Just wanna say...

• Jul 7, 2019 - 07:06

...to the fantastic developers of this incredible software: a MASSIVE thank you!

In the Development and Technology Preview section - and really, elsewhere also - I see a lot of posts about issues and generally people voicing dissatisfaction.


I'm from the FOSS world: along with Blender3D, this has GOT to be one of the most polished, feature-rich Open-Source software in existence. The developers deserve a LOT of credit, and my paltry Pro membership seems but a small amount when compared to what I get for it. People want a refund??!? Why not consider it a donation to a good cause?

No software is perfect: I know, I write in Python and {{ blush }} VBA, and bugs and regression are just bad-things-that-happen, but weigh that against the sheer power of what these people have created: seriously, it's creme-de-la-creme, Musescore is!

My original intent was to develop arranging/composing skill doing transcription, but that intended goal will have to wait: I am having far too much fun listening to music for - what seems like - the very first time as I transcribe it. Does anyone else share this experience? Is anyone else as crazy-rapt with taking a pdf and turning it into sound?

Here's what I'm playing with at the moment: still a ways to go - totally a WIP - but WOW, the sonorities! the pseudo-syncopation! the sheer lush harmonics of this piece are positively narcotic:


...and Musescore lets me HEAR all this properly!

I do have a question: I've just obtained the score for Joachim Raff's Symphony No 9. I've looked for copyright statements such as "It is expressly forbidden to make a copy in any sort of media of the contents of this Study Score" or words to that effect. None exist in the book at all.
Still, I don't wish to run afoul of an tacit, unexpressed copyright expectations by the publisher. Anyone have any opinion on this?


Thanks for the kind words! We're proud of what we've accomplished too, and really, the complaints have been invaluable in pushing us to do even better :-)

Copyright law is a complex subject, constantly changing, and different from country to country. And very few of us are lawyers. That said, I can tell you a few general things that are usually true:

  • If a composer has been dead 100 years, their works are generally public domain. The exact date can vary, and import milestone in the US is 1923 - anything first published before then is public domain now and that can never change).

  • Even if a work is public domain, and particular edition of it may be under copyright, so you can't physically copy the edition, but you can normally create your own edition of the original source material (best to leave out editorial editions like fingerings etc).

  • Most restrictions imposed by copyright law have to do with publishing (including posting on musescore.com), performing, or recording a work. Merely making an edition for your own private enjoyment is seldom an issue. Again, though, the laws are different from country to country.

In reply to by marty strasinger

I actually started there, Marty: but unfortunately, nothing of the sort existed on the IMSLP site, not even a piano transcription of the piece. I had to purchase the "Study Score" from another site: not hideously expensive, but not cheap, either. So, I'll probably not post it here when I've finished it, just to be on the safe side. However, I imagine the " performance " of the thing is another matter. I'm hoping to use the music in a video I'm making where the music is meant to add colour and texture to the visual, so I hope to export to midi and bring that into a DAW and record that.

Interestingly, the Reinecke Serenade:


on which I've pretty much finished work, with some small details yet to do, was found on IMSLP, but the PDF - which was a photocopy of a yellowed, ancient document - had some copyright disclaimer that was locale-specific, and which you had to agree to before you could download it.

In reply to by robynsveil

I am constantly in awe as I hear the notes come to life as I put them on the staff from an old classical favorite.

As one of the loud complaining voices you have no doubt seen in the technology preview and other places in the forums, I will say that those who contribute code are quite responsive. We don't get everything we want, but problems are obviously a high priority to be fixed. The quality of this software is outstanding for what most people pay for it (nothing, no pro account, no donation...). It's quality will never be what $1000 music notation software is, but they have an army of highly paid programmers on each bug, not some volunteer who has an extra 3 hours to track down the cause and come up with a fix.

One thing is clear. The notes on the staff the way they were put on it pre-1882 are no longer copyright. When you put the notes on the staff in MuseScore, they become yours. You needn't credit the source if you have doubts about it's copyright status. If they have special study notes, then omit them. They're not necessary for playback and won't affect a midi. Even performance should be of no issue since there is no copyright on the music, but there may be on individual copies of the score. A symphony orchestra would have to deal with the copyright issues if they bought the same score and made photo copies to pass out to the musicians, but I wouldn't even if I posted a MuseScore version online.

In reply to by mike320

I echo your sentiment on the awe you feel, Mike. The amazing thing about Musescore is that you can create a reasonably credible performance: the playback features are astounding good (and to be honest, I'm sure I haven't explored them completely)! I'm sure a proper DAW would yield nuances that Musescore can't, but I'm struggling getting either Garageband or Ardour to work properly, only because I don't truly understand the tools, I'm quite certain.
You bring up an important point, however. Some of my favourite performances - those I wish to emulate - of, say, the Scherzo of the Serenade for Strings that I'm currently working on, reflect dynamics and tempo changes that I am not able to recreate using the markings on the original score. With hairpins and even dynamics, it's easy: just change the velocity and other parameters from the default to achieve the goal: but every now and then I'm inclined to add a ritardando or other "markings/instructions" that live performances reflect but which don't exist on the original score. I suppose if someone downloading and playing the piece wishes to, it's reasonably trivial to remove them, unlike an actual "recording" of the piece. (Just thinking about this, I might make my additions a different colour, so they're easy to spot and remove).

@...robynsveil... you wrote:
The amazing thing about Musescore is that you can create a reasonably credible performance: the playback features are astounding good...
You are sooo... correct about that!
Also, as Marc has written here earlier: ...the complaints have been invaluable in pushing us to do even better.
That statement rings also true as for many years, in these forums, the customary (almost predictable) mantra to a complaint about playback was:
"MuseScore is primarily a score notation app and playback is of secondary importance."
Read Peter Schaffter's comments here:

About 4 - 5 years ago, that same MuseScorer, who loved the scorewriting part and lamented the state of playback, and, after hours/days/weeks of experimentation within MuseScore, dedicated one of his compositions to the MS development team:
(BTW: If, as you wrote, your "original intent was to develop arranging/composing skill", Peter's the guy to follow.)
Since those days, and with all the work done on soundfonts and playback improvements, the old mantra is hardly heard around here anymore.

Meanwhile, concurrent improvements to notation has resulted in this milestone achievement:
which grew from:

In summation: MuseScore rocks!


Also, now that MuseScore has reached music notation respectability, there's this ongoing project:

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