Can I specify in a score where to stop playback?

• Nov 27, 2020 - 02:02

Is there a way to specify in a score to stop playback at a specific point?

Here are two applications for which I have wanted to do this:

(1) I have a color version of a score for those who have color printers, and a B&W version of the identical score for those who only have a B&W printer. The colored and B&W versions are on separate pages, and I do not want both of them to play on playback. I want the Play button to play the first version and then stop.
I am a strong believer in the value of color, but I have had people tell me that things that I show in color do not print out on their B&W printer (or barely show up).

(2) I have the same, identical piece scored for alternate instruments. I want the viewer to be able to start playback at the top of the page for his or her instrument, and have the playback stop at the end of that one arrangement.

It is silly to upload six variations of the same exact score for people to have to wade through.

BTW, Although this question applies mainly to the playback on MuseScore web pages of uploaded scores, it is good for both environments (local and web-based) to have the same behavior.


What you want is not possible in the program and probably not on the web either.

In the program you can create a single unified score that contains all instruments in both versions. You can then use File->Parts and create 2 "parts" in one part include the instruments for the color version and in the other include the instruments for the B&W version. In the color version you can set the colors and they will not affect either the main score or the B&W part. As long as you are only adjusting colors this should be true. You can then either send only the part you want to the people who want the part or tell them how this works. I don't think this is possible on but you would get a better answer at

This forum is for the scorewriter software and not the dotcom site, although these examples might work on dotcom.
You wrote:
Is there a way to specify in a score to stop playback at a specific point?

See if this works for you...
Two examples are attached. Open each in MuseScore, click on any page, press 'Play'.

For your #1 application, B&W + Color:

For #2, identical piece, 3 different instruments:

(If you go to menu: View -> Show Unprintable you will see that the section breaks are what makes the playback stop at the end of each page.)

In reply to by Jm6stringer

I considered section breaks as a possible way to accomplish the request, but section breaks only pause playback for a predefined amount of time that defaults to 3 seconds. This of course can be made longer but cannot cause playback to actually stop. This may work for you.

In reply to by mike320

I use section breaks for this purpose. I considered turning up the delay, but in the end decided this would likely be problematic, as you would think playback had stopped, completely forget about it, then be started a minute later when it starts, or confused when you have trouble restarting it, etc. Better if you figure it out after three seconds. At least, for my own use case.

I found a workaround for one specific case, namely when you want to stop the playback, and not play anything beyond that point. This is the case where you want a score to be color-coded, but also provide a back & white version for printing on non-color printers. (Some colors are too light to be readable when printed as gray-scale).

When you make the D.S. al Fine, the Fine, and the Segno white color, and you check "Cutaway" in the Score Properties, it looks like this (but still stops the playback):

For the other case, where I am just separating variations, at the top of each subsequent variation, I have four measures of rests, and I use "Cutaway".

Of course, the above techniques only work where there are no actual full-rest measures in the melody.

In one of my compositions, which starts with solo flute, and is later joined by a piccolo, I simply have a two-staff system, and I use "Cutaway".

I wish that there were an option to cutaway individual measures, rather than having it all or nothing for the entire piece.

In reply to by mike320

That is good to hear, Mike. Thanks.

There are several things that I would love to see in 4.x, but I have not submitted them as suggestions, because I am under the impression that future versions are being driven by competitors' features rather than by users' suggestions.

They include:
- a smother way to input a riff of all triplets.
- a playback pause mark in a score. A point that toggles off the playback, but, after which the user can restart the playback. (I have mentioned some applications of that in this thread).
- active pitch-changing articulations (i.e., the ability to integrate the pitch bend tool into the properties of other articulations).
- other things that I possibly have asked about in other posts.

That said, I am blown away by MuseScore capabilities and professional completeness. I am always discovering features and capabilities that I did not know were there. And without even charging for it! What is MuseScore's revenue stream?

Thank you MuseScore! Kudos and appreciation to all involved!

In reply to by dddiam

Revenue stream? They do accept donations though they don't ask for them like some free programs do and both the program and are owned by the same company so does provide income. I have no idea how many pro subscribers they have. Their inhouse programming teams has greatly expanded since UG bought the program so I expect it to get even better. They now have more people fulltime they can tell to work on a feature rather than one programmer doing the meat of it and volunteers doing much of the bug squashing.

In reply to by mike320

Well I did finally subscribe to Pro, but I had better also do an occasional donation. Someone has to pay for that full-time, paid staff, staff offices and server infrastructure. UG must see it as having profit potential, in order for them to to have invested in it. It must be the high volume model (like millions of low-cost apps), rather than the high-price model (sell a few expensive items and their maintenance subscriptions). I do not have a head for business, so I cannot fathom how those numbers play out.

Blessings on that one programmer and volunteer bug-squashers that you mentioned. Their dedication is awesome! And, thank you, Mike!

In reply to by dddiam

The one programmer was Werner and it took him around 10 years to develop version 1 with the help of volunteers. If he still contributes any code I haven't seen it lately. I have occasionally seen the other two who had a stake in the program. Werner's vision for the program is largely responsible for what we see today. Though version 4 will be a huge leap in functionality, it will still be based upon Werner's original work.

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