Requests & suggestions after using MS 1.0

• May 2, 2011 - 10:35


I'm a professional musician/arranger/music editor. I use Sibelius for most of my work, but I've been quite impressed with MuseScore's progress and have recommended it to many friends for casual notation.

Now that I've used MS v1.0 for a while, here are the requests, suggestions, and ideas I've accumulated. Sorry to dump them all on you at once like this. No doubt some have already been discussed here, too, but unfortunately I don't have the time to try to look up each one.

Thanks for the nice app! Cheers, Ander

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_ It'd be great if we could adjust systems' vertical positions independently, rather than being locked into uniform vertical spacing through the whole score. I often need a bit of extra space between systems, e.g. when there are notes high above the staff with chord symbols, fermatas, and extra marks. The only way to do this in MS is to make ALL the systems farther apart than you really want them to be.

_ When you enter chords, you usually start with the top note, then add the notes below it. (MS is set up to do this using Shift+2-8). But when you've just entered a chord, then you press A-G to add a note to the next place in the score, MS adds it in the same octave as the last note you entered---which, with a chord, was usually its bottom note. So you have to press Ctrl+Up nearly each time to fix this. Wouldn't it make more sense to have MS add the new note in the same octave as a preceding chord's top note?

_ How about being able to select more than one adjoining note/chord/rest (or a whole bar, or multiple bars), then pressing R to repeat the whole selection? That would save a lot of time.

_ Is there a reason why, after you enter a chord, you have to select and tie each of its notes one at a time, rather than being able to select and tie the whole chord? And when you select and copy a tied note or chord, couldn't MS assume you want to copy the tie, too?

_ I've been reading the discussions about whether it's important for MS to add ties that point in the right direction. Of course it would be much more convenient if it did that. But also, many people who notate music don't understand correct tie directions, so they aren't capable of fixing MS's ties. When they release music with incorrectly-tied notes, it makes MS look bad, maybe even creating the impression that MS doesn't let you change the directions of ties... Yikes!

_ When you drop an object from the Lines palette onto your score, couldn't MS assume that you'd now like to adjust its length? Wouldn't it make more sense to have the adjustment boxes appear right away, so you don't have to double-click the line each time?

_ When you're adjusting the length of an object you've added from the Lines palette (when its adjustment boxes are visible), you can zoom in, but you can't zoom out... Is that on purpose?

_ In Note Properties, it'd be very helpful if MS would show the effects of Extra Leading Space and Extra Following Space in real time, as you changed them. Currently, it's entirely guesswork---you have to change the setting, click OK to apply it, then re-open the dialog box to try again (and again, and again...).

_ It'd really help if we could drag chord symbols from one bar to another, or even one staff to another, and have the attachment lines re-attach themselves to each note or chord they're near.

_ When you change an existing note's/chord's time value, is it necessary for MS to remove any existing accents, fermatas, etc., requiring them to be re-entered?

_ We sorely need a way to realign adjoining chord symbols (not just whole systems of them, but specific selected ones). It's nearly impossible to do it by hand so that it looks good.

_ Will you please make 1st, 2nd, etc. ending lines a bit "smarter" so they don't have to be resized & repositioned each time the staff's spacing changes? That takes a lot of time.

_ Will you please add a way to adjust accidentals horizontally? For example, they often appear too far to the left on chords containing 2nd intervals.

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Would be great if you could put numbers in front of your remarks.

1/ Read about Break or spacer
2/ indeed. MuseScore uses the last note you entered, anywhere in the score. It could be more scope related
3/ Selecting a measure, or some adjacent notes and pressing R DOES work on MuseScore 1.0
7/ when you are editing a line, you can zoom in and zoom out. If you can't, please explain with more details how you zoom in/out.
8/ Trailing and following spaces are in space unit, the distance between two lines of the staff. I agree that an "Apply" button will be great.
13/ double click the accidental and use the arrow keys on the keyboard.

Great list! A couple of observations:

- While Spaces already address some of your concerns regarding non-uniform spacing, what's still missing AFAIK is the ability to increase/decrease the distance between two specific staves within a system *consistently* throughout a piece. You can only adjust spacing between staves within a specific system or between two specific systems.

- Good suggestion regarding how MuseScore determines the default octave for new notes. I'd also point out that when first entering notes after changing staves, it rarely makes sense to default to using the octave of the note most recently entered, which was for a totally different instrument. It's often off by several octaves. I'd prefer MuseScore look backwards on the *current* staff to find the note that would be *played* just before the note you are about to enter, and use that to set the default.

- Another reason it's important to get tie direction reasonable by default: transposition. Manual tie direction settings often end up being wrong if a part is transposed.

- Chords are actually not attached to notes, but beat positions. This is usually a great thing; much preferable to being tied to notes, as it allow the same chord progression to be written over several different lines with no manual position changes required. But a simpler way to actually copy the chords (without copying the notes) would be wonderful.

- What do you mean by "realign adjoining chord symbols"? I can think of anything I've seen a need for that I'd describe that way. Do you perhaps mean, adjust the spacing in cases where the chord symbols collide?

- Endings (voltas) are, fortunately, already much improved in 2.0 in terms of automatically aligning. All that's missing is a way to control the specific alignment used by default. If you're writing music with chord symbols, you're likely to want a higher alignment point than you would otherwise.

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