Problem when developing a single score using multiple files

• Nov 15, 2018 - 16:52

When working on the development of a long score it can be desirable, maybe even necessary, to do it using multiple files. For example, different people can work on different parts of the score simultaneously.

Having noticed the "Album" feature of Musescore it looked like this may be an intended mode of operation. The first attempt seems to have worked fairly well with one exception (discovered so far). The trial score was separated at a point where a repeat would end the first file. The second file then begins, as with the first, with a pickup measure. Also, as I suppose should be expected, Musescore begins with a time signature on the first measure. This went unnoticed during entry of the music for the 2nd file. However, a time signature is NOT wanted at this point in the final score.

After completing the 2nd file (part) of the score it was recognized that the time signature needed to be deleted. However, deleting it has the affect of altering the actual measure duration, as set for a pickup measure, back to the normal duration of measures for that time signature. This results in adjustments being made to the entire file (2nd part of the score). This has the affect of undoing a great amount of the work (time and effort) that was spent on such things as adjusting the position of fingering annotations and related slurs.

In order for Musescore to be used in this manner it is necessary to be able to do something as simple as remove a time signature without revising the whole score. While I may have some culpability in causing this problem by failing to delete the time signature prior to doing all of the work it is NOT obvious, at least to me, why deleting a time signature should revise existing measure properties.

It seems like being able to develop a score using multiple files is quite an important capability which raises some questions, "is there a prescribed way to do what I want?, if not what about a work around?, if a bug what possibility exists for a fix?, if it just cannot be done, why?".


Without seeing the actual scores it is difficult to assist well, but in general, I can say you'll be better off if you choose dividing points that aren't in the middle of measures. Also, the time signature would normally display only if there is a section break between the two sections, so deleting the section break might be the answer. In order to say more beyond that, though, we'd need you to attach the actual score and describe which time signature you are concerned with.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Some trial and error caused me to find a way to delete the time signature with little or no affect on the rest of the score. What seemed to work involved revising the initial (pickup) measure to be a normal measure. I think I was lucky because the desired pickup measure did contain enough notes that when I rewrote it with one long note and necessary rests it occupied approximately the same amount of space on the staff. Then when I deleted the time signature any update to measure duration, assuming it still happened, ended up with the same value eliminating the need to alter all subsequent measures. After that I was able to re-code the pickup measure as desired. While still an unwanted burden this seemed to preserve the work I'd done on the rest of the score.

With that said the real problem is actually worse than I had initially thought. Time signature deletion turned out to be only a distraction from the real problem. It seems that the mere act of joining the 2 scores causes Musescore to reprocess the rest of the score and alter it in an undesired manner. While I fully recognize that the dynamic adjustment of the complete score when some parts are changed is very desirable (and even essential under some circumstances) there comes a point in the production process when that is no longer helpful and rather becomes destructive.

I should point out that I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to writing music scores. This means that I'm still experimenting with ideas and by no means would I suggest that I'm using a sound approach to work flow. However, based on what I'm seeing here I made a big mistake when undertaking to spend the time and effort adjusting fingering and accompanying slurs to an aesthetically pleasing state prior to having the whole score joined into a single file. Insofar as this represents a significant portion of the total effort it seriously undermines the idea of using separate files when producing the score.

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