Create new score

Upon starting MuseScore, you will see the Start Center.

Start center

Start Center

You can choose between options such as

  • Create a new score (by using 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 create a new score when the Start Center is not open, choose FileNew... or use the shortcut Ctrl+N (Mac: Cmd+N). This opens the Create New Score wizard.

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 >.

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/voice parts (optional)

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

New score wizard: Choose instruments

The instrument window is divided into two columns. The left column lists instruments, or voice parts to choose from. The right column, while initially empty, will soon contain a list of the instruments for your new score.

The instrument list in the left column is categorized into instrument families. Click a category to show the full list of instruments in each family. Select an instrument and click Add. The instrument you selected now appears in the right column. You can add more instruments or voice parts, if needed.

The default entry is "Common instruments" but you can choose from others, including "Jazz instruments" and "Early music".

You can also type the name of an instrument into the search box to filter for it in "All instruments".

Staff type is usually standard (five lines), but some instruments may utilize other kinds (drums/percussion, plucked string).

The order of the instruments in the right column reflects how they will appear in the score. To change the order, click an instrument name and use the Up or Down buttons to move it higher/lower. When done, click Next >.

Add staff to an instrument

New score wizard: Add linked staves

The Add option is used to create a Grand Staff, where a single instrument (such as a piano, harp or guitar etc.) uses more than one staff line.

Highlight a staff line in your chosen instrument list in the right column (e.g., "Staff 1"; see image above) and click either Add Staff or Add Linked Staff. The former will add a suitable unlinked staff line to the highlighted choice; the latter will add an appropriate linked staff line. The difference is that the contents of unlinked staves in a Grand Staff can be changed without affecting the other member; but changes to a linked staff are automatically translated to the other staff (e.g. linked guitar staff/TAB pairs—see Tablature).

The spacing of a Grand Staff can be controlled with 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).

The amount of measures can be specified here, but it is possible to amend this later.

Click Finish to create your new score.

Adjustments to score after creation

You can change any settings specified during the new score wizard, even after you start working on the score.

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

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

  • To add, delete, or change the order of instruments, use the menu EditInstruments... or press I.


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.

System template folder

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 Mac OS X, look under /Applications/MuseScore

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 Mac OS X 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.

See also