Instrument names

• Feb 22, 2011 - 16:40

Version 1.0 has introduced a change which is an inconvenience if not an actual bug. Instrument names apparently can no longer be directly edited. In previous versions one could simply click onto an instrument name and edit the font and size, or simply set it as invisible if it was not wanted. This can no longer be done.

You can still change properties by invoking Style/Text Style/Instruments…, but this tricky. You can alter the fonts and sizes, etc., and click “Apply” but this seems to have no effect. The default settings appear to remain. The changes only come into effect after the file has been saved and reloaded.

Actually, for instrumental parts I usually want no instrument name at the beginning of the first staff since I have probably already set it at the top of the page as a regular text entry. So I was simply clicking onto it and setting it to invisible. This worked out well since this is the only way I knew to indent the first staff.

I have discovered another way to achieve this, but it is quite convoluted. Change the text properties of the instrument name using Style/Text Style/… as described above, and set the color of the text to WHITE. Then save and reload. The result is that the text remains but of course does not print since it is now the same color as the paper. And the first staff appears indented. Thankfully, this does seem to stick after reloading.

But that involves a series of non-intuitive steps which I discovered only after much experimenting. Is it possible to re-invoke the ability to click and change the instrument name directly?


See about half a dozen other threads all discussing the same topic. The fact that instrument names can no longer be edited directly was not a popular change, but if you dig around, you'll find the thread where Werner explained why he had to do it.

Meanwhile, Ithough, I'm wondering what you are trying to do that causes this to come up more than very rarely. When you describe putting an instrument name at the top of a piece, it sounds like you are talking about one part of a larger score. That is all handled automatically by the part generating facility - you don't have to add part names to the top manually nor do you need to delete the instrument names manually. Or if you're talking about a score that is just a single instrument, why not just use a template that is already set up that way? Seems to me that generating a new score "from scratch" should be a pretty rare operation in MuseScore.

Anyhow, the best way I know to indent the first system of a score is using a horizontal spacer. No need to mess with invisible or white staff names.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

You say “[…instrument name at the top of a page] is all handled automatically by the part generating facility - you don't have to add part names to the top manually nor do you need to delete the instrument names manually.”

This doesn’t happen with the parts I generate from a score. The only instrument name on the part is the one at the beginning of the staff in the indent (the one I have been discussing). This could perhaps be because I do, in fact, create most of my full scores “from scratch.” Perhaps I should be adding this feature to my scores. Could you suggest how this is done?

Regardless, it took me a few moments to realize that by “horizontal spacer” you were referring to what MuseScore calls a “horizontal frame.” I had never had occasion to use this feature but I tried it and yes, it works perfectly and solves my problem. Many thanks.

In reply to by Bill Watkins

The secret seems to be to use a "Part Title" for each part in the "Parts" dialog. If you do that, then this title gets placed at the top left of each part, in the font specified as InstrumentsExcerpt in your text style setting, and the instrument name that would normally be placed to the left of each staff gets deleted. Actually, it seems it is replaced by spaces, so you do end up with an indented first staff, but if you then save the part and reload it, the spaces disappear, and you first system is therefore no longer indented. So I added my own indents using horizontal frames (sorry I got the terminology wrong; glad you found it).

Nothing wrong with creating *scores* "from scratch", BTW - I just meant you shouldn't normally be creating *parts* that way. A part would either be generated form a full score, or else if you're simply writing music for a single solo instrument and are writing lots of that kind of music, you should set up a template for that so you don't have to keep reinventing the wheel.

The next major release of MuseScore will apparently include a "linked parts" feature that basically totally changes (for the better) how parts and scores relate, so I figure there isn't much point worrying about how things could potentially be improved in 1.0. Unless there are critical bugs in some area of part generation, it seems unlikely they'd bother making other changes, because the *big* changes will be coming soon enough.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Unless I am writing something strictly for a solo instrument, my parts are normally always generated from a full score. I am glad to hear about the upcoming linking of score and parts. I try to create parts only after I have made the absolute final revisions to the score. But invariably something occurs to me later and I have to make sure the changes are made in both the score and parts. If this linking doesn’t introduce too many bugs, it could be very valuable.

I had seen the "Part Title" field but didn’t know what it was used for. I guess the documentation is buried somewhere in the handbook. I will probably start using it. Thanks.

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