Playback of parts messed up in closed SATB scores

• Jan 8, 2020 - 17:32
Reported version
S3 - Major

1) Create a closed SATB score

2) Create parts for each one of the four voices

3) the score for each parts display the right notes (not mentioning dynamics, lyrics, expression marks, &c, as irrelevant for this thread). However, the playback executes both parts that share the same staff - generally, the Soprano part will playback the Contralto too, and vice versa. The same with Tenor and Bass.

Suggested workaround at the forum:
1) creating whatever staff text, added to the first note of each staff, editing its properties and attributing to each part a voice in the proper fold: Soprano, voice 1, Contralto voice 2, Tenor voices 1 & 3 (?!); Bass voices 2 & 4 (?!).

2) opening the mixer, expanding each staff showing each part, and using solo and/or mute buttons.

3) However, in practice, once you fix a voice and it seems ok, you proceed fixing other voices and the previous voices are messed up unexpectedly. For example, in the Contralto part you mute Sopranos. After working on Tenor and Bass, you go back to Contralto and both Soprano & Contralto are muted. Or the voices from the second staff (Bass & Tenor) playback the Contralto too, and there is no way to mute Contralto as it is not displayed on the mixer while working these 2nd staff voices. No matter how you work, once you fix a voice, another is messed around - it works exactly as a dog trying to bite its tail.

The software simply is not able to fully recognize different voices or parts as such, and the parts are messed up in playback.

Workaround inefficient for the sake of userfriendliness: fixing the file and sharing it in a way that anyone, with limited music reading and computer usage skills might simply open their voice, click the play button and hear their voice while following the notes and lyrics on the score.

The workaround only allows creating an mp3 file for each voice, loosing the advantages of MuseScore interface & userfriendliness, thus defeating the purpose of the feature, that is, helping each singer to train their own voice before rehearsals.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thank you, I already did that, but that doesn't fix the file so that people with whom I share the file may just click and hear the playback of their voice.

So far, the workaround works just for geeks, not for average people who can't work with a mixer. That defeats the purpose of easy shareability.

In reply to by bpdamasceno1

As I described in the OP, I can fix one or two voices, but once I have fixed all (from Soprano to Bass) the other voices get messed up in strange ways. Specially Tenor & Bass tend to get the playback of Contralto, too, and no button is displayed to mute Contralto.

To sum up: I can fix one voice at a time, but there is no way to fix all four voices at once and keep them not messed up.


Sorry for reviving an old thread, but I have exactly the same problem with my (multiple) closed STAB scores. The MP3-workaround works for distribution, but when I'm working on a score, I would like to be able to separate out each voice.

Unfortunately, I cannot share the score I'm working on, since it's not my music to share.

Are you saying you've followed the procedure for generating individual parts from your score, and you've used the S/A and T/B texts to assign your voices to independent subchannels, and you've used the Mixer to set the levels for those subchannels appropriately, but it's not working on playback? Or just that you're having trouble figuring out how to do all this? Either way, best to ask for help on the Support forum. Delete all but the first measure of the score if you're concerned about copyright issues.

To be clear: in general it is possible to set levels for the voices independently, whether you generate individual parts or not. Adding the S/A and T/B texts and then using the Mixer works fine for me.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

No, I haven't played with the mixer that much, since I honestly don't understand the instructions. I would like to when I generate a part, that the sound of the part reflects the score of the part. The score (say soprano-part = the first voice of the female staff) is correct, the sound is soprano+alto (aka all voices of the female staff).

I can mute voices one by one, but to do it simply by changing tab and make it stick with each part, doesn't seem to work.

Attachment Size
SATB_test_file.mscz 8.61 KB

Indeed, it would be nice if generating parts from voices worked differently for playback.

Do keep in mind, though, that generating separate parts for the voices in a closed-score SATB arrangement isn't really common to begin with, so by doing this, it's already left the world what can reasonably be called "intuitive". The expectation is in simple SATB music, choirs will be working directly from the full score, so the controls were optimized around that expectation - using the mixer to mute parts individually, not messing with generating parts.

I understand and for orchestral scores, it makes perfect sense, since you either put flute 1 and 2 on the same staff (if they are similar) or on separate ones (if they differ more).

For a choir (I my case a highly non-professional one, most members don't read music), sometimes I want to share a rendition of each voice. So I create a score that I split into parts and then share the mp3-output of each part. To make the score compact, I tend to use closed-score.

Anyway, thank you for your help.

In closed score SATB, just use those S/A and T/B texts, and teach the choir members to use the mixer, unflold the Women and Men 'instruments' and then to increase the volume of their voice (or even solo it) and to decrease the other voices, to their likings.
That way they can clearly hear their voice, but also hear the harmonies., which is pretty good for practising IMHO

I would say, if you're only generating the parts for the MP3's, indeed, don't do that - the mixer is perfectly capable of setting that up for you without resoprting to generating parts first. The parts facility was meant more for cases like the two flutes as mentioned, and in that case, there's not really much call for needing to hear playback of the individual parts since the flute players wouldn't typically be learning their party by ear. But even so, there's no great reason the playback shouldn't get this right, so it's worth fixing either way.