Support for toggling between alternative ideas

• Jan 28, 2022 - 15:40

I like to compose music using MuseScore and I often find myself adding empty bars to the end of the piece to dump some ideas like alternative melodies, harmonies and such there. I might for example have brasses for a certain section to a song and want to try a few different ideas and hear what they sound like in context: this means I'll add something like 100 empty bars to the end of the piece, store the different ideas there one after another and keep copying and pasting them to the context to hear what they sound like. This is obviously pretty clumsy and cumbersome.

So, I thought it would be great if MuseScore supported this kind of use case better and would let users store multiple ideas "on top of one another", letting the user toggle which idea would be shown in the score and played in the playback right now.

To further clarify what I'm after, here's my quick, not very refined idea for the user interface / workflow:

  1. "Hmm, I can't decide whether the bassline in this verse should be really funky or just take it easy like I have it right now."
  2. Select the bassline with the shift+arrows thing
  3. Right click on the selection -> Add alternative
  4. The selection is cleared and the background color now has a tint of blue to let the user know that there are alternative lines available for this section.
  5. Create funky bassline to the cleared selection
  6. Listen
  7. "Maybe? I want to hear the old bassline again"
  8. right click on the blue tinted area -> Alternatives -> Alternative 1
  9. Listen
  10. "Still kinda like this... I want to hear the funky bassline again"
  11. right click -> Alternatives -> Alternative 2
  12. "Don't know, I'm going to sleep on it and check again tomorrow. I'm really grateful to MuseScore for letting me store these ideas so easily though so I can just toggle back and forth these tomorrow too, making this decision a ton easier."

I remember reading somewhere that MuseScore is meant to head into a more composer-oriented direction, and this feature could help with that!


This type of idea has come up before.
The current workaround I use is to rather add additional instruments and then mute them in the mixer when "toggling".

In reply to by scorster

There's a proposition from you there, and it is no more official than the proposition here. Once there is general agreement about such a proposition it can be turned into a feature request in the issue tracker or a github task; depending on the development stage we're in by that time.

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