Contributors needed for new MuseScore 4 Handbook

• Aug 17, 2022 - 11:52

A new Handbook is being written to accompany the release of MuseScore 4. If you want to contribute see here for details.


Thanks for the contributions so far, and for anyone who hasn't jumped in yet, it's not too late to join the party!

One overall comment I'd like to make here. Our goal is for the MuseScore 4 handbook to be a big improvement over the MuseScore 3 one, both in the content and its organization. We have already gone in and made some significant changes to the organization of the Handbook, completely redoing the chapter structure chapters adding new pages, removing others, moving headings from one page to another etc. Our goal is to make it easier for readers to find the information they are looking for, and to avoid have any "kitchen sink: pages that make it difficult to find anything.

For the most part, we'd like people to stick with the new organization. So if you're updating a page and its headings are different from those of MuseScore 3 handbook, you can still copy text between pages if that makes sense, but try to stick to the new headings.

On the other hand, if we misjudged and ended up creating pages that simply have too much information, or where you think there are other changes that would help, let us know!

With that in mind, @geetar and anyone else - I've always been uncomfortable with the tablature page in the MuseScore 3 handbook, which goes through tons and tons of stuff before you ever get into, how to actually enter anything. We made only relatively small changes to the strucutre, and now I'm thinking, we should really split this into two pages: one on the setup (adding and customizing the staff), there other on note entry and editing.


Anyhow, we welcome continued discussion of issues like this as you encounter them!

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The obvious answer is to create a new page "Tablature: setup", and cut and paste from "Tablature: entering and editing", the material from the top of the page down to and including "Creating linked or unlinked staff/tablature" (plus the two images).

Perhaps the "Tablature: customization" page could go after this (as a separate page). then "Tablature: editing and entering"?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Done, at least regarding the split into two. For now I still have customization after entering & editing, because it's more an advantaged topic I'd rather people not get overwhelmed with before they learn how to actually enter notes.

BTW, I also made significant changes to the entering & editing pages for standard notation. The idea with the structure we put in place was to cover the "basics" of note input very early on, but to avoid overwhelming people with detail too soon (this is, you will see, a common theme throughout). So, a clean break between entering and editing in the basics chapter (at least for standard notation), and some topics not covered until elsewhere still. It's possible the reshuffling something may get temporarily lost, but no worries, just let me know and we'll find the right place to add it back if needed.

I can help. I'll put my name down to work first on the fingering page. There seems to be a google.doc I need to request access to?

In reply to by GeoJenner

String numbers are circled for me. Be sure to have the latest nightly when doing screenshots, the alpha is already somewhat updated. And you might need to revert to factory settings to be sure you don't have old information.

BTW, note there is a new Guitar palette, not present in the default workspace, but you can access it from the Add Palettes button.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It's the same for the past two nightly builds - no circles on palette but looks fine on the score. I tried Dark and Light modes. It also happens with the new guitar palette. I didn't come to debug, but I suppose that happens as soon as you open the alpha ... Should I open an issue for it? Search in the issue tracker revealed nothing.

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In reply to by GeoJenner

Great, glad to have more hands on deck for this! You shouldn't need any special permissions to edit the spreadsheet, but you do need to be logged into a Google account I guess.

And definitely free to use the Musescore text as a starting point - in many cases, most of it can be copied as is. I just ask that people keep the headings that we created for the MuseScore 4 handbook and don't overwrite them with the old MuseScore 3 headings. And if there are sections on a MuseScore 3 page that don't seem to fit under any of those headings, ask before adding new headings. It could be (and often is) that we simply moved those sections to a different page as part of our restructuring.

In reply to by GeoJenner

Thanks for your work on this!

The thing is, it was never actually called "easy fingering mode* in MuseScore 3, that was something made up just for the Handbook, and since there is no such mode in the actual program, this just caused confusion. One of the improvements we are trying to make is, more consistent use of terminology. So, that is why there is no longer a heading by that name.

Everything about entering fingerings belongs in the section entitled, "Adding fingering to your score". I like your subheadings "...using the palettes", "...using the menu", and "...using a custom shortcut". Although I recommend renaming the last of those to just "...using the keyboard". The idea being, someone should be able to scan just the list of headings and immediately see where the info they want is. They don't want to learn about custom shortcuts (at least, they don't know they will need this) - they simply want to learn how to enter fingerings by keyboard.

Anyhow, that section - "Adding fingering using the keyboard" - is where the information previously discussed under "easy fingering mode" would go, but no need for a new heading, just explain that Space and Shift+Space allow you to keep entering more fingerings by keyboard right there in that same section. probably also worth adding a sentence right up at the top of "adding fingering to your score" saying "if you have a lot of fingering to enter, see the section on using the keyboard for information on how to do that most efficiently", and make ""using the keyboard" in that sentence linked straight to that subheading.

Also, while I'm getting very specific - no need for separate section on single note vs multiple under fingering properties. The same properties apply either way, so just mentioning in the first sentence, something like "to change properties for a selected fingering or multiple fingerings, ...". This would also be the place to mention other properties that apply to fingerings, like the text properties, but for that you can just link to the appropriate page where text properties in general are discussed.

Make sense?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes makes sense and I've made some progress. Also learnt about a few features I've never used :-)

But a few quesitons remain.

For me the menu item Add-Text-Fingering doesn't do anything. I've made a keyboard shortcut for add fingering and it shows up in the menu. The keyboard shortcut does work, but not from the menu. I assume it will work one day, but my question is - is there a default style for accessing menu items? I've just written it out like this:

  1. Select the first note
  2. Open the Add menu
  3. Click Text
  4. Click Fingering

Long winded if clear? It actually repeats stuff from the previous section so I'll have to edit that further or be consistent.

The main question is that this keyboard method only works with piano fingering (for me). The V3 handbook page suggests it works for guitar strings. So the first option in this section is not needed as there are no options:

"Choose one of the following options:
*Add the first fingering symbol using one of the methods shown above: this can be a "Left Hand Guitar Fingering", "Fingering" or "String Number";
*For "Fingering" only: select a note and press the keyboard shortcut for "Add fingering," then type the desired number."

Does that one make sense?

In reply to by GeoJenner

Yes, there is a known bug where those Add / Text menu items don't work. Since they are clearly supposed to, just document how it's supposed to work, and we'll trust the bug gets fixed soon enough.

The style for menu uses the "samp" tags, but I don't know the full syntax. I normally just find something similar and copy it. Definitely don't write all that out! Should be something like this:

<samp class="menu">File</samp>&rarr;<samp class="menuitem">Open</samp>

If by "keyboard method of entering fingerings" you mean, the ability to type them, this works for any type, but you can't 8start* the process with a shortcut. You'd have to start by adding from the palette, then double-click to edit it, and continue from there.

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