MuseScore 4.0 — Show/Hide Instrument staves

• Dec 20, 2022 - 10:18

I LOVE the new options to show/hide staves within a MuseScore 4 Instrument.

Here's a use case example:

When I have a score with mandolin + tablature I can hide either staff so, without altering the main score, I can easily display or print any of three options:

    • treble clef AND tablature
    • treble clef only
    • tablature only

This is a huge step forward in flexibility! An excellent improvement.

A Show/Hide UI problem

NOTE: When referring to a staff or staves (below) I'm speaking of the selectable line in the Instruments panel that represents a score Staff/Part.

When I select my score's Mandolin Instrument MuseScore highlights (selected) all child staves of the Instrument Panel.) I don't take particular issue with that. And it makes sense that clicking the Mandolin Instrument "eye" toggles visibility of all child staves ... BUT oddly clicking the child treble staff "eye" or the child tablature staff "eye" also toggles visibility of ALL staves (i.e. the entire Instrument AND all its child staves.)

To avert that outcome I can select any child staff. Then all "eyes"independently toggle visibility of the item to the right of the eye.

There's already a local easily accessible control for toggling the entire instrument Mandolin instrument, just millimeters from my mouse. So then, why should a child staff "eye" toggle visibility of the parent object thus hiding all children? The redundancy is nonsensical to me. What do we gain by this? Is there any harm in allowing the child staff "eyes" to operate independently ... even when the full instrument is selected?

The following behaviors match my expectations in my initial scenario:

    • The Tablature eye works independently when I have the Treble clef staff selected or when nothing in the Instrument is selected.
    • The Treble clef eye works independently when I have the Tablature staff selected or when nothing in the Instrument is selected.

In others words, Show/Hide works without issue if the Instrument itself is NOT selected ... same is true when a different instrument is selected.
And there's an additional caveat: Users must be aware that clicking any staff in the score fully selects the Instrument in the Instruments panel. And that sets the stage for the described disfunction.



Just realized there's other wrinkles here

• If the instrument's eye is closed the eyes of the child staves don't respond to clicks—however they're not displayed as disabled. That's said I would recommend disabling them, but rather I think it far better, as expressed previously, allow the child "eyes" to operate independently.

• If a child eye is set to open, and the Instrument eye is then closed, on reopening the Instruments's eye we find that MuseScore has reset the state of all child eyes to open. In other words, the child looses it's user-specified state.


In reply to by scorster

Here's another oddity

There's an interaction between "eyes" I'd expect and therefore want to see.

I recommend that when the Intrument's eye is closed, clicking a closed staff "eye" opens the staff eye AND opens the Instrument eye.

A hint that the user should expect this behavior—and perhaps that development intended it—is that the closed eyes on stave lines are not disabled.

Yet another UI surprise

When I close and Instrument's eye MuseScore mutes the Instrument's playback. I question the wisdom of a visibility setting holding sway over sound playback.

And there's another twist: I can set ALL child staves to invisible yet the track still plays.


In reply to by scorster

Yikes! Audio-Visual cross threading

I just realized that closing an Instrument's eye not only mutes the Instrument, it acutally switches the Instrument's Mute button to ON in its Mixer channel strip ... while ALSO disabling the Mute button—until the eye is toggled back open.


I'm sure this makes sense from some perspective that makes no sense to me.

My gut feeling is there should be separation of powers between sight and sound.

In reply to by scorster

It's not a bug; it's by design, and It makes sense "kind of" when you consider this is how parts now work. But I agree there is room for improvement in the design.

Meanwhile, the solution is, don't hide the instrument - hide its staves. That's a new capability previous versions didn't have, and it's very welcome not just for this purpose but many others too.

What I find particularly awkward

Most of the problems (listed above) stem from an Instrument in a fully selected state (i.e. including all child staves) in the Instrument Panel.

Knowing that I could just avoid putting the panel in that state, but clicking any staff in the score fully selects Instrument in the Instruments panel.

That leads to conundrums like this:

•  I have an instrument that's written on three staves
• While editing Staff 3 I want one of the following states: staff 1 hidden, staff 2 hidden or staves 1 & 2 hidden
• But selecting anything in Staff 3 fully selects the Instrument in the panel. And as noted that's where the trouble begins.
• With the full instrument selected a click on ANY open eye hides entire instrument (i.e. ALL staves disappear from view including the very one I want to edit: Staff 3).

So to isolate Staff 3—while actually working on the score—I have to show all staves (ironically by clicking ANY eye in the Instrument, then click any staff name in the instrument (OR selected a different Instrument) and then finally I'm free to poke Staff 1's eye and Staff 2's eye to get an independent effect. Hopefully I'm overlooking something obvious!

Regarding staff selections ==========

When I've selected something on Staff 3 I'd think it more informative and appropriate to see its line alone selected in the instrument's panel

Conversely, when I select Staff 3 in the panel I'd like to see some indication highlighting that part on score—unless I'm missing something, presently we have no such indication.


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