copying and hiding voices/layers

• Aug 23, 2014 - 13:35

This I think my first post on this forum. I´ve been a user of Finale for > 10 years although I´m a Linux user since 1992. I´ve looked several times into Musescore but I couldn't work with it (version 0.94 was the last I tried). But recently I tried 1.3 and it feels like a different program. I want to get rid of Finale and do my writing in Musescore. I arrange mostly for small combo´s and - at the moment mainly - for 2 piano´s.
If you write for different instruments you need to separate the score over the instruments and each score need its set of chords. In Finale i did it the following way:
I entered the chordnames in layer 4 in the main score (in Musescore comparable to voice 4) and copied them after separating the different instrument parts to each part. Of course I wrote all instruments in concert pitch ( as I assume every arranger/composer does).
To de-clutter the view I often make the other layers invisible to have a clean view for writing the chords.
I have no idea how to do that in Musescore.
As well for copying layers/voices between staffs as for making a layer/voice invisible I haven found a way.
Of course I know how to hide notes and rests but that is not what I want. I want the whole layer invible and I want also to copy/move between layers/voices (e.g. move the score in layer/voice 2 to layer/voice 1 etc.).
I hope that is already possible in the current version or it will be possible in version 2.0.
Thanks in advance for answers,
J.L. Blom


Hello, and welcome! BTW, if you think 1.3 feels different, wait until you try MuseScore 2, which will hopefully be released by the end of the year!

In MuseScore, entering the chords onto voice 4 is, as you are discovering, not a good way to go. It's easier to enter them on voice 1. I remember doing what you describe on Finale, so I could pre-fill the part with rests that allow me to enter chords mid-measure and copy them without clobbering what was already in the destination staff. But that's not necessary in Musescore. Just enter the chord into voice 1 on a separate staff - using Space bar after each allows you to move one beat at a time even with no rests entered. When you copy this staff, it won't overwrite the destination - it will just add the chords.

In MuseScore 2, the copy & paste facility is greatly enhanced, and will allow for things like selecting individual voices to copy, BTW. But even in 1.3, if you do things the way I describe, you end up not needing to mess with multiple voices just for the sake of chord symbols.

Also, if you haven't found it, already in 1.3 there the Edit /' Voices / Exchange commands to swap the contents of two voices, this can sometimes be useful when you are manipulating multiple voices. But I find that I use voices differently in MuseScore than I used layers in Finale, and once I got the hang of it, I only very rarely found myself needing to swap.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Many thanks for your reply. If I understand you correctly you use an extra staff (e.g. for a Big Band score you use 20 instead of 19 staves (4 trumpet, 4 trombones, 5 sax, 4 rhythm section(piano, guitar, bass, drums), 1 singer) and copy that staff to the staves where chords are needed when separating the parts.
Voices/layers are only used for polyphony on a staff.
That´s interesting as it gives you the possibility to see the other instruments when you construct the chords.
Is it possible to copy this extra chord to a part after separation of the different parts?
I write my arrangements always on all staves together (e.g. instrument1, instrument2, instrument3,.. below each other as they appear in the conductors score) and when finished I separate them to the different parts and then (in Finale) copy the layer 4 with the chords to each separate part. I can do the same in Musescore with the extra staff?
Thanks in advance,

In reply to by J.L. Blom

Well, no, I don't often create a separate staff, because my overall workflow is different from yours I suspect. But if I needed to do what you asked about, that's how I'd do it. Either add a staff to the current score, or use a separate score as a scratch pad - except in the current version, MuseScore crashes when copying regions with chord symbols between scores if the destination has fewer staves, so you'd run into this often.

Anyhow, one reason I hardly run into this is I rarely put chords on all staves - just the piano, guitar, and bass. And I'll often enter the bass part first, add the chords, then copy the whole bass part to piano and guitar, then select piano and guitar, and hit delete. That deletes the bass notes leaving only the chords. Now I can whatever notes I want onto the piano and guitar staves.

I guess I'm not understanding what parts you want to have chords and why you wouldn't just put those chords on the score as well.

This topic is a few years old, but still up to date.

In my opinion, hiding/showing voices would be very useful to write polyphonic music (chorus, guitar, piano, etc.)
I was hoping for a "hide/show voice" option in musescore 3, but I don't think it has changed.

I wonder if other users might find this option useful and if it should be considered for a future version?

Kind regards

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