Creating a Music Workbook

• Jan 2, 2014 - 19:31

I'm trying to create a professional looking study booklet for myself using Musescore. It'll help teach me the program, reading music, and theory all at once. To start, I'd like to diagram diatonic chords in all keys, one key per staff, with a new key/staff starting each line. Sounds logical to me. Pretty much as you'd see in any method book; scales and chords without time signatures, etc. Basically desktop publishing more than actual scores at this point. Is this capability within the program? I had a wonderful time copying "My Favorite Things" a few weeks ago. I learned a lot, and am hoping to learn more. Thanks for any advice.


There are a few of us doing this sort of thing. Depending on your needs, there are a couple of different methods I'd recommend. If it's just for a few worksheets here and there, and it's mostly music with just some explanatory text, then I'd say, do it all within MuseScore, using a Frame for text between your examples.

If on the other hand you see yourself doing dozens or hundreds of these, or it's mostly text with just a bit of music, then I think you'll find the text frames too limiting. In that case, you are better off doing the writing in a word processor, saving your musical examples as graphics, and inserting them into your word processing document.

There are two utilities that can help. One is the Snippet Creator plugin (see menu at right of this page), which will automatically save a score as a PNG and trim out the white space around it. This is a nice solution if you're talking about doing hundreds of these.

But if you're writing a book, you might instead be better off with the MuseScore Example Manager plugin for Libreoffice / OpenOffice (Google that phrase). This automates the process considerably. From within your LibreOffice document, you press a button, up pops a file dialog, you select a score, it automatically converts it to PNG, trims the white space, and inserts it into your document. And most importantly, it also records a link back to the original score file, so you can later click on the example in your document and having the corresponding score file immediately load into MuseScore so you can edit it, and after saving your changes, a button in LibreOffice automatically updates the graphic.

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