• Mar 26, 2017 - 14:22

I have been using MuseScore since 2010 and like the software very much. It is easy to use, powerful and versatile. However since the 2.0.0 version has come out the voltas have NOT been functioning correctly. I have made repeated inquiries about this but have been told there is not a problem. I contend there is a problem, as they DO NOT play in the correct secquence, and since the 2.0.3 upgrade the problem is worse! I have written a short song that contains 3 volta lines (1, 2, 3 ) and 4 repeats. Within each of these voltas I have added the 4th repeat so that all three volta sections play for the last repeat. IT DOES NOT WORK CORRECTLY! When the song starts the #1 volta should play, skip voltas 2&3 play to the repeat begin the start of the song skip voltas 1&3 play to the repeat skip to the start skip voltas 1&2 play to the repeat skip to the start and play voltas 1,2 &3. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN!! I have posted the song on my Musesore account so you can play it and see the problem first hand! The song is called Slow Dance.

I have an old version of Musescore 9.6.1 that I loaded on my computer and rewrote the song with this earlier version ....... THE SONG PLAYS PERFECTLY!!! Just as it is supposed to on the old version on the software.

Can someone please find and fix this problem? I write a lot of music, and like Musescore very much, furthermore I am used to this software and I would hate to be force to change to another notation software because of this one small problem!

Thank you for your prompt attention to this issue.

Sincerely John T. Graves

Here's the link to my song https://musescore.com/user/24626/scores/3631116

P.S. I have several songs that I had written with the old version of Musescore that don't play through properly as well, this is how I initially discovered this issue.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I think something like this is what you want

You have to change the repeat list on volta 2 under right click volta properties to 1 so it will only play once.

I looked at your score and voltas are not intended to work that way. That they did in previous versions is a bug that has obviously been fixed since then.

Title: "Voltas are alternative" by Jojo-Schmitz

Voltas are alternative endings, not middle parts, so every volta but the last
need an end repeat barline and the corresponding measure needs its repeat
count set properly.

My reply:
This does not cure the issue I have. Following this advice does not play the song the way I want it to play. The old version of Musescore 9.6.1 works the way I want. I like the way that version functions, but I want to use the latest version.

While voltas may be for alternative endings, I have seen them used the way I am, in the middle, to play a different part for second and third, etc. verses in a song. 9.6.1 plays the voltas this way. (plays volta1 skips voltas 2&3 plays to the repeat bar returns to the beginning repeat bar skips volta 1&3 plays to the repeat bar, returns, skips voltas 1&2 plays to repeat, returns, plays vlota 4 as indicated in the volta bracket by the 4 after the first number in the volta bracket. This usage of a volta is an appropriate method for alternative measures to be played in a song, and the earlier version of Musescore functioned "properly". Is there some reason this was changed in the new version?

In reply to by John T. Graves

The fact that it might have worked in 0.9.6 was probably a bug that got fixed, and a long time ago. Voltas are alternative endings, period.
But still there are enough bugs and misfeatures with repeats, jumps, voltas and complicate roadmaps left and still to be dealt with

Title: "I think something like this" by mike320

I think something like this is what you want
NOT FOUND: Voltas.mscz

You have to change the repeat list on volta 2 under right click volta
properties to 1 so it will only play once.

I looked at your score and voltas are not intended to work that way. That
they did in previous versions is a bug that has obviously been fixed since

My reply:
Thanks mike320, the repeat list on volta 2 somehow got changed, I fixed that, however from the beginning volta 1 should play and skip voltas 2 & 3, this does not happen it plays both instead of skipping them. The repeat list on volta 1 is set correctly so it should skip 2 & 3, it doesn't. This is where I contend there is a problem.

In reply to by John T. Graves

The order this plays on my computer (I double checked to make sure I made and played it in 2.0.3) is:

beginning to volta 1,
start repeat, skip volta 1 play volta 2
start repeat, skip volta 1 & 2, play volta 3
start repeat, skip to volta 4 and end.

When I applied volta 2 with repeat list defaulting to 2 it played both 2 and 3 when it should have played only 3. When I changed it to 1 it played as above (this is probably a bug, but another issue). If what you downloaded does not play in the same order there are a couple of questions:

1. What is the order yours plays?
2. What version of MS are you using?

In reply to by mike320

The way it should play is:

play measures 1&2, skip, 3&4 play measure 5 to repeat
play measure 1, skip 2, play 3, skip 4, play 5 to repeat
play measure 1 skip 2&3, play 4 through to repeat
play start to end of song

When written, and played, in version 9.6.1 this works, when written, and played, in 2.0.3 (which is the version I have and use) it does not work correctly. From the start it plays through all three voltas, it does not skip measures 3&4 as it should. For the second, third and forth repeats it plays correctly. The first volta does not trigger the play to skip the second and third voltas on the first play to the repeat.

In reply to by mike320

Yes I know this is not the example you wrote, however this is the progression of the song that I want. It is also the way the old software plays. The new version just doesn't skip the second and third voltas when starting from the beginning of the song the way it should! that in my opinion is a glitch.

In reply to by John T. Graves

"Music Theory" is forcing it.
And every subsequent version corrects the errors found in the previous version.

What you want to do is not the same as it should be. (According to Music Theory).
There's nothing programmers can do. What the rules say is they're trying to apply it.

Happily, this old version fits well with whatever you want, even if it is faulty.

In reply to by John T. Graves

There is no easy established way in music to change a few bars in the middle of a piece of music like that. The bars are just out in the middle of nowhere, not attached to a repeat. For proper music notation, something like that (with the variation starting in the second measure) would need to be written out long. There is no reasonable way to use repeats with standard notation. The only way with voltas I can see to do this is to have them 11 measures long, but you might as well rewrite it with no repeats rather than that.

I've never seen anything like that, but if I did, I would stop and look at it twice to make sure I'm supposed to do what you describe, which is what I would probably do with it. MuseScore is a program set to follow standard music notation, which this definitely is not; so it does what any decent program would do. It ignores the marks (in this case voltas) it has not been programmed to handle. This is preferable over a crash, which is what many musicians would do if they saw that. Many would start trying to figure out where to put the repeats the editors forgot, so they can play it correctly (I might would do that also).

We recently had a short discussion about users using MS to check their notation. Users not understanding the use of repeats and voltas was at the center of that discussion. It was stated that many users us MS to check that their notation is correct. Unfortunately previous verson of MS led you to believe this is correct. Sorry.

In reply to by mike320

Actually I just jotted down this little ditty as an experiment to see if the older version of Musescore would play the voltas the way I wanted them to, and it does. I actually have several songs that I wrote before the 2.0.0 version was released, and when I updated to that the songs don't play the proper sequence anymore. These songs have two or three verses that use the same melody except for one or two measures in that melody line. The first verse plays and when it gets to the end of the #1 volta it doesn't skip past the #2 & #3 voltas but rather plays those volta measures, after that, for the second and third repeats, everything works as it should. (well at least the way I want it to play) My experiment proved that it wasn't just my computer that wasn't working right but that the new software didn't work the same way ..... and in my opinion had a glitch. I still think the way the old version worked gives more flexibility in writing music, even if it isn't according to current music theory. By the way, theories can, and often do, change and all I'm really doing here is changing that theory just a bit! What I did, and want to do makes sense and saves a lot of pages in the sheet music.

In reply to by John T. Graves

The problem is that this in not really music theory but rather notation practice. People have agreed to notate music the way the rules go. Rather like spelling. Or like traffic rules. If you make up your own rules in traffic you are going to create danger. In notation luckily the consequences are less dire. But no musician will understand (he may or may not guess correctly) what you are expecting to hear them play (and lets keep in mind that the primary purpose of screenwriters is to produce sheet music for musicians to read).

Also: Tricks to save time--such as repeats with or without voltas, da capos, dal segnos etc.--were very important in the days of handwritten or hand engraved music. They really did save a lot of time. But since the invention of cut/copy and paste this problem is largely solved and I think we should err on the side of easy reading when "compressing" a score using repeats, meaning sometimes we should just write things out rather than building complex structures like repeats within repeats or triple and quadruple voltas. It is so easy to--in your case--copy and paste the theme 4 times and then modify the few measures that are different from one repeat to the next. And nobody will have a problem reading it and playing/singing from it.

In reply to by azumbrunn

I understand what you're saying however if a musician knows how to read sheet music, and let's face it many do not, then voltas should not be a problem for them to understand, and how to play them correctly. Whether they are used at the end of a piece to denote different endings, or early in a song, as I have used them, they work the same way, the number/s under the volta bracket indicate that section is to be played for that number repeat. Those numbers also tell the musician how many times the repeated section should be played. I think this is less confusing since most times repeats don't indicate how many times they are to be repeated. I also think you are missing one of the points of voltas and repeats and other "compressing" techniques in sheet music, that is to avoid scores that take up too many pages. Fewer pages means fewer page turns and fewer chances turning to the wrong page. Personally I don't like a lot of pages in sheet music.

I learned to play piano in the early 1960's so things like repeats and voltas were used more, and I was taught what they meant and how to play them, wherever the occurred in a piece of music.

In reply to by John T. Graves

Ok Another try:

Voltas are extensions of right (end) repeat bars. Used for alternative endings for repeats.

Voltas are not used for middle passing signs. (because of these are not connected to any right repeat bar)

if you use in middle anyway, results (behaviour of sofware) are not predictable.

Perhaps the best: if the volta is not connected to the repeat barline it may not be used.


Maybe there will be a section called "alternate repeats" in the future and it will only work with that software. But it does the same thing as your old MS version.

The working universe is within itself.

In reply to by John T. Graves

Voltas can be used "early in a song" - that's not the problem. The problem is that you are trying to use them somewhere other at the end of a *repeated section* (which can be early or late in a song, doesn't matter). Voltas are simply not used anywhere but at the end of a repeated section. This is not "theory", it's just how music notation is defined. Someone could have invented a notation for what you are trying to do, but this never happened in history, so there is no standard way to indicate it. Meaning neither MuseScore nor human musicians will understand your newly-invented-by-you notation, and random things will happen with both MuseScore and human musicians if you try it.

As you can see, MuseScore *does* allow you to create this newly-invented-by-you notation if you really want. It's just not reasonable to expect anyone else to understand your intent, since this is your own invention.

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