MuseScore for practice?

• Dec 7, 2013 - 12:40

Am I alone in wanting my computer to help me practice?

Something that will display my music, let me annotate it (fingers, phrasings, comments, &tc), perhaps even that will score follow (ie move the music in time with me without having to "turn the page" myself.

Anybody else interested?

Yes, I know technology isn't quite there yet, but it's pretty damn close.
Yes, I know it's a slightly different direction for MuseScore, but I'm willing and able to do the programming.




... does allow for annotation (fingers, phrasings, comments, etc).
Virtually everything one can put down on a paper score can be accomplished using MuseScore.

Playback, though not the primary focus (and I am in awe of the people in these forums who strive to push the playback envelope as an end in itself), does allow for practice.
In fact, the next release will have a metronome and a count-in function to facilitate practicing during playback. (Also - the ability to repeat 'difficult' passages)

To have MuseScore 'play in time' with you? This would require that MuseScore listen to you.
It might work someday with a midi keyboard, but be aware that nowadays digital pianos come with built-in teaching and performance assistance technology - such as waiting for the next note or chord before advancing; displaying notation; etc).
However, consider a bagpipe player - what could MuseScore do to help? ;-)
One can always slow the tempo down to keep in time.

Regarding 'page turning':
Musescore can export in .pdf document format. There are USB compatible foot operated page turners available which will let your computer help you practice by turning the page for you.

So, it can be done - but MuseScore can't do everything - at least not yet... :-)


In reply to by Jm6stringer

No, I'm not really interested in using a midi keyboard. I don't s'pose many practising musicians are, tho' I may be mistaken.

Playback? Seems to me to be a little "sideways" for this requirement. Nice to hear how it "should be" for beginners perhaps, but beyond that?

Page turning is another of those "almost there" things. It certainly exists, "score following" (ie electronically listening and tracking position in the score) has had a short injection into MuseScore, it, too, is on the edge of possibility. At that point the connection to midi is no longer required (even if it's still nice).

Yes, MuseScore can't do everything for this yet, but that's why I asked the question. Is it just me that wants it to do this. If it is then I don't have much of a case for talking to the core team about starting to do it, but if lots of people are interested then it's a different thing.

There are several things that it would be useful to do, things that you can't do on paper even.


I certainly wouldn't mind seeing features like this, but it seems to me this really moving in the direction of a separate application. I guess this is at least in part the direction the MuseScore Player app for Android is going. If you feel a desktop-based application still makes sense as well, I'd be thinking in terms of building a new application with a new interface on top of libmscore. After all, pretty much everything about the GUI would really want to be different and optimized specifically for this task, but nothing about the score rendering would be any different from how it works in MuseScore itself. This is pretty much exactly why the big refactoring that created libmscore happened a couple of years back.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

That's one vote then ;)

Yes, it looks a little separate to me too. Is the current level of modularity robust enough to facilitate another item like this?

Desktop app? No, not really. I'm looking for something that I can work with while practising (at the piano, in my case).

Yes, it seems to me some things already in the app are just perfect for this, and some are unnecessary. Some, of course, are not present yet.

I haven't looked at the Android app yet, I haven't even got a device I could look at it on at the moment, that's never stopped me yet, though ;)

In reply to by MarkRS

By "desktop", I simply meant, for a computer, as opposed to something for a "mobile" device like a tablet/phone. In other words, MuseScore itself is already a "desktop" application. So, yes, unkess you are specifically proposing doing this as an Android or iOS app, then you're talking desktop in the sense I meant. In which case, I think this rather limits the usefulness. i think there are a lot of people interested in this type of functionality, but the vast majority would want to be able to put this ont heir music stand, take to a rehearsal or gig, etc - awkward to do with even a computer, even a relatively light notebook. This idps the sort of thing that seems a much more natural fit as a mobile app to me, and I think the market would be an order of magitude bigger.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I would certainly want to use it with my Windows tablet rather than my desktop machine.

I am aware of quite a number of fellow organists using iPads and Windows tablets as score readers and rehearsal aids.

IMO Android devices are really too small for this use, as is the Kindle.

The only problem is that the technology you refer to was the product of a Music Hack Day collaboration and the other developer involved with MuseScore wished to retain his code as proprietary.

I certainly think there is scope for a MuseScore Player app for Windows 8, both RT and standard versions.

I originally intended to use MuseScore as a scorereader on my tablet, but problems with page positioning after a "turn" have led me to use MusicReader 4 instead.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Almost the same results I got searching "21.5" tablet"
But it doesn't answer the question, since there are tablets fitting the bill from more than one supplier, and none of them tell me if you get a discount. :-)

Most of it looks like old announcements rather than products actually available to me here in the UK, but I'm still looking.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Oooh, several interesting points there (& what's happened to music XML???)

Tablets as score readers? How? What? Good, or just "available"?

Page positioning after a turn? What did you have that showed you a score, and what turning were you doing, and what happened? Email me if you think everyone doesn't want to know. I'll go and look up MusicReader. What size tablet are you using?

Yes, I know they took their (score following) ball away, but it shows it can be done. And what can be done in a proprietary fashion today is doable as OS not long afterwards.

What would you want from something such as we're talking about?

In reply to by MarkRS

Tablets as score readers are a big thing already Tons of musicians I know do this regularly, myself included although not as much as some I know. The majority of these apps are really just glorified PDF viewers. There are also special cases like "iReal b" which is just unbelievably huge in the jazz community at least - an app that provides automatic accompaniment from a simple chird chart but also gets used to read from on gigs.

It's definitely a mobile world as far as this kind of stuff goes these days.

As for MusicXML, it hasn't gone anywhere, but I do feel it is not being take as seriosuly as it could. Lots of apps can import and/or export it, but usually with various limitations, and few work if any work with it as a native format. I see the potential for all sorts of really interesting MusicXML-based apps - like score readers for sure, but also apps that specialize in playback, conversion to other formats like Braille, etc.

Right now, though, if one were to develop a MusicXML-based score reader or whatever, my sense is that it would have issues of "sort of" working with lots of notation programs but not working *great* with any. To the point where I suspect most people would find PDF-programs preferably even if they were more limited in capability. You might not get playback, for instance, but at least you'd be guaranteed to be looking at the same score the composer/arranger/transcriber created.

Export as a Music XML file.

Import into GuitarPro.

Select the beats/bars you want to practice on.

Press F9 and choose a starting speed and acceleration rate (e.g. 1% faster each time).

Press play...

GuitarPro is (almost) full scoring software, it is orientated towards fretted stringed instruments, but works fine for piano.

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