Unlinking part after creation

• Jan 27, 2018 - 04:06

Is it possible, other than exporting parts, to create parts and then unlink them from the general score?

The situation that motivates this is when, for example, in a score for either flute or violin and piano one wants to prepare separate parts for flute and violin taking into account the differences between both instruments without having to prepare two versions of the complete score.

I find several workrounds, such as exporting the part and making two versions of it, or including in the score both instruments appart from a common generic part, then copying this part into each instrument's staff, tweaking each accordingly, and making both added parts invisible and not playable.

But it would be nice to create the part and then unlink it so that the changes in the part do not reflect on the general score.


When you would 'unlink' a part, it no longer has any relation to the score; in effect it would become a score in itself.
You can do that by creating the part, then make sure to have that tab active and use File → Save As…

In reply to by jeetee

This is exactly the behavior I expect, since I need to edit further the individual part without impacting on the full score. I find it easier or more direct to export parts than the method you suggest. But none of both methods provides a single bundled "project" as when one creates parts.

In reply to by fmiyara

That is because MuseScore has no "project" files, only a single score. As said before, those two scores have nothing to do with each other anymore; there is (for MuseScore) no longer a reason (or currently even a possibility) to keep them bundled.

The only way for now, is to save both score and other-score-that-used-to-be-a-part files into the same location on your PC and manually open them both.

Why not enter the score including all the parts - flute and violin and piano - even though the score is for flute or violin, and piano.

Then, on Monday, if you need flute and piano, you simply go to menu item: Edit -> Instruments and uncheck the 'Visible' box for violin, leaving you with flute and piano displayed.

Then, on Tuesday, if you need violin and piano, you simply make the violin visible and uncheck the 'Visible' box for flute, making the flute invisible and leaving you with violin and piano displayed.

The score/parts can remain linked, and no common generic part (to represent either violin or flute) is needed.


In reply to by Jm6stringer

If I want to pretty the parts up for print I find it inconvenient to have the score connected. If for example you need a frame in the part (the score will have a title page, maybe even a foreword, for the part a frame for the title on top of page 1 is sufficient) it will show up in the score and cause difficulties. Or you don't want the score cluttered up with fingerings which you need in the parts. I always create the parts after proofreading, then export all of them as .mscx and arrange for page turns and make otherwise edit the part "solo".
The downside of course is that from that point forward every error you correct will need to be corrected in the score and the part separately.
Ideally you would like to selectively unlink features that you want treated independently in score and parts but Musescore is not quite there (yet?).

In general I'd rather see us deal with the reasons why people want to unlink and fix those. There are presumably certain specific elements or actions that are currently linked and no easy way to override, and that is what it causing people to want to punt and just unlink the whole part. I'd rather see us address the specific elements / actions. If it then also makes sense to provide a facility unlink the whole part, so be it, but to me that would mean we have failed. I'd rather succeed :-)

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Of course one is always allowed to question one's goals. I have tried to manage formatting parts while they are linked and found it tedious. So now my method has been settled and the point of divorce has been optimized--for my purposes, not anyone else's.

I think it depends on the goals of the user. If I wanted to create files for people who play from tablets (rare nowadays but probably getting more and more common) I'd definitely leave the parts and score linked. In this case the parts do not need a title page and page turns are presumably less of a problem. This results in much lighter formatting of parts. If you work with the goal of parts printed on paper on the other hand you need heavy formatting to optimize for those issues.

I prefer paper for now and maybe for a long time: I can't imagine anything remotely as efficient as pencil on paper for taking notes during rehearsals.

In reply to by azumbrunn

I too refer paper, and don't see how that enters into it. Nothing about formatting for paper inherently requires unlinking parts, and indeed I've done literally hundreds of paper parts with no issues at all. If you are running into some special corner case issue that is causing to resort to this, I'd like to understand better so we can address it.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I know this thread is not entirely fresh, but reading through it idly it occurs to me that I don't know which features are linked between parts and score and which not, i.e. what I can alter in a part while not affecting the score and what will change the score. I know that frames create headaches which caused me to adopt my present practice. I don't see a problem with unlinking parts (apart from correcting errors after the parts are exported). It seems to me more an esthetic than a functionally justified preference (how dare you unlink them after I went to so much trouble programming for them to be linked?...). I just use one folder per project to keep the files in one place.

Is there a list somewhere in the documentation that tells me what is linked and what is not?

My wish for the long term would be that the parts are generated like they are now, but that any changes to presentation (stretch, frames, reshaping of slurs/ties, exact placing of markings etc.) do not affect the linked score while any changes to the actual musical text--i.e. the information conveyed by the notes and markings--are linked. Plus I'd like to be able unlink selectively features like fingerings, bowings etc. Obviously this is Zukunftsmusik!

I'd add that, yes, it is possible to make things invisible in the score but it is tedious, not to mention far from elegant.

In reply to by azumbrunn

FYI, what you describe is more or less what we do - link all changes to content, not changes to presentation. At least in theory, there are doubtless some thing that either fell through the cracks or were deliberately made to work differently because it was felt to be an exception for whatever reason (eg, based on user feedback).

Frames are mostly about content and hence should normally be linked as far as I am concerned. It is unfortunately true that at least one use of frames - for indenting staves - is more about presentation. Unless you add content to the frame, in which case it is about content again. We don't attempt to distinguish between those two cases. Not sure what your specific issue is with frames, but if it's just that you want the first system indented in parts but not the score, the simple workaround is to set the width of the frame to 0 in the score.

As for documentation, no, implementation details like this are not currently documented except by reading the code.

And yes, a way to break links would be great, it's been high on my list of things I'd like to see since I first started started using MuseScore. But the complexities involved have gotten in the way of getting it done.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

My point here is precisely that the content of frames should not be forcedly identical between score and parts. So I should at least have the option of unlinking frames (or fingerings and other technical details that the conductor does not need to see).

My use of frames is this: All my scores have title pages (they run to 30 - 50 pages), so the work title does not appear on page 4 (where the actual score starts). Sometimes in a part it is better to have the first page even-numbered (which means the part has a title page like the score) so one has two pages before having to accommodate a page turn. In this case I do not need a frame. But sometimes (say an Adagio-intro to the first movement, ending on a fermata) it is advantageous to start on page 1 and have the title at the top of it. There is the need for your frame. And as I recall I can't even change the shape and size of the frame independently in score and part (maybe I can with the present version, I have not tried since that first fiasco).

I have to admit that I am now comfortable with my routine and I am not actually likely to change it if Musescore gets improved in this regard. Following an established and well working process is worth doing as way of controlling quality.

In reply to by azumbrunn

FWIW, you can change size of frame independently in score and part. So in general it should be perfectly possible to achieve the result that I think you are describing. I guess I'd have to see an actual example to understand better if there is some sort of problem. Although FWIW, if you have really specific needs in terms of front matter (title pages and so forth), I'd personally just adding that to the generated PDF's separated.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Here's a reason for unlinking parts: For some brass instruments (trombone/euphonium/horn), there are multiple "ways" of reading music: some learnt in treble clefs, other in bass, some in F/C, others in Eb/Bb... So sometimes editors ship multiple versions of each parts to bands, to prevent that kind of problem. In that case, unlinking parts would be far easier than creating, say, 3 invisible staves for each actual part.

In reply to by Trasdegi

I believe you can created several (linked) parts for the same instrument and have them transposing differently.

But you can not have them showing with different clefs (not with more than 2, if they have set 2 in their instrument definition, for concert and sounding).
Buzt still, up to 2 clefs, and all sorts of transpositionings do work, even with linked parts

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

You kind of can have different transpositions for different parts, bit far more a bug than a feature (normally you want transposition linked, and it leads to problems if they aren't the same between score and part).

On the other hand, I don't really see how unlinking a part is easier - especially in the long run - than marking a staff invisible.

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