Vocal Staff Conversion

• Apr 19, 2018 - 04:25

I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm a new user. I've imported a PDF score into MuseScore but the vocal lines are combined: SA on upper staff, TB on lower staff. I want to convert these four voices into separate SATB staves in a new score. Is there a plugin or work-around that will do this?

Thanks for any help.


We will need to see the score. If the score is copyright then select the first 3 measures and use Save as... from the file menu. This will prevent a copyright violation. There are too many variables to explain to a nub.

Hi Mike,

Thanks very much for your quick response. Uploaded is the converted PDF file. The original is in the public domain and free to copy and edit.

Any help on this original topic of conversion is greatly appreciated.

Attachment Size
psalm134.mscz 21.16 KB

In reply to by notescribe

Just as I feared, you have a combination of chords and voices to show the different vocal parts. I would start by adding an Alto staff under the Part_1 staff and then a Bass staff under the Part_2 staff. I would then use Shoichi's idea of using Explode on each of the original staves. This will put notes on both the orginal staves and the ones you added. The measures that have two notes on a beat have notes in voices 1 & 2.

On the Part_1 staff and Part_2 staff, fixing this is easy. Select the entire staves (click the first note and press ctrl+shift+end), open the selection filter with F6, remove the check from voice 1 and press delete on each of these staves. You now only have Alto on Part_1 and Tenor or Part_2.

At this point use the selection filter and remove the check from 2. Select the unwanted notes in the T and B staves and press delete to remove them. You can click the first note and shift click the last consecutive note to remove them. You cannot put a note you want want to keep in the selection or it will be deleted also. You should now have rests in voice 1 and notes in voice 2 that you want in voice 1. Check voice 2 in the selection filter again and select everything by pressing ctrl+A. Now press ctrl+shift+1 and all of the notes will be in voice 1. You will see they are all blue and only the rests are green. At this point you can remove the check from voice 1 and press delete. Recheck voice 1 and you will see all of your notes are correct.

Finally you can double click each of the vocal part names and edit them so they are what you want. Press ESC not enter to accept the changes and deselect the text.

Add the 4 staves for S, A, T and B, copy all the S/A notes to the S and the A staff, in the A staff swap voices. Now the same to the T and B staves, delete the kombined staves. Finally select one voice 2 note, right click, select,more, same voice, delete, repeat with a voice 2 rest.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Hi Jojo,
New user, so this is difficult for me to follow. Let me see if this is right: create the four part SATB staves in another score, copy both S/A notes on the single staff to both the new separate S/A staves then delete unwanted lines for each staff. After that, I'm not sure what to do. Or how to delete the unwanted lines.

The part "ihr e A staff swap voices. . ." and so forth is not clear to me. Isn't there some plug-in that could do this? Thanks for any further clarification.

In reply to by notescribe

some typos... reg. swap voices see Edit/Voices. Do delete the now unwanted staves, go to the same dialog where you added instruments, and there now delete...

Unfortunately with your score isn't that easy, as it isn't really scored with 2 voices, but rather with 2 note chords

Attachment Size
psalm134.mscz 21.31 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Okay, I'll try some different approaches but I was hoping for something more straightforward since there are quite a number of these tunes to be transcribed. They are not long tunes, in any case, and I need to edit them, so I might try to get as close as I can to a cut-and-paste solution. It seems MuseScore will combine different staves into one staff, but not the other way around. But this might be a problem, as you said, with the way the music was written in the first place. Thanks for your help and any further help anyone can offer.

To be as clear as possible: I want to separate the S/A lines on the top staff into two separate S and A staffs and do the same thing for the lower staff with T/B. So the upper and lower lines of the S/A staff are now on separate staves. The result should look like a normal SATB system as given in the MuseScore option under voices. I tried copying and pasting both lines of each staff but it is confusing and rests are left in the wrong places and can't be deleted.

Please see uploaded example. Thanks very much for any help.

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