Abilities Regarding Parts Visibility

• Nov 25, 2020 - 11:27

Sometimes you might want to write for 3-5 parts in a part of in orchestral score consisting of 30+ parts... (I'm talking about Rite of Spring, how did you know?). But writing for those small parts makes all the other 25+ parts occupy a lot of space unnecessarily. So wouldn't it be easier for somebody to write there by being able to toggle off the unnecessary parts' visibility?

Or sometimes you see scores keep some empty staves visible, but many other invisible.
So could we be able to toggle on and off the visibility of every part in a score individually with an option? And not necessarily for every page/globally. This allows for a lot of customization to the score too!


The option to hide instruments globally is already available in Edit > Instruments (shortcut I):

Visibility of instruments.png

[EDIT] And you might look at this topic in the Issue Tracker:
#285237: [EPIC] Invisible staves issues
If your more complex idea about hiding staves hasn't already been suggested, then it's worth adding an issue as S5 Suggestion.

In reply to by DanielR

For reference, here is where it is mentioned in the handbook: https://musescore.org/en/handbook/timeline#Hiding_instruments

I think it is a pity that it requires a "mouse over" the instrument tab to see the visibility icon that needs to be clicked on. That almost makes it a two step operation: hover over the instrument tab, then see the icon and move the mouse to that to click it. It would be better if the icon was always displayed and possibly replaced by a labelled check box; it is not immediately obvious what the open/closed eye does - cute as it is.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Well I don;t want hidden parts if they are gonna have notes on them in some point.

Would though timeline hide whichever parts I want for specific measures? and then be invisible again and then perhaps again invisible.

And not globally. What I mean in few words, is to be able to hide a part from a SYSTEM. Whichever part on whichever system WITHOUT affecting ALL other systems

In reply to by SteveBlower

So I saw timeline and it's a thing full of boxes right? Simply someone could press a box to toggle their appearance on and off.

Now I thought of having an extra global option that could say "Make every BAR (not part) invisible if it is empty." Not many like that but 1. It saves you ink 2. It might look cool to you and make instrument entrances more distinguishable.

If you want to know what I mean, just check Stravinsky's Variations or Flood score.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

You need to make them not empty. Even if something new were implemented to make this happen, you would need a way to tell MuseScore, this measure is not empty. You can do that today by putting a staff text in it. I routinely do this for systems I don't want hidden that would otherwise be empty. I use a white text that I have saved to a palette. Others use a text that has the alpha set to zero so it can't be seen, this is useful if you use a non-white paper. When I want a measure to not be empty, I add this white text from my palette. To make it more obvious to me what it is, I right clicked the text in the palette, chose properties and checked Draw staff so I don't have a white cell I might mistake for an empty cell.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

Invisible text doesn't make a measure empty.

A dirty solution? I don't think it's dirty. Clicking the timeline cannot by itself determine the visibility of a measure. Clicking the timeline changing some sort of visibility setting could work, but there would have to be an alternate method to doing this. I for one have never opened the timeline and have no idea of it's capabilities. Also, from an accessibility point of view, anything that must be done with a mouse isn't acceptable. There are several handicaps that prevent users from using a mouse, including blindness.

The white/transparent text is something anyone can do. I'm not fond of the measure properties dialog so putting an option in there is not my first choice but isn't out of the question as a native solution to the visibility issue.

I would like a default palette item that can be applied using a shortcut.

In reply to by mike320

Well the feature I will personally rarely use the suggestion I made. It's just that I want Musescore 4 to be capable of recreating every thing that big engraving companies do.

And this thing ,as you understand from the start of this post, is something B&H do: they usually "hide" all empty staves BUT if the instruments are entering in the next system, then they leave the bars of the parts of those instruments visible, in the preceding system.

It's really great that Musescore counts blind people in, but can you guarantee that everything is done without mouse or that blind people will be able to master all those things you can do without mouse?* Do I sound selfish? xD okay for making so many suggestions lately, well yeah.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

There are a large variety of tastes among the MuseScore users and there are many ways to do almost everything.

I collaborate with a blind musician who turns scores into Braille scores. He recently entered an entire piano piece into MuseScore score from scratch. You can see it at https://musescore.com/user/146112/scores/6412181. There were two things he couldn't do, adjust arpeggios and properly edit the title frame. He had the title and subtitle printed on top of each other because MuseScore didn't tell him it looked bad. Other than that, the score is exactly what he sent to me. It isn't B&H quality but it's adequate as a default. Version 4 promises to do this better. If you had no ability to use a mouse, you would learn to do everything with the keyboard as well. Much of the reason he was able to do it as well as he can is because he has been proactive in submitting suggestions and bug reports to make his ability to use the program easier.

To continue answering your question in full; No, Haipeng will never be able to adjust a slur to ensure it looks good to a sighted musician. This is a requirement of mastering the keyboard. I could make the slurs looks good with only the keyboard if I had the desire to but it takes much longer than using a mouse. No you don't sound selfish, you are actually asking good questions. I didn't dismiss the use of the timeline as a tool. I simply said that there also needs to be a way to do this without a mouse. A blind person could actually use my method now.

I've suggested that MuseScore needs to give better feedback to blind musicians. I'm currently editing a symphonic score he previously entered in Sibelius and imported into MuseScore. When I first opened it, everything below the Horns was off the bottom of the page. He had no idea this was the case because the "screen reader" didn't tell him the staves he was looking at were not on the page.

Slurs were only one example of things a blind user will never master. For another example, he didn't realize that much of the text (like I. Solo) was below the staff rather than above like Musicians expect or that every note (all 8th and 16th) in a 6/4 measure was being beamed and this isn't a good thing for sighted musicians. Beaming isn't a consideration in Braille music. With enough work, a blind user can tell that a text is below the staff or a beam isn't right but this isn't something that is automatically pointed out in the screen reader.

I probably gave you more info than you asked for but accessibility is very important to MuseScore and to me.

In reply to by mike320

WHAT- That's amazing... everything looks fine except the slurs of course... What I find most amazing is how blind people keep track of the part or bar they have selected. Is it because of sounds? Like there is somebody saying "Clarinet" and if you change to another it says THAT part's name? And how do they know what notes they have selected in order to do shift+ctrl+up/down. Ooof, Musescore is so considerate... Now I'm depressed

So I guess that... if I want to have this feature added, I'll need to recommend a way to do so without using mouse? :/ Well I cannot imagine any... I guess I'll give up..

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

I gave suggestions on how to implement it natively. My first choice is a non-printable item like a system break or staff type change. Putting the function into the timeline is not a bad idea it's just that the timeline option needs to trigger something else that can be done a different way. My text is a workaround. One thing I like about it is that I can select a measure in several instruments and add it to all of them at once from the palette.

The note name, including the octave, is reported by the screen reader and is very important in braille. The first braille note is identified by it's octave (C4 is middle C) and all subsequent notes are considered to be the closest to it unless a new octave is identified. As the blind user uses his keyboard to navigate through the score, chords are navigated note by note so the blind user can tell it's a chord because it's on the same beat in the same voice. All of this is actually reported in the status bar and the status bar is essentially read by the screen reader. When you change the note, the new one is reported. There is so much thought that has gone into this that I'm in awe of the fact that a blind user was able to enter a complex piano score both from a user and programmer point of view.

In reply to by mike320

About the suggestion... It actually sounds simple now. We can just select that item and put it on the part that we want to keep in a specific system, which is also empty, and if we go to global style and say we want every empty part to be invisible, this one, with the item, remains visible. That's really simple... Somehow I couldn't think of it. I was looking at it the other way: Instead of "keeping the invisible visible" we "make the visible invisible". So... have you already suggested it? Or can I go suggest that a new item like that could be added, in issue tracker?

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