MuseScore 3.0 alpha Release

• Sep 12, 2018 - 11:35

We are pleased to announce the current state of MuseScore 3.0 via specially prepared builds with "alpha" label.

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Packages are available here

Elements autoplacement

The most significant improvement of 3.0 version is collision-detection engine which allows autoplacement for all elements in the score.
Starting from now, you don't need to adjust elements position manually, everything is done using smart algorithms.
Read more


TimeWise Insert/Delete

MuseScore 3.0 alpha introduces a new concept of writing timeless sheet music.
TimeWise Insert/Delete allows note input not depending on the current time signature of the measure.
We are improving user experience of this feature. For now, you can use it by following next steps:

  • Start Note Input ("N")
  • Hold "Ctrl" while input notes


Many additional improvements

Isaac Weiss highlighted scheduled improvements for 3.0 we continue improving day by day.
Read more

File version

3.0 alpha saves scores with the version which will be opened correctly in official MuseScore 3.0 Release.
Feel free to start working in the alpha version on a daily basis. Using common user scenarios and filing bug reports help us to improve MuseScore 3.0 even more. support

Scores created in MuseScore 3.0 alpha are not supported on right now.
You won't be able to use "Save Online" functionality in MuseScore 3.0 alpha as well as uploading the scores won't work until we support the scores created in MuseScore 3.0 on

Full support of MuseScore 2.3.2 features

Recent 2.3.X updates include significant fixes and improvements which are fully supported in MuseScore 3.0.
Read more about changes made in 2.3.1
Read more about changes made in 2.3.2

Upcoming changes

Filing bug reports

MuseScore 3.0 alpha is just a special build of 3.0 development builds, prepared specially for sharing with wide community.
It means the package you use will ask you to update once new builds are ready.
It is highly recommended to follow the last available version, because we deliver a lot of fixes every day.

Should you find bugs, crashes or any inconveniences , please, create an issue in the tracker.


Thanks to all the code contributors, testers, translators, and documentation writers!
Special thanks to GSoC students and mentors who did great work to make MuseScore better.

Follow us in MuseScore Development Blog


A small further clarification about the File Version: Some planned features may extend the file format with some new entries.

While 3.0 alpha saves scores with the version which will be opened correctly in official MuseScore 3.0 Release it may be that scores created in a later alpha/beta/final version of MuseScore 3 might not open (correctly) in the current alpha release.

For those new features, compatibility with the current format shall be ensured and sensible defaults for the new elements must be included.

Very cool! If I had known this was coming today, I'd have planned to make it the subject of my weekly MuseScore Cafe, but I'll plan on that next week.

In reply to by Anatoly-os

Touché! Yeah, I haven't wanted to make a nuisance of myself posting a lot about my outreach activities here, but I do plan to starting ramping that up a bit soon.

Anyhow, yeah, some time to explore more and get a sense of what makes to highlight will be good. I've been building my own versions to make the occasional bug fix but there is much that I haven't checked out yet, and I look forward to it!

Version 3.0 (when released) shall provide autoplacement of elements of the score by using smart algorithms, as shown in the first picture above, and that's a very significant improvement.
I wish to put a question: in scores written with previous versions of Musescore, users (or most of them) have already adjusted manually the position of the various elements of scores. When 3.0 will be released, these new algorithms will work only on new scores written with version 3.0, or will they work also on the scores written with previous versions of Musescore? (where the elements are already correctly placed manually). This could modify those previous scores?
Thanks for your attention.

In reply to by Roberto Fabris

I'm going to create special post describing auto placement in details.
Speaking generally, when you open 2.X scores, there are two types of placement. First one is manually adjusted elements, which don't participate in auto placement calculations. Second one is the elements which position has not been adjusted. Such elements will be automatically placed.
It is highly recommended to select all elements and apply autoplacement to them, then verify the score. If something is placed wrong, create an issue describing the inconsistency.
In future prereleases we will introduce special UI which allows users to apply autoplacement to all elements in the score.

In reply to by Anatoly-os


Do I understand correctly: MS 3 will automatically autoplace elements that have been left by the user in default or custom position ?

If this is correct you are violating the fundamental principle that under no circumstances a Software or system should alter user set data automatically, without consent and option.

Because algorithms cannot know the original intention of the user choosing positions. I would really vote that you reconsider automatisms like these at least in the intended implementation.

What the release version of MuseScore 3 should have instead is:

• a detailed options-table on how an engraver would like to handle auto placement, including opening older project files leaving positions untouched, and of course disable auto placement for a chosen set of elements - resetting them to either their (global) default position or the previously manual chosen position
• The default global auto placement setting should be: "disabled"

Regarding placement MS 3 should really get an precise coordinate ruler system for all elements showing relative and absolute distance positions on a page, both graphically and - through an inspector - numerically. The lessons from the Sibelius inspector inconsistency-nightmare should be learned. But this is probably worth another thread.

That we get things straight: I am not against auto placement, but I am questioning the intended initial implementation.

Thank you for listening.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I am asking whether the download of Version 3.0 - when it will be available - will substitute 3.0 for 2.3.2,or will the both versions be available to operate independently. So that a file edited with 2.3.2 could be opened without any modification with 2.3.2, and with auto placement (only for elements in their default position) with version 3.0.
Thanks for your attention.

In reply to by Rotaton-e

MuseScore 2 and every other notation program has an auto placement of items. MuseScore 2 just doesn't take into account where most other items are placed so it doesn't care if it places items on top of each other. MuseScore 3 will just do this smarter. It will not place two items on top of each other (called auto avoidance), and will attempt to place items in a smart way that meets standard engraving techinques. As far as I know, every engraving program including MuseScore 3 will allow the user to override the auto placement. This alpha release is still quite buggy and needs to get smarted with its auto avoidance algorithm, but it gets better every day.

Just wanted to echo jeetee's comments.

Alpha builds are useful, but I think there should be more warning/emphasis that these are still fundamentally unstable (especially if someone has invested their work), and I'm skeptical about being able to open such files later because I sense there might be (format?) changes to come.

In reply to by chen lung

Hey, please don't embarrass the community. Builds are stable enough comparing to ever existed 3.0 builds. Files format will be kept as it is now with possible changes, but for sure files created in alpha build will work in official release.
Please, stop disinforming people. If you want to discuss something and clarify things for yourself, please contact me.

In reply to by chen lung

What you describe is indeed true for development builds, however this here us about a 3.0alpha, there never was a 2.0alpha. So just take Anatoly's word that the file format won't change in any incompatible way for 3.0final. Layout certainly will though

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

We did have at least one beta for 2.0. Regardless though, it didn't stop people using either this or development builds for real work.

I was thinking about certain issues that may yet require format changes (non-5-line drumsets was one).

We have all commented when there is a problem, or a potential one (especially when things are new), but like anyone else I stand open to correction with an explanation. Given my investment in the project for years, such comment is unfair.

In reply to by chen lung

Yes, there was a 2.0beta, but no 2.0alpha. What comment exactly do you deem unfair?
jeetee's reply (which was written with Anatoly's consend on IRC) to the initial post states:
While 3.0 alpha saves scores with the version which will be opened correctly in official MuseScore 3.0 Release it may be that scores created in a later alpha/beta/final version of MuseScore 3 might not open (correctly) in the current alpha release.

In reply to by Anatoly-os

FWIW, I apologize if I have been off-message as well when I have expressed caution about using the alpha release. I do understand the goal is that scores created in the alpha will open in the final release. Would it be fair to say, though, that there may be layout changes, so that if you put a lot of work into customizing the appearance of your score, you might need to redo some of that work? That has been my assumption and is the main basis for the caution I continue to express when the subject of using the alpha for that particular purpose comes up.

Do you guys plan to give the musescore 3 more freedom to chose key signatures? I'd love to use key signatures with double flats and double sharps, but it doesn't work in any current version. And in musescore 1 at least I could chose different key signatures for different instruments, I don't understand why musescore 2 doesn't feature that.

As far as I can see, no Win32 version is available. I hope that this flaw regards the alpha version only, and it will not regard the "official release" of MuseScore 3.0 that's going to be released some day in the future. Missing a Win32 version would be a Bad Thing. Capital letters included. :(

P.S. I know, MuseScore is free software so one can't claim anything. Moreover, I LOVE MuseScore in its 2.3 version, and it works fine in Win32, XP included, so I could simply keep on using that version. Nonetheless, I would appreciate a Win32 version of MuseScore 3.

In reply to by Aldo

To elaborate (if only slightly, because I'm not an expert):

MuseScore, like any other larger software project, depends on tools provided by others. For example, libraries provided by Qt and others, compilers provided by various vendors for each OS, etc. When the tools we depend on are no longer supported for older systems, we can't build for them either.

In reply to by Aldo

I see. Nonetheless, I feel that backward compatibility should be one of the main goals, as it allows to avoid many, many problems. That's why I'm not going to "push" 3.0 in my classrooms if it is not going to be backward compatible with older systems (I would be forced to deal with some pupils owning newer hardware and some others owning older one, which would lead to tons of misunderstandings and problems of some sort -- I'm rather sure you can grasp the point).

In reply to by Aldo

I did start to reply and drop it half way. We won't support Win32 officially with a full stack of all possibilities just because the reasons described by Marc. We will do our best to create the Win32 package, but some new features will be missed, but still you can use it.

Okay, so is this fully MuseScore 3.0? Or is this a pre-release version.

All I'll say about this, it's about time, I've waited for years since they announced they would be releasing MuseScore 3

In reply to by Elliot Mercer

They won't automatically be included. You will have to continue using the plugin. Hopefully they get fixed before the final 3.0 release.

IMHO, this is the one thing that makes working plugins a requirement for the final 3.0 release, though others rely on other great plugins.

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