Top features I'd like to see

• Aug 29, 2022 - 16:08

I thought this might be a good time to mention a few features I'd like most to see in the new version of MuseScore. I realize that it may be too late to include these, even if they are approved. I also realize that most of them may not be a big deal, but I find myself continually wishing for them. I may add to this list as I remember more things while revising scores. If there are actually currently easy and effective ways to do some of these things that I don't know about, please post that here. Thanks.

  • Make Measure Properties show what dynamics are in the current measure for a given instrument staff. I realize that some means would need to be devised for the case when dynamics changed within the measure.

  • Make above the staff the default position for dynamics in any vocal staff.

  • When inputting text into a Title or other frame, let Control-b input a flat sign, Control-s input a sharp sign, and Control-n input a natural sign (or some sequence like that.)

  • An easy, one-step one-time operation to change the default font for all your new scores. Edwin is ugly.

  • Allow deleting the first measure of a score without resetting Tempo and other text to default.

  • Allow the insertion of a text frame into another frame. This would make it easier for example to put program or performance notes or lyrics on the first page of the score.

  • Add Alto Flute to Common Instruments


There are some good suggestions here, and hopefully someday there will be more direct ways to accomplish these. Meanwhile, though, there do exist some simple workarounds for some of this, and I have a few refinements to suggest:

  • Since dynamics aren't associated with measures at all, measure properties seems like the wrong place to show this - the status bar for a select note makes more sense.

  • Not just default for dynamics, but other style settings could definitely make sense to be able to customize per staff. Meanwhile, for anyone not aware, you can right-click one dynamic, Select / All Similar Elements in Same Staff, then flip them all up in one step. Waiting until you're basically done entering the dymamics, obviously.

  • A couple of good solutions for text styles. Once you've customized one score to use the fonts you prefer, use Format / Save Style to save the results, then specify the resulting style file as your default in Edit / Preferences. Or, just save a score to your Template folder for easy reuse of different settings (including different instrument selections) for different score types.

  • A convenient way to keep the markings in the first measure while deleting its content is to actually delete the second measure, after first copying its contents to the first.

  • You can already insert multiple text elements into a single vertical frame, no needed for multiple frames. I can't think of any layout that would require multiple frames, but FWIW, it's possible to insert horizontal frames within vertical frames, and then place the text within the horizontal frames - it's just unnecessary extra work.

In reply to by jcorelis

Indeed, the copy/paste I mentions is just a workaround, but a pretty decent one, likely to be not more complicated than whatever new feature might be invented to handle this more directly.

And yes, I see now you've added some other suggestions, so here are my comments:

  • Shortcuts for the accidentals within text are Ctrl+Shift+B/#/H for flat/sharp/natural. Also, be aware you can add sytmbols from the special characters palette to your own palette, so any text symbol is never more than a click away.

  • I'd say it's pretty debatable as to whether alto flute is actually common enough to be worth adding to that list, and it becomes something of a slippery slope (do we also include alto clarinet? contrabassoon? english horn? tenor recorder?). But it will be interesting to see what kind of support there is for this or any other specific instrument suggestion. Anyhow, for anyone not aware, the "search" box in the instruments window is your friend - just type "flu" to see all flutes listed, much easier than switching to "all instruments" and then hunting.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks again, I didn't know about the accidentals.

Alto flute is a personal preference of mine, so I won't argue too vigorously for it. I have noticed, though, that many calls for scores for or including "flute" specify that alto flute is an acceptable doubling, and I believe that alto flute is popular in film scores.

The one thing I'd like most is to be able to tell what dynamics are in the measure I'm working on, however it's done, as long as it's quick and easy. When working on a score of some length and with several staves, it's often hard to remember later in the score what dynamic you set earlier, and it can be difficult and time-consuming to trace back to where you set the last dynamic, and sometimes I even miss where the last dynamic was, so the final product has the dynamics wrong.

In reply to by jcorelis

Agreed. One thing worth pointing out - if it's at all awkward for you as the composer to find the current dynamic, think of the person playing it, and be that much more generous restating dynamics. I recommend doing this at each section of the piece (rehearsal letters, double bars, etc - people shouldn't need to scan back more than a line or two to find the dynamic. Even though in theory they would know when playing it straight through, it's easy to forget if there rests, plus in rehearsal, you may well start at random places.

Meanwhile, current best way to use MuseScore to find out the dynamic of a given note is probably to use the Piano Roll Editor and check the absolute velocity. {Probably a plugin could be devised to do a better job of this.

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