Create new score

The New Score Wizard helps you to set up a new score. To open the New Score Wizard directly, see Create new score (below). You can also get to the New Score Wizard via the Start Center.

Start center

Start Center

This is the window that displays when you first open MuseScore. Alternately you can open it by selecting it from ViewStart Center... (keyboard shortcut, F4).

Here, you can choose between options such as

  • Create a new score (by clicking on the icon with the plus sign)
  • Open a previously opened score
  • If opening MuseScore for the first time, open the "Getting Started" tutorial score
  • Open an existing score from your computer's file system
  • See the "In the spotlight" score of the day
  • Search sheet music on
  • Link to mobile apps
  • Link to follow MuseScore on social networks

Create new score

To open the New Score Wizard when the Start Center is not open, use one of the following options:

  • Click on the New Score icon in the toolbar on the top left of the window;
  • Use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+N (Mac: Cmd+N);
  • Select FileNew....

Title, composer and other information

New Score wizard: Title, subtitle, etc.

Enter the title, composer, or any other information as shown above, then click on Next >. This step is optional: you can also add this information after the score is created (see Vertical frame).

Select template

New Score wizard: Select template file

Here, you can choose from a range of solo, ensemble and orchestral templates (discussed in more detail below). If you wish to choose exactly what instruments should be in your score then click on the "Choose Instruments" template (under "General").

Choose instruments or voice parts

If you can't find an appropriate template, then click "Choose Instruments".

New score wizard: Choose instruments

The Chose Instruments window is divided into two columns:

  • The left column contains a list of instruments, or voice parts to choose from. This list is categorized into instrument families, and clicking a category shows the full list of instruments in each family.

    The default entry is "Common instruments" but you can choose from others, including "Jazz instruments" and "Early music". There is a search box at the bottom of the instrument window: typing the name of an instrument there will search for it in "All instruments".

  • The right column starts off empty, but will eventually contain a list of instruments for your new score, in the order that they will appear.

    The most widely used staff is the standard type (five lines), but percussion and tablature staves are also provided. You can use the drop-down list under Staff type to make preliminary adjustments to staves: for example, to change a standard staff to tablature or vice versa, or to change the appearance of a tablature or percussion staff.

To add instruments to your score use any of the following options:

  • Select one or more instruments in the left column and click Add.
  • Double-click an instrument in the left column.

The instrument names, and their associated staff lines, now appear in the instrument list in the right column. You can add more instruments or voice parts, as needed. Each instrument added in this way is allocated its own Mixer channel.

To change the order of instruments/staves, click either an instrument name or a staff and use the Up or Down buttons to move it higher/lower.

To delete an instrument, or staff line, from your score:

  • Select an instrument, or a staff line, in the right column and click Remove.

Add staff

This method is used to add another staff to an existing instrument in your instrument list:

  1. Select a staff in the instrument list on the right-hand side (e.g. see "Staff 1" in the image below). Click Add Staff.

  2. Adjust the Staff type, if applicable.

New score wizard: Add staff

Each instrument staff can be edited independently of the other(s). All staves share the same instrument name and Mixer channel.

You can use Add Staff to create an unlinked staff/tablature system for the guitar or other plucked-string instrument (see Combine pitched staff with tablature).

Add Linked Staff

This method is used to add a linked staff to an existing instrument in your instrument list:

  1. Select an instrument staff in your instrument list (e.g., "Staff 1"; see image above) and click Add Linked Staff.

  2. Use the Staff type column to change the new staff as required.

Any changes to the notation in one staff will automatically be translated to the other. All staves share the same instrument name and Mixer channel.

You can use theAdd Linked Staff button to create a linked staff/tablature system for the guitar or other plucked-string instrument (see Combine pitched staff with tablature).

Note: To adjust the distance between staves within a single instrument (created with the Add Staff or Add Linked Staff buttons), use the Grand Staff Distance setting.

Select key signature and tempo

New Score wizard: Select key signature

The wizard asks for two things: The initial key signature and tempo of the score. Select any of the former and click Next > to continue. An initial tempo can be set here too.

Time signature, pickup measure (anacrusis), and number of measures

New score wizard: Create time signature and set measure options

You can set your initial time signature here. If the score starts with a pickup, then mark the Pickup measure checkbox and adjust the time signature (a setting known in the context menu 'Measure Properties' as actual duration).

Measures is set to 32 by default: you can change the number here, or add/remove measures later from the score.

Click Finish to create your new score.

Adjustments to score after creation

Any settings you make in the New Score Wizard can always be changed when you start work on the score itself:

Add/Delete Measures

To add/delete measures or create a pickup, see Measure operations

Add/Edit text

To change any text, see Text editing. To add a missing Title (or other text item), use the menu AddTextTitle (or other text item)

Change Instrument set-up

To add, delete, or change the order of instruments, use the menu EditInstruments... or press I. This opens the Instruments dialog which is virtually identical to the Chose Instruments dialog in the New Score Wizard (see above).

See also Change instrument (Staff properties).


The second screen of the new score wizard allows you to choose a template to create a new score from (see above for details). To create a score using this method, click on a template instead of the "Choose Instruments" option. Continue and finish the new score wizard as usual.

Template files are normal MuseScore files, stored in a template folder. There are two template folders created by default: the system template folder that contains the templates installed with MuseScore and should not be modified, and a private user template folder to add your own templates to. You can create a custom template that will show in the new score wizard by simply saving a score into that folder.

User template folder

You can configure the location of your private templates folder in EditPreferences...General, but MuseScore does create a folder for this purpose.

On Windows, the user template folder is located at %HOMEPATH%\Documents\MuseScore2\Templates.

On macOS and Linux, the user template folder is located at ~/Documents/MuseScore2/Templates.

The new score wizard will show templates from both the system and the user template folder.

System template folder

The content of this folder should not be modified.

On Windows, the system template folder is usually located at C:\Program Files\MuseScore 2\templates or in the 64-bit versions at C:\Program Files (x86)\MuseScore 2\templates.

On Linux, look under /usr/share/mscore-xxx if you installed from the package manager. If you compiled MuseScore on Linux yourself, then look under /usr/local/share/mscore-xxx (with xxx being the version you are using).

On macOS, look under /Applications/MuseScore

See also

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