Replace Instrument Not Working

• Sep 26, 2023 - 11:52

Hi there,

I am trying to replace an instrument i.e Viola with Violin.

I know the function works as I transposed the above Alto Saxophone part from Tenor Saxophone. The Key & notation changed. Of course they both remain on treble clef.

When I select violin only the name by the staff changes but the clef and notation remains the same.

Shouldn't there be an immediate clef & thus notation change?

What am I missing?

Please assist!

Attachment Size
Screenshot 2023-09-26 at 2.51.07 PM.png 51.71 KB


It's hard to say much from just a picture, but if you attach your actual score and give the precise steps to reproduce the problem, we can understand and assist better.

But, you can change clef yourself, from the Clefs palette, if the instrument change doesn't do it automatically for whatever reason.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Find the score here attached!

  1. Original Score (Crazy.mxl - all credit to the arranger) has Tenor Sax -> I used replace instrument to change Tenor Sax to Alto sax. The Transposition occurred without issue.
  2. I tried the Same function with Viola 1 in an attempt to convert it to a Violin Part. The Clef remains Alto & no notes change.

Thanks for the help!

Attachment Size
Crazy.mxl 21.38 KB
Crazy Alto Sax Lead.mscz 51.72 KB

In reply to by pspacc

I can confirm that when using MusicXML import specifically, the clef doesn't change automatically as it does for normal scores - that's probably because the MusicXML set that clef explicitly whereas normal scores have it selected automatically to begin with. So, just change it manually as I said. It actually works here to just delete the alto clef; the default treble clef then replaces it.

My experience is that in the full score, when I replace a horn part with a trombone (for example,) it will change the part name and transpose to the proper key and clef. But then when I click on Parts it will open that part as horn - back to the horn clef and key - rather than the trombone part. The only way to make it work is to add a trombone part, copy and paste the horn part to the trombone, and then delete the horn part. Even then, if I have it open all parts it will open both a trombone and horn part.

In reply to by PMoberg

I did up a quick score for demonstration purposes rather than send a large file. I started with one horn line. Then I did a "replace instrument" and changed it to a trombone and saved the file. Then I clicked on "parts" and "open all." What comes up is marked as a horn part in both the part itself and on the part tab, even though it has been transposed to the correct key and staff. It's really a labeling issue, but even though I can change the part name on the score it will never come up as anything but horn in the tab. Makes for some confusion.

Attachment Size
Mary's Instrument Dilemma2.mscz 28.43 KB
Capture.JPG 148.31 KB

In reply to by PMoberg

I can confirm that for this score specifically, it didn't seem to work. If you go to the Parts window, click the "..." menu and rename it manually.

However, if I then do the same - in the Instruments panel, "Replace instrument", and select trombone again - it works perfectly. So I'm not sure why it worked for me and not for you. Maybe it has something to do with the order in which things happen - if the instrument change happens before or after saving, or before or after opening the part?

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