Drumset (.drm) file documentation

Updated 3 years ago

Drumset files (.drm) are used by the Edit Drumset dialog box for saving and re-loading drumset definitions.

The definitions in a .drm file are XML and identical to the drumset definitions in an instruments.xml file.

.drm file definition


The museScore element is the container for all of the drum elements.

museScore attribute - version (required)
The version is the version of the file format, not the version of MuseScore. This documentation applies to version 3.01.

museScore element - Drum (multiple)


Defines a sound for an unpitched Instrument

Drum attribute - pitch (required)
The content is the MIDI note number (pitch) for the sound.

Drum element - head (recommended unless noteheads is specified)
The content is the notehead group to use for this sound. Specifying the notehead group number is deprecated: the notehead group name is required. The default and the fallback if the name is not recognized is normal.

Each notehead group defines a set of four noteheads for "black" notes (quarter notes / crotchets and shorter), half notes (minims), whole notes (semibreves) and double whole notes (breves).

The notehead group may be one of the standard groups for percussion
normal, cross, plus, xcircle | withx, triangle-up, triangle-down, slash perc 0-7s.png
slashed1, slashed2, diamond, diamond-old | circled, circled-large perc 8-13s.png

or one of the oddities
large-arrow, do, re, mi | fa, (no so), la, ti perc 14-20s.png

Drum element - noteheads (optional)
Sets the the noteheads for "black" notes (quarter notes / crotchets and shorter), half notes (minims), whole notes (semibreves) and double whole notes (breves) individually using internationally recognized names. noteheads takes precedence over head.

noteheads has four, optional, elements defining the noteheads for each length note: quarter for "black" notes, half for half notes /minims, whole for whole notes / semibreves and breve for double whole notes / breves.

The noteheads equivalent of the notehead group slashed2 is


Any noteheads from the SMuFL ranges Noteheads, Slash noteheads, Round and square noteheads and Shape note noteheads can be used.

For unpitched percussion instruments, you may only ever need black noteheads. If the notehead definition for any note length is omitted, the notehead defaults to normal.

Drum element - line (recommended)
The content is the staff line to use for this sound. 0 is the top line, 1 the top interline and so on. The default is -1. This is not guaranteed.

Drum element - voice (recommended)
The content is the preset voice to use for this sound: a number between 0 and 3, corresponding to staff voices 1 to 4. The default is 0 (staff voice 1). This is not guaranteed.

Drum element - name (required)
The content is the name of the sound. This is the tip text for the sound in the drum palette and name of the sound in the Edit drumset dialog box.

Drum element - stem (recommended)
The content is the preset stem direction: 0 for automatic. 1 for up and 2 for down. Defaults to up for voice 0 or 3 (staff voice 1 or 4) and defaults to down for voice 1 or 2 (staff voice 2 or 3).

Drum element - shortcut (optional)
The content is the shortcut for this sound which should be a letter between A and G.