Layout with multiple tunes

• Nov 24, 2013 - 15:43

I have a lot of short transcriptions that are already written, in separate files. I would like to lay them out sequentially in a single document, with more than one on a page. Ideally I would also like to be able to move things around and make changes by copying and pasting (or dragging, or whatever). In other words, I would like to make a book from existing files.

It's easy to create multiple movements if the piece isn't written. You just add a vertical frame, append measures, and enter the next section. One procedure for doing this is described here: .

The problem comes in trying to copy and paste. This copies the notes, but not much else. You don't even get the bar lines. Much of the music has to be reentered by hand, which of course is tedious and error-prone.

Is there a way to do this? The solution doesn't have to be all MuseScore. I have a choice of Linux or Windows (or maybe Mac), and I can add plugins or other software.


Not sure what you mean about not getting bar lines - bar liens definitely appear when you copy and paste. But they appear based on the current time signature, not the time signature(s) in the source. So you need to set the time signature first. And indeed, there is a lot of stuff that doesn't copy, so it's not ideal.

How I'd recommend proceeding depends on the nature of your pieces. You could save them all as PNG files and import them into a layout program like Scribus. Or, you could try a nightly build and see if it works well enough for you, Or, you could export the pieces as MusicXML, convert them to ABC using xml2abc, and use a program like abc2ps that actually supports these sorts of collections natively - but your music would have to be straightforward enough for the conversions to succeed. If you don't mind learning ABC, you could fix up anything that went wrong after thise conversions.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Doing this graphically is a possibility that I would rather avoid if I can. This would virtually preclude further editing, and besides, the files would be huge.

I see there is more on this here: . I'm looking forward to trying the Album feature. Unfortunately, the 2013-11-23 32-bit nightly crashes when joining scores, even if I make a new profile.

My impression of ABC is that it's probably too limited for my scores. In any case, if I have to rework the scores very much after merging, I might just as well do it with MuseScore.

By "bar lines" I meant "repeat signs", which are in the bar-lines tool. The repeat signs are not copied.

In reply to by RexC

You wrote: 'In other words, I would like to make a book from existing files.'
Also: 'Doing this graphically is a possibility that I would rather avoid if I can. This would virtually preclude further editing..."

Consider the following used in conjunction with Libre Office (Open Office):…

This will allow editing functions from within MuseScore to be propagated back into your book.


In reply to by Jm6stringer

Good point, not sure why I didn't think to suggest that :-)

I use this facility mostly for preparing educations materials - textbooks, workbooks, etc - but it would indeed work quite well for producing songbooks as well. And it nicely preserves the ability to go back and edit the individual songs.

At some point I plan to add an "update all" command so you can update all musical excerpts at once; that's probably the main limitation right now.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Oops, I'm having trouble figuring out how to use the extension. I think it's installed. The Extension Manager shows it as installed. However, I didn't see the license or user policy options, or the business about locating the binary files when I installed. Shouldn't there be a menu entry or something in LibreOffice?

In reply to by RexC

You will need to restart LibreOffice after installing. There is nothing about a license - not sure where younsaw that? - but after restarting you should see MuseScore and ABC buttons on your toolbar - probably upper right side. Then the first time you go to actually *use* it - press the MuseScore button and select a score - you will be prompted for the location of MuseScore and of ImageMagick or GraphicsMagick.

In reply to by RexC

I see it now. It's a little inconspicuous on the left, or possibly the right. You may have to make sure it's visible with the View > Toolbars menu.

It's nice, and it works. It produces much smaller files than just inserting the .png file. The printed appearance is perfect. Thanks VERY much!

The only drawback I can see is that it's limited to one page from each file, and a file cannot be divided in the middle. It would not work for movements in separate files. So I encourage continued development of the album feature and section breaks.

It seems to work fine on Windows MuseScore 4.1, although the LibreOffice site (… ) says it's only for LO 3.5 and 3.6. Contrary to instructions, it does work without ImageMagick or GraphicsMagick, although probably without trimming the image.

Installation was very easy according to directions. The LibreOffice directions for installing extensions shows several extra steps that do not apply to this extension.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Are the nightly builds capable of exporting correctly written LilyPond? I didn't see that option, but perhaps it has to be installed with LilyPond. I have not had good luck with MuseScore 1.2 and LilyPond, so that possibility is out.

Alternatively, is there a way to concatenate XML? As a workaround, that would even work with a text editor if I knew the correct syntax.

Looking again, I see that .png files would be somewhat large, but not actually as huge as I though. This might be an acceptable workaround, although editing would still be difficult.

In reply to by RexC

LilyPond export has been removed. But the Album feature does work (at least in general), I was using it the other day.
But it is indeed possible to get the album feature to crash... just using some random scores and trying to merge them into one fails, but merging scores that are sufficiently similar (whatever that means) does work.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

What nightly version did you use? And what OS, plus 32/64 bit? The Album feature most assuredly does crash on my computer.

If you want to know, the error message reads: "This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way. Please contact the application's support team for more information." That's with a new profile.

In reply to by RexC

I used the latest one for Windows. I'm on Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit.
I have been able to merge a handfull of score, all with an identical or at least very similar layout and instrumentation.
When I tried to merges some random score though, it crashed on me
If you have 2 scores that when merged crash MuseScore, could you share them?

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