• Apr 3, 2015 - 04:10

The templates provided with 2.0 are severely limited in some areas, in particular orchestral and band (the only band template is for a rock band!). But there is a very nice selection of choral templates. I'm inclined to think that this is because some helpful choral arranger contributed them. With that in mind, is there in any interest in improving the template selection in other categories? I'm already working on putting together a really good concert band template, and a string orchestra template should be fairly easy.

I've also noticed a couple of oddities in the current templates, such as "Violin I" and "Violin II" sharing the abbreviated name of "Vln." (no number) in the two orchestral templates, which I'd like to discuss.


Yes, there is interest, and this seems like a great opportunity to contribute!

As I recall, we actually had a whole bunch of other band templates - variations on Salvation Army bands, apparently - that were submitted but apparently not included in the release. There was talk of how to restructure things and provide a more well-rounded set, but I guess it didn't go any where.

Guess who provided the choral templates :)

My intention was to provide more orchestral templates, but unfortunately soundfont issues emerged which needed dealing with before the release of MuseScore 2, and what with having a lot of paid work also there wasn't time to do it.

I think the violin issue was an oversight on my part - please feel free to submit a corrected version.

It occurs to me that it would be very handy to have a repository of templates provided by the MuseScore community.

Would a Google Site be an appropriate place for this?

It would be an easy matter to set one up.

In reply to by lasconic

I don't think it matters how many there are, as long as people can find what they want quickly. For me, the most important enhancement would be for custom templates to appear first in the list. It might be worth displaying headings (choral, orchestral, band etc.) which need to be clicked to access the actual templates.

In reply to by Jon Foote

I like the idea of a Band category with Brass Band, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band and/or Symphonic Band (how much of a difference is there?), and Marching Band. But here's a start on a Concert Band template.

This is designed to work for either letter- or A4-size pages. I decided not to include an alto clarinet or contrabassoon, and to use a trombone 3/bass trombone, but I'm very much open to changes to this—especially in regard to the whole trumpet vs. cornet thing, which I have no idea at all how to handle.

Let me know your thoughts, and feel free to post revisions or different templates.

Attachment Size
Concert_band_template_0.mscz 14.32 KB

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Hi Zack,

I took a quick look at the xml file you linked in my thread for V1.3 of Musescore. (Thanks!) At first, my iMac used MacVIM to open the file! Then I remembered that Musescore will work with a few different file types beyond the mscz file type which I have been using. So I told the computer to use Musescore instead of what it considers to be the default and it opened right up. :-)

I'll look things over more thoroughly later when I have some time. For now, here are my initial observations:

1. The instrument list is rather complete, making this template suitable for nearly any wind ensemble. Any instruments that aren't needed in a specific piece can easily be deleted or you can use that setting that hides lines that are all rests.

2. The page number for the odd numbered pages overlap the bottom-most percussion staff. I've noticed this on my own scores. There might or might not be a parameter setting that can fix this. My simple-minded solution was to grab and drag the page number until it's in the clear.



In reply to by Bill Fox

Hi Bill,

Yes, the extension .xml can be used for many, many different programs, and most XML files aren't even sheet music. ;-) Tough for your computer to guess right.

Anyway, I think the idea is for the template to be as close to standard as possible, so any adding or removing of instruments by the user is minimal. But that still leaves plenty of room for debate— if somebody wants two trombone parts, would we expect them to have to remove one? If somebody wants two tenor sax parts, would we expect them to add one? Is a double bass part standard (currently included)? Is an English horn part standard (currently not included)? And how many trumpet and/or cornet parts should there be?

In the original 2.0 MSCZ and when 2.0 imports the XML, the numbers don't collide. But there is a parameter in 1.3 you can adjust that will redefine the position of all the odd page numbers, and that is their Text Style. Find it under the Style menu. Choose Page Number Odd in the sidebar, and try changing the Offset (in this case, the Y distance), say from -10 millimeters to -9. Then Reload the document (under the File menu) to see the change applied. You might want to also make the same changes to the Page Number Even style to keep things consistent. (Note to anybody else reading this: these instructions are 1.3 specific, and do not apply to 2.0.)

You can also tackle things from the other end—choose Edit General Style… (not Text!) from the Style menu, choose Page in the sidebar, and decrease the Staff distance value. Click OK (or Apply). No reloading is necessary.

I look forward to hearing more from you.



I have just done a very basic marching percussion template for use with the Drumline Soundfont.

I have linked to it here, but I still think we need an established repository.

Would a MuseScore.com group be a good idea?

The weakness I can see of using MuseScore.com's search facility is that it won't find a template which hasn't been labelled as such by the author.

Now I know that to do so may seem de rigeur, but the human race, and musicians in particular are a funny lot, and don't always use logical titles :)


This should probably be the final version of the Concert Band template. Three trumpets, no cornets.

Re: ChurchOrganist's comment about an "established repository": I think all but the most esoteric templates could just be included in the MuseScore application. That includes the Marching Percussion template.

Something else to think about: when the templates are displayed in the new score wizard, shouldn't the solo templates (assuming there should be solo templates) be first, rather than the choral templates?

Attachment Size
Concert_band_template_1.mscz 17.54 KB

In reply to by xavierjazz

I don't know, solo templates seem almost a waste of space to me. If they differ in any way from what you get just selecting the appropriate instrument under "Choose Instruments", something seems wrong with our overall default layout and style settings. It's really the ensembles that justify the whole idea of tempmates for me, because that's where templates really save you some work. On the other hand, there ia a certain *logic* in the templates progessing from smaller to larger.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

See https://musescore.org/en/node/53891#comment-263251:

Now, it seems to me that the 'General' group is already a sort of solo group, and the 'Solo' group as it stands looks more like a 'Guitar Solo' group.

In fact, I think the Grand Staff (piano) template in the 'Solo' group should be moved to the 'General' group.
After all, creating a new score - from the 'General' group - and having among the choices Treble Clef, Bass Clef, and Grand Staff (piano) would cover an awful lot of cases - maybe even the majority - most especially for beginners.
Doing so would then allow the 'Solo' group to be renamed (more appropriately) to 'Tablature'. This way, the 'Tablature' group could include popular variants like Bass Guitar, 5 String Banjo, etc.

In the template collection I attached at https://musescore.org/en/node/53891#comment-299101, the "Solo" section was made into "Solo Guitar" and the grand staff was added to "General" (at the top). Does that seem a sensible solution to you guys?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Perhaps I have misunderstood. I was referring to the tplates that come up when you try to start a new score. I was reacting to the fact that the treble and bass only clef tplates were at the bottom. However I checked now and I see they have been moved to the top, the general area so I'm happy with that. I would like to see a grand staff there.


Okay, I see Zack's ahead of me.

In reply to by xavierjazz

I assumed we were talking about the special "piano" and "guitar" templates. I do like the idea of having the piano grand staff and the tablature template in that general section along with the single treble & bass general section. I don't know, there are lots of ways these could be arranged, and depending on what any given person tends to do a lot, different things might seem sensible as defaults.

I have a question or two about the Classical Orchestra template. Are the staves in the score named in plural (e.g., "Clarinets in Bb") because they are meant to represent more than one part (e.g., "Clarinet in Bb 1," "Clarinet in Bb 2")? Or is it a stylistic choice? If the first is true, then from a part extraction perspective I think that template should be replaced, because MuseScore can't export separate parts from multiple voices on a single staff in the score. (By the way, if no one else already has, I'm going to file a feature request for that.)

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Ability to link parts to voices has been discussed in the past, although realistically, it's not going to be easy to support, and I suspect the manual workarounds (explode into separate invisible staves and link your parts from them) will be the way to go for the foreseeable future. I don't see an actual formal feature request for this, so feel free to file one.

I agree it doens't make sense for us to provide templates that combine parts on one staff.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Wait—"explode into separate invisible staves"? I thought that wasn't possible, either (only exploding chords, not separating voices), and I actually was going to include basically that in my feature request. Or do you mean playing the game with the selection filter and copy/pasting?

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

It's because the Classical orchestra has two of each woodwind instrumen, and likewise 2 horns and 2 trumpets.

At this period they tend to play in unison a lot anyway and both instruments share the same part. On the occasions they diverge both share the same part.

It is not usual at this period to provide separate parts for say Oboe 1 and 2 or Clarinet 1 and 2, the Horns may have 2 different parts but only if they are in different keys.

This is certainly the setup we used to play from when I played in the school orchestra (far too long ago).

It's not until the Late Romatic period that you start to get the assignation of the instruments to different parts in the score. but there were more of them anyway in the Romantic orchestra.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Yes, I understand that scores published back in the day would usually combine the parts, and it's reasonably common now too. But given that people using MuseScore will probably want to generate parts, I think it is more important we provide a template that will work well than one that exactly mimics historical models.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Zack that is NOT a classical orchestra template.

A classical orchestra template is laid out in the manner I used in the supplied template.

A student presenting that in a composition class would be told to go away and do it again.

We MUST present academically accurate resources if we are to be taken seriously by "classical" academia.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

What specific differences are you referring to? If it's about the combining of wind parts, then I disagree with your assumption. i teach at multiple universities and the composition faculty all use all use FInale or Sibelius which behave in the same manner as proposed. While in the past it was traditional to combine wind parts, the reality is that composers - in academia and elsehwere - rely on notation software these day, and most notation programs have this same limitation. So while I would agree we should present templates that will be accepted in academia, that is one very important I think we *should* present separate wind parts - because that is what most people will expect, in academia and out. Generating parts is *important*, and people in academia are as aware of this as anyone. Templates need to work with parts.

Now, more to the point, I'd take issue with the template as proposed because it includes no low brass, but that's an issue with the current template as well. Most universities have an orchestra with a reasomably "modern" set of instrumentation that will include trombones and tubas as well as additional percussion. And academic composition is generally taught on the assumption one is writing for such an orchestra, not the type of orchestra that might have been more common several hundred years ago.

That said, I have nothing against continuing to provide the "classic" template we already do, with the parts combined, with no low brass and no percussion. But I feel we should provide a *modern* orchestra template as well, with those differences (harp and perhaps piano as well). And that this tempalte is the one most will prefer - again, both inside and outside academia.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Mark this was never supposed to be a modern orchestral template.

It is a Classical Orchestra template as defined here at Wikipedia
and requested by Lasconic here:

Nobody ever presented the other requested orchestral templates though.

There was no low brass in orchestras until the late 19th century. The early romantic period added trombones but before that composers were only using Trumpets and Horns.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

The same Wikipedia artlicle I quoted earlier has a pretty comprehensive modern orchestra listing.

As regards percussion I would err on the side of completeness rather than brevity as it is easier to remove parts than to add them.

We may also require a Film orchestra template which could require sections for guitars and Latin percussion amongst other exotic instruments such as the vast array of synthesisers, thundersheets and triggered sampled sounds.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

I'm not sure how to read that list. When it says "2–4 Flutes)," does that mean 2-4 flute parts, or 2-4 flutes that would be playing two parts? And when it says "(1 doubling Piccolo)," does that mean that one of the flute parts should be the same as a piccolo part, or that there should be no piccolo part but one of the flute players should play one of the flute parts on a piccolo?

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

I can't tell you what they mean, but I can tell you there is a lot of variety in what constitutes a modern orchestra, so it's hard to make absolute statements. My sense is that 2 flutes is most appropriate; if there is a piccolo part, it might well be played by one of the flautists. But no doubt, it is not uncommon to have two flutes *plus* piccolo. I'd probably go with just the flutes for the templates, but if someone with experience felt strongly otherwise, I wouldn't argue.

Similarly, just two oboes, clarinets, and bassoons - if there is an A or Eb or alto clarinet, English horn, or contrabassoon part, it would in many cases be *instead of* one of the regular parts. Some pieces might of course call for these in addition to the standard two oboes, clarinets, and bassoons, so a professional orchestra would probably have players of these instruments on their roster even if they are not used on every concert. I think bass clarinet is perhaps more commonly called for than the alto clarinet, English horn, or contrabassoon, and perhaps deserves its own staff in the template more than the others.

There is less of this sort of "doubling" in the brass section. 4 horns (normally 1 & 3 on one staff, 2 & 4 on another), 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 tuba seem pretty safe calls.

For percussion, I'd go with 1 timpani staff and 1 or 2 additional percussion staves. I would include harp, but probably not piano.

Strings the standard Violins 1, Violins 2, Violas, Violoncellos, Contrabasses.

I would love to hear input from others who actually in or conduct such ensembles. My experience is more in writing for them and in studying orchestration as part of my composition degree, plus of course attending performances.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The template is ready to upload, except for one thing. Did I understand you to say that the four horn parts should share two staves, 1 and 3 on the first and 2 and 4 on the second? Not 1 and 2 on the first, 3 and 4 on the second? Or could it possibly be four horn parts on four staves, for effective part extraction?

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

You had it right the first time. Two staves for horn, and indeed, usually there is only one actual part per staff, but it's played by two people (it might occasionally split, but maybe no more often than violins 1 does). The top staff is labeled Horns 1 & 3, bottom Horns 2 & 4 (or with Roman numerals all around). i guess the idea is, if you have only two horns, they are horns 1 & 2 and they play the two parts, but if you have four, they double up as listed. But although this is the way I learned it in school, and the way some scores I see do it, others do in fact have Horns 1 & 2 on one staff, Horns 3 & 4 on the other, and others just say "Horns in F" in between the two staves and I guess the players fight it out amongst themselves :-)

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

I think it's good - only suggestion I have is that two five-line percussions staves is overkill. Percussion staves are normally 1-line (which is why there there is no five-line percussion instrument in the list, to answer your question from elsewhere). Two five line percussions staves seems sufficient for most works; some would use only one. I'm sure *someone* must use a five-line percussion staff, but it isn't standard,

Also, there is a question about page size - Letter (whcih is automatically converted to A4 in countries that don't use Letter) requires a crazy small staff size. But given that most people don't have access to larger format printer, and there is no specific larger print size that would be appropriate worldwide, I guess I don't have a better suggestion.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I'm not sure I understand about the percussion. The two sentences "Two five line percussions staves seems sufficient for most works; some would use only one. I'm sure *someone* must use a five-line percussion staff, but it isn't standard" seem contradictory to me.

As for page size, I don't have any better ideas, either. Better a small staff size than creating a template that requires A1-size paper, like Bill Fox did. ;-)

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Sorry, typo. As I said in the previosu sentence is what I meant: percussion staves are normally *1* line. So, I actually meant, Two *one* line percussion staves seem sufficient: (and even so, many will need only one, so I might actually recommend just one. Wouldn't mind hearing from some orchestral percussions on this.

I propose that the "Band" category in the Create New Score wizard should be used for the Concert Band template, and various other brass and wind ensembles to be added in the future; while the template for "Rock Band" currently placed under that category should be moved to a new "Rock and Pop" (or similarly-named) category. Also, whoever files the pull request, could you also move the "Solo" section to be above the "Choral" section?

In reply to by lasconic

I would never have guessed that choral arrangers are one of the biggest groups of users, but I'll take your word for it. It doesn't necessarily follow, though, that the order of the templates should be based on that. Perhaps choral templates should be put before other types of ensembles, but before solos...? I think it's just bad form.

In reply to by lasconic

Choral vs. Solo

Currently, in the Create New Score wizard, I see 6 template groupings:
1. General
2. Choral
3. Solo
4. Jazz
5. Orchestral
6. Band

It should be obvious that the real time saver templates - as opposed to creating from scratch - are those containing multiple instruments. They are:
All the SATB variants - in the Choral group.
Big Band, Jazz Combo - in the Jazz group
Classical Orchestra, String Quartet - in the Orchestral group.
Rock Band - in the Band group.

Now, it seems to me that the 'General' group is already a sort of solo group, and the 'Solo' group as it stands looks more like a 'Guitar Solo' group.

In fact, I think the Grand Staff (piano) template in the 'Solo' group should be moved to the 'General' group.
After all, creating a new score - from the 'General' group - and having among the choices Treble Clef, Bass Clef, and Grand Staff (piano) would cover an awful lot of cases - maybe even the majority - most especially for beginners.
Doing so would then allow the 'Solo' group to be renamed (more appropriately) to 'Tablature'. This way, the 'Tablature' group could include popular variants like Bass Guitar, 5 String Banjo, etc.
(After all, the new tablature feature has now opened MuseScore to those who do not read standard music notation and who may exclusively use tablature.)

Having voiced my opinion, I realize that with the ability to create and save one's own templates, it becomes a matter of how much is enough, as certainly not every possibility can be accomodated in the Create New Score wizard.


In reply to by lasconic

Can I just repeat that it is Custom templates which are clearly in the wrong position in the list. If I go to the trouble (not much trouble!) of creating a Custom template, it's likely that I will want to use it repeatedly, probably much more often than most of the existing templates. So having to scroll down to the bottom of the list is a repeated annoyance. Custom templates should follow General at the top of the list.

In reply to by Jon Foote

"So having to scroll down to the bottom of the list is a repeated annoyance. Custom templates should follow General at the top of the list."

Absolutely. Totally agree with this. Since, by definition, custom templates will be the ones you use all the time, or at least very often. For my part, I will never use the choral or orchestral templates eg.

So, in the meantime, I practice a workaround: I add my custom templates in Programes Files (X86) -> MuseScore2 -> Templates -> General. And it works very well. Obviously, I do not know if this is "correct" or recommended, because you must override the usual message: ("You must have administrator rights to move items in this folder ...")
Right now, I have never noticed a negative effect on anything (can there be or not?)

In reply to by Jon Foote

I agree, custom termplates should be more visible. For a while they showed up at the very top of the list - before General. But that to me was worse, as it meant you potentially didn't see the basic "Choose Instruments" option without scrolling. After General makes the most sense to me, but I think maybe the way we are dividing these up might make that hard to implement - not sure.

Another possibility that might hekp if it is not convenient to move the custom templates after General but before the others - make the groupings collapsible (and remember this state). Then I could collapse the groupings I seldom use, and my custom templates would be closer to the top of the list.

In reply to by Jon Foote

@ Jon Foote
I'm running Windows 7 and, following cadiz 1's idea, I was able to re-order and re-name the templates folders and files. You might be able to do the same (Ubuntu).

Therefore, I can access my Custom templates without scrolling, and my Grand Staff template is grouped alongside the Treble and Bass clef templates within the General templates folder.



Attachment Size
Create New Score Templates.png 86.7 KB

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Running ubuntu, I had already added custom templates to my General tab so I can confirm that it is possible. You just need to give them a unique number within each subdirectory plus a suitable name.

My templates are in /usr/local/share/mscore-2.0/templates. If yours are not here, see Edit->Preferences->General->Folders->Templates. Remember you'll likely need to sudo or sudo nautilus or whatever to allow changes to this system folder. Usual caveat of recommending that you back up the existing directories and templates first.

Leaving aside the modern orchestra template for the moment, with its seemingly insurmountable percussion question, these two templates are ready for inclusion in 2.0.1.



What do you think of adding a section for chamber groups for the future? The section could include String Quartet, Brass Quartet, Woodwind Quartet, Saxophone Quartet, Clarinet Quartet—and we haven't even touched on groups that aren't quartets. ;-)

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Regarding modern orchestra, at this point, I'd suggest flipping a coin to decide one and two staves. Won't really matter - either way, half the world will want to customize it. Which they are likely enough to want to do for other reasons anyhow - someone will want an Engish horn, someone else will decide they want to use C rather Bb trumpets, etc. At least it's a good starting point.

And yes, chamber groups should be there. We do have String Quartet already, under Orchestral. Not sure the other quartets you list really make that much sense, aside from saxophone. For brass and mixed woodwinds, quintets are more common in my experience, for clarinets, trios. There are of course pieces written for all sorts of combinations, but to avoid the list becoming unmanageably large, we should focus on a half dozen or so of the most common.

See discussion here: https://musescore.org/en/node/40406

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Tough question. I would call it "percussion" as far as the staff & part name goes, but as for which actually instrument to use by default

The problem is that orchestral percussion is often treated "sort of" like a drum set - with the same staff used to represent different sounds - but not necessarily in the way MuseScore normally would do this in a drum (each staff line representing a single pitch). Instead, the same line might represent different pithces *at different times*, with instrument change text telling the player and MuseScore when to make the switch. Either that or use of "hide empty staves" to show just the relevant staves.

Since just about anything is better than nothing, I'll suggest this: one single-line percussion staff, labeled "percussion" but actually set to the "snare drum" instrument (for lack of any better idea). Then through use of the instrument change text, you can change to other instruments mid-score. This is a not uncommon way of representing percussion parts - and actually, there would be a "S.D." (for snare drum) marking even before the very first note, since the part is labelled just "Percussion" and the players reading it wouldn't know what to play without more specific instruction.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Since there is no discussion on the String Orchestra template, I added it for both master and 2.0 branch. Also added a couple of Chamber Music templates and a new category for them.
Also note that files in the template directory will now be displayed just after the General section.

I am pleased to say that I have put in some significant work on the templates, and now I'm going to drop everything in one bundle (to be precise, it's an archive, not a bundle).

The attached ZIP archive contains a ready-to-go templates folder. I would recommend replacing the templates folder from a nightly build with it, and then examining it through the lens of the Create New Score wizard:
The attached TXT file is basically a changelog from the current templates folder to this version. Sub-folders were renumbered—previously some shared the same numbers—and in some cases renamed. Many templates remain unchanged. Many were changed in various small ways—adding the numbers to the short names of "Vln. 1" and "Vln. 2", for instance, or changing "Gtr." to MuseScore's preferred "Guit.", or connecting the barlines in the String Quartet template. Three entirely new templates were added in with the rest: Barbershop Quartet, Concert Orchestra, and Concert Band. There were some rearrangements of the files—notably, as someone else suggested, Piano was removed from the Solo section, Grand Staff was added to the General section, and the Solo section was renamed to Solo Guitar. (Again, viewing this through the Create New Score wizard is a good idea.) In order to make way for the Concert Band template (and perhaps brass band and marching band templates in the future) in the Band section, Rock Band was moved to a new Popular section.

So, check it out. In my opinion, this is fully ready to be merged into MuseScore without any further changes.

Attachment Size
Templates changelog.txt 1.29 KB
templates.zip 508.32 KB

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Thanks for getitng on this.

However, I do not think I agree with the change you made to the jazz termplates. I'll check against some scores this evening, but my sense is that Gtr. is more common than Guit., and Tbn over Trb is, too well although probably not by as much. Like I said, I'll check against some published scores and confirm. But it should definitely be Piano and not Keyboard, in the combo template.

The one change I *had* been meaning to make for both combo and big band is to change the guitar sound to "Jazz Guitar" in the Mixer, though.

FWIW, there had also been talk of putting real music into some of the templates so the thumbnails would be more interesting to look at. This could happen later though, if it is to happen at all.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

As to the guitar abbreviation, I was only aiming to bring it in line with the rest of MuseScore—if there's a problem, then it should be corrected in instruments.xml. As to Trb. vs. Tbn.: https://musescore.org/en/node/56616 As to Piano vs. Keyboard, well, that was my gut feeling and the way that Sibelius does it, but I guess I probably should not have changed it based only on that.

Still, the rest of the changes were valid and/or necessary, I hope. Were there any other issues?

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

I am not at home and haven't been able to check in detail. But regarding abbreviations - sometimes different genres might have different conventions. That it definitely the case for saxophones, where the abbreviations that might make sense in a classical context (!) don't for jazz.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I did check a bunch of scores this evening, and indeed, Gtr. is more common than Guit., and Tbn. more common than Trb. for jazz charts, although to be sure both were common. Actually, just about as common was to not abbreviate anything - to continue to label the staves "Guitar" and "Trombone" on all pages.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Differ from it in the template where it makes sense Jazz templates may have different conventions that orchestra templates. Change in instruments.xml if the change is generally agreed on and across the board.

Instruments.xml sets the defaults for all new scores created from scratch, templates only affect their genre

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

That's my overall take as well. FWIW, Gould has Tbn. as the first listed choice, Trb. second, so that change could be made in instruments.xml. I don't see that she ever lists an abbreviation for guitar, although it could be buried somewhere other than the page I'm looking on, which is for orchestral scores.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, do you have a final opinion as to "Guit." vs. "Gtr."? I have seen "Trb." used reasonably commonly outside of MuseScore along with "Tbn." (I can't say the same for "Vlc." along with "Vc."… but that's another thread.) If this is a matter of standard usage, it should be changed in instruments.xml. If it really is a classical vs. jazz thing, then I'd like to get that confirmed so I can render the (hopefully) final versions of the jazz ensembles templates.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

For jazz, I definitiely think Gtr. and Tbn. are more common, as I said before and verified by checking with published scores from a number of different publishers. I have no opinion outside the jazz world, other than to reiterate what I said before about what I see in Gould.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Actually, what you said was "I did check a bunch of scores this evening, and indeed, Gtr. is more common than Guit., and Tbn. more common than Trb. for jazz charts, although to be sure both were common." If both are common, that suggests that either is fine (and I would prefer no unnecessary inconsistencies). But if you say to go with Gtr. and Tbn for the jazz templates, we'll go with Gtr. and Tbn.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Well, since no one one else is weighing in, I'll give an opinion anyhow:

Tbn is more common than Trb in jazz, and Tbn is also what Gould lists as first choice. The limited number of classical scores I have on hand suggests it's a tossup, but I say, go with Gould: make that change in instruments.xml

Guitar is probably more commonly used within a mixed ensemble in jazz than in classical, so the jazz examples probably outnumber the classical examples. Gtr is "somewhat" more common than Guit in jazz. Until someone complains one way or the other, I say: make no change. Leave it Guit in instruments.xml, and Gtr in the jazz templates.

In reply to by timedwards

That's definitely on my list to be added to the Band section, along with a Marching Band template, but it's a little less of a priority than actually creating a real Band section (with a Concert Band template) in the first place. It's likely that the Brass Band template in MuseScore 1.x was far from ideal, and it needs to be worked out with some care. Would you like to contribute an idealized template for that?

In reply to by Henk De Groot

Beautiful, Henk! Thank you! My only question is about the instruments' ranges. I don't know anything about brass band music, and I'm not used to (for example) trombones in Bb—but these are clearly custom instruments, and I'm just wondering if you made sure the ranges were defined correctly in Staff Properties. (By the way, also in Staff Properties, the part names should match the long instrument names.)

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Can explain in great detail but basically except for the Bass Trombone all parts are transposing so that a "G" third line is written the same but sounds at the octave appropriate to the instruments range and pitch so that a cornet player could play a baritone without having to learn how to read again because the fingering on the three valves is identical. Hope this helps

In reply to by steve2310

Okay, that makes a kind of sense. Thanks. My question was about how the template defines the instruments' ranges, though—all real-life instruments have upper and lower limits to the notes that they can play, and MuseScore is supposed to alert you if you write a note outside of an instrument's range by coloring it red. Since these unusual transpositions are not in MuseScore's default list of instruments, their ranges might not be correctly defined. In fact, for many of the instruments they're definitely not correctly defined, since they appear to span nine octaves!

If you secondary-click on an instrument name in the score and select "Staff Properties…", you'll see the controls at the bottom of the dialog to define the instrument's range. Do you think you could check those against what you know of these instruments and correct them if necessary?

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Hi, here is the updated template that includes ranges.
I kept some of the ranges low. For example, normally it is expected a Solo Cornet has a range up to higher notes as oppossed to the 2nd Cornet. However for starter/youth bands they will not be able to have the same range.
If you have any comments, please let me know.

Attachment Size
Full Brass Band.mscz 13.54 KB

In reply to by Henk De Groot

Wonderful—thank you for putting in the work on this! As I've said before, I'm not a brass band expert myself, and it took me a while to see how the customized instruments line up with existing instruments in MuseScore (and I'm still not 100% sure I understand all of them). I see you have defined the amateur ranges very differently—much more restrictive at both the upper and lower ends. (I tested this visually by putting notes on the staff at the limits of the amateur and professional ranges, then using Staff Properties to change the instrument to its equivalent—e.g., "Repiano" to "Bb Cornet.") What I'm wondering now is whether your ranges for the brass band template are more accurate than the existing definitions for equivalent instruments. If so, then they should probably be updated in instruments.xml.

However, I have at least two very basic questions:

1) What kind of instrument are the three horns (Solo, 1st, and 2nd)? I see that they use the English Horn sound for playback, but that's a woodwind instrument and not brass, correct?

2) You said "normally it is expected a Solo Cornet has a range up to higher notes as oppossed to the 2nd Cornet." Are they actually two different kinds of instruments, or is it just that usually the Solo Cornet part is higher?

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

I am not sure if there is a sound that fits the horns better, I have just picked "Horn" from the instrument list. I now checked the full list and see there is also an Alt Horn which might be more fit for this.

The Solo Cornet, Repiano, 2nd and 3rd Cornet all are using the same instrument, the Solo just gets more challanging parts and usually the solo cornet part is written to be played by 4 players.

In theory most of the brassband parts use the written range of the F# below the stave (treble) up to the C two ledger lines above the stave (treble). When I entered the ranges, I used this site as a source: http://www.bandsman.co.uk/writing.htm
And applied the advise when starting to write for to the amateur range. This may technically not be correct but I have applied this to two scores I have entered in MuseScore and it only a few notes (mainly in the Solo Cornet part) seem to go beyond the amateur range.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The horns are not mellophones, at least not the mellophones as I know them.
But as far as sound is concerned they may have similarities. Hence I just selected Horn from the instrument list, not knowing if this was tied to an English horn, a French horn or any other horn type.

In reply to by Henk De Groot

There is no instrument called simply "Horn" in the instrument list, so I am confused as to how you got that. Perhaps you have a custom instruments.xml? That would be bad from the perspective of constructing a template for others to use - you should stick to the standard instruments.xml in 2.0.2.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella


Here is the list I see in MuseScore when adding an instrument, I did change my interface to english otherwise you would see similar text in dutch.

There are many instruments just named Horn some in D, F, E-flat, etc. but still named horn.
As the horns in the brassband are E-flat, I believe that is the one I used when creating the template.

Guess you mean the sounds list, which does not contain a simply "Horn" instrument:)

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

With MuseScore 2.0.3 in development, can we get a finalized brass band template? As to the ranges, I'd rather stick with MuseScore's default recommendations (or change those defaults if they need correction—either way, the template should be consistent). And whatever specific instrument the "Horn" is, it's surely a brass instrument, not a reed, and it should sound appropriately.

In reply to by Henk De Groot

Thanks! There's still some differences in the ranges that have me wondering, though. For example, your template gives the trombones ranges of C#3–C6 (amateur) and C#3–E6 (professional), but MuseScore assigns ranges of B1–Bb4 and B1–D5 based on the instruments.xml file (https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore/blob/master/share/instruments/in…). Either you're right, or MuseScore is, but one or the other should change to agree with the other.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Hi, I believe this difference is explained by the fact the Brass Band trombone is using a Treble Clef (which makes the pitch 1 octave higher) and it is transposing a major second.
Perhaps in my version the instrument should be using a +1 octave down? Which would then mean the range would go down by 1 octave as well. What do you think?

In reply to by Henk De Groot

As far as I know, usable pitch ranges are meant to be expressed in terms of concert pitch, and hence they should not different between treble clef (-Maj9 transposition) and bass clef (no transposition) versions of the same instrument. This is true of the exist trombone instruments, for instance - both regualr and treble clef versions that the same pitch ranges.

In reply to by Henk De Groot

Thank you. There are many other differences, though, in the majority of the instruments.

Starting at the top, if the Soprano Cornet is the same instrument as the Soprano Cornett (BTW, I'd like to know why the different spelling), why is the range A3-C6/A3-Eb6 instead of C4-B5/C4-D6?

Probably the simplest way to set each instrument's range to match MuseScore's existing definitions is to open each instrument's Staff Properties and use the "Change Instrument…" button on the right to find the equivalent instrument. However, I don't know if it might be better to change MuseScore's defaults in instruments.xml to match your knowledge.

I also notice that the Baritones seem to actually be Trombones in disguise, even though MuseScore has a built in "Baritone Horn (Treble Clef)" that would be more appropriate.

A Soprano Cornett is really a different instrument, hence why I did not use it. The brass Soprona Cornet is similar to a regular Cornet just pitched in e-flat, and so it sounds higher.
The Baritone, I did not use the standard Baritone-horn as it is linked to the French horn sound and I did some research and the sounds (and its range) is more compared to the trombone.
If GM only would support the full brass instruments....life would be so much easier.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

I don't know that I'd say the sound of a baritone horn is more like a trombone than a French horn. it's actually technically more like a small tuba from what I understand, but samples of a tuba sample that high wouldn't be right either. It's more one of those no-win situations except to add a proper baritone horn patch, and live with the fact that it isn't GM-sanctioned.

I was wondering if there was a way to make our own templates, so that we don't have to go back and choose those instruments.

I.E., You have a rock band, but I'd also like to see "Bluegrass," "Country," "Electronica," etc.

Is there anyway you could develop some of these?

Also, is there work being done on making the whining sound of the "Pedal Steel Guitar.

In reply to by Devyn Horne

You can absolutely create your own templates, and if you put them in the right folder they'll show up in the New Score Wizard. See https://musescore.org/en/handbook/create-new-score#templates. You're also welcome to share your templates on MuseScore.com, or attach them to a comment here, and we might include them in the next version of MuseScore.

There are a bunch of different guitar sounds available via the Mixer (under the View menu), and you may also find adding bends to the notes helps get the sound you want (https://musescore.org/en/handbook/bends).

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

I think it would have to be. But are you aware of if they are working on creating a sound specifically for it, or is it just one of those things that they're always fixing?

Also, the tremolo. It's been stuck in the last two updates; (Example) I'll try to play it, and the sound sticks for around five seconds, and becomes heavily distorted, even after play is stopped.

Also, where do I save the templates?

In reply to by Devyn Horne

This is fine. I'm looking at them and thinking about them.

The first goal for any template is to be as close as possible to the most common instrumentation. So, for example, regarding the bluegrass band, I see that you didn't include a guitar, and you did include a tambourine. Is that based on a specific bluegrass band you have experience with, or is it something that you think is broadly standard?

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Acoustic guitar isn't too common in bluegrass, as far I have seen. I haven't seen many, but that does not mean there are not groups with them. Should I make a separate template with it, or just add it to the current one?

Ex, most bluegrass groups I see have: Tamboruine, Banjo, Mandolin(Sometimes Ukulele), Bull Bass(Acoustic), and a fiddle. This is just coming from hometown and some concert experiences.

In reply to by Kang-n-Yi

You can create your own templates easily - just start with the default concert band, remove whatever you don't want (Edit / Instruments) and make any other changes you like, then save to your Templates folder. Next time you start MuseScore, your modified template will be available.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Had you received my reply regarding the "Bluegrass" template? Simply letting you know that if there's any group of bluegrass bands with an acoustic guitar, then by all means feel free to add it. I am just going on what I've seen, and I know there's probably more out there. I've even seen some with harmonicas, buts pretty rare.

In reply to by Devyn_Horne

Sorry for the delay in getting back to this. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluegrass_music#Instrumentation does mention guitar (acoustic and resonator). On the other hand, the word "tambourine" is mentioned nowhere in the article, but I believe you that it should be there. The only other doubt I have is about having both standard and tab staves for all the string instruments—I think it should be one or the other, probably standard. What do you think?

Also, just a note that this would go under the "Popular" section along with the rock group.

In reply to by Kang-n-Yi

A few things:

- Bassoon should be below oboe.

- When there's more than one of the same instrument, they need to be numbered. For example, append " 1" to the part name and long and short instrument names in the first Bb Clarinet's Staff Properties, and so on. (I'm hoping a future version of MuseScore will be smart enough to add those numbers automatically, but that hasn't happened yet.)

- Absence of saxophones...?

- Slightly different percussion selection, which we can figure out later.

Great start, Kang!

In reply to by Kang-n-Yi

Good. A little more about the instrument names: for consistency with the other templates, I'd make it "____ 1" instead of "1st _____". And, the "Part name" field above should match the "Long instrument name."

About percussion: the full band template has four percussion parts, yours has six. That doesn't seem quite right. ;-) Part of the reason may be that the general "Percussion" staff like you see in the full band template was custom-made, and hasn't been added to the available instruments for creating a score from scratch. I can add that. I propose that the percussion section just be the same in both templates. What do you think?

In reply to by Kang-n-Yi

Interesting experiment with the layout of the instrument names. Gotta nix it, though; that kind of graphical thing goes bad very quickly as soon as staff distance is changed, or one the staves is hidden.

Also, it looks like you somehow still didn't find the "Part name" field? Look just below the middle of the dialog.

Actually, don't bother. I know what the intent is, and I can take it from here. Thanks for contributing!

A question about score and instrumentation templates. For me, the existing ones are useless.
I have an unusual band, and 99% of my musescore use is writing for this band. Every time, every single time I write for this group I have to go and pick out all the instruments from the menus.

Am I missing something? Can I create a template for my band? If not, why not? It doesn't seem like a difficult feature to enact. If it does exist, please fill me in. It wouldn't be the first time I failed to notice something obvious.


Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.