Re-implement the Album feature for Musecore 3/4

• May 18, 2019 - 13:19
Reported version
P1 - High
S5 - Suggestion
GitHub issue

Has been discussed since quite a while and had been said to ba a priority to get done soon after 3.0, but hasn't happened yet.
And there seems to not be request in the issue tracker, so here we go now...


In reply to by mike320

Mike alerted me to this thread.

I wasn't aware of it until then. Honestly I haven't been following the development of MuseScore, but rather working on my personal project which uses the software. I fortunately quickly learned of the dropping of this feature in version 3 and as such quickly reverted back to version 2, subsequently I think I only lost 2 songs to v3 save files that I couldn't revert back to v2. I've copied out a children's song book, for which the orginal is handwritten, which consists of a treble clef melody line, chords and lyrics, of 78 songs. This worked out to only 37 pages. No song was more than a single page and at times I had up to 3 songs on a single page. Without this feature I'd have a 78 page book with in some cases a single line of music on the page. Some of the songs are as short as 8 bars.

A note that I'll add here is that when working on the combined file MuseScore performs poorly. I've gotten used to it and fortunately I'm doing a minimal level of editing once I've combined all the songs together into a single file. Mostly doing pagination stuff. Things like a title for the next song being on one page with the first bar of music being on the next page. I'll paginate so that the title is at the top of the next page. Being no single song goes for more than a single page I also paginate so that the musician doesn't have the turn over page to get to the end. I'll let a song continue from the left page to the right, but not the right page to the left. I'm not sure if this poor performance is the result of combining so many songs or just result of such a large composition.

I guess I could try loading v3 along side version 2 and then make a copy of my final file and see how it goes in V3 (will it work even?).

I'll admit I'm not an advanced user of this software. I've only learnt the required features of this software to complete my project.
But if for example it were possible to simply add the "title box" (Title, Subtitle, composer, ect) into your composition at the end of the music an then add in more bars after it, would that suffice for people needing that album feature?

Also with regards to performance if it means anything to those who may be reviewing this my PC specs are as follows
i7-4820K, 64GB RAM, C: is 180GB SATA SSD, MuseScore files stored on 2x3TB HDD in RAID0 (hmm... wonder if that's where my issue is, I may try moving the files onto my PCIE SSD)

It's perfectly possible to add additional frames for additional titles etc, in both MuseScore 2 and MuseScore 3 - see the Frames & Measures palette, or Add / Frames. The slow performance of older versions MuseScore on large scores is a known limitation of the layout algorithms. This is pretty much completely solved in MuseScore 3. So simply creating one long score is a viable option if you don't foresee the need to change the order of songs often. Insert new ones or deleting existing one isn't a problem, but changing order means cut and paste which has limitations.

As I mentioned in the thread that led you here, another option is the image capture tool, although it trades one set of limitations for another. Still, for a lot of purposes it makes a lot of sense.

Eventually, of course, we do hope to have an improved version of the old album feature back.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Where were you when I needed you? Heh!

I've just had a quick muck about and been able to work it out as you said.

Stepping back a little though my situation here is this software is so advanced and has so many features that I don't currently need that I'm not going to watch hundreds of hours of tutorials to learn stuff I'm not going to need. To be honest also I wouldn't remember any of it either. Instead what I've done is once I worked out the album feature, that gave me confidence that this software would have enough in it for me to be able to complete my project. So I started and every now and then I'd hit a roadblock where I'd hit a particular song which required me to learn a new feature of the software. I'd go and learn it and then apply it to said song. As such I'd remember how to do that because I'd applied what I'd learnt. Unfortunately I'd learnt about the album feature first, rather than how to append a frame and then add a Title etc to said frame. If I had known that, I would have done it that way. The order of the songs is specific and unlikely to change.

For anyone reading Marc's response above I'll flesh it out with something a little more step by step because I know I'd have needed it several months ago.

There's probably multiple ways this can be done, however this was how I did it.

Once you've completed your first song, clean it up so there's no extra bars.

1) Right click on a blank area of the page and you'll get a menu with Bars/Frames/Text/Lines
2) Go to Frames -> Append Veritcal Frame
3) Right click on the new frame and you should get a menu headed with "Vertical Frame" and from it go down to Add> and you'll get a further menu which will allow you to add a Title,Subtitle,Composer, etc into the frame. Now you may edit the Title etc as you normally would.
4) Right click again on a blank area of the page and this time from the menu go to Bars -> Append Bars and this will allow you to add the needed bars for your second song/movement

5) Now to clean up, In the tools menu on the left expand out bar lines and select the required bar line (likely double bar line) and click on it and hold the mouse button down and drag it to the last bar of your first song.
6) Now go to Breaks & Spacers on the left and find the Section Break and click and drag it also onto the last bar of your first song

Steps 5 & 6 allow you to change the time and key signature without them appearing at the end of your first song.

Step 7) If needed on the tools on the left expand the Key Signatures and click and drag the required key signature into the first bar of your second song

Step 8) If needed right click on the time signature (you'll get a time signature menu if you've got it right) and select Time Signature Properties and you'll be able to change your time signature if needed.

I'll add this info into the other thread also.

Workaround No Yes

Workaround is (MusicXML export and) creating the album using MuseScore 2.x (then importing that into MuseScore 3), as well as the method described above by @MrCupHolder

If the the first page number was modifiable via plugins, iIt wouldn't be hard to make pdfs with the appropriate page numbers, and use a tool such as pdftkbuilder to make the full album.
I know I'm getting quite redundant with all that could be exposed the API, so many of these things could be useful for so many features. And many of these would only be useful to very few users and would bloat the software otherwise if implemented directly into it.
I am a fan of the visual studio code model, where the software itself only provides the very basics, and the API is VERY powerful so everyone installs what he needs.

Attachment Size
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Access to style settings would probably also be needed as page number isn't shown on the first page by default regardless of its value ("$p" needs to be changed to "$P" in footer settings to override this). Anyway, this would indeed be useful for some applications, and would definitely be easier to do than implementing the entire album feature. So feel free to file a feature request for exposing these features to plugins, or maybe even submit a pull request for this if you feel like it.

I would like this feature because I have some short snippets to share to and I don't want to upload each one - I would rather combine and then upload once.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I'm using a bunch of scripting to create PDF albums from multiple musescore files. A yaml file will provide title, list of musescore files (plus section names). A python script then exports all those files to SVG, extracts the metadata information via mscore binary, and builds an XSL-FO file with title page, linked index page(s) and then adds all the SVGs in order. Finally Apache FOP is being used to create a PDF. The result is all vector graphics. It's not very polished, partially quite ugly, and has no GUI, but works for me. If anybody is interested in collaboration I can put it up on github. Next big tasks would be to use a proper xml library to write out XSL-FO (currently I have hard coded template text sections) and to support both mscore3 and 4 (parsing version info from the metadata and calling into the proper version for export).