MuseScore 3.1 Release

• May 28, 2019 - 09:18

Today we are pleased to announce a significant update, MuseScore 3.1. In addition to hundreds of bug fixes, it introduces some new features (including single-note dynamics) and significant improvements related to playback, automatic placement and layout, fretboard diagrams, and performance.

Download MuseScore 3.1 Release


Single-note Dynamics

MuseScore will now play crescendos and diminuendos on single notes; fortepianos and other dynamics that change volume after the beginning of a note; and dynamic articulations. Before, a note could only play at a single dynamic for its entire duration. This new feature is possible thanks to an update to the MuseScore General soundfont and a significant amount of programming that allows dynamics playback to be controlled while a note is still being played. It isn’t just volume that is affected—timbre and other subtle effects can also change based on the dynamics. Both new and existing scores will take advantage of this automatically, and customization options are available as well.

snd 2019-05-28 10-41-04.png

For even more realism in playback, a high-quality soundfont is available as an extension in the Resource Manager. It provides better quality of Strings and Synth instruments. Note, you don’t have to install HQ soundfont to make single-note dynamics work.

Special thanks to @jthistle (James Thistlewood) and S. Christian Collins

Here is a creative example of what can be done with this feature provided by mdi1972 (Alvaro José Fernández Lago).

Smart Layout

Automatic placement (autoplace) was one of the most significant advances in MuseScore 3 over MuseScore 2. It provides context-aware positioning for elements, avoiding most collisions and thus reducing the need for manual adjustment. However, in the cases where manual adjustment is also necessary, users sometimes felt autoplace got in the way. We have listened to these concerns and come up with some major improvements in the flexibility of automatic placement.

As of MuseScore 3.1, automatic placement will no longer prevent you from moving elements wherever you like—including moving them closer to the staff, overlapping other elements, or even onto the staff. Moreover, by default, autoplace will stay enabled for elements you move, meaning it will continue to update the position of moved elements to avoid further collisions as you edit your score, and other elements will continue to avoid the moved element. This provides the best of both worlds—great default positioning and automatic collision avoidance as you edit, with complete freedom to move elements around. You can also easily disable autoplace completely for an individual element or for the score as a whole.

In addition, MuseScore 3.1 will detect when you have moved an element to the opposite side of the staff and will automatically convert between Above and Below placement, just as if you had used the “X” command or Inspector to flip it.

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Special thanks to @MarcSabatella (Marc Sabatella)

Fretboard Diagram Improvements

Fretboard diagrams are vastly more customizable, now featuring:

  • Multiple dots per string
  • Partial and multiple barres
  • Different dot shapes (especially useful for Ted Greene diagrams)
  • Ability to not show nut
  • Customizable distance between strings and frets
  • Chord symbols for diagrams
  • Improved ability to save chord symbols to the palette
  • Improved fretboard editing interface
  • Many bugfixes

Special thanks to @jthistle (James Thistlewood), and to Trevor Hanson for his advice.

Half/Double Duration

MuseScore 3.1 includes new commands Edit > Paste Half Duration and Edit > Paste Double Duration to halve or double rhythms when pasting a selection. These allow you to quickly turn a passage notated in eighth notes into one notated in sixteenths or vice versa. Unlike earlier plugins, these commands work on tuplets and multiple voices.

Special thanks to @MarcSabatella (Marc Sabatella)

Linearization Feature

Users often take advantage of jumps and repeats during "prototyping" of a song and, after a while, decide to linearize the score before continuing with the arrangement. This is especially common in larger arrangements, where structural parts (Verses, Choruses, etc) are seldom repeated exactly. MuseScore 3.1 now provides the Tools > Unroll Repeats command to automate this process.

Special thanks to @velochy (Margus Niitsoo)

UX improvements

We listen carefully to user feedback, including recently a public video analyzing MuseScore’s interface by professional musician and designer Tantacrul.

For 3.1, we have implemented a few things that make the user experience smoother:

  • Notes remain selected after deleting various elements attached to them
  • Hairpins and dynamics can be copied now (separately or together)
  • Target measures are fully cleared on copy-pasting elements
  • Duration of multiple notes can be changed at once
  • Horizontal note spacing can be adjusted by dragging
  • Inspector is more compact and visually streamlined

snd 2019-05-28 12-23-21.png

Special thanks to @tantacrul (Martin Keary), @dmitrio95 (Dmitri Ovodok), and @IsaacWeiss (Isaac Weiss)

Continuous View Performance

MuseScore 3 introduced significant performance improvements for page view by only laying out the portion of a score affected by any given edit operation, rather than always laying out the entire score as in previous versions. This makes it easier to work on large scores in MuseScore 3. However, continuous view did not benefit from this improvement and got slower compared to MuseScore 2. Now MuseScore 3.1 brings these same improvements to continuous view, thus making it a more viable option as well regardless of the size of your score.

Important notes

  • Neither nor MuseScore apps have been updated yet, so the scores will look a bit different and won't sound with single-notes dynamics there
  • Complete list of the changes is available here


Any important difference from 3.1 Release Candidate issued some days earlier? Because I've installed it and I'm finishing a work using RC and need to focus on it. By the way, great improvement compared to beta!

Mid-note dynamics AND performance improvements? You guys are legends, it's my dream come true. But one question: is it absolutely necessary to use the Musescore General soundfont in order to playback those dynamics?
Edit: AND you took Tantacrul's feedback into consideration? My god.

This is great! Fixed a lot of the problems I'd had before.. But... what happened to some of the default battery percussion soundfont sounds? The snare is very soft now, and the rimshot and stickshot just sound like a normal hit with a click instead of the nice strong THWACK that they used to have. Even the pitch of it is lower than the normal snare stroke. And I suppose I'll have to get better earphones, because the changes to the soundfont seem to have put all the instruments within a more narrow frequency range than before, so they all seem to melt together and drown each other out. I hope that won't be the case with earphones that aren't cheap junk. The old soundfont seemed to have a better range of varying frequencies between instruments: Punchy mid-bassy basses, high cutting snare, tenors just a bit under the snare.

The new marching bass does sound great, though! Much more realistic than the previous synth bass sound. And I appreciate that the volume of the tenors has been brought up a bit, since I had to boost them in the mixer to hear them. now I have to bring them down and boost the snare. And thank you thank you thank you for fixing the issue where the snare caused playback to lag and slow everything down.

In reply to by TheOtherJThistle

I don't know how many-different-places and how many-times do I have to write this, but I insist:

The "MIDI Continuous Controller 11 to Initial Attenuation" modulator is set as the default for sound-font version 2.1. (It's in the default modulators)
"SoundFont 2.01 Technical Specification - Page 56; under Title: 8.4 Default Modulators"


I love the new single note crescendos but they don't seem to work on cymbals. Is there any way to have a tremolo on a cymbal crescendo or is it only for other instruments?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I beg to differ, and I hope things like crescendo, decrescendo, staccato, etc will be supported for cymbals--both kit and marching-- in the future under such circumstances as: Swells (I suppose that falls under tremolo/roll), sizzle chokes, partial chokes (grabbing the cymbal but then releasing it before it completely stops ringing), and other such unconventional cymbal techniques.

In reply to by SketchMan3

Sure, but those are more than just dynamics. The point is, basic dynamics - just getting louder or softer after the initial attack - isn't something percussion instruments can do, more or less by definition. They decay as they decay. You can choose to modify the sound by special techniques such as damping etc, and some day we may support the special notations that would be used for this as well as the special sound effects they produce - but it's outside the scope of basic dynamics.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Maybe this is not the right place but it is related. I may post this elsewhere if so advised, but there are several situations where a new sound needs to be assigned to an instrument. One example already existing is that of pizz., tremolo and arco in string instruments. The case of pizz. has been long considered as a different kind of instrument. Two important precedents: 1) Rimky Korsakov in his orchestration treatise considers pizzicati as a different family from the same instrument using the bow; 2) General MIDI accepts program change 45, GM Pizzicato as a different program (unfortunately a single program for the whole string family).
The case of tremolo is also in GM (PC 44, GM Tremolo-strings).
This situation applies to many other instruments and modes of sound production. For instance a timpani roll is a different kind of sound from a simple rapid repetion of the note, the same as a cymbal, where resonance is an important part of the sound. Others are: string and wind instrument harmonics, col legno string, mute strings, mute brass instruments (GM already has PC 59 for mute trumpet)

Thank you for this update! I've been anticipating this feature for a long time! There were several pieces that I wished had the single-note dynamic function. I just recently made some string arpeggio runs with a crescendo/diminuendo tied note in the bass clef. It sounds so awesome!

In reply to by Mewsscore

This is how I (almost) solved both the machine feel of the tremolo and the dynamics in the case of the cymbal. I created a second cymbal staff containing the 32nd notes of the tremolo, which I slightly modified by irregularly placing augmentation dots. Then I added the desired hairpins. Next i made the staff invisible by typing "I" (for Instruments) and unchecking "visible". Finally, I wrote the main staff in the manner the percussionist will read it, but unchecked "play". So the tremolo sounds more irregularly, hence more humanly, and with the intended dynamics. But it lacks the resonance so it is a bit unreal, especially if solo or lightly accompanied.

Update: If "play" is kept checked and the first hairpin is given a minimal velocity change of 1, it sounds a bit more real (if velocity change is 0 there is an awkward behavior, since it seems to inherit the other staff's hairpin change.

Update 2: Probably if a second invisible cymbal staff is added with a different version of the irregularities the result would be even more realistic, since the slight asynchronicity would simulate the resonance (when the stick hits the cymbal another version keeps sounding)

Update 3: The same idea applied to a timpani roll (find attached). I think it sounds reasonably realistic!
Here I kept the second timpani staff visible, but in the final score it should be made invisible. The "normal" (notated) tremolo is not silenced but kept at a steady quiet level simulating resonance and adding interest with asynchronous hits.

Attachment Size
Test cymbal.mscz 5.69 KB
Realistic_timpani_roll_test.mscz 10.48 KB

Is there a difference between downloading the new version from here versus using the "Check for update" feature in the Help menu of MuseScore?

Quick question. Is it possible to modify zerberus sound files to work with the single-note dynamic? Or any soundfont for that matter.

EDIT: Nvm, I figured out how to change the settings so that it would work for CC compatible sound files.

In reply to by Steven M. Kudlo

It's not clear. Meanwhile, though, feel free to start a new thread and discuss your particular use of this tool in the past so we can make sure we understand the different use cases people had. i would not that the msot common - assembling muti-movement works - is performed in arguably an easier and more flexible way by using a PDF utility like PDFsam.

Thank you! This update is godly amazing! Especially the dynamics in one note. Now I don't have to break notes of same pitch apart and slur them with different dynamics to keep the effect.
Also, the very buggy playback in 3.0.5 which always crashes and text typing and re-pitching notes are smooth now.
The stemless option is great! Finally the dynamic fp< is useful!
May I request the ornament turn can be between notes? And, can adding accidentals to ornaments just like the hand-written scores change the playback? And, acciaccatura played before beat?
Thank you!

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