lead sheet vs full score

• Jun 8, 2021 - 19:48

Lead sheet to full score

My pianist colleague tells me that he prefers to work from the lead sheet rather than the full score because the lead sheet leaves him more freedom to be creative. I prefer the lead sheet because it takes much less effort on my part;

However, it may happen that we want to start with the chords implied by the lead sheet and add to
them to produce some particular full score. Can Muse Score help here?

I have this notion that to handle the chord symbols properly, Muse Score must deal with the lead sheet in some way such as this. The user and Muse Score both see the lead sheet but Muse Score also has its own full score which it uses, for example, in playback mode. This full score is invisible to the user.

I suggest that when you have a lead sheet in front of you you can select an option called View Full Score. Now Muse Score replaces the lead sheet with a full score. You can then make some changes and save that full score. This has the advantage that you get a head start in devising the full score; no more laborious filling in chords using cut and paste, which is what I do at the moment.


In reply to by jeetee

I probably didn't state properly what I want. I created a score as lead sheet. Now I want the notes specified in lead sheet to be expressed in 3 staffs. As I do things now, I look at the chord symbols and cut and paste them in the double staff below the melody, that's a lot of work. You are telling me, are you not, that by using Muse Score properly I can read in a file in lead sheet notation and then save it in 3 staffs notation? If that is the case how do I do that?

Attachment Size
3 staffs.mscz 13.88 KB
lead sheet.mscz 9.43 KB

In reply to by Keith Paton

I have taken your "lead sheet" attachment, and changed the Piano instrument to "Voice" to avoid confusion with what follows.

I added a single staff Piano and copied the "Voice" chord symbols into the Piano staff.
This is the result:
lead sheet A.mscz

Open the attachment, then...
Right click on a chord symbol in the piano staff -> Select -> All Similar Elements in Same Staff.
With all the (piano staff) chord symbols now highlighted, use menu item: Tools -> Realize Chord Symbols.

This is the result:
lead sheet B.mscz

Finally, from this score right click on an empty spot in the piano staff and click on "Split Staff" then "OK" to add a bass clef staff and a split point at middle C.

This is the final result (default voicing):
lead sheet C.mscz

To fit on a single page, adjust spacing as you did in your "3 staffs" attachment.

If desired, the chord voicings can be changed. See:


In reply to by Jm6stringer

Many thank, this works for me

From lead sheet to written out chords

File Explorer
Navigate to file Lead sheet.mscz
double click file Lead sheet.mscz

Muse Score opens

Edit instruments opens
keyboards/piano/add instrument
piano/stave 2/remove instrument
ok              // now you have voice + piano stave 1

copy chord symbols to piano stave 1, i.e.
click first chord symbol
shift click last chord symbol
ctrl C to copy
click in first bar of piano stave 1
ctrl V to paste chord symbols
realize chord symbols
click first bar piano stave 1
shift click last bar piano stave 1
Tools/Realise chord symbols //chords are now written on piano stave 1
right click in empty measure in piano stave 1
split stave //chords are now written out on piano staves 1 and 2
// by default split is at c4
file/save as file WrittenOutChords.mscz

Attachment Size
lead sheet.mscz 21.48 KB
written out chords.mscz 19.29 KB

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