Keyboard input randomly stops working

• May 1, 2022 - 06:06

OS: macOS 10.16, Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit):, revision: 3224f34

When the problem occurs, I can still enter notes with the cursor, but not with the keyboard. The problem seems to occur at random.

Keyboard entry on new scores stops working, too. Closing the score and re-opening it doesn't help. Quitting MuseScore and re-launching it makes it work right again, until the same problem re-occurs. I've been noticing this for the past year or more, and it is not getting better. It happens about once every half hour of use, I'd estimate. I can't figure out how to reproduce it.

You probably already know about this, but I thought you'd want to know.


In reply to by Jm6stringer

Okay, the problem just occurred. I haven't used MuseScore much lately.

I can fix it by quitting and restarting MuseScore, but I won't do that until I get a reply, in case I can help with troubleshooting.

To answer your question, the right side of the status bar at the bottom of the screen says, "Normal mode." If I click on the "note input" button at the upper left of the screen, then the right side of the status bar at the bottom of the screen says "steptime note input mode."

Musescore was working normally until I inserted a new key signature part way through a score that previously had a different key signature. I'm not sure that this is always a trigger for the problem, but it might be.

Any other way I can help troubleshoot before quitting and restarting, thereby making the problem go away?

In reply to by Timborino

Strange... It started working again. Don't know why. I named the score, which was new, and saved it. Toggled the "pan score" and "metronome" buttons on and off. I'm not sure that's the reason it started working again. I've had this problem several times, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't happen because I'm making a dumb mistake. Don't know what to think now. I'll keep you posted.

In reply to by Timborino

Okay, it happened again, i.e., MuseScore once again became unresponsive to keyboard input. My current theory is that it happens when I view the palette and drag something - a time signature, this time - from the palette to the score. The palette was closed when it stopped working but dragging a time signature from the palette and then closing the palette was the last thing I did before MuseScore stopped responding to the keyboard. By trial and error, I got MuseScore working again by viewing the palette again and then closing it again.

I'll keep you posted.

In reply to by Timborino

This has been reported often enough that there is no doubt it's a real problem - pretty much exclusively on macOS - but unfortunately still so rare that no one has succeeded in finding a way to reproduce it. Knowing you are in Normal mode does help confirm it's a real problem, in case there was any doubt, as it eliminates the possibility you were in Edit mode. That which would be the one known "user error" that would disable most keyboard commands.

In reply to by Timborino

I tried doing a few things with the palette, like I did before. Couldn't reproduce the problem. Reproducing it probably requires a specific set of circumstances or sequence of events. I think it's related to dragging something from the palette to the score, for what it's worth.

In reply to by Timborino

Okay, I kinda sorta reproduced it. I opened the palette, dragged a couple of time signatures into the score, closed the palette. (This doesn't always lock out the keyboard, but seems to cause it pretty often.) The keyboard stopped responding. The cursor keys didn't work nor did the number keys or note keys. Saving didn't help, toggling other things didn't help. Opening the palette and closing it again got things back to working normally.

Edit: Just reproduced it again, this time with a key signature from the palette. Opening and closing other windows didn't un-freeze the keyboard, but opening and closing the Master Palette did un-freeze it, even though I triggered the freeze with the Palette (not master). I hope that will help you track it down.

In reply to by Timborino

You wrote:
...opening and closing the Master Palette did un-freeze it...

So, with the keyboard (shortcut fn+Shift+F9) being locked, you were only able to access the Master Palette using the mouse and the menu: View → Master Palette to un-freeze. Yes?

In reply to by Jm6stringer

It's hard to say if it's related. Most of the time, keyboard entry works for me. I think I sometimes trigger the problem by dragging something from the palette to the score, like a time signature or key signature. When I correct the problem by opening the palette or master palette, then closing again, it works fine again, for awhille.

The same issue arose again, on Mac OS 12.5.1. I'm pretty sure it happened after I used the palette, then closed it. This time I was able to get keyboard working again by simply re-opening the palette, and possibly selecting an item from the palette. I took a screenshot. If that would be useful, I will upload it.

In reply to by Timborino

Sorry this is still happening. There's probably nothing that can be told from a screenshot, as it can't show where the keyboard focus actually is. Presumably it's somewhere other than the score. I assume you tried hitting Esc, but just in case - that's the usual way to return focus to the score if it's elsewhere. Also to exit edit mode, if that happened to be the problem. Also try pressing tab and watching three screen closely to see if you can track where the focus is as you keep pressing it - usually a few dozen keypresses will take you across the whole interface.

If you can turn on VoiceOver (not sure how, but presumably a web search would tell you), try that if it happens again. This will start reading things aloud that might give you an idea of where keyboard focus is. If you can't figure it out from there, try hitting cursor keys, or tab, to see what gets reported.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

No need for apologies. I'm just glad you and the team are chasing down bugs. I'll try the other stuff you mentioned.

According to the indicator on the lower right hand portion of the window, when the issue occurs, I am in "steptime note input mode" The arrow keys definitely don't work at those times.

In reply to by Timborino

Right, I don't expect they'd navigate the score, but they might be navigating the UI - highlighting different toolbar buttons, for instance. Or navigating between fields on a dialog box that is hidden from view. That's what I'll be curious if VoiceOver reports anything - it would read whatever the keyboard focus is on, whether that thing is visible or not.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The issue just occurred. Esc key does nothing, tab key does nothing. Mouse and mouse-clicks work as usual, though I forgot to check if I could input notes with the mouse. Out of curiosity, I switched to another app, to see if keyboard input was working. It was. When I switched back to MuseScore (without quitting or closing document) keyboard input started working. Didn't get a chance to try VoiceOver. I'll try that next time.

In reply to by Timborino

Okay, I think I have replicated the issue, at least partially.

1-In note entry mode
2-Open palette
3-Do something with the palette - like enter a dynamic for a random measure
4-Close palette window
5-MuseScore is completely unresponsive to keyboard. Note entry with mouse still works.
6-Switch to another app, maybe any app. In my case, an app window in the background..
7-Switch back to MuseScore. Keyboard entry starts working again.

In reply to by Timborino

I can't reproduce on Linux, but can you be more specific about steps 3-4? I assume you are navigating to the note/rest while in note input, and then what - the palette is already open, and you are using the mouse to click on a symbol you wish to attach to the selected note/rest? Or you are dragging a symbol to a note/rest that is not currently selected? Or to the note that is? Or something else? And are you closing the palette by clicking the "x" or by keyboard shortcut or via the menu?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella


I appreciate your dilligence.

I think we previously established that this issue is specific to Mac OS.

I don't use a midi keyboard.

Re steps 3-4: I haven't checked every variation, but these steps reliably reproduce the issue:
--In steptime note input mode, enter a note in a score
--View: Palettes (As far as I can tell, Palettes triggers the issue, Master Palette doesn't.)
--Enter Edit mode
--Select a note or measure
--Click a dynamic on the palette to enter the dynamic in the selected location. (It doesn't have to be a dynamic. I tried it with some other items from the palette, but did not test exhaustively. As far as I can tell, any item from the palette will trigger the issue.)
--Click on the big N in the upper left corner to enter Steptime Note Input Mode
--Select a measure, try to enter a note from the keyboard. They keyboard will be locked out.
--Switch to a window for some open app, like your web browser. Switch back to MuseScore. The keyboard will no longer be locked out.

In reply to by Timborino

One last thing.

I repeated the above steps but didn't actually use the palette. I just opened the Palette, entered Edit mode, didn't use the Palette at all, closed the Palette. Issue happened.

Forgot to answer your other question. I tried both ways of closing the palette -- by clicking the little red dot at the upper left corner of the palette and by choosing View: Palette, to un-check the Palette item in the menu. Same result.

In reply to by Timborino

Well, we've established that the known cases of this seem to be on macOS, but that's not the same as saying it can only happen there. Sometimes something seems to only happen on a given OS because it's something that only people on that OS are likely to do, because it fits in with how other things are done on that OS.

Anyhow, the steps you post above are very different from your original steps, so can you clarify? In particular, your original steps didn't mention edit mode at all. And your original steps had the user entering note input mode before going to the palette, not after. Also, the new steps don't mention closing the palette at all.

So it's still not totally clear what the steps actually are.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Sorry. I'm trying to help, and doing the best I can.

First I'm in note input mode. Then I go to the palette, though I don't necessarily use it. Then try to enter a new note. I was pretty sure this reliably replicates the issue. Now, I have some doubts. It could be there is some detail I'm overlooking.

In reply to by Timborino

Sorry if I sounded harsh - I'm not trying to be critical. You've been very patient and helpful, it would just be good to really nail down the steps completely reliably. Maybe this is a case where a screen recording would be more useful, as it would clarify some of the things you might be doing almost unconsciously that aren't necessarily reflected in the written steps.

I have the same problem and I am using the Windows version. Never had this problem with MuseScore 3, but am having this problem with V4.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.