Is it possible to separate parts in a SATB closed score?

• Jul 22, 2019 - 00:24

Dear friends:

I work mostly with SATB choir scores, and in almost everything musescore is doing just great. However, I am having trouble in drawing separate parts for each voice, in a SATB closed score (with two voices in each staff). That is, I am able to draw a separate score and midi sound for the first staff (Soprano & Alto altogether) and for the second staff (Tenor & Bass altogether), but not for each individual voice.

The awkward solution I have found, for the time being, was creating an SATB open score (each voice in its own staff) for drawing separate midi files (so that singers may train their own voice at home) and creating and saving another identical file but in closed score, with just two staves, for printing.

That is not practical! Any further correction I do in one file, say, improving the MIDI delivering, does not reflect in the other twin file.

Is there any technical solution, so that I can work from the beginning on a single SATB closed score and, even so, extract separated parts for Soprano & Alto & Tenor & Bass?

I am thankful for any help.

Note: I am presently working with Musescore 2, since Musescore 3 frequently crashed in Windows 7


Previous version of 3.0 had crash issues but the latest 3.2.3 is far more stable. As long as you put the parts in their own voices in the score, version 3 make generating parts easy. Version 2 has no easy way to generate parts from a closed score.

In reply to by mike320

Thank you very much!

I will give a try in 3.2.3 version.

I am assuming Soprano should be in the first voice of the first staff, Alto in the second voice of the first staff, Tenor in the first voice of the second staff, and Bass in the second voice of the second staff. Am I right?

I am not yet at ease in managing voices, but if that solves the issue, it is worth the time of figuring out how that works (otherwise the music I work with has no need of different voices, as their rhythm and text is always the same across all parts).

In reply to by mike320

Thank you very much, Mike. I have installed musescore 3 again, and created a SATB closed score file, taking attention to have each part in its own voice.

Now, I got creating the parts for each of the four voices, and each part is displayed in its own tab, correctly, and I assume if I would extract a PDF for each part it would be just fine, after retouching formatting and specially break lines.

The issue that remains is that the MIDI sound, say, for the part of Sopranos, plays both voices of the first staff, that is, Soprano and Alto - and the same with the MIDI sound for the Contralto part, it plays both voices that are in the same staff. And again, the same with Tenor & Bass: the MIDI, in both parts, plays both voices that are in the second staff.

Having the MIDI sound for each part, within the same file, plus playing in synch with the score, is exactly what I need more - so that the singers may learn their voices in a user-friendly interface, since most of them can't just learn their voices by reading the score.

I may, of course, create mp3 files for each voice, and even have the other voices in background, in a lower volume, using the mixer - but that implies creating a lot of files that are much much heavier in size than just one musescore file, and much harder to organize and to keep up-to-date.

I really would be glad in having everything in just one light musescore file. Is that still a bug or limitation of musescore 3, am I doing something wrong, or that has to do with MIDI configuration in the system?

Thanks again, best regards.

In reply to by bpdamasceno1

Hearing all the voices on the same staff from the main score in a part is a bug I've heard of. I rarely create parts and then almost exclusively from individual parts rather than combined parts like you use. So I'll explain how this works from my understanding and expectations rather than the experience I normally use.

The first thing I would look at is that Play Part only is checked at the top of the mixer. That may fix everything and the rest would be irrelevant.

In the mixer, you have the ability to solo and mute individual voices. Assuming you have SATB parts with SA on one staff and TB on the other, I would expect that the A and B parts might be assigned voice 2 in the mixer in both the score and the parts. If you want to hear these parts soloed you would need to solo these voices. You may also try muting voice 1 in the part to see if that silences the unwanted voice.

As for MP3 files, they are not integrated into the score (mscz) file so you would need to make each one with the voices the way you want, or send instructions to the others on how to create the version they need.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Hello Jojo. After some search, I found how to open the window of "Staff Text Properties". I had to just create a test text from the very first note of each staff (otherwise it would have no effect on the notes before the staff text, and it is exactly as the pic by Aaron.

I attributed Voice 1 to Soprano, and Voice 2 to Contralto and, so far, things did work well enough. The Soprano part, after using the Mixer, would playback just the Soprano, and the same with the Contralto.

As for Tenor and Bass, their playback still was simultaneous, and I tried a few combinations on the Staff Text Properties, such as attributing Voice 1 and 3 to Tenor and Voice 2 and 4 to Bass (just as Aaron's pic). Then when trying to work on the Mixer to isolate each part, I simply got wild unwanted combinations, such as Contralto + Bass when I wanted just Bass, and so forth.

I tried attributing Voice 1 to Tenor and Voice 2 to Bass (as it was done originally, when creating the score) but results were wild when coming to the second staff with Tenor and Bass. My last try is as in the attached pic, with Voice 3 to Tenor and Voice 4 to Bass, with the same wild, unpredictable results. In general, Soprano and Alto did not suffer damage from the trials (remaining almost always with separate playbacks) but Tenor and Bass simply don't fall in place.

Is there any safe way of organizing the voices and channels on the Staff Text Properties, so that everything else fall in place when using the Mixer?

Be said that my experience with a Mixer is near zero, so I may be just loosing any silly detail that anyone might take as granted. I have no trouble in understanding how computers do work technically, but my experience in music has been always acoustic and just leaving technicians to do their work when necessary. I may learn the technical part, but I just ignore the very basics.

Thank you in advance!

Attachment Size
Capturar.JPG 47.74 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Jojo, I did as you said, and after opening the Mixer and going to work on each part, Soprano and Alto behave reasonably well. Sometimes, after doing Alto to play with no other voice in playback, I go to work on another voice, and when I come back to Alto, it muted itself alone, God knows how and why.

Then, when I go to work on Tenor and Bass, everything messes up: Tenor playbacks, no more together with Bass, but with Alto! and Bass playbacks no more with Tenor, but with Soprano.

Moreover, coming back to Alto, that has this annoying habit of muting itself, I discover that not only it is muted back again, but it playbacks the Bass alone!

Thus I am assuming that there is something wrong I did from the beginning with the voices. According the manual, I attributed to Soprano voice 1, on first staff, and to Contralto, voice 2, on first staff. As for the second staff, voice 1 to Tenor and Voice 2 to Bass, and they still display the right voice when I click on any of their notes.

I am sending here my mscz file, as it is, now, in the case it might be helpful. I have no idea what more I could do, having tried and retried every possibility. It seems voices, and parts, and channels, everything is messed up from the root.

Thank you in advance for any enlightenment and help.

Attachment Size
26 UM SÓ É SANTO mel Contr.mscz 47.83 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thank you, Jojo, for checking the file.

For several practical considerations, my goal is having each individual part not messed up, with its right playback, and I would expend some extra time on that if it shows to be feasible. Or just wait for some future version of MuseScore where this bug is solved.

Of course, if that shows impossible for the time being, I will have to create mp3 separated files for each voice, and I think I could do that from the Mixer, working on the main tab with the full score - it doesn't seem hard at all.

If there is some way to get the separate parts working well, then I would go the extra mile.

Thank you again.

In reply to by aaron.c.samuels

I am glad that this way around worked for you and when at my PC, I will run through this thread and check how that will work for me.

I have only one question, though: once you have expanded the mixer, and muted what had to be muted and so on, are these changes kept in that specific part (say, Tenor) and will work to whomever opens the file and goes to that voice tab? OR: they work only for the effect, say, of creating an MP3 file and once you close the file, it is gone?

I ask that because I really need user-friendly shareable files, with each separate voice easily available even for non-tech people.

If the answer for the first question is YES, then all my problems are solved, for now.

Thank you for delving for clearer answers and, of course, thank you for you guys who have answered. I will check as soon as possible.

In reply to by bpdamasceno1

I believe those changes should be saved when you save the file. I'm running an experiment now to see if this will affect the export or not for individual part mp3s. I actually went through that dilemma and found another thread on it recently for a useful, albeit cumbersome, workaround. Stay tuned.

In reply to by bpdamasceno1

Hello, Bp! I'm actually having a really hard time finding said thread, but this one seems to have much of the same info:

It'd be nice if one could access one's threads through one's profile on this site.

Fortunately, I'm having the most luck with Jojo's solutions in this thread, except for the fact that when I am exporting the individual voices, it takes FOREVER (read: about 5 minutes per voice for two pages of score). Still worth it, however, since I can also use this score preparation method to play back the individual voices at rehearsals. My laptop is now my digital accompanist and I can focus more on directing!

(Thanks again, Jojo!)

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.