Our Progress on MuseScore 4 - First Alpha Released

• Mar 30, 2022 - 17:00

EDIT: Since we made this announcement, we have made very significant improvements to MuseScore 4. For this reason, we no longer encourage you to test this alpha version. Your best bet is to instead grab the latest nightly build found here: https://ftp.osuosl.org/pub/musescore-nightlies/

Make sure to download the versions under Musescore v4.x (master)

Today, we are releasing the first 'Private' alpha development build for MuseScore 4.


What is the purpose of this release?

Although this version is not yet 100% feature complete (details below), its purpose is to begin collecting feedback on the 'core' workflow.

  • Creating new scores
  • Opening older scores and going through the migration process
  • Notating your music
  • Hearing your music being played back
  • Choosing VST instruments and effects
  • Creating and polishing parts
  • Exporting your parts as PDFs
  • Editing the interface and saving your workspaces
  • Using MIDI keyboard interfaces

If you encounter any issues, such as crashes or obvious bugs, please log them here: https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore/issues

Next Steps

When all major issues have been resolved (see the list below), the next step is to release the 'public' alpha version.

After that, we will enter into the beta testing phase once the following work is complete:

  • The new installation process is complete
  • The new orchestral library plugin is ready
  • Uploads to MuseScore.com are working
  • The plugins we wish to package with MS4 are working

What's new? What has been improved?

Numerous engraving improvements

  • Horizontal spacing (with more improvements to come before the beta release)
  • Slurs and ties
  • Beaming
  • A new, heavily revised version of Leland and Leland text
  • A large number of MusicXML import improvements
  • System objects can appear on more than one system (although this is currently only available on certain templates)

For a more comprehensive explanation of the engraving changes in MS4, please see this document.

Multiple workflow improvements
- The Properties panel (formerly the inspector) is now much more responsive and filled with lots of useful options
- The capabilities of the note input bar have been expanded and the toolbar itself is now much easier to customise
- Parts are easier to discover, edit and alter (using the new 'Instruments' panel)
- There is a new Mixer that can quickly be toggled on & off
- VST instruments and effects support

Accessibility improvements
- A new keyboard navigation system that follows best practices to allow users to quickly move around the interface
- Improved screen reader support ( we would greatly appreciate it if people would test this and provide feedback on it)
- An editable high contrast mode

- A new UI with an entirely new icon set, in case you didn't notice!
- A new 'Home' tab which will include multiple tutorials and onboarding videos for MS4
- A new, friendlier onboarding process

Known missing capabilities and issues

  • The default playback may still have some sound mapping issues, where instruments are using incorrect sounds. Please log any issues you discover.

  • There will still be some playback issues, where certain articulations or playback techniques do not sound right. Our aim is to get the default playback to the same level as MuseScore 3 before creating the 'public' alpha release.

  • The final audio mixing of instruments has not yet been attempted. This is because we are about to start plugging in the new orchestral sampler and do not want to set relative global mixing values until it is ready. This will allow us to balance all three potential inputs at the same time: soundfonts, VSTi and the new orchestral library. For this reason, please refrain from logging issues related to dynamic imbalances

  • We have not yet implemented the new playback profiles interface, which allows users to specify their desired default playback. This will be in the public alpha release

  • There are still some issues with VSTi's not being sent velocity and dynamic information. Please log any VST or VSTi issues you encounter on GitHub

  • The ability to export audio files is currently switched off until we complete our playback tasks for the Public alpha release

  • We have not yet implemented the onscreen piano interface. This will be in the Public Alpha build

  • There are still some remaining engraving PRs to be merged. In particular, beams cannot be manually adjusted and cross-staff beams are currently not working. Apart from those, please log all other engraving issues you encounter.

  • Uploads to MuseScore.com will not yet work

  • Users cannot yet specify another soundfont, like Sonatina

  • There will likely be MIDI input issues. Please log anything you find

  • MIDI output from MuseScore 4 is not yet working. Please do not log these issues yet

  • We have also not yet included the plugins that we intend to package with MuseScore 4 (example: harp pedalling). As a result, our current 'Plugins' page doesn't do anything.

  • We do not yet have branding, MS4 icons or a loading screen. These are being worked on right now.

We hope you have fun trying out this first alpha version! We are in the middle of creating a new MS4 handbook and numerous tutorial videos, which will help users (old and new) understand what changes have been made and why. Unfortunately, these are not ready yet, so to a certain extent, your experience of this alpha will be somewhat a voyage of discovery!

The MuseScore Team


In reply to by Marc Sabatella

If it's for the good of all and the general happiness of the nation, I'm ready.
It would be interesting however if there was a way to switch the focus of the process to the currently active score, disabling the possibility of playing the score for all others scores while keeping the possibility of had multiple scores opened on the same window. But it's just a thought. I'm not aware of the difficulties and challenges of implementing it.
It's magnificent anyway. You guys does a great job maintaining this great project capable of changing lives. Thanks and go ahead, warriors.

I would like to make a few suggestions as follows.
Polymetric, polymeters with non-synchronized barlines would be really great. Attached is an example to make my idea clear to you.
It would be very useful if backward compatibility were enhanced by allowing export to earlier versions of MuseScore.
It is quite essential to add more than one instrument of the same kind into the same score, e.g. two pianos, or two trumpets.
Extending accidentals with microintervals would be of great help when composing modern music.
Thank you very much for your efforts to create a powerful musical editor. I hope my suggestions could contribute to make it even better.

I would love to hear an update on version 4. I am very curious to hear what's happening and what's around the corner.

Hi, first of all: brillant work.Thnx. One issue: the timeline does not work correctly in undock mode. In dock mode everything is fine. Wehen I undock it, I can´t click any bar. When I click in the score, the right bar in timeline is seen. Hope that helps
Greetinhs from Germany Roland

In reply to by roland bublitz

This is no longer so in current nightlies.
Also note that if you're still on this first Alpha, it was already surpassed with another one (see the links in the post just above your). And that 2nd alpha in turn is already fairly outdated compared to the current nightlies as well.

I did not play around with sound fonts in 3 much, but in 4 it seems really easy! I created a theremin in my score but it makes no sound and the track doesn't appear in the mixer. I assume I have to find a thermin in some sound font and assign it to the staff. Where do you do that? In creating a score All Instruments has a huge number of instruments like crumhorn and erhu and euphonium :) none of which are GM, so I assume you have to find a soundfont with those instruments and then assign them to the staff in some way.


Hi, I noticed an issue in the latest nightly ( 10/03/22 ): if I want to change a key shortcut, I can´t use the numeric pad. For example: want to use numeric+ 3 for note length 8th note, it´s going to 3 ( without numeric pad.

I wonder if there could be a MuseScore 4 forum among the regular forums rather than this growing list of comments on an announcement?

微信图片_20221027192602.jpg All new improvements are excellent, BUT I' m looking forward to see a improvement on gliss on black keys. In Musescore 3 I could only decrease font size to contain "gliss on black keys", but It seemed weird. So in the new Musescore 4, I hope you to Add a line feed function to the gliss on black keys, like the way I show in the picture below. also ,I expect there is a fuction to put Squeeze the bars together. It will also be a necessary improvement. Thank you.

In reply to by doministry

? Are you sure you are using the beta? It isn't a ZIP - it is installed directly by Muse Hub, or on Linux, it's an Appimage you run directly. If you mean a nightly build, on Windows that is a ZIP indeed, so just unzip it then navigate to the MuseScore4/bin folder and run the executable from there. if you accidentally delete the thing incorrectly labeled "beta" right below the "nightly" builds on the development builds page, delete that right away (it's not the beta, but an experimental build from over a year ago), and then download a nightly.

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