Transposition

Transposition moves a selection of notes higher, or lower on the staff. MuseScore supports several kinds of transposition, including transposing instruments.

Transpose Dialog
(See below for details)

Chromatic transposition, by key

Chromatic transposition moves selected notes up or down in semitone increments. From the main menu, choose NotesTranspose..., select which key signature to transpose - closest, up or down. If no selection is made, transposition applies to the whole score.

Chromatic transposition, by interval

Chromatic transposition moves selected notes up or down in semitone increments. From the main menu, choose NotesTranspose.... Tick "By Interval", select the interval from the popup menus and whether to transpose up or down. If no selection is made, transposition applies to the whole score.

You can also transpose a selection of notes using the arrow keys ( or ).

Diatonic transposition

Diatonic transposition (also known as scalar transposition) moves notes up, or down the current scale according to the key signature. You can move a single note by dragging it up, or down. You can move a selection of multiple notes with Ctrl + click and drag.

Transposition shortcuts

F2 (Mac: fn+F2): Transpose score and key signature UP one semitone.
Shift+F2 (Mac: Shift+fn+F2): Transpose score and key signature DOWN one semitone.
Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+): Transpose selection UP one octave.
Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+): Transpose selection DOWN one octave.

You can also use EditPreferencesShortcuts to set a convenient keyboard shortcut to open the Transpose dialog box.

Transposing instruments

Certain instruments such as B-flat trumpet or E-flat alto sax are known as transposing instruments. These instruments sound lower, or higher than their written pitch. MuseScore has built-in support for transposing instruments.

The Concert Pitch button and NotesConcert Pitch from the main menu lets you switch between concert pitch and transposing pitch. Concert pitch helps composers and arrangers because it displays every instrument in the same key, so the notes on the staff match their sounding pitches. When concert pitch is turned off, the notes on some instrument staves may not match their sounding pitches, but they are ready for an instrumentalist to play from. If you use concert pitch during your session, remember to turn off concert pitch before printing the parts.

Change staff transposition

Instrument transpositions are already set up in MuseScore. However, if you want a rare instrument or transposition that is not available in MuseScore, you may need to edit the instrument transposition manually. Right-click an empty part of the instrument staff and choose Staff Properties.... At the bottom of the Staff Properties window, you can select the interval of transposition, any octave shifts, and whether the interval is "Up" (sounds higher than written) or "Down" (sounds lower than written).

You can also use the Change Instrument… button in the Staff Properties window to automatically change the transposition to that of a different standard instrument.