Template with Bass clef converts to Treble Clef when used to create a new score

• May 27, 2015 - 22:00
S4 - Minor
by design

I have a simple template file with two staves, one for flute using a Treble Clef and one for Bassoon using a Bass Clef. If I open the template file in Musescore it correctly displays with the Treble and Bass Clefs. However if I use the template file to create a new score the new score is created with both staves having a Treble Clef.
1. Save the attached file into the Musescore 2 templates folder
2. File New and use the template to create a new score
3. New score is displayed but with Bass Clef replaced with Treble Clef
Affects Version 2.0.1 Revision b25f81d

PS Can anyone explain why my custom templates do not display in the templates folder if I view the folder using windows explorer?

Attachment Size
Accordion Practice v2.mscz 3.04 KB


I'm guessing when you originally started this score, the second staff was something other than Bassoon, then you changed it to bassoon, then changed the clef. This changes the clef in the score, but doesn't change it in instrument list - the original clef is remembered (see Edit / Instruments to see that Treble is still listed, even when opening the score directly). When creating a template, it is a good idea to start out with the right instruments.

It could be argued that changing instrument *should* update the clef and the original instrument list - see #4954: Change instrument via staff properties doesn't affect clef. If you did indeed change instruments after the initial score creation, then we can close this as a duplicate. Otherwise, we would need you to provide steps to to reproduce this problem in order to better understand what else might have happened.

As for why you can't find your template with Windows Explorer, I am guessing you are looking in the wrong folder. There are two different templates folders: MuseScore's own internal templates folder (normally something like C:\Program Files (x86)\MuseScore2\templates), and your personal templates folder (normally something like C:\Users\YourName\Documents\MuseScore2\Templates).

Thanks for the explanation.
I have now successfully created a new template that maintains the Bass Clef when creating a new score from the template, by starting with the General template and adding the Flute (Treble Clef) and Bassoon (Bass Clef).

With respect to not being able to see my templates when using Windows Explorer
My Musescore preference is set to

Musescores template folder is
C:\Program Files (x86)\MuseScore 2\templates

When I create a new template I select File / Save As and save it to the folder
C:\Program Files (x86)\MuseScore 2\templates\00-Custom

If I open any of the above folders in Musescore using File / Open I can see my templates in the Musescore Load Score window, They show with a padlock symbol next to them. However if I view the same folders in Windows Explorer none of my templates are visible. Both the Users\... \Templates folder and the 00-Custom folder display "This folder is empty". If I open any of the Musecore standard template folders e.g. 01-General in Windows Explorer I can see all the template files that come with the Musescore installation.

So I am definitely looking in the right place for the files.

What is Musescore doing to cause the custom template files to display with a padlock symbol? Would this have anything to do with the files failing to display in windows explorer? I have tried saving a new template to the 01-General folder and get the same results, so I don't think the issue is anything to do with folder permissions.

Don't save to MuseScore's folder (the one under Program Files); save to your own folder (the one under Documents). Program Files is a read-only folder; you cannot normally write to it without administrator privileges, and if you try to do so, Windows does some sort of weird magic behind your back. If you save to ypour own folder (the one under Documents) then there is no permissions weirdness, Windows won't do strange magic, and the file will show normally in the Create New Score wizard, in File / Open, and in Windows Explorer.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Reported version 2.1  
Regression No
Workaround No

It seems it is not necessary to change the instrument to see this behaviour (at least in MS 3.2.3)

When arranging for clarinet ensembles, I like to work in concert pitch and have the bass and lower harmony clarinets shown in bass clef as it makes the voicing easier to see. But when printing the score and parts, I like to have them shown as transposed parts (as does the ensemble!) And so I have attempted to create a template for a quartet where the bass clarinet part has a bass clef when displayed in concert pitch.


  1. Create a new score with a bass clarinet
  2. Display at concert pitch
  3. Drag and drop bass clef (F clef) onto displayed G clef 8vb
  4. Save as template in user template folder
  5. Create a new score from saved template

Result: new score is displayed as concert pich with G Clef 8vb

Expected result: new score is displayed at concert pitch with F Clef

Surprisingly the thumbnail shown in the template selection dialogue shows the F clef.
It is also interesting that if the score is not saved as a template (i.e. not to the template folder) the F Clef IS still there when it is reloaded.

Your situation is different than the original post. You are actually adding information to the score (a clef change) rather than changing the instrument definition. You need to either create a custom intruments.xml file with the Bass Clarinet you like or edit the .mscx file to have the F clef show rather than the G8v clef in the template file.

For clarification, a template is just a .mscz file saved in the correct folder. The .mscz file is actually a .zip file with the extension changed to .mscz so MuseScore will know what the .zip file contains. Inside the .zip file is a .mscx file. When you see the Bass clarinet definition you will see the G 8vb clef defined for concert pitch, change this to F and your template will be as you like. Replace the .mscx file in the .mscz file and your template will work as you want.

If you create a custom instruments.xml file, you would do the same thing (change the concert pitch clef) and would only need to use it once to create your template. It does not need to be known to MuseScore after you create the score with it.

In reply to by mike320

"a template is just a .mscz file saved in the correct folder"

Yes, and as I said in step 4, I saved the template in the user templates folder.

It seems as if the clef change is retained in the template file (i.e. the .mscz file saved in the user templates folder) as the changed clef is shown in the thumbnail of the select template dialogue.

It also seems that it is possible to save and retain the changed clef without changing the instrument definiation as if I save the same .mscz fild as a score (i.e. not in the user templates folder) the clef change is still there when I reopen it.

So, if the clef change is present in the template file, is there a problem with the process of creating a score from the template in that it does not (re-)create the stored clef?

If you save a completely notated score into your template folder, all of your notes will be displayed in the template thumbnail. The thumbnail is actually a thumbnail of the existing score that underlies a template. When you use the score as a template, almost everything except instrument definitions and style settings are removed from the score. A clef change is a clef change and it doesn't matter if it's at the beginning of the score or somewhere else.

In reply to by mike320

So, this is "by design".

It would help if a) other things could be included in what the template uses to create a new score; b) there was an easier way of changing instrument definitions.

I feel a suggestion or two may be imminent, or perhaps a similar suggestion exists I will investigate.

Status active by design

This is by design so I will mark it as such. Perhaps a discussion in the general discussion forum will bring up some ideas, though I suspect your request is not a common one. I do wish it were easier to create an instrument definition. I have seen discussions about this, but I don't see a suggestion right now.