Musescore 4 It is possible to open multiple scores simultaneously. In this case, MuseScore opens each score in a separate window.

• Dec 18, 2022 - 09:45

In the Hand Book it states "It is possible to open multiple scores simultaneously. In this case, MuseScore opens each score in a separate window." But when you open a score, even in recent scores, it opens a new Musescore.

How to you open Multiple Score in separate window rather than opening multiple MuseScores?


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Well the terminology may not be right but you still cannot open multiple tabs within same window as per MuseScore 3 . It only opens a new window each time . Tabs/windows? Not here to score points just to get answers to problems If you cannot open "multiple tabs" in Musecore 4 then that a step backwards in my opinion , as I use "multiple tabs" all the time

In reply to by

As I understand it, separate instances are needed as the new playback engine currently can't handle multiple scores in the same instance. I also understand that ways around this restriction are being sought.

The main difficulty that I have found is that creating a new score after customising the workspace does not use the customised workspace in the new instance unless you first exit and restart Musescore. See

In reply to by SteveBlower

I am not sure that I fully understand your answer. I read that the playback engine handle all open tabs as a single score in an open window. I have always used Multiple Scores in the Tabs without any problem in MuseScore 3 . in "Recent" I just click on a previous score and it opens in a new tab. Musecore 4 does not do that .
I would have assumed the playback engine would have been linked to the current tab and not see all the tabs in any given open window.

Guess just have to wait until this issue is resolved or revert back to MuseScore 3.

In reply to by

I am just reporting what I have seen in other posts. I don't understand the technicalities but accept the situation. Whether you use MU4 or not is certainly up to you. Everyone has their own priorities. I personally am waiting for improvements in the playable pitch ranges before going over to MU4 for real stuff The multiple instance thing is one of a number of irritations but not a deal breaker.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I have had the same experience. And I am unclear as the answer/solution. I was looking for a setting in preferences before I found this thread.

Will it no longer be possible to simply open multiple tabs (of different scores) inside the same Musescore window?

Thank you.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I used the tabs in MuseScore 3 to keep a set of small scores open (like 10 pieces) that I want to practice currently, and that are automatically opened every time I start MuseScore. Like in a browser. I miss this in MuseScore 4.

In reply to by kovianyo

Yeah, I use musescore primarily for practicing music and I do exactly what you do. Being able to see all the scores you need to practice and being able to quickly jump to a specific score when you have many open is particularly convenient. I've seen a few responses to people talking about the change that say you can just use Alt+Tab to swap, but when one has like 10 different scores open it clutters up the windows 10 alt+tab menu very quickly. Not to mention that anything else open on your computer will be mixed in with the musescore windows, and windows arranged them in order of which was open last so there is no consistent order like there would be on the tab menu of muse score 3.
MuseScore 4 is pretty cool, I just wish there was a way for someone to return features like this one even if it was a round about thing buried in a settings menu. Hopefully this is just me needing to relearn the workflow and its actually not any slower or more annoying once I get it down.

In reply to by bobjp

What I found particularly useful with the tabs was that my previously opened scores were opened again, if I launched MuseScore again. This could be replicated by multiple windows, but it would be less intuitive.
I would be interested in why the playback is influenced by a UI concern, like the tabs. Do the UI controls need to be in separate process for the playback? With two windows I saw three processes, but I am not sure how they relate. Could multiple playback processes serve a single window?

This is a real PITA. If I have 15 scores open, it means my dock has 15 app icons. I can't find anything else, and I can't even tell which icon corresponds to which score.

In reply to by Kanashimi

I use my laptop to play in church. We play up to 130 hymns in a service (services last for up to 8 hours). Each hymn is a separate score. Its a lot more environmentally friendly than printing scores. It also gives me the flexibility of transposing a particular hymn if necessary during practice. There is zero chance I can use Musescore 4 now, since having multiple scores in separate tabs is now gone. Real shame.

Speaking of which, I have also always missed tools to batch-process scores, for example, exporting all to individual PDFs or to a single large sequential PDF (for later printing or sharing).

In reply to by Danielle Grigsby

"As I understand it, separate instances are needed as the new playback engine currently can't handle multiple scores in the same instance. I also understand that ways around this restriction are being sought."

As Danielle states individuals use this app in different ways and I would suggest that most are not interested in playback, so if the statement above is correct then that reason to remove the multiple tabs is a step backward. Multiple tabs and the ABC import plugin are two major features for me using Musescore if MU4 doesn't have them then I will stop using it. I has already started to step back from MU3 when there were problems with ABC import plugin.

In reply to by Kanashimi

I'm a choral singer, and when I'm learnign a choral work, I often practice just a little bit of each chorus that I need to work on. This season we're performing Mendelsohn's Elijah, which has 22 choruses. It is tedious to open up to 22 files each day. In Musescore, I just set up up with all the choruses at the beginning of rehearsals, and it's ready there, instantly, each day.
Like others, I shall continue to use MS3 until they reintroduce this feature.

In reply to by stcinder

Agree. It makes it a real issue when you want to copy stuff from one score to the other. Definite downgrade in performance. From scanning the site it appears this ability was sacrified for some playback features. Not a good trade off for my purposes.

I think of Musescore's primary performance goal is as a notation program. Basic playback is fine. Making it more sophisticated is a "nice to have" not a "have to have" for me, and not worth sacrificing basic features.

Based on the comments here, I don't think I am in the minority. I think most users are amatuer and semipros like me. If you are a pro then you would probably pay for finale.

I have seen this a hundred times in the corporate world. The urge to "upgrade" often becomes an end in of itself, when "leave well enough alone" would serve better.

Still, it's a great asset.

In reply to by fool4piano

Sorry, but for a composer playback is vital. Not just nice.
Sibelius works the same way. Pretty simple to change from one score to another. Just not the same as tabs.

Many features in MS4 are a great improvement. But we all have to use the version that fits us the best.

This is typical of any major upgrade to Musescore. The new version is put out before it has been properly tested. It is unacceptable to have Musescore restart and for each project, and close when that project is closed. I've never seen anything like it in any program anywhere ever.

Also, the audio playback is a mess. I don't know how to describe what it does, but I'm sure the developers know what it does. It is almost usable when the mixer is shown (which covers half the manuscript), but when the mixer is hidden, which it normally would be, the playback is horrid.

The worst part is that the developers will deny anything is wrong and blame it on the idiocy of the user. It was the same when version 3 came out. it took months before it was useable.

I'm sure that the changes contained in version 4 are wonderful, and I love Musescore in general, but version changes are always a fiasco.

Until the playback issues are fixed, and one can start the program with different tabs for each project, rather than running the program separately for each project, Musescore 4.0 is unusable.

In reply to by Michael E. Henderson

I have to agree about the playback. I created a thread about it earlier today. I describe what it looks, feels and sounds like is “herky-jerky” especially between measures. It’s really quite paining for me to use. I even tried opening new scores that I created in v4 inside v3 so I could work on them there. But no dice. The UI of v4 is beautiful (if a little Instagram-y with a few of the hidden icon choices) but as much as the trumpets are blaring for Musescore 4, I feel like a few basic utilities are wanting.

In reply to by bobjp

Good point: other programs many people use have separate windows, so nothing unusual about that feature as locked in to MuseScore 4.0.

Well, I will take issue. Apples and Oranges argument. Not being a Sibelius user I give the examples of the other two programs you referenced.

The content of a Word document, even with inserted jpegs or flowchart images or most normal usages, is nothing like that of a 16-stave orchestral score and the many intricate features the composer thinks through and decides on in her creation, each and every measure! The options needed in the accessible menus are much more involved in MuseScore than Word. So one .mscz file to view and edit is in quite a different app family than a .docx file is.

And, Word does not create a fully launched independent separate application instance to the way MuseScore does. Unlike MuseScore 4. 0, my MS Word application icon in MacOS doesn't get duplicated and docked; I don't see in the primary OS menubar two simultaneous active processes - one for each of the two separate MuseScore 4.0's trying to work on a second score just launched. Yes, notwithstanding that both apps show a dropdown list of open and/or recent files the app was being applied to when you click and hold the menubar icon , in MS Word the documents open doc small icons gracefully on the lower right and I can easily select one visually to switch to.

I'm not sure I want to comment much on the weakness of the Audacity MuseScore being sibling applications argument you implied, despite what MuseHub designers think. Opening a document separately in Audacity is not anywhere from the OS side or from the user side the burden that opening a musical score in MuseScore is.


In reply to by Etienne LeGros

To mradson68, danielle, kovianyo, stcinder, so many other great users in this blog thread and related ones: Thank you for raising and amplifying the Why Can't We have a single shell app interface and open multiple files as before as tabs? issue. stcinder said it succinctly: stcinder • Dec 20, 2022 - 20:28
"This is a real PITA. If I have 15 scores open, it means my dock has 15 app icons. I can't find anything else, and I can't even tell which icon corresponds to which score." And as to the legitimate pushback from another serious user, Kanashimi, that that was not a likely scenario, and most people would be working on 2 or 3 scores simultaneously, maybe....but I myself have had days where I have upwards of 9 or 10 working tabs. This may only be 1, or 2 or 3 different composition pieces, but often it includes comparison of earlier timestamped versions I did and or ones with my instructor's corrections that he resent that I need to check and compare against one another; not to mention my habit of creating a Clipboard score for each new composition where measures I write that later turn out not to work I clip and store in a separate file - as occasionally there are motives or rhythmic or instrumental arrangement thoughts there that end up being raided and snipped out later for another piece where they do work.

And as for testing what I see as a retired computer engineer as the feeble counterargument that other apps make separate windows and don't have tabs as being a justification for MuseScore 4.0 creating separate INSTANCES, not just separate windows, every time you want to access a file in a session on your laptop, say, I did an experiment tonight [it not yet being 2023 in my time zone and not being out partying] with just the comparison of MS Word version 2019 vs MuseScore 2022 4..0 dealing with two files open each, not yet the 15 hypothetical ones mentioned or 10 that I have actually with the earlier MuseScore 3.62 tabs and it pretty much seems to confirm my statement earlier about the tremendous drain on computer resources with the new MuseScore 4.0 behaving this way.

Two Open Files Per App Comparison:
Computer processes, resource consumption and other data in snapshot showing two MSWord 2019 docs open versus two MuseScore 4.0 docs open after a period of leaving windows open but inactive. MuseScore 4.0 app creates two separate instances of itself. Word 2019 only one instance. In the example, Word has opened and is using 18 threads in its single instance. MuseScore 4.0 is using 41 + 57 = 98 threads in its two instances.

See attached MSWord doc with image of Activity Monitor results of MacBookPro 16 running MuseScore 4.0 and MS Office 2019 Word. Thanks.


Attachment Size
MuseScore4BlogAttach.docx 572.88 KB

In reply to by Etienne LeGros

I have been reading all your posts, Etienne. I am behind your point of view on this discussion. There has been pushback and snark from a few commenters who for some unknown reason consider it a weakness or some kind of uninitiated posture to open numerous files simultaneously. Some people who have multiple files open are in process of creating multiple page workbooks or collecting files to prepare a multi page pdf for their own unoque musical, theory or otherwise purposes. Carry on 🎵

In reply to by Michael E. Henderson

New Year's Eve 2022->2023

Among several serious issues this student composer has had so far in near daily use since the wide public release over nearly three weeks ago of Muse Score 4.0major software, in the matter of why are we forced, by being provided no other option, - to create a new instance/window every time we use Open or Open Recent Instead of keeping the choice of having one's working projects/scores directly available in tabs with easy switching - I fully concur, with Michael Henderson's post Xmas post, that it is high-priority serious.

An obvious major problem is adding to the ram usage, battery usage, fan usage, thread activity (which also affects your ability to jump from open MuseScore to open Office say where you might be simultaneously making a note or reading some background you find important for the music you are creating at that time) assorted other resources of most computerized devices.

An obvious minor, but still a problem, from the perspective of the sheer magnitude view of the overall screen one is looking at which I find not just an inconvenience, but a real nuisance in dealing with the multiple instances of the app with separate windows, is that for this user it takes more time and mouse and/or finger launchpad movement to launch an app icon from your menu, whatever OS you have, then it does to hit the next tab over.

And Mr. JoJo Schmitz, with all due respect, as you have always been of tremendous help to me and so many others,, if I read your post from earlier this month, correctly, I must disagree! Removing the user's option to still choose to have a single window with multiple tabs available IS NOT PROGRESS,

And the mixer issues Michael brought up, yes, - well I don't have the space in this post to echo not just the playback and the weird volume scales, etc, problems but the way the mixer loads group sounds vs. solo sounds; has finally after a while new brass, strings, and choir families, but piano, harpsichord, organ, and percussion, for just starters ,use the old basic fonts, as nothing else seems available from the digital family of sound fonts coming from the kitchy schlock interface MuseHub, which seems to cater to the non-classically trained only or those who are doing their "stuff" with the other combined programs like Audacity - all very well, but if I can't find a clavichord, but you give me instead a dozen versions of a tambourine sound and every CGI punk funk dunk movie background cute or other "sound effect" to download or find on your tangled interface - which, itself, still has serious rollout issues, are major problems designers need alerting to.

Then there is the placement of submenus or menu bars, which in a video classifying 7 of them, the 4.0 team releases, are all great "improvements" although where they are placed may or may not suit most of the users.
But, no worries, as the video explains, most are movable. Well yes, keyboard and palette, and others were moveable before in 3.62, but now, why, why, why did you folks move the CONCERT PITCH toggle, and the VIEW and ZOOM shortcuts, for instance to the lower right corner of my MacBook16 and not let me move them to where they worked just fine. Or maybe one of the many great folks on these blogs who use MuseScore regularly and support it want it on the lower left, or more compacted in the center get the disgruntled drift?

There are major failings in MuseScore 4.0 that are not just promises not yet kept, which hopefully will be fixed soon, but deliberate programming choices - without, let's be clear, For all that was accomplished, a lot of features were changed and perhaps improved in some way, but any real user survey in advance of whether the change was needed or even would work improve a composer's life at the digital staff, could not possibly have been done.

Remember, in the adage of the designers earlier that led to a very workable - if limited MuseScore 3.62 + - 'IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT.'


In reply to by kovianyo

Thanks for the link. Yes, the MuseScore human staff already mentions this point in defensive replies to several threads about this problem. BUT the irony is the playback features themselves in MuseScore 4.0 SUCK. So let' not couple the separate windows requirement with the need for a new playback technology, that itself fails.

Happy New Year.


In reply to by Etienne LeGros

Actually it is easily possible to get good playback in MS4. You just have to make a few adjustments. If you need to have several scores open at once in tabs, stay with MS3. No one is forcing you to do other wise. If you care about playback MS4 is and will be the future. If you need several things open in tabs, stay with MS3. What is the problem?

In reply to by Danielle Grigsby

Indeed. There seem to be a number of people who are only interested in being negative. Rather than asking for and accepting help. The view seems to be that MS4 isn't ready (though it runs fine on my computer that meets the specs) and that the developers are inept. The other view is that even on some computers that are very powerful, MS4 doesn't run well. So obviously there is a problem with MS4. There couldn't possibly be a problem with their computer. MS3 and other programs run fine. The reality is that in any case, all it takes is few adjustments and MS4 works. This might be necessary with most any software. I've run into this before. Anyone into gaming knows that tweaking is a science.

This is a really, really big deal. Today I was flipping through multiple movements of my string quartet. They all needed similar tweaks. I would have been really good to have them in tabs.

I understand that it would take significant rework to make the playback engine compatible with multiple tabs. This doesn't make much sense to me, but I don't know how the software is structured. Maybe an option would be to revert back to the old playback engine (I don't see much benefit in the new one anyways.) Yes, this issue is serious enough for me to say that. Then save the rework for MS 5.

No need to be rude, but a number of us simply like the old ability to work in tabs. And as with any software update when some commonly used feature changes or is eliminated it's always an unpleasant surprise. Using multiple tabs is a common and much appreciated feature in most apps and Musescore used to work that way. Me, I'm a lightweight user so I'll just go back to version 3, problem solved.

I am also interested in this. This would be a helpful feature to have back.

I'm a music teacher and I need to open multiple student assignments frequently. Tabs make that easy. Separate windows make that annoying.

Looking forward to checking out the other changes in MuseScore 4. Hope there is a solution for the tabs in the future.

Those suggesting that users who don't like this "feature" can stay on MS3 do not appear to have taken into account that MS3 will not open scores created in MS4, forcing the user to use MS4 for at least those scores. This would apply in a collaboration setting or in a setting where a user is altering/adding to scores obtained from the forums. The community aspect of this software is what leads me to use it instead of Sibelius or Finale.

I'll also suggest to Musescore that they employ someone who is an expert at dealing with users to moderate this forum. I, for one, do not appreciate the pedantic replies from developers or their emotionally charged defenders.

This thread represents a popular concern that needs to first be validated and then a solution proposed before everyone goes all 'armchair warrior' on users who have reported it.

In reply to by TWICECactusMan

Actually, you can export from MU4 as mxl and open that in MU3.
We are all users here trying to help each other. There are no developers here. Each of us indeed needs to consider if our comments are helpful.
In the past I have spent time on the Sibelius forum. That program is still my go to software. I haven't done much composing these last few months because I'm trying to get sib. files to sound good in MU4. As a result, I've learned quite a lot about how to get MU4 to work. And I pass that along. But not everyone needs MU4, or has a computer powerful enough to run it. 4 GB of ram won't cut it. No reason to not use MU3. Some aspects of MuseSounds aren't quite right yet. There are things that I don't like.
As I understand it, people post here to state problems. If someone can help them. Fine. If not, there may be an issue that needs to be reported on GitHub. That's where the developers are.
The subject of this thread has been reported again and again for months. It has been addressed time and time again. If it is the thing that keeps people from using MU4 then there is no reason to not use MU3. That is not a pedantic armchair warrior answer.

In reply to by bobjp

I am still using musescore 3, and I am OK with it. But it is not perfect either, and that raises the obvious problem that with two releases out there dividing the user base, the rate of improvements on at least one of the releases will be slower now. Perhaps this means that musescore 3 is now petrified, or maybe not. Has anyone said? The explanations put forward when version 4 caught us by surprise appeared to lead us toward hoping that the problem of multiple documents could be solved relatively quickly because there were just a few things left out of version 4 that would get into version 4 relatively quickly, particularly this loss of the multi-document interface that has been standard on most varieties of desktop software for a little over 30 years now. We don't see much progress on that path in releases or github commits in 4 months. We are just looking here for signs that better days are coming. But there are not so many out there. The question that we are likely to be asking ourselves is musescore 3, musescore 4, or something else?

The musescore download page says that version 4.0.2 is now the latest stable version. But when I click on the "Download the source files for the stable release of MuseScore" link, I get 3.5.2. But the link does not display the version -- until I download it, I don't know what I am getting. None of the links for binary or AppImage, etc, files let you know what version you are asking for until it arrives on your disk. 3.5.2 would be good for me because I am on version 3, but I have been running version 3.6.2 for a while now, and downloads of 3.6.2 are nowhere to be found. So what am I supposed to do as a 3.6.2 user if my computer crashes and I lose 3.6.2? How can linux users who want to stay on version 3 who installed version 3 from the repositories of their distro be sure that their normal software updates will not replace version 3 with version 4? Are these same linux users, like me, on version 3 supposed stay with their current version and release of linux forever? Or do we have to cross their fingers and hope that musescore 3 will not be broken by the next release version of our linux distro? And how can I believe that anyone in the musescore development organization thinks they are supporting multiple versions when they don't even label the downloads by version?

Just throwing my experience/opinion in here.
I used Musescore 3 for school and I often had multiple versions and projects open. The tabs were such an amazing way to visually keep track of everything. More streamlined at the very least.
Musescore 4 has honestly been pretty frustrating. A lot of that is just having to relearn something you already spent time learning. Seems like a few new update/changes don't make sense or are back steps(imo).

I don't want anyone to get pissed by my post it will maybe sound more rude then its meant to be :)but ! I need the Tabs too instead of new Instances... since Corona i have to deal much with online lessons for my students... and I just had to show them one Window instance of Musescore... now I have to re setup for every fucking score I want to show them everything again in OBS... That means I start to hate using Musescore... yeah sure u can always go back to 3.6 and reimport everything from Musescore 4... and the bug that u can't enter tabulator correctly cause 8 and 9 won't work on Macs in Musescore 4... sorry to say... but Macs are still used by the majority of musicians out there... really... get serious bout that issue. I have students that are more likely to use Guitarpro nowadays... even it's a horrible piece of software, cause they can't enter tabs without dealing with issues. Enter fret 8 or 9... yeah... it won't work... I would love to go on using FOSS Software... instead of Sibelius or Dorcio or Finale... but u know what? dealing with all that issues that Musescore 4 have and reimporting score to 3.6.. and then working with students that either use MS4 or 3.6... is more expensive then buying dorcio.... and get the tabs back for multiple scores please. Fix the issues for the MAC version.. and maybe get good GUITAR Sounds finally. And no I am not just like a Single person that is a little frustrated... it's like my Students (around 80...) have the same issues with MS 4. Sorry for sounding a little rude... I loved Musescore and I see how it's heading into a direction.... where it's goin to be a deal breaking software how it's acting... searching for the right score for a student in 3.6... just open it fast, close tab... open next close tab... ah maybe after 10 attempts to open the wrong score, I will find the right one... cause I don't remember every single score... in muscore 4... no way... it always open a new instance... that takes time... then u have to close it... maybe you close the wrong instance.... then u have to reopen it... its that horrible workflow what MS 4 is doing... it takes sooo long... and if you press the plus sign in a window.... I don't wanna have a new program with a new loading screen to get opened... I want to have it open in the same window... if you have 10 open scores in MS4... any idea how frustrating it is to find the right one again????? u can't work fast with students anymore... MS4 looks really great... I would love to use it... and yeah I use it cause I have to... but I really don't like to use anymore... please get some point right again.. u can do it cause u already did it right with MS3.6 :)

Wow. What a long thread! It's also old so I'm wondering if the latest MS 4 has resolved it. I suggest that multiple scores open in a single window as they do in MS 3. And if you want a score to be placed in a separate window, simply drag its tab out of the main window. That's how windows work in Microsoft Office and most other applications I've worked with.

Just my 2 cents to add to the $1,000 + change worth of previous posts.

In reply to by artoffugue333

It has certainly not been resolved, although many others have. I never really used this feature, and it was rather annoying, but to have it back would be great for everyone else. Two things:
1) Is there a way to make the playback engine not have this issue by only letting a user play one score at a time, per instance?
2) If not, could the devs remove the “tab” up on the screen to avoid confusion?

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