How to make tutti sound

• Apr 27, 2021 - 16:39

I'm a new user. I don't know how to make tutti sound on musescore. I know how to make "tutti" as a word, but i don't know how to make the sound. I mean, as far as i know, the default sound of instrument is solo (only 1 instrument, e.g. Violin solo), but i oftenly hear on musescore like more than 1 violin. How to make that sound? Please help me, i hope you guys get my question.


So when selecting your instruments, add the one labeled Violins (plural), instead of the one labeled Violin (singular). If you've already added the wrong one, right-click the staff, Staff/Part Properties, Change Instrument, then select the correct one.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

This is quite interesting. Is there also a "solo" marking.? I can't actually find "tutti" in my version of MS - so it doesn't look to me as though MS currently supports this - but I may have missed something.

I think what is wanted is:

  1. Select a line - say Violin - put suitable music into the staff.
  2. Then where just one is to solo - there could be a "Solo" text - which would also change the sound in the Mixer to just a single instrument.
  3. Then when all the strings are to return there could be a "Tutti" text - which would also change the sound in the Mixer to a larger group.

This could be useful for some scores - for example Concerti Grossi.
I'm not sure how some complex scores are actually currently marked. For example, Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on theme of Thomas Tallis - which has a string quartet. Maybe the quartet part is written out separately - I'll have to check - but that would be an example of where a notation "Tutti" alternating with "Solo" or even "Quartet" would make some sense.

WIthout that level of support, end users will have to make their own changes to the sound at appropriate points in the scores - probably using the Mixer - or alternatively write out the music on additional staves.

If it says "Tutti" in the score, it usually means "all orchestra together" or "All choir together" or both (Some works have "tutti" parts).
The tutti sound here is formed only by the whole orchestra playing together, there is no different tutti sound.

If it is on only one staff, it means "those who read this staff (two or more people sharing the score) will now play together from this point on." eg: .... "solo" ... "tutti" ...
It should also be stated which chair will play solo (if not specified, it is the person in the 1st seat (ie group leader)
In this case, you have to switch from the respective instrument's solo patch to the ensemble patch. eg: Cello => Celli or Viola => Violas, etc ...

In Woodwinds and Brass staffs, numbers are put for solo indicating which instrument it belongs to. eg: 1, 2; In the case of unison, this is usually shown as a2. // a2: "all two"

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Indeed, "Tutti" is commonly marked in the orchestral parts of a concerto to indicate to the orchestral player passages where the soloist is not taking the lead or not involved at all. The parts are marked "Solo" where the soloist starts to feature again. See this example from the 1st flute part for the 2nd movement of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto.


It is clear that the clarinet has the lead in the first 8 bars. Then the clarinet rests while the orchestra answers the initial 8 bar statement and here the orchestral players are marked "Tutti". The "Solo" markings in bars 1 and 17 would not make much sense as an instruction to the flautist to play 8 bar silent solos.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Re "The "Solo" markings in bars 1 and 17 would not make much sense as an instruction to the flautist to play 8 bar silent solos" - surely that would have the same effect in practice!

Remember the discussion about Punkt Kontrapunkt by Gerard Hoffnung - "This note is not on the instrument. The player must not play it, only think it".

Thanks for the example though. For printing/engraving purposes staff or system text should suffice.
Playback and mixing is something else.

In reply to by dave2020X

Re "The "Solo" markings in bars 1 and 17 would not make much sense as an instruction to the flautist to play 8 bar silent solos" - surely that would have the same effect in practice!

No, In practice the flautist would not get to take a bow or receive the bouquet for those 8 bar silent solos, even though staying silent in those 8 bars is pretty much essential. That is the way it is when you play in a backing group - no limelight, no thanks, and not much money.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Ah - you're talking about social effects now. Also the audience members would be unlikely to know about the "solo" passages. Are there union regulations regarding payment for solos - which could perhaps also have an effect? "It says solo for 74 bars, so you need to pay me an extra $74" !!!!

In reply to by dave2020X

I can't tell for sure, but I think two rather different meanings of these terms are being discussed. In the example above, there is no possible or desirable playback effect - these term are purely informational, like measure numbers or rehearsal marks. They are to tell a player in an orchestra what others are doing.

The other usage is for a section like a 1st violins - when it says "solo", it means all but one stop playing, when it says "tuttit", they all start again. That is easy to do in playback, just add the marking as an instrument change and switch from a solo to section sound.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Re "That is easy to do in playback, just add the marking as an instrument change and switch from a solo to section sound." - yes that can be done, but is it compatible with notational practice as well as driving the MuseScore player?

In other words can the text "Tutti" be associated with all the appropriate ensemble section, while "Solo" be associated with just the solo instrument - so that playback is automatic.

I'm not sure that can be done in MuseScore as it currently exists, but if it can, I'd like to know how.

In reply to by dave2020X

Yes, exactly as I said. Add the "solo" and "tutti" as instrument changes (from the Text palette), and select the appropriate instrument / sound for them. Either by selecting a new instrument when adding the text, or by reusing the same instrument but using the Mixer to change the playback sound for the new subchannel.

Or maybe you mean, is there a way to skip the extra few seconds of selecting the instrument/sound? Not that I can think of. You could try adding the customized text back to your palette, but those instrument settings would be instrument-specific and/or soundfont-specific, so even if they survived the trip to the palette, they'd be unlikely to have the desired effect when placed in the future. Still, at least the text itself would be there, you'd just have to choose the instrument/sound.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Not quite I think, unless you know about features which I don't.

Indeed "Change Instr." could be used to change the instrument/sound to that of a single Violin. The text would then show "To Violin". Assuming that was associated with the solo, the sound could then be matched in the Mixer to that for a single violin. Then the text would have to be amended to "Solo".

Similarly, reverting back to the full ensemble, a similar process would have to be adopted, but this time associating the instrument with the sound of a larger group, and changing the text back to "Tutti". This would require manual intervention for each instance, unless there's a way of combining the operations into a macro, or there is some other feature I've not been aware of so far.

In reply to by jeetee

Is it possible to create new texts for the palettes? In that case then "Tutti" and "Solo" could be created for the palettes, and made to have the actions of "Change Instrument" and also set the Mixer to the appropriate sounds. Otherwise I don't see how it can be done with the current version.

In reply to by jeetee

Just about managed to get that to work - but it doesn't work completely. Dragging the text from the text palette to a note opens a dialogue to change instruments - even if that has already been done once. Then when the appropriate instrument is selected the text "To 'instrument-name' " appears yet again - so doesn't really save a lot of time or help too much.

The instructions for changing the palette or editing it are slightly obscure too - the thing to look for is the ... (three dots) to the top right to enable editing, then use the key combinations to get the edit to function. Somewhat arcane, and doesn't work well enough to be really useful I feel - shame.

In reply to by dave2020X

You shouldn't need to do any of that, it's as simple as Ctrl+Shift+drag into the palette - no enable editing, no"...", no other special combinations. It's literally as simple as Ctrl+Shift+drag, that's one of the great advances made back around 3.3 or so. Not sure where you're getting the rest of that from?

Anyhow, it's true that if you add the custom text from the palette, it still shows the dialog, but if you simply hit Esc, you get your text, no harm done.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I was getting my information from the handbook - which I looked up by doing a Google search.

I wasn't sure if you really meant CTRL - as I'm using MacOS. I have got this to work - sometimes - but it seems erratic. Dragging from the score to the palette is a bit tricky as there's no visual feedback that the drag is going to work - but I have managed it a couple of times. Going back from the palette to the score - it usually creates the dialogue - and I've had it give the desired result by hitting Esc once or twice - but perhaps more often it doesn't work.
Partly this might be because of some hardware issues I'm having with the wireless mice I've been using on this machine.
It doesn't really affect me too much as I didn't really want to create those particular text commands anyway - though if I ever find anything I really do want to do that technique might be useful - if I can get it to work more reliably.
I'm not sure whether it would be more or less reliable on an M1 based Apple machine - I've heard very good things about the new machines with the M1 chips. Has anyone you know tried with MuseScore on those machines?

In reply to by dave2020X

When doing a Google search, be sure you don't find yourself on an obsolete version of the Handbook. At the the top any obsolete page should be a link to the current page. Unfortunately, Google seems not good about prioritizing the recent versions. The link that was posted in the comment previously takes you directly to the current page, FWIW.

As for whether it's Ctrl or Cmd on macOS, I don't actually know. I would assume Cmd on general principles, but there are definitely still a few things where Ctrl really is Ctrl. But you should be getting the standard drag & drop feedback - we use the OS's own default mouse cursors for this, at least on other OS's.

You say adding from the palette often "doesn't work" - what specifically do you mean? I've never had clicking a palette element (no need to resort to drag & drop for adding elements from the palette) fail to add an element to the selected notes/rests. And I've never had Esc fail to close a dialog. And I've never had the custom text I created fail to remain in effect after closing a dialog.

As for M1, all reports are that it works flawlessly with the emulator (Rosetta?)

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