Trouble With Parts

• Sep 12, 2018 - 16:16

Hello MS Forum. I have to get parts ready to go in the near future for a carol I wrote. I have never done parts on MS before, so I studied the Handbook about parts, no problem, very simple. However, I have run into two major problems with the parts. 1). Only the top part has lyrics. I thought, with parts, that MS would populate the other voices with the verses. I cannot get lyrics to select and copy/paste into another part. There MUST be some way to do this?! 2) . The dynamic marks are displaced in the parts. For example, as usually done in vocal works, the original file has the marks above the singer's part. But when I created parts, the marks are below the part, colliding with the lyrics! What on earth. The handbook says parts and score are inter- linked, and what is done on one will be done on all. Please see attachment. Thank you. Delhud


No, lyrics are attached to specific staves. If you want to copy the lyrics to other staves, you are certainly welcome to do so, right click one lyric, Select / All Similar Elements in Same Staff, Copy, then go to the next staff, click the first note, and paste. This only makes sense, of course, if the rhythms match. And that's not the case in your score, so you will need to use your own ingenuity in deciding how to handle the differences - MuseScore won't be able to figure out for you what to do when the source staff has sixteenths but the destination has only eighths!

As for dynamics, apparently you used manual adjustments to move the dynamics, dragging them one at a time. This is not a good idea for a number of reasons. Best idea is usually to simply change the text style settings, but that's only good if you want all dynamics above the staff, and that's not the case here - the accompaniment should still be below. But still, instead of dragging each dynamic individually - which is a lot of work, and results in poorly aligned dynamics as well - much better to move them all at once using the Inspector.

So, right click on dynamic, Select / All Similar Elements in Same Staff, press the reset button next to "Vertical offset" in the Inspector. Now enter an appropriate value there, like -9. You'll see all dynamics on that staff go there instantly and are perfectly aligned. Much easier, much better results.

However, manual adjustments are not linked between score and parts because often you don't want them to be. So you will have to repeat this in the parts. Luckily it takes only seconds. Your score will be be in far better shape for those extra few seconds spent, though.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Oh wow, a lot to learn. I will work with all that, but my worries are about the opera i wrote. I did manual adjustments all the way through for dynamics. I was concerned about that, and I asked a music publisher here what he does, and he said Finale (which he uses) picks up on the dynamics OK. For example, I asked him, at the top of a score, if you had a dynamic mark that goes with the Flute, if it were too far away (down) from the flute staff, would it show up in parts as an oboe dynamic?etc. I haven't tried any parts on the Opera. I am almost afraid to. In a work like that, there would be thousands and thousands of dynamics at risk?! I was careful, all through the opera, to manually get the dynamics OK for each instrument on the proper staff. I was careful to watch for the little line with a dot on the end that shows you which staff you are connecting to, though. I thought I was doing well on that till I got your answer If I got a taker on the opera I would have to request funds to get the score straightened out as part of the expenses. The Western Australian Opera CO, Perth, Aus. says they are keeping it in mind as a possible future project,(they are progressive and open to new unknown works) so this is no joke.

In reply to by delhud2

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET--The more I think about your reply, the more I wonder about the MS parts system. I would expect a part, with its dynamics, etc. to look EXAcTLY the way it looks in the score. I F what I see in the score IS what I get in the parts, then my Opera will be fine on dynamics! Anyway, I don't recall that there was an Inspector on MS1.3. Perhaps MS should have had a warning to anyone doing a large scale work, by the way don't use manual adjustments on dynamics?! Or your 2 years of work entering it might be all messed up. Good grief, as Charlie Brown says.

In reply to by delhud2

Hi, Del

The problem with passing moved text (including dynamics) from the score to the parts is that not all of them make sense. This is mostly because the spacing between staves will likely be different In the score you may move the text to avoid the staff above or below and this may or may not make sense in the part.

The good news is that 3.0 alpha was released yesterday and it would not be too difficult to port the opera to version 3 and let version 3 take care of making it look nice. This is true in spite of several bugs that need working out. I'm assuming a PDF of the parts is sufficient for your clients and a MuseScore version is not necessary. There is a bit of a learning curve and I would be willing to help you as much as you need.

In reply to by mike320

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your comment. I was just about to post a new coment describiing how you DO have to move dynamics etc. manually to avoid stuff above or below staves, etc.! Glad I saw your comment first. None of this would be much of a problem in a small vocal score, but in an opera of hundreds of pages, this could be a disaster for me to try to explain to an opera co. At this point, they have not set any firm commitment in the near future, , but I need to be prepared for this kind of stuff on the parts. Fixing the score might be extremely expensive, also! There must be 100,000 or more dynamic marks in an opera, maybe more?! Yes, a PDF is what they all want, to y knowledge. As far as 3,0 is concerned , after experiencing a nightmare of problems going fom 1.3 to 2.0 I don't know. And also, the ponit is, my score DOES look nice! I expected he parts to be the same!! How do I know 3 won't mess up my opera score?? I do appreciate your offer of help. hanks

In reply to by delhud2

I'm aware limited ability to transition to new programs so I have no expectation that you would even attempt such a chore. My offer to do anything to help is exactly what it says - Anything. If you want to send me 2 or 3 files so I can test my theory and familiarize myself with the opera setup I would be willing to do some testing. If I feel you could handle it, I would explain how to do it. If I feel it's too complicated for you, I would continue until the opera is finished. I would do it as a friend and any or no compensation would be at your discretion.

There are items on the conductor's score that I'm not sure how you would want incorporated into the parts, such as the frames with a description of the action. These will default to being passed to the part and cause a very bad layout. I would show you what I mean and you could let me know what you want done. The end product would be a complete part for each part in it's own file.

In reply to by mike320

Hi again
, I am touched by your generosity as a fellow Muse Scorer and friend1 Thank you. Please give me some time to send 2 or 3 files, and I will take you up on your offer. Doing the parts sounds like it would be just as huge as doing the opera score!? Not sure. I seem to remember I had your em-ail address formerly. Not sure I still have it. My e-mail is: if you want to do some of this by e mail instead of MS.

In reply to by mike320

3.o Question: My Opera is divided into 14 files. How would I be able to try just one file first in 3.0? I don't know what you mean by "port" a score? If I opened one of my files in 3.0, I assume it would then be a 3.0 score? And if I did not like what happened, could the file be put back as a 2.3.2 file? What happens if I download 3.0? Does it morph into my present version of MS and change it to 3? Or will the download of 3 be totally separate from the previous version? ( I don't recall how everything happened with 1.3 to 2)

In reply to by delhud2

Opening a score in 3.0 converts it to 3.0 in your computer memory only. You can save it as Opera version 3 or something like that to keep it from overwriting your 2.3.2 score. You will then have one with a file format for version 3 that will not open properly in version 2.3.2 and the original file created in version 2.3.2 unchanged.

Porting is the process of moving a score from one program to another, such as MuseScore 2 to MuseScore 3. If you open the file in 3.0 it will look almost identical to the 2.3.2 version with a few variations. You don't need to worry about any changes in the conductor's score since you will use version 2.3.2 to create that PDF. When you create parts, you will see the magic of the auto avoidance new to version 3.0. Since text position changes are not passed to parts, any part you create should look almost the way you want it to as soon as you create the part. My previous sentence is quite important because once you move an item it is no longer considered for auto avoidance. I could actually test this on one of you in process scores you posted in the forums to see how it will work.

In reply to by delhud2

Merely opening a score in MuseScore (any version) won't alter the original file in any way. It's saving the score that alters it. So, if you open a score in MuseScore 2 then save it, that file now a MuseScore 2 file And if you open a score in MuseScore 3 and then save it, that file is now a MuseScore 3 file.

Easiest / safest thing to do is to take the scores you wish to test and copy (not move) them from their current location on your hard drive to the location where MuseScore 3 looks by default (eg, Documents/MuseScore3Development/Scores on Windows 10). Then you can open those copies and save them without worrying about accidentally modifying your original versions.

In reply to by delhud2

Indeed, but it's nowhere near time for that. There is no MuseScore 3, just a highly experimental "alpha" build (like a "beta" version but even less stable) for particular adventurous users to test if they desire. You definitely should not be attempting to use this experimental alpha build in your actual work - it would just be for fun and to report your findings.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

OK ,Yes, At t;his point in time I do not need to be joining in on experiments--I have too much else to worry about. I am glad I found out that my opera is NOT ready to go ,instead of finding out from an opera group, either amateur or professional! I really feel like bringing something up now to you and the other founders/directors of MS: it is of course a wonderful thing you did creating MS, etc. but I have a suggestion, You often ask for suggestions on how to improve MS, but my suggestion is not about the technology, but the handbook. I am supposed to be a highly-trained Classical type composer, which I am, yet my music technology training was almost non existent! One course where we learned to enter a simple melody on Finale and manage to get 3 chords or so entered for the harmony. That was our greatest achievement. And when I took a seminar given by Aaron Copland at the University of Denver he told me I should not try to do my own parts. That was it! Yes, I do fault some of the conservatories on this! Including the two I graduated from.) So I think in the Handbook , maybe under Parts, you should warn MS users that they will need to have another project where they do the parts after their score is finished. You may feel I was very ignorant and naive, which I was in music tech. There must be many composers who start up with MS who may not know this stuff. It is quite serious that I thought parts extraction meant just printing out each part as it was in the actual score, etc. YES, I WAS LIVING IN A COMPOSER-FOOL'S PARADISE, when a little information from MS could have prevented that.

In reply to by delhud2

You are correct that the handbook should warn users that most items moved will not be passed to the parts and can lead to much more work.

Here's a true story related to this. I transcribed a symphony in 4 movements with a total of about 800 measures and did not make the parts. A couple of people have performed the symphony based upon my transcription and none of them said anything about parts. The exception being that the trombone was written in the alto (or tenor) clef and the amateur musicians had never seen trombone music in anything but the bass clef. I transposed it to the bass clef in about 5 minutes and returned to the director. I tested the parts and would have never handed them out to a musician without fixing them. I didn't ask either director what they did about the parts, but they found the symphony on

In reply to by delhud2

This is good feedback. FWIW, not only is MuseScore itself open source - meaning anyone can contribute to its development - but so is the Handbook. So you are free to edit that page and add text you think would be helpful. Although, maybe best to discuss proposed wording here first.

Meanwhile, here is a video I did recently where I demonstrate some of the techniques I like to use in preparing score and parts for printing:

This is part of a series of live interactive streaming videos I do. I call it the "MuseScore Cafe" and I do them every Wednesday, focusing on a different topic each week. I encourage you to tune in! Here is the link to the live feed that becomes active every Wednesday (10:30 AM in Colorado, where I live and I believe you do as well?):

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

OK, I will study the video soon. Colorado! For some reason I thought you lived on the East Coast or something. Yes, I'm a native Coloradan ,I live in Grand Junction, previously in Boulder and also Connecticut California, and Massachusetts., and Germany for awhile. i did not know what Open Source meant; now I do. And yes, I should try to make your Musescore Café series. Sounds good.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Handbook, under Parts, proposed edit: "Composers should be warned that, especially for larger works, preparation of the parts is a whole separate project. For example, it must be noted that movable text, such as dynamic markings, do not always carry over to the parts exactly as they were entered into the score."

(Or some such similar statement?)

In reply to by delhud2

I'd rephrase a bit. For one thing, it isn't just text, but any elements to which you have applied manual adjustments. Second, it's not that the elements themselves don't carry over as entered; it is that the adjustments are not linked. Which again is very often good, because many adjustments you make in the score would be wrong to duplicate in the parts. If the adjustments were linked, then you'd need a different warning, one that says "warning, adjustments you made in the score will unfortunately also be carried into the parts, so you'll have to go back and reset or re-adjust many of them". So really, whether the adjustments are linked or not ends up being irrelevant - either way, you will need to consider the parts separately.

So maybe something more general like, "Due to the very different layout of score and parts, even if you have already examined your score and performed manual adjustments to improve its appearance, you will most likely have to go through a similar process with the parts". Since this is equally true whether adjustments are linked or not, it seems kind of a red herring to even mention that, although you could mention that for the sake of completeness.

In reply to by delhud2

Everything MuseScore is an open source community project with a LOT of leeway given to anyone who wants to contribute in any way. If someone does something really bad, like replace a handbook page with an advertisement (which I've seen), the webmaster can revert it to its previous state and block that user from doing anything else on the site.

In reply to by delhud2

Again, no, your manual adjustments won't be "messed up" when you generate your parts. If your score looks good now, it will continue to look good after generating parts. But the parts won't look good just because the score does. - that is utter fantasy. if the parts had the same adjustments as the score, it would look absolutely terrible. You'd have things out of alignment because they were moved to avoid collisions that no longer exist, and other things that are colliding in the parts but weren't in the score.

This isn't some quirk of MsueScore; it's just physical reality that parts are very different from scores and manual adjustments that made sense in the score won't generally make sense in the parts and vice versa. It's a normal fact of life - going back hundreds of years to hand-engraved music - that you need to deal with the parts completely separately from the score, so however long you spent making your score look good, you'll spend about the same amount of time on the parts. Which is why it is good to learn to use style settings and the Inspector to do this work as efficiently as possible.

In reply to by delhud2

Manual adjustments aren't inherently bad, and like you say, what you see is what you get. So if your adjustment looks good to you, you don't have to go back and fix it. However, it is a lot more work to do it the way you have been doing versus using text style and/or Inspector to move things more automatically, and the results do not in fact look as good since they aren't really aligned well if you look closely. Indeed, what you see is what you get. So I wouldn't necessarily go back and change your existing scores if you are satisfied enough with how they look now. My suggestions are more for future work, telling you how to get better& results with much *less effort.

Now, when generating parts for an orchestra, there is no "risk". No work you have done is lost. But you will have consider whether the parts need adjustments of their own. You say you expect the part to look exactly like the score, but this actually would be disastrous. Parts need to look different from the score, otherwise they would be just as long as the score! The parts will generally have multiple systems per page whereas the score has only one; there will generally more measures per system in the parts than the score (thus making the average measure width narrower), and collisions that existed between one instrument and the instrument above it in the score are gone, only to be replaced by collisions between one measure and the measure above it on the previous system. It's an entirely different world, meaning you need to make an entirely different set of manual adjustments.

But to answer your specific question: if you have a dynamic marking attached to the flute staff, it will show up in the flute part, period. The only question is what happens to manual adjustments. if you moved the dynamic up, or left, or right, to avoid a high note or marking on the oboe staff, you most definitely don't want that manual adjustment to be carried over into the part, because that collision simply won't exist - there won't be an oboe staff to collide with. So you will be very happy that the adjustments you made in the score are not forced into the parts. But now there may well be other manual adjustments you need to make in the part, for the reasons I outlined above.

So, bottom line: manual adjustments aren't evil, but they are thing you need to consider carefully, and you can get much better results, and save yourself a ton of work, if you can strive to use Style settings, or move things as a group using the Inspector, to avoid the need for manual adjustments.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

OK, I will have to keep studying your letter, etc. i DO know what parts look like. I was required to play in a band once (since I was a theory and composition major) Third Clarinet, I was terrible on the clarinet as I am a pianist! Also, I had to sing in an opera chorus once and had my vocal part to study. (At Lamont School of Music, University of Denver.) I have a passable non-solo Baritone voice. (And they never taught us practical things for the most part. Mostly counterpoint excercises and analyzing complex chords with fancy naems, etc.)

I have a different problem as I am not used to the new MuseScore and I couldn't find the answer in the handbook.
I would like to be able to choose Choral and be able to isolate the soprano, alto, tenor bass and piano lines. What do I need to do with instrument and mixer to be able to do this. Any help is so appreciated. Step by step, please if possible as I am in my mid 70s and not so tech savvy!

In reply to by jillllee

When you create your score, look for the SATB+Piano template in the Choral section and you will only have a piano and 4 voice lines. If this doesn't help, please clarify the question. Also, in the future please start a new topic if you don't find one that answers your question.

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