layers in imported .xml-files

• Jul 6, 2011 - 11:12

I recently donwloaded mscore 1.0 and am amazed with the improvement with respect to 09.4. However, I am not familiar with all the ins and outs so I hope somebody can give me some feed back.
1. I imported an .xml file - made with Finale - which has 3 layers (voices as it is called in mscore).
I would expect that layer one is displayed in blue. layer 2 in green and layer 4 (where I always put the chord notation) in red. However, all motes and chords are black.
2. I would like to make one layer (voice) invisible as it makes inserting easier but I don't know how to do that.
3. In the original file, the playback skips - as indicated with the upper bracket) 2 measures, when continuing over the repeat but in my sacore it only skips one measure.
4. Is it possible to copy layers. When I have written a big band arrangement I want the individual parts all to have the chords (in the correct pitch). I do that (in Finale) to copy layer(voice) 4 to each individual parts layer (voice) 4. Is that also possible in Musescore?
I haven't found, by the way, how to use a prepared chord table as I haven't found out how to insert chords.
I hope somebody can help me out.
Thanks in advance,


1. MuseScore is more "What you see it's what you get" than Finale. The voice are only colored when you edit them or when you select them. Try Ctrl + A your score will be multi colored.

2. It's not possible to make a voice temporary invisible with a simple switch. (I'm not sure it makes edition simpler but that's a personal opinion). If you really want to do so, you could right click on a note of this voice, select, Select -> More and select all the notes in this voice, then right click on one and set invisible. Do the same with rests. They will turn gray. If you don't want to see them gray, go to display -> show invisible.

3. Not exactly sure what you mean. If you could attach the file it would help. If you double click the bracket and drag the last blue handle, do you see a line going to the end of the first measure or the second? I bet the first one. If it's the case, shorten the bracket and use Shift + left arrow to make it bigger. See Volta

4. Copying voices is less straighforward. But you could achieve it by switching the voices. See for example :

5. For chordnames, read Chord name

In reply to by [DELETED] 5

1. Thanks for your speedy reply. Yes I know MuseScore is more WYSIWYG than Finale and I think that is an advantage.
I tried CTRL-A but all it does is putting a blue line around the score.

2. I use the visibilty option often as it gives me the possibility to write the notes in the correct place when writing, e.g. a second melody or to write 8th with an underlying whole note (of course this is for keyboard instruments only). I don't know what Musescore does with the timing. In Finale ( sorry to refer to it) you need to put rests - which can be made invisble - to set the notes on the correct place in the measure. Moreover, when I write chords I put on layer 4 rests (halve or quarter) to tie the chords to and then invisibility of the rest of the notes is very handy.
3. It is somewhat strange. In the original .MUS file the bracket goes to the second measure before the back-repeat bar but it also doesn't work correctly. Thanks for the hint. I got to increase the bracket length to the 2nd measure before the back-repeat bar but playback still plays the measure it should skip.

4. I couldn't read your screencast I don't know why. I work with Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid), firefox and flasplayer works (I can see all of youtube).

5 I will do that. and come back about it wheb I've done.
Thanska again for the rapid reply,

In reply to by J.L. Blom

If you want notes colored for display purposes, you could always write a plugin - or goad someone else into it - that colors notes according to voice. There is a current "Color Notes" plugin tht does it according to pitch. You'd just have to reset them all to black before printing.

I'm not clear on eactly what issues you are having regarding invisibility, but overall, MuseScore works very similarly to Finale in terms of using hidden rests to align notes and other objects in different voices.. You can multiselect any group of rests (ctrl-click one at a time) then right click and set invisible.

You can indeed use the trick of using invisible half rests in voice 4 to place chords, but it doesn't work quite as well as in Finale because these hidden rests will nonetheless affect stem direction in the other voices (eg, voice 1 will be forced up even if it's the only "real" voice). However, one interesting quirk about MuseScore 1.0 is that you can actually delete the chords when you're done, leaving the chords behind. These chords won't export to MusicXML properly in 1.0, but I believe this is fixed in 1.1 that will be coming out soon. Also coming in 1.1 are a whole slew of other improvements with regard to chord symbols and jazz notation in general.

Once you have a staff set up with chord symbols and nothing else, you can copy and paste it on to other staves and it works fine. That's basically the gist of how one would copy individual voices: first copy to a temp staff, delete everything but the voice you want (right click, select -> more...), then copy that temp staff wherever else you want.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for your comment. Especially the trick to write chords on an empty staff and then copying that temp staff to other parts is clever. I assume that copying from one part to another is possible and the trick with deleting rests - I assume you ment rests instead of chords - and then copying the temp staff with only the chords is a clever work-around. In Finale you can copy layers (your voices) and chose what to copy: all notes with stems,chords, etc. or only a selection (you can chose only chords). With respect to stem direction, I assume you can flip individual stems per layer (voice) so that can be redressed.

What I mean by setting invisible is that in Finale you only work in a selected layer. Just as in MuseScore there are 4 buttons which let you chose which layer is active (I assume the voice buttons in MuseScore work in the same manner).
Many years ago, actually I worked with ScoreProfessional, a program originally developed for the Atari and that had the same layer mechanism.

Sorry to come with a question: if I have selected a range of measures and use CTRL+C, select an empty range of measures and do a CTRL+V all layers are copied. That is OK in most cases, however, If I want to copy only the notes present in layer/voice 2 that is apparently not possible. I assume that is a feature request.

As I wrote earlier, I'm impressed with the progress in MuseScore. At the moment I have deadlines for a few pieces I'm writing (arrangements and originals) so I need to stay with Finale but when the pressure is somewhat less I will try to do it in MuseScore as I'm convinced open source is the future.
Before my retirement I wrote some software (mainly in FORTRAN and PASCAL) but not C ( and most programming was done by coworkers) so I don't think I can help in that respect. But QA - if there is QA-documentation for MuseScore - is something I'm happy to give time to, within my possibilities of course.

Thanks again for your remarks,

In reply to by J.L. Blom

Yes, copying from part to part is possible, and in particular case of copying chords as I suggested, it doesn't overwrite anything.

But there is indeed nothing like Finale's "show active layer only" (which temporarily hides all but the active layer, as opposed to actually marking anything invisible), nor is there a way to control which items gets copied within a selection and which don't.

And yes, to copy only the contents of a given layer, you'd have to do that in several steps, using a temp staff, and deleting all but the voice you want to copy. Or some other sort of similar workaround.

BTW, I was in a similar position as you a few months ago. I had just enough time on my project to decide to risk doing it in MuseScore. It went well enough that I forgave the small things that didn't go quite as well as I'd hope. Enough other things went even better than I had hoped, and of course, I was so blown away by how much was possible in a free / open source application, that I was "sold" instantly. I haven't open Finale since except to remember how something used to work in responding to a post here, or on rare occasions to view an older score that I hadn't already saved to PDF.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.