Playback does not play clef change?

• Mar 28, 2020 - 22:35

Attached I have copied as written a few measures from a score I purchased. In measures 3 & 4 it does not sound as if the correct octaves are being played back. If not, how do I get it to do so? I tried all the clef options in the master palette but none seem to be the correct one.

Thank you!

Attachment Size
Clef_change_playback.mscz 11.09 KB


To add clef, no need to resort to the master palette, just use the normal Clefs palette in the normal palette at left. It appears you didn't add an actual clef but rather a "symbol" and that is why it has no effect on anything.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, Marc. I did try that when I could not get the correct octaves utilizing the master palette. I left it as a symbol so when I printed it out I would know to play the treble clef but I would like to learn how to fix it so that it plays back the correct octave. I also tried to use 15va instead of the clef but that did not work either.

Kindly look at what I got when I went to the "normal??" palette (not sure exactly what is the normal palette); I would like to learn how to do this.

As in the past, thank you!

Attachment Size
Doc1.docx 187.67 KB

In reply to by Megan R

By "normal" palette I mean the one at the left side of the screen that you would normally use for almost everything. The "Master Palette" - opened via the View menu - is a special-purpose thing most people would never need to use.

Anyhow, it seems you have already entered the notes on the bass clef, that is why changing to treble now shows them with ledger lines. So you'll need to transpose them up a couple of octaves and a third, assuming you entered them on the right lines and spaces for bass clef. You presumably heard the pitches were wrong when you entered them?

In the future, simply change the clef first, then enter the notes, not the other way around. When you enter notes onto one clef, MsueScore assumes those are the actual pitches you want, and it preserves the pitches when you change clefs.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, Marc. This was a score I imported as a PDF and I will know now in the future that if any corrections are required for an inaccurate import (which might have been in this case as I did have to adjust rhythms in other measures (e.g., importing 8th notes where the original score had quarter notes)) I need to handle it differently.

Yes, I heard the pitches were incorrect and therefore tried all kinds of ways to get them to play correctly upon playback. When all these attempts were unsuccessful, I just used the clef symbol (or in other drafts left it in the way it got imported as a PDF with the incorrect playback) just for printing purposes so I could get on with learning the song.

In reply to by Megan R

That makes sense. I assumed you were entering the notes manually, and in that case you'd have heard the wrong pitch instantly upon entering the first note, and would have corrected the clef then and there, before compounding the error with further notes. PDF import will indeed, by its very nature, make many errors that need manual correction.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I deleted the incorrect measure(s), inserted a new empty measure, added a real clef, and only then entered the notes, and, as you instructed (and expected), it worked. Thank you!

By the way, when a PDF score is imported as mine was, is it visible to all MuseScore users or only visible to the user who imported it?

In reply to by Megan R

Scores are only visible to other users if you actually upload them to (e.g., using File / Save Online, or by going to and clicking an upload button somewhere there) and mark them Public. Even though the PDF import process happens to use as a server, it's completely separate. So simply using that facility doesn't turn it into a regular score. You'd have to save it online normally just as for any other score in order to share it.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Thank you jm6stringer for your helpful reply! I only added the fake clef for printing purposes when none of the real clefs played the correct pitches. Marc explained why my adding the real clef did not work for me and how I should handle incorrect pitches with PDF imports in the future. Please see his reply and mine, after I did as he instructed. Thanks again!

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