Brass band template

• Nov 21, 2019 - 08:50

MuseScore version:
27” iMac 2013 running Mojave 10.14.4

By way of introduction, I have been using music notation programs since 1994 (Encore and then Finale and MuseScore). Despite its problems, I prefer MuseScore because of the ease with which one interacts with the program, especially with regard to selecting, playing back and pasting-in.

1) Voices problem

I copied and pasted instruments from an orchestral score into a MuseScore brass band template and made necessary changes. Some of the parts had divisi voices on one stave which the brass band score did not require so unwanted notation was deleted. The redundant rests refused to delete. I tried switching voices in the menu but to no avail so I made them invisible which entailed laboriously selecting each one in turn manually. Attempts to shift-select also selected adjacent material.

I haven’t succeeded in pasting into a selected voice in MuseScore. The program deletes existing voices as material is pasted in.

2) Transposition and playback problem

When I changed from concert score to transposed all the key signatures were one whole tone too high. Then I noticed that the additional euphonium instrument part I had added to the score had not transposed, possibly the cause of the above score transposition problem. I therefore transposed this part manually but it now plays back a whole tone too high, even though correct on paper. I can see why it did this; the program thinks it is a concert key instrument.

3) Menu problem

There are also problems with the breaks and spacers menu which allows me, unintentionally, to drag items out of the menu. The items also jump about when I click in the menu.

4) File saving problem

Sometimes when I save a file I get a message to choose a name and location for the file, even though I am merely saving it. This is part of a historical problem I have experienced saving files in MuseScore, which sometimes behaves in a way that is different from any other program I have used (since I began on Macs in 1988). The problem only occurs when I have additional files open at the top of the page, although I only wish to save the one I am working on.

5) Installation problem.

Believing that I might have a Beta version I tried downloading the program again but the downloaded file disappears when I double-click to install it. I tried more than once. I also tried via the Downloads folder and dragging the file onto the desktop.

6) File-opening problem

The latest MuseScore version I have sometimes takes an eternity to open a file and sometimes not.

The attached file has a playback problem (see above):


I'm going to start with #2. Transposition is automatic and correct when you don't try to override what MuseScore does automatically. I'm not exactly sure what you are seeing as a problem, but what I see in the Solo Coronet is what I expect. It is a Bb coronet and transposed notes are one step above concert pitch. I'm not sure if you realize it, but the Soprano Coronet is an Eb instrument in your score. For the Euphonium, the Euphoniums I've seen are non-transposing instruments. If you want the Bb instrument you need to use the Baritone (Treble clef). You did not properly transpose the Euphonium. To change the transposition of an instrument, all you need to do is right click the staff, select staff/part properties and change the transposition. In the case of making the Euphonium a Bb instrument, change transposition to 2-Major second down with no octaves. This will automatically move the notes and update the key signature. In the case of the Euphonium in Treble clef, in concert pitch it shows bass clef and treble clef in transposed pitch.

For #1, you were not very specific, but rather general. The best way to help you would be for you to attach a sample that shows what you are trying to copy from and copy to in each situation. I, or someone, can then explain the easiest way to make it work. You are making everything way to complicated.

I do suggest that you upgrade to the latest stable version of MuseScore which is 3.3.2, you are using 3.3.0. See for the latest update.

I or someone can deal with the other issues after we get you understanding the basics of notation in the program.

In reply to by mike320

I'm a composer/arranger of more than 50 years' experience and I know how brass bands work, thank you.

Far from making things complicated, I chose to copy and paste tracks and then make necessary adjustments and alterations. Couldn't be simpler.

I did upload a sample score.

The program upgrade will not install. I'll try again.

In reply to by John Morton

You uploaded the score you forced ill advised changes on, not the original where you were copying from. I'm not telling you how to compose, but how to use the program. I must use enough context so my remarks make sense. For example, in your score you have 2 Euphoniums, one is in the key of C and one transposes a minor second (is in the key of Bb). You have entered a local key signature and moved the notes so they are in the "correct" place but now they sound wrong - this is because you entered the wrong notes. You are trying to do what MuseScore does automatically.

For 1), as mentioned, a sample score and precise steps would help us understand what you are missing. My guess is you aren't moving the notes into proper voices before pasting.

For 2), euphonium is traditionally not transposed when reading bass clef, but in some brass bands (eg, the UYK tradition) it is common to treat it as transposing (Bb) and in treble clef. So simply set it up that way if you prefer it that way.

3) it's a new feature that you can easily customize palettes. if you wish to disable that feature, right click the palette and disable editing.

4) saving prompts you to choose a name & location if the file you are working on was imported from a previous version of MuseScore or from another program. This is normal, correct, and desirable - most people would not want to accidentally overwrite the original version of the file if it was created with another program. If you decide you want to overwrite a file originally created in an older version of MueScore (thus preventing it from opening in that older version any more), just give it the same name & location and answer yes when it asks if you want to overwrite it.

5) If you are having a problem double-clicking a file in Finder to open it, that sounds like an issue with macOS, you should probably contact Apple about that. To check what version you have, see Help / About. If it doesn't say "beta" then it isn't. But also best to try Help / Check for Updates to be sure you have the latest.

6) your file opened in just a couple of seconds for me and plays normally. could be something else was going on with your system at the time, taking up the CPU or other resources

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you. I did upload a sample score. In 6) you say it opened OK. Please note the playback problem with the 2nd Euphonium.

2) I understand how brass bands work both in the UK and elsewhere. In the USA, for example, all lower brass are usually in concert pitch in bass clef. I always give them both sets.

3) OK. But why in a gazillion years would anyone make your default setup the default setup? It's an absolute nightmare. Three times I lost the stave-break tool.

4) This reply applies to all computers and all programs. Of course, we know this. If I am viewing a file and I 'save' it, I expect it just to save the file in view, as any other program does. I accept that the way things work in MuseScore can sometimes be extremely useful; when copying and pasting between files, for example.

5) I use a great many programs and the problem is unique to MuseScore. The program upload failed more than once. I'll try again.

6) Again, unique to MuseScore on the day.

I use MuseScore because, despite the above, and other, issues, it is a delight to interact with.

In reply to by John Morton

Well, you didn't specify transposition for the second euphonium part, so it's displaying at concert pitch. Meaning you've entered the notes at the wrong pitch.

To fix this after the fact, then, you need to do two things. One is to fix the transposition interval. But then, since you've already entered the notes at the wrong sounding pitch, you also need to actually transpose the notes. since changing the transposition setting is something one normally only needs to do when one wants to keep the same sound but change the written pitches (like to change a Bb tenor sax part to an Eb alto sax part).


  • Staff Properties, set the interval to major second plus an octave down
  • Click first measure of the part, Ctrl+Shift+End to select, then use Tools / Transpose to fix the pitches (eg, transpose to key of F, then use Ctrl+Down to do the octave)

3) Not sure what you mean. Why wouldn't we make which setup the default? You mean you wish the default order of the icons were different? Why? Or you mean you wish to go back to the old days of having it be harder to customize palettes? The whole point of the change is to make it easier, so people are encouraged to actually customize MuseScore more to their own liking. Not sure what you mean about losing the stave-break. Do you mean you accidentally dragged the icon into a different palette?

4) Right, and MuseScore works exactly as all other programs in this respect - if the file is an actual MsueScore file created in the current version, then save just saves, no dialog appears. Only for scores imported from elsewhere does it prompt for a new name. The only difference is that some programs are careless about sving over files created in older versions, thus allowing people to shoot themselves in the foot by saving in a format the older version can't handle well. I have no doubt such programs exist. If you know of such a program, feel free to file a bug report to its developers.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

So, I have a 2nd Euphonium part same clef and key signature as 1st Euphonium and the parts look exactly the same except for the divisi sections but I am experiencing these problems and you think that's OK?

3) I think you know exactly what I mean here, Marc. No offence intended but you can be obstructive at times.

4) I am not making myself clear here, and we are retracing old steps. If I work on a file and 'save' it, not 'save as', the program sometimes asks for a name and location instead of just saving it. It may be because I may have other files open along the top (a very useful feature, once you get used to it - only browsers do this) in which case the program is being influenced by irrelevant factors; it is trying to save a file along with an unconnected file (in my case, the original orchestral score). I am not trying to save an imported file but a file freshly created in MuseScore.

In reply to by John Morton

Your score has 2 Euphoniums, one as transposing instrument (and with a local key signature) and one as an non-transposing one. That can't be right, can it?

ad 4) The program asks where to save only under 2 conditions: either this is a new score that has never been saved before or it has been imported (and that includes scrore from a down-rev version of MuseScore, like 1.x or 2.x in MuseScore 3.x) and not yet saved as a MuseScore 3.x score. Which basically is the same as the 1st condition in disguise.

In reply to by John Morton

It's clear you are experiencing problems, yes. I told you already how to solve those problems now that they have occurred, so hopefully that was helpful. As for how to prevent the problems in the first case, to help with that we would need to know how the problem occurred in the first place. We'd like to help you avoid making the same mistake in the future. But in order to help further, we would need to understand more about how you got into that situation.

My guess is, you added the euphonium incorrectly - as a concern pitch bass clef instrument - then changed the clef and key manually (using a "local" key signature, apparently). That's not the right way to achieve the result you wanted, so it's not surprising it didn't produce the correct results. Next time, you should simply add the transposing (marked as "treble clef") version fo the euphonium in the first place. Or, if you accidentally add the wrong one, correct the error by changing the instrument, not by changing the clef and key. Or if you don't wish to change the instrument for whatever reason, go ahead and change the clef, but don't change the kley - change the transposition. There are many correct ways to do things, and equally many incorrect ways. Just be sure to choose one of the correct ways.

3) I actually don't know what you mean. As I said, it is deliberate that it is now easier to customize a palette. Most people welcome that, but if you prefer not to have it be so easy, I explaiend how to disable that.

4) As explained many times, the only time MuseScore - or any program - asks for a new filename and folder is if the file you were working on was imported from elsewhere. It will also ask, of course, if the file in fact was "freshly created" asd you say and thus has never yet been given a name or folder. I have never once seen MuseScore behave otherwise and I have used it for several hours a day every day for the last eight or nine years. But if you believe you have a case where this happens, please give us precise steps to reproduce the problem so we can investigate. But right now, all evidence is that things are as I said - either the file was never saved before at all, or it was imported elsewhere. Those are the only conditions in which MuseScore, or any other programs, prompts for a location on save.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

3) The items in the menu leap around uncontrollably when the arrow approaches them. Also, on more than one occasion, the stave break tool disappeared. I had to do something which is the ultimate admission of failure - quit the program and re-open. I repeat: why on Earth would the program be designed in such a way by default?

4) The program is asking for a new name and location for an existing file, not freshly created or imported etc. With regard to reproducing the problem I merely clicked 'save' in the file presently discussed. It did have the orchestral score open at the top for convenient copying and pasting which is why I made the suggestion that this could be the cause of the problem. If so, that would be a program error, in my view. I, too, have 'explained this many times'. Over the past few years, in fact.

Thanks again and, by the way, we are not ungrateful to you all. This is still my program of choice.

John Morton.

This is how the music should sound but you will get a 404 message for some reason:

In reply to by John Morton

3) not sure what you mean. As I said, it is a new feature that you can rearrange your palette by dragging, so if you drag an item within the palette, things shuffle so you can see what the results would be if you released. If you prefer not to ue this feature, as I said, simply disable it. But it's quite useful to be able to customize your palette, I suspect you grow to appreciate it.

4) Again, the only time this ever happens is for a score imported from elsewhere. If you believe you have a score where you are prompted for a folder even though it was not imported, please attach that score and give precise steps to reproduce the problem. Without that information there is no way to investigate, since no one else has ever been able to reproduce such a case.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

When the selection arrow approaches the menu - the breaks and spacers in the present discussion - the items dart about wildly. I also lost the stave break tool. On one occasion it jumped into the adjacent square, leaving the first square empty. I doubt very much that my experience of the menu is the one intended by the developers. I can't imagine anyone would ever require this.

I work on a file, not imported, or from an earlier version of the program or anything else, just a file, and these things happen.

In reply to by John Morton

Again, nothing should be darting "wildly" - it should simply be showing you where things will end up if you perform the customization you are in the midst of. If you don't intend to customize, just don't drop the icon, and nothing changes. Also be aware that none of this happens if you don't pause in the middle of your drag and drop - if you drag and drop directly from the palette to the score, the palette doesn't shift. Only if you pasue and start moving the icon around within the palette do things shift. That is indeed very intentional - if you drag to your score, nothing rearranges, if you drag within the palette, it odes.

There is indeed a bug I have seen occasionally where something like once every 100 or so drag and drop operations from the palette to the score, the icon will disappear from the palette. It reappears when you restart MuseScore, or if you change workspaces. So far no one else can reproduce this and we have no insight into why it happens.

If you can ever reproduce the saving issue, please start a new thread and attach the score and precise step gy step instructions to reproduce the problem. Otherwise there is absolutely nothing anyone can do. None of the other millions of users of MsueScore have ever once reported a problem like that, so whatever is going on must be unique to something about your particular score or your particular system / workflow.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I have updated the program, now on, and the problem with the menu does not occur. Sorry for the delay in informing you of this but my life does not revolve around this forum. As it was, my use of the word 'wildly' was within acceptable limits for hyperbole. The menu was virtually unusable.

Saving Issue
All I can do is to send the score, which I have done, and inform you that I was merely saving the file after alterations had been made. Reproducing exact conditions for you is a tough one although I will try on some future occasion. The problem has occurred over a number of years with various scores during which time there have been several updates of the MuseScore program and the Mac OS. It may be that the presence of other scores in the menu above the page is causing this. PhotoShop behaves similarly, although it understandably only asks me to save each one as it quits, not for a name and location.

In reply to by John Morton

OK. I've just spent half an hour trying to correct the 2nd Euphonium part without success. It looks exactly correct on paper but it is playing out a ninth higher, which is the correct transposition from bass clef concert pitch. (Incidentally - see original post - I always prepare my scores in the first instance in concert pitch so there were no transpositions involved in the early stages. And most of the orchestral parts pasted-in were from non-transposing instruments, anyway.)

I tried 'new instrument' and got, not surprisingly, a part in the key of A major. When I selected 'transpose by key' down to G the program took the part down an octave, didn't transpose, and didn't change the key signature either. I didn't use the 8 clef on the 1st Euphonium either but it plays in the correct octave.

I am a veteran of notation programs and I can't believe I am having to ask advice on something I've been doing on an almost daily basis since 1994. MuseScore apppears to be one of those programs where, if you don't stick to the rules, you can't change things afterwards.

If anyone can succeed here I would be most grateful to hear how they did it, genuinely.

In reply to by John Morton

I'm sorry to hear about your issues. I'ma newb so I can't really help you. Just want to comment that sometimes, upgrade will fix bugs but may also introduce new one. It's worth investigating if this is the case. For the transpose issue, instead of by key down, try key closest, Perhaps that will work? I hope you get your issues resolved. Smile, it's Friday.

In reply to by John Morton

This looks just like the original version, so I'm not really sure what you did differently. But for the record, the two steps I listed above take about 10 seconds, and as far as I know those are the same basic two steps that would be required in any other notation program if you've created an instrument at the wrong transposition and then entered notes at written pitch so the sounding pitch is wrong.

But for the record, since you mention adding a new instrument, that approach works too. If I add a new instrument by searching for "euph" in the search bar and selecting the "Euphonium (Treble Clef)" from the lsit of results, I get exactly what I expect - a euphonium displayed in treble clef clef a G major key signature and transposition set to major second plus octave down, just like your first euphonium part is. So you could simply copy and paste from the second euphonium part onto that new staff, but again, you'll still need to actually transpose the notes down since at this point they've been entered at the wrong sounding pitch, and MuseScore always preserves sounding pitch when dealing with changes to or differences in transposition.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It was the same file. I had the opinion people hadn't found it previously because they were probably looking for the original (orchestral) score which will not help here.

The method I used was to 'change instrument', selecting treble clef, which caused the problem. It's MuseScore's way or no way, apparently.

OK. Thanks to all for the above. I shall obey the rules strictly from now on, if that's the way it works.

In reply to by John Morton

Hello, I once myself transcribed a whole sax quartet, hit play to hear the worse nightmare I could think of.
I had transcribed transcribed everything I was seeing, not knowing the score I was transcribing was not concert pitch, and I was transcribing everything in concert pitch...
Could that be your error? Do you know about the concert pitch button? Just right of the play button and left of the image capture tool.
Hope this helps.

In reply to by Marr11317

There is indeed something that might look like a bug in your score.
When in concert pitch, the second euphonium doesn't have the same keysig as the other instruments.
To correct it, i selected the keysig and hit delete. That deleted the whole key sig and set everything in C.
Then I added back the key signature.

Then i just selected the whole eupho staff and hit arrow down twice to transpose it by a major second.

Sounds well btw :)

The problem with the 2nd Euph has been solved. I had to do it ground-up from a concert version of the score.
I have also installed and used the 'Timbres of Heaven' soundfont which works well, for a notation program sounfont. (Thanks to its creator). I usually mix through Logic Pro via an imported Midi file from MuseScore. Here is a link to the new file:

The problem with saving files occurred again today. I opened a MuseScore file, selected the Timbers of Heaven sound font for playback, auditioned the quality difference (and nothing else), clicked 'Save' and a window opened asking me to name the file and select a location to save it. The file had already been opened and saved in the same update I am using so importing from a previous version is not the cause of the problem. This kind of problem has happened numerous times in the last few years with various files using various updates of MuseScore.

Since writing this, I added slashes to the drum part and saved. Again, I got the same message and clicked 'Save' but the slashes are not visible in the attached score. It went elsewhere on the computer. I know where it went but I expected the saved version to appear below, which it didn't. Easily solved, of course, but that isn't the point.

Attachment Size
Cool_City.mscz 76.87 KB

In reply to by John Morton

Those two facts together point to the inescapable conclusion that you do in fact have multiple different versions of that file - one of them still in MuseScore 2 format, and despite the fact that you have also worked on it in MuseScore 3, somehow you are accidentally opening the old version sometimes.

Next time this happens, then, hit Cancel rather than actually saving the file. Then go to File / Score Properties. You will see it give the exact pathname where the file you are working on was opened from. It will also tell the version of MuseScore it was last saved with. When you see that information, hopefully it will help you understand how you ended up accidentally opening the old version of the file. If not, though, please cut and paste that information into a reply here, and maybe we will be able to help you figure it out.

In reply to by John Morton

The file you attached, BTW,is the old version. It clearly says it was created in (an extremely old version, that's from several years back). So this is not in fact the file you say you had already opened and saved in MuseScore 3. You might have opened this file before, you might have even saved a copy of it under a different name or to a different folder, but this particular file is still the very old copy. So indeed, every time you open this very old file, it will continue to prompt you to reset positions on load, and it will continue to prompt you for a location on open. If your intent was to save over the old copy, then you need to in fact do that. If you intend to keep the original version around and save a new copy in MuseScore 3 format, that's fine, but then you need to be sure in the future not to keep opening this very old copy - be sure to always open the newly saved copy.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I have only ever needed one file of this arrangement on my computer, I promise you and, as a (very) old hand at computers, I know the difference between 'Save' and 'Save As' etc. Whenever duplication occurs I alway tidy up. The file I duplicated yesterday after the prompt opened OK a moment ago and closed OK after a test amendment, just as you predicted. We are involved in circularity here since the program is somehow creating the problem we are trying to solve. And, as I have said before, the present confusion only occurs in MuseScore. I may have opened via 'Recent Files' but surely that would have opened the last version saved in 3, not a version I hadn't touched in years? Could this have been the problem all along? I have been using 3 and its updates since its release.

In reply to by John Morton

Again: that file you attached above, Cool_City.mscz, stems from (i.e. got last saved with) MuseScore, no shadow of a doubt about that:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<museScore version="2.06">

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I wouldn't waste our time trying to deny this. The puzzle is, why this happened and, again, this kind of confusion does not normally arise. For example, programs do not usually prompt the user to choose a name and location just because an updated program has been used for making amendments and I have only used various versions of 3 since the original release. I did not retain 2 on the machine. When I right-clicked on both files 'Get Info' showed version 3, including the original, which was not saved after the prompt I mentioned last time so would have still been in 2, if it already was. Anyway, I think we all know where we are going now and I must double check MuseScore files to ensure this doesn't happen again, whatever causes it. No need to respond, thank you, JM.

In reply to by John Morton

programs do not usually prompt the user to choose a name and location just because an updated program has been used for making amendments MuseScore does, when there is a major version change

When I right-clicked on both files 'Get Info' showed version 3 That's probably a Windows quirk, it(s Explorer) doesn't look into that file (just checks with application is registered to open it), like MuseScore does, or like I did above

In reply to by John Morton

Yes, I I think we finally understand what has happened - you have been using Open Recent to open your scores but it is giving you the old version of the score rather than the new. That's because files are added to the "recent" list only when they are opened, not when you use "Save As". That's caused some surprise before, but never quite to this extent.

So to be clear: if you open file X from version 2, then do Save As to a different folder but using the same name, you will still see "X" in the recent files list, but since it was the version 2 file you last opened, it is the version 2 file that will be opened. If on the other hand your "Save As" gave the file a different name, your clue that something is amiss would be that the new name does not show up in the recent list at all.

If you only need one version of the file, then don't save it to another folder, just save it directly on top of the old. You'll get a warning that you are overwriting a file, and you can confirm that you do indeed want to do this., and then there's one file that will no longer cause confusion.

Also, going forward, there is one dead giveaway as to when you have opened an old version of a file like this one: you'll get a dialog when you open the file prompting you to reset positions of elements. That's how I instantly knew you had attached an old version. If you see that dialog, the file was created in MuseScore 2 (or older), and it is exactly those cases in which you will get a dialog on save prompting for a new name and folder. If you don't get a dialog prompting you to reset positions upon opening the file, then you have a MuseScore 3 file, and you won't get any further dialogs on save either.

So as far as I am concerned, the issue is now completely understood, mystery solved, case closed. It could be worth considering whether files created by "save as" should be added to the recent files list. As I said, it's occasionally caused a small amount of confusion before. I don't know if Microsoft or Apple have any design guidelines about this, we should do strive to be consistent with how other applications handle the same situation.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

"If you only need one version of the file, then don't save it to another folder, just save it directly on top of the old. You'll get a warning that you are overwriting a file, and you can confirm that you do indeed want to do this., and then there's one file that will no longer cause confusion."

This is the expected behaviour but it hasn't been happening like this, which is the main reason for these exchanges. Weird. Anyway, it is, as you infer, time to call it 'quits'. I can get the job done with the assistance provided. Thank you, John Morton.

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