How do I do the following tasks via the PC keyboard entirely?

• Nov 29, 2020 - 18:43


I'm currently testing what I think is a beta version of MuseScore 3.6, namely the one that's labeled "MuseScore", here running on Windows.

I was very happy to find that a lot of things could be done entirely with the PC keyboard, without ever having to click the mouse. This is great because I work with some screen-reading software (that uses synthesized speech) and this idea of never touching the mouse is exactly what I need for using MuseScore with my screen-reader.
I was even able to compose a short fragment of music and hear my result, which makes it very promissing.
There are just a few things that I was unable to find covered in the documentation so that's why I'm asking here. I hope someone can answer my questions.

1. How do I, entirely with the PC keyboard, add things like articulation (staccato, portato, tenuto etc.)?

2. How do I add grace notes, possibly "after-grace" notes (those that sound very briefly, just after the main note finishes or even slightly sooner)?

3. How do I add dynamic markings, like "p" or "f" or the crescendo/decrescendo lines?

4. How do I add such a kind of arpeggio which can actually be heard in the audio playback?

5. Somewhere on the MuseScore Website, I've read that I can detune multiple instances of the same note by selecting the note and then choosing something from the corresponding context menu, which would mean, in my case, to first press either the Applications key or Shift + F10. However, when I press that keystroke, the context menu contains things like "Staff/Part properties", "Cut", "Copy", "Paste", "Edit Element", and some others, but nothing about tuning. I thought that "Edit element" might do it; but when I chose that, my screen-reader was silent. Am I doing something wrong?

Thank you a lot in advance.



We have made it possible to do almost everything using keyboard and screen reader, so I suggest you start by reading the Accessibility section of the Handbook - As well as the rest of the Handbook. It covers almost all of this and more.

But to answer some specific questions:

  • shortcut for accents is Shift+V, staccato is Shift+S, tenuto is Shift+N
  • palette search is accessed by Ctrl+F9, from there you can find just about anything by typing the name of the symbol
  • this is where you find grace notes, articulations that don't have their own shortcuts, dynamics, arpeggios, and most other symbols
  • edit element is for manually adjusting the physical position of things on the page; there is no screen reader feedback. you can accomplish the same using the Inspector, which is also where the detuning is (you might have been looking at a very old page if you saw reference to right-click as a way to do this)
  • to access the Inspector, hit Tab - it takes you to the first field of the Inspector, and then you can keep tabbing through until you find the tuning setting
  1. Many of the items you suggest are either already assigned shortcuts (like shift+s for staccato) others can have shortcuts assigned in Edit->Preferences->Shortcuts I'm not sure of all the ones I added myself and which already had shortcuts assigned.

2, 3 & 4 The items are in the palettes and can be added by using the search palette function which has a shortcut that I don't know. The default isn't in the manual so someone else will need to tell you what it is. On 4 you can add an arpeggio that is on one staff and covers only one voice and it will playback correctly. There needs to be improvements on the arpeggios including feedback for screen readers and better playback. There are issues open for these already. I recently help a blind musician with a piano score he entered and arpeggios and the title frame were the only things I absolutely had to do for him. Everything else was understandable allowing MuseScore to use default positioning.

5 is not so easy if you can't see. You mentioned the context menu that contains "contains things like "Staff/Part properties", "Cut", "Copy", "Paste", "Edit Element", and some others." One of the others is Select which opens a submenu that includes "more..." When you select a note and open this option, you get a bunch of check boxes that include "Same Note Name" (like F) as well as "Same pitch" (like F5). There are options also to limit the selected items to the same staff, the same system and if you have a block selection of measures you have the option of In the selection. This will enable you to select all F's or F5's for example. You can then open the inspector and change the tuning on all selected notes by a specified number of cents. If you want all of them in the score changed this isn't too bad for you. If you want only those in measures 10-75 changed it might be a bit more challenging. By the way, this can be used to select many items but I suspect notes will be the most useful for you.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Re #5:
I was very lucky when I read, a few days ago, a different webpage; it explained in full detail what the "tpc" parameter meant. This was exactly and absolutely what came in handy here. Beforehand, I didn't have an idea that such a parameter existed in the MuseScore format at all.
So what I did was choose the "Uncompressed" option in the Save As dialog (I believe the result is then identical to unzipping the corresponding "mscz" file).
I loaded this text file into an ordinary word processor and then I called 11 consecutive sessions of Find/Replace, where I changed the replacement string every time I searched for a different "tpc" value. For example, whenever there was "22", I appended "-20". And in every single one of those Find/Replace sessions, I used "Replace all" to have it done automatically. Then I saved the result as an "mscx" file, loaded it into MuseScore, and, not surprisingly, it worked. :-) Believe it or not, it took me noticeably less time to do this thing than when I tried to do it within MuseScore itself.

So that's about it. Again, thanks for all your comments. They're definitely helpful.


In reply to by mike320

FWIW, if you are on Windows, NVDA is free, and pretty painless to install and use, should you wish to get a better sense of how things work. There is also Narrator which comes with Windows, and much of the MuseScore interface works with it, but unfortunately not the score itself.

I see that the keywords are being hidden, so I'll probably have to quote them using the HTML-style substitution. So, the sentence in question was supposed to read:
"For example, whenever there was "<tpc>22</tpc>", I appended "<tuning>-20</tuning>"."


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