Provision of some means to adjust the number of bars counted in

• Nov 1, 2013 - 22:45
S5 - Suggestion

I really appreciate the addition of the count in feature for play back.
Would it be possible to provide some means of specifying how many bars count in to use, rather than the current fixed single bar count in. Perhaps a preference setting or a control on the Play Panel that would allow you to select the number of bars to count in.

For short time signatures e.g. 2/4 time, or where the tempo is a fast one, a single bar count in can be to short to provide enough time from triggering the play back to return to a position where you are ready to commence playing.


Hi Johnathan,

In general I agree with your request (as a bow instrument player, I myself need some time to switch from the keyboard position to the playing position). However, the stance of the core developers is rather clear: no additional configuration options, unless really important and unavoidable (in general, not only for this feature). I think this makes sense to keep the MuseScore learning curve and usability under control and I'm not so sure the option you describe could qualify as very important and unavoidable.

I have thought of some alternatives:

1) change the number of counted-in measure according to a fixed minimum number of 'clicks': if there would be less than x 'click', add measures until the minimum is reached (or exceeded). 'x' could be for instance 3 or 4. (Actually, there is already code for this in the source, but it is commented out).

2) change the number of counted-in measure according to a fixed minimun time ('real' time, in seconds): same as above but adding measures until the minimum time is reached or exceeded (this is somehow more complex to implement, as one has to take into account also the Play Panel 'speed' slider).

The down side of both otions is that the amount of 'clicks' would be difficult to guess before-hand and the user-player would never know exactly when to start (for case 2) even more than for case 1).

Anybody else can figure out a better solution?



Hello Miwarre,

How about modifying the current count in button icon so that it has a 0 after it. Click the button once and it displays the icon with a 1 next to it, click again and it displays a 2 next to it. Allow this sequence to progress up to 4 after which the next press displays the icon and 0 again.

When 0 is displayed no count in occurs. When 1 is displayed you get a 1 bar count in, 2 a 2 bar count in etc. allowing for a maximum of a 4 bar count in.

This would require no saving of additional data in preferences. It would be intuitive and language independent. I'm not sure if this would count as a "configuration option".

From a printing music scores perspective having the ability to trigger a count in is important in that it removes the need to produce two versions of a score - one with additional count in bars for practice purposes and one without the additional count in bars for printing out.

From a practice point of view having a long enough count in is very useful as you have indicated yourself.

If having a facility to adjust the length of count in is not acceptable then how about keeping what is there now but set the count in number of bars to a higher number, I would suggest 4 bars. Thus when the count in button was clicked Musescore would always play a four bar count in.

I think a flexible option is better, but for the count in to be really useful it needs to be longer than it currently is.

Kind regards


Your idea seems to me very ingenuous and useful: to me it does not count as a 'full' additional configuration option, but just a parameter of the Play Panel. ;)

I'll both try to get an opinion about it from the code devs and provide a pull request (a patch in non-git terms!) to at least comment upon.



"I'll both try to get an opinion about it from the code devs and provide a pull request (a patch in non-git terms!) to at least comment upon."

I was just wondering if any opinion had been obtained regarding this issue and whether a patch is likely to become available for comment.

I appreciate that the developers have their priorities and I don't want to appear "pushy" :-)

Kind regards


I was searching earlier today for information on the future development intentions of Musescore for 2.1 but could not find anything regarding any further development of the count-in feature during playback.

During my search I came across posts from
December 2009
March 2009

It seems that the value of an adjustable count-in has been identified for at least six years now and that such a feature is of interest to a number of Musescore users. In 2013 I discussed how a count-in might be implemented in an earlier contribution to this thread and at the time Miwarre made the following offer

"I'll both try to get an opinion about it from the code devs and provide a pull request (a patch in non-git terms!) to at least comment upon."

Since then I have heard nothing. I posted a year later to see if anything was happening but have had no response. I wish I had the programming skills to work on this myself, but I don't. I appreciate that the main focus of Musescore development has been the production of printed sheet music rather than the playback.

The only solution at present is the clunky one of adding extra bars of count in and then trying to hide their display.

If anyone is willing to add an option to adjust the duration of count in on playback, as discussed earlier in this thread, to a nightly build, I would be more than happy to test it out.

If this has been done already then please let me know (with prior posts I usually get an email of any response to my post) and I will download and test away :-)

Kind regards


Having performed a search on "count in" it appears that many Musescore users would find this a useful feature. Since the idea was raised in November 2013 it seems to have dropped off the radar. There have been updates to the play panel but no change to the count in setting option.

I know that there is a crude fix of adding dummy count in bars and then trying to hide them but this is all rather clunky for such a superb application.

Is there any chance that this idea could be revisited so that those musicians who play along with Musescore could have more time to get their hands back to their instruments after starting playback?

This is my very first post in this forum....and yes having the possibility to have more time to get ready before starting to play is sometimes absolutely necessary. I am on 3/8 measures with a tempo around 75, I can tell you that the beats on one measure are not enough to have my bow ready on the strings and two measures would be a minimum.
I will manage with extra measures, but an option for these count-in would be much cleaner.