Creating a New Score in MuseScore with NVDA

• created 4 years ago • last updated 4 years ago
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This short tutorial guides you through the process of creating a new score in MuseScore.

It assumes you have MuseScore 2.0.3 or above, and NVDA 2016.1 installed. If you have a Braille display, it is suggested that you use this as well.

Getting started

By default, MuseScore opens with a blank score entitled ‘My_First_score’. Later, you can change this so that MuseScore either starts with a new score, the score you were last working on, or with any specific score you choose.

New score wizard

MuseScore can guide you through the creation of a new score via the ‘New Score Wizard’. You can launch this by going to FileNew... or use the shortcut Ctrl+N.

Focus is placed in the title field where you can insert the name of your new score.

Note: NVDA does not speak in this field when deleting characters though if you are using a Braille display, you will be able to read characters in this box.

Once completed, tab to the next box for subtitle, and so-on for composer, lyricist and copyright. When completed, press Next >.

The next screen of the new score wizard allows you to specify the instruments and/or voices in your score. For convenience, MuseScore includes several templates for common scorings such as SATB for four-part voices, or string quartet or jazz ensemble. You can also select your own custom scoring.

Press tab to cycle between the categories and then use the left and right arrow keys to select each template within these categories.

Note: When pressing ‘tab’ between the groups of templates, NVDA does not announce anything. Use the right and left arrow keys to move between the templates in each group.

If you don’t want any of the preset templates, within the first tab, there is a control labelled ‘select instrument’. Arrowing right from here are the options to select treble or bass clef. Press Enter to select instrument.

You will now see a list of instruments grouped into genres:

  • All instruments
  • Common instruments
  • Jazz instruments
  • Orchestral instruments
  • Early music instruments
  • Ethnic instruments

To select any of these genres, press Enter. Then press Tab to put focus on the instrument categories. This is a tree view, so press ‘right arrow’ to open the tree and ‘left arrow’ to close it again. Once you have found the instrument you require, press Tab once to the Add button. You can repeat this process as many times as you wish.

Note: The appropriate clef is automatically selected for each instrument.

Other groups of templates include:

  • SATB with/without piano/organ, open or closed score.
  • Orchestral/string quartet
  • Big band/jazz ensemble

Once you have selected the instruments/voices for your score, you will be prompted to select the key and time signature.

Note: the key signature selection is currently inaccessible.

Once the score has been set up, it is possible to select the key signature by going to the master key pallet by pressing Shift+K with focus at the correct point in the score, but the palettes are likewise currently inaccessible.

Press Tab to select whether or not a tempo indication is included. Press Space to tick or untick the tempo indication button. Then press Tab to select the beats per minute. This is a spin box so use up and down arrows to select the beats per minute. Then press Enter.

There are three radio buttons for selecting the time signature. The first allows you to select a custom time signature and the second two are for common time and cut common time. If you choose ‘select time signature’, two more fields appear where you can select the number of beats per bar and then the beat denomination. These are both spin boxes, so again, use the up and down arrow keys.

A further check box allows you to specify whether or not your piece has an anacrusis. If this is ticked, you can tab to two further edit boxes to select the number and type of beat of the anacrusis.
Press ‘finish’ to complete the wizard. Focus will be left at the beginning of your piece. You can press Ctrl+Enter to confirm you have focus at the beginning of the piece.

You are now ready to start Entering notes into your score.

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