instruments in separate staffs so the synthesizer will have something for the rhythm section. So when I go to print the master score I'd like to have the first set of those instruments print, and the second set of them not.

My kludge way of doing that now is to make the instruments I don't want to print invisible in Edit/Instruments, printing, then making them visible again. Is there a better way? If not, one possible feature for the future would be to have a "Print" checkbox along with the "Visible" checkbox in the Edit/Instruments dialog box.


MuseScore is pretty committed to the WYSIWYG concept—what's visible in the displayed score will be what's visible in the printed score.

You have pretty much figured out how to do what you want done, I think. The only addition I could make would be to export to PDF for your print version, and (naturally) save that under a separate file name. Then 'turn on' those staves you've made invisible before you re-save your finished mscz file. That way, you'll have separate print files and playback files, and can do with them what you wish.

You could abuse the Parts facility for this.

Start with all instruments visible in the master score. Then create a Part containing all instruments.
Now for the master score, go to Edit > Instruments (or press I) and make the playback-only instruments invisible.

They will remain visible in the part, which you can now use to edit them. As they are still linked with the invisible instruments in master, playback there will follow the edits made in the part as well.

In reply to by shoogle

True, but that doesn't seem possible in 2.0.3. Changing visibility in the Edit Instruments window affects the master only.

If both master and part have all the instruments, its rather semantics about which one is which, isn't it?

In reply to by Craig Wilson

I'm still not understanding why you need to do this. As mentioned above, all instruments - including invisible ones - playback already. You don't need to unhide them or generate a separate part for this. i do this all the time - my full score contains everything I need. Two instruments each for the rhyhtm sections instruments, with one visible for printing, one invisible for playback.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

You're probably right. Just a bit more convenient while I'm working on the score, when I may want to change the rhythm section's playback parts. But I guess it makes sense to not make any instrument invisible until I'm ready to print, which ordinarily wouldn't happen until it's ready for prime time, and I could always go back in and make everything visible if I needed to edit playback.

By the way, I did notice one little bug when an instrument is made invisible, as described below. The "Extra distance above staff" in Staff properties for the instrument just below the invisible one doesn't work. The workaround is to move the invisible instruments to the bottom of the page.

In reply to by jeetee

Thanks. That's the perfect solution. I did so, by bringing up Edit/Instruments, clicking New, click-selecting each instrument, and naming it something like "All instruments, including playback-only" or "Playback version".

There is one quirk. When I make an instrument invisible in the master score, I'm unable to use the "Extra distance above staff" in Staff properties for the instrument just below the invisible one. Just doesn't work. The solution is to move the invisible instruments to the bottom of the page so no big deal.

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