Support for deleting the default parts

• Mar 16, 2024 - 16:59

Deleting any parts should be allowed like it was in MuseScore 3. I often have instruments while working that I don't intend to include in the finished piece. Often it's playback instruments for listening while editing or exporting to MP3, or I might have instruments that hold ideas or variations that I don't use. Those instruments should not be included in any of the parts so I can simply "select all" when exporting or "open all" when viewing the parts.


In reply to by SteveBlower

I already explained why but here is a picture also. Here I have clicked "Select all" and then I have to remember what I need to deselect before exporting. Same with "Open all". i just don't want things I don't use. It's distracting and ugly. Why not allow removing any part that I want? It's obviously a "feature" to block it but I have seen other threads where people don't like it this way.

Luckily I haven't done that many changes since trying MuseScore 4 (not the first time) so I can still rollback to MuseScore 3.6 and stay there another year.

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I don't want parts I don't need.png 49.76 KB

In reply to by Jonathan L. Jansson

" i just don't want things I don't use. It's distracting and ugly."
Getting rid of a part but not the instrument (that you don't want) doesn't make much sense. Unless you aren't done with the score. For better or worse, MU4 is doing exactly what you asked it to.

Prepare you score, Delete the instruments you don't want. Export. then hit the Undo button to restore the instruments. I'm not saying it is better. Just different. Like many things.

In reply to by bobjp

How many time do I have to explain? I don't want it printed on paper. I still want it in the score for playback reasons. Like just now when I wanted to go back and make edits to and older score I want my drum track to still play. I also have instruments with transcriptions and stuff that I'd like to keep around because why not? I MuseScore did what I asked it to, I wouldn't complain. What a silly comment.

What doesn't make sense is to block users from doing what they want. Especially when it's just a bad design decision and no technical reason behind it.

You solution is even worse than my proposed solution to uncheck the instruments in the export dialog.

In reply to by Jonathan L. Jansson

I would not be so sure there isn't a technical reason behind it. See here I don't understand everything in that discussion but it looks like there is a technical problem with deleting parts and therefore we have the Reset Part option instead.

I can understand having parts you don't want to see and the inconvenience of having to select which ones you might want to print, but how often do you need to do that?

In reply to by SteveBlower

It's a questionable concept, I agree.
There's a possible solution for removing the desired parts, but it's a bit cumbersome unfortunately.
Start by unzipping your file (right-click / 7-Zip, for example, etc.).
In the unzipped folder, you'll find your file, .mscx format, and an "Excerpts" folder - image below.

Open it: your parts are there. Delete the ones you want, then reopen the .mscx file in the program.


In reply to by SteveBlower

Didn't see those discussions before. Seems like the parts are generated each time the dialog is opened but I didn't read all. Being a programmer myself it sounds easy to fix though.

I export like a hundred times or something because I spot errors much easier when I view the PDFs in separate software. I also don't like having to remember to switch off concert pitch for example. It's small stuff but it becomes annoying so why not make it more lean.

MuseScore 4 is super inconvenient in the layout phase anyway. This is the point where I nudge lots of things on many pages and in version 4 I have to do extra clicks to open that little pop up dialog to offset the texts so things fit cleanly on the page.

I don't think it's a good idea to dumb down software made for advanced users because it can get in the way of the workflow once you know it.

In reply to by Jonathan L. Jansson

Sorry, but your images show you are exporting for PDF. Not playback. You talk about the need to delete parts but not instruments. You haven't really explained what your end goal is.
I take it that you want to listen to your score without certain parts (instruments?) being heard. You did this in MU3 by deleting parts? Really?
You asked MU4 to show all parts. That's what it did. Silly or not.
If you want help you need to be a little more specific. We're trying to get you where you want to be. But we're not sure where that is yet.

In reply to by bobjp

I have explained like twice but you are not reading what I write. Not everything needs to be pictures.

I do a couple of variations. Sometimes I mute the instrument that will be in the part (i.e. something I give to a musician) and make separate playback instrument (used while arranging or exporting to mp3). Other times both of them are sounding but the playback has rests when there is notation in the "to be printed" part. Slash notation is common in jazz and pop but I want to have something basic sounding while arranging.

I just don't want parts for instruments that don't go on paper. I have given plenty of reasons why and I am not alone. See the comment here about choir notation:

If MuseScore worked like it used to do I WOULD BE ABLE TO use "select all" and "show all" and such with less friction.

In reply to by bobjp

There are no steps though and I have motivated clearly why MuseScore 3 was better. Anyway here comes a yet another explanation...

  • Open this file in MuseScore 3. It has 7 instruments (two are hidden and one also muted) and it has two parts. it's clean and just the way I want it.

  • Open it in MuseScore 4. It now has 8 parts. It's a mess (which is enough reason for me) but it also gets in the way of the workflow. I will have to open tabs manually and I must be careful to not export the hidden stuff when I am done. There is no option to delete the parts that MuseScore 4 added.

I would prefer parts to not be automatically created but at least let me delete them.

It's not just a problem with importing a score from MuseScore 3. When I make a score in MuseScore 4 there is still no option to delete the parts.

I used MuseScore 4.2.1.

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Not_all_instruments_needs_parts.mscz 24.57 KB

In reply to by Jonathan L. Jansson

"I just try to motivate why this is not wanted behavior."

Excellent resolution. And your arguments are perfectly correct, clear and admissible. But if you want to have a minimum of impact (at least, more than on this forum), you have to post on Gitub, either on an already existing thread (which is linked on this post) or by opening a new one. In the latter case, it may be (?) classified as duplicate, but at least it will be visible and consulted by the MuseScore team, and if your argument is really solid (which I don't doubt), it may move things forward. Maybe! :)

In reply to by Jonathan L. Jansson

This section certainly exists, it's the place for discussions, just as you/we have done on this post, which can help clarify things and refine arguments as each person's comments are received.
But it's "simply" a forum (for users, not developers, even if they can sometimes intervene, but rarely), and not the "official" place (GitHub) where developers study, dialogue, evaluate and prioritize these feature requests.

In reply to by Jonathan L. Jansson

There are 8 parts in MU4 because it is counting the separate choir part that you created. This part can be deleted. I assume that you created it so that you could export it and the piano score quickly. Rather than having to select vocal parts one at a time. So when you go to export, you don't have to select anything else. I get it.

Working with parts is very different between the versions. You are used to the MU3 way. But MU4 is very different. As someone who hasn't touched MU3 for over a year, I had to relearn how to set up parts and found setting parts the way you did to be very awkward. Much like you found working in MU4. In the end, the same thing is possible. But a different way to get there. You don't like the way MU4 does it. I don't like the way MU3 does it.

You talked about deleting parts but not instruments. You can delete parts if they were created from an existing part. Lets say you create an alto 2 part to try some things. That would be created from the alto part. You do the experiments and decide it's bad. That alto 2 part can be deleted.

Yes, the export window works different. Many things work different. Sibelius works a certain way. Then you change to MU4. Lots and lots of things are different. Good, bad? who knows. But different. So much of MU4 is just like MU3. Unlike the differences between Sibelius and MU4.

In reply to by Jonathan L. Jansson

I am trying to understand why MU3 is better in this case. I open your score in MU3. I see four vocal parts and i piano in the score. And there are parts for ebase and choir. And when I hit export the only choices are what is in the score. Or something like that. Not all parts like MU4 shows. I think that MU3 looks the way it does because you took the time to set it up that way. I already said that I get it. That's the way you are used to working.

I compose for playback. Almost never for real players. I only responded because I was trying to understand if there really was a problem. I work only in the score. Because any notation software I have used can have problems syncing parts and score. Just not worth it to me. I work with orchestra. I can't imagine fiddling with parts. But that's me. I responded also because I wanted to see if there was some advantage for me. But no. Sorry for wasting your time.

In reply to by bobjp

I have been trying to use instrument and part to mean different things to be inline with MuseScore terminology. Maybe this is where the confusion is?

I arrange in the score and use parts to control how this is presented on paper. If am not printing it I don't want to have a part for it. I have three use cases:

  1. Exclude backing tracks. These instruments will be hidden but not muted and acts as a placeholder for free accompaniment.
  2. Exclude sketches. They are hidden and muted. It may be experiments that I am not prepared to delete.
  3. Show multiple instruments in one part but never separately. I don't personally don't do this usually but I have seen it. It's also possible that a musician would be instructed to switch between instruments but this is probably not done with the parts feature anyway.

In MuseScore 3 there was a button to add a part for each instrument if you want that but MuseScore 4 there is no way to opt out. MuseScore 3 is therefore objectively better. I can still add extra parts but I wish to aldo get rid of these garbage parts I am not interested in.

When I tried MuseScore 4 my hidden backing tracks were silent. It turns out that I now have to show the instrument but hide the individual staves. It's different but it's fine because I can achieve the same thing.

If create a new alto part (showing same instrument) and decide I like it better I am actually not able to remove the old part. I tried renaming the parts but it doesn't seem to fool the program.

So for your use case you don't need to use parts at all only the score? That means you have a bunch of poorly formatted parts in there.

In reply to by Jonathan L. Jansson

Near as I can see, there is no way to use parts in MU4 the same way that you can in MU3. Consider not using parts at all. Use Instruments instead. For every instrument there is a way to see it but not hear it and hear it but not see it. Want to experiment with a 2nd alto voice? Add it. Like it better than the original? Delete the original. Renaming parts is not hard. Think back to when you first started using parts the way you do. Was it easy to figure out.
Like I said I don't need parts. What makes you think they would be poorly formatted?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

"Well, not really, you add instruments, MuseScore then creates the parts for your for those, one part per instrument."

This is what I mean.

Adding good line breaks is the main thing I like to do in the parts but also many other adjustments. If @bobjp opened his parts they probably wouldn't look amazing. It may not bother him but it's there nonetheless.

In reply to by Jonathan L. Jansson

Mu3 (and 2) didn't do this, but that quite often lead to confusion, users asking how to export parts and the answer was: "create them first".
Now Mu4 creates them for you on the fly. But doesn't do any formatting for you (neither did Mu3 nor 2), but there it was more obvious, because you created them manually, and showed their tabs).
Both ways have their pros and cons...

MuseScore is primarily operating on one instrument one part concept. In a piece I just engraved, I've 29 instruments. It's no way these will fit on one page in the score. Hence I had to combine many instruments, e.g. Flute 1/2 in one stave, the same with Oboe 2/2, Clarinet 1/2, Basson 1/2 and so on which is absolutely normal in orchestral scores.

This is a workaround solution because I've not found a good solution which on one hand can reliable can generate the individual instrument parts and combining instruments to fit them on a score page. For the score, there is a solution to make single instruments invisible if there is a combined "instrument".

This means I've 9 additional "instruments" which also generate 9 additional parts which I've no use for but cannot delete.

So, in summary:
1. The score needs the combined instruments to be able to fit the music within the available page height in a readable size.
2. As part they are useless and could, if possible, just be deleted.

By the way, I'm not particularly interested in playback. It's a nice feature, but before I spend a lot of time to have achieve nice playback, it's easier to bring the printed music to our weekly rehearsals and play it there.

In reply to by TomStrand

I don't even know how big bands which has fewer instruments manage to fit the separate staves and even have the score in horizontal orientation. We play without conductor so I don't spend too much time worrying about it and just keep it vertical with small staves.

Yes, it would be nice to have a way to show them combined on a virtual staff! I find it easier to see harmonies when they are together and it takes less vertical space. Maintaining two versions is a lot of work! I know there is the explode feature but but I need to do manual edits sometimes. We often play with two trumpets so I like to interleave them so that two note harmonies don't turn into unison. Implode is also not putting them back into one voice but there could be an option for it that I missed. If I got these features it could be the sort of thing tames makes me want to upgrade.

I could probably live with MuseScore 4 but why switch when it's not really better. The two bar repeat is not enough. I may not be the target audience for their new direction though.

In reply to by TomStrand

You do know that for large scores larger paper is used.
AFAIK you can combine instruments then delete the instrument you don't want. Just don' create the second one as a part. Or if you know ahead of time, write both parts together at the start.

In reply to by bobjp

I've selected a paper height of 400mm. To remain compatible with the European paper sizes, the paper width is then 400/√2=283mm.

I need this height when I work with the score and all 39 "instruments". If not, a number of staves will be outside the canvas.

For the printed score, I make selected instruments invisible and generate/export the score. My printer will then automatically scale the pdf to fit the selected paper and scaling. In this case I use A3 but scale down a little, otherwise it's to large for the conductor.

I don't understand what you mean by "combine instruments then delete the instrument you don't want. Just don' create the second one as a part". As far as I see it, everything which is an instrument / stave will also automatically generate a part. It's unavoidable. You can, however at export to pdf, decide what you want or not and then deselect the , unnecessary parts.

In reply to by TomStrand

"I make selected instruments invisible and generate/export the score."

I don't like that I have to hide the correct instruments and remember turn off concert pitch before exporting. I arrange in continuous view too. It would nice if arranging was a separate step that didn't even affect the "score part".

There is probably discussions about it already if I took the time to look for them. I should probably involve myself more...

In reply to by Jonathan L. Jansson

I believe that your end goal is doable in MU4. I also believe that the route to that goal so so different that it might not be worth it. Totally understandable. It doesn't sound like you have much reason to change. I dusted off an old computer that has MU3 on it so I could look at some of the things brought up in this thread. Frankly it took several minutes to remember how to get around. Yes MU4 generates parts automatically. That doesn't mean you have to open them.
As I said, I write for playback. The forum is full of complaints about what is missing in MU4. None of them are important to me for my usage. Muse sounds are what I am after. Are they perfect? Far from it. But in general they are much better than anything in MU3. Or any of the VST's I downloaded. I looked at some of my parts. They look fine. Even if they didn't, I'm just not interested. I'm not interested in MU4's better engraving. Or the UI.
I realize that if I really want good playback, I need to buy a DAW and a few thousands dollars of sounds. Yeah, not gonna happen.

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