Features to change scores when composing

• Feb 15, 2016 - 16:29

I start use MuseScore 2.0.2 not to just type notes but to compose music, so some observations and suggestions after very first experience. I hope that helps to improve the soft.

1. In case of two or more instruments on the score the piano keyboard play only the first (solo) instrument and does not play the piano part even if a note in piano stave is selected. To play correctly I should select an area there. A little bit annoying...

2. Pitch of a3 and especially of a2 when playing back is a little bit lower that it should be. Another notes match well. I didn't try on another computer, may be it will be ok, but it's irritating to hear.

3. Sometimes it’s useful to play a chord in a stave (or some of voices in any staves). The logical way to select notes to play together is to use Shift or Ctrl keys. Please think about!

4. The player works incorrectly: it don’t play the note if starting after its position in a bar (however such note should be played due to its duration).

5. Player don’t play nuances (fermatas, accents etc.). To play fermata I use the gray tempo marks but it`s unconvenient thing!

6. The function to bind two notes (+) work only from previous note to the next one. It should work in two ways, as well from the note I’ve just introduced to the previous one (now I should return to the prev. note to bind the both, always one step more). Otherwise now it try to bind similar notes across a row of another notes, that have no sense (should be disabled in a voice). Logical way is to allow binding in the two directions but only the neighbor ones in the same voice (may be with Ctrl or Shift pressed).

7. When I try to degroup triplets deleting the staple all the notes inside disappear. How is possible to degroup them safely? Also it’s impossible to past notes in a triplet! Why if they match well (one triplet for an another)? So I needed to replace some groupes of arpeggios, and had to correct each note manually!

8. Some times I need an auxil. stave to copy, swap or edit some bars before past them back. Now I manage to do this job in a free staves but when the score is completed it become uneasy. It can be a little auxil. frame with blanc staves corresponding to the set of instruments of the main score, Ctrl+W, for ex. (window).

9. Sometimes (very often indeed) I need to shift a couple of notes left or right, across bar lines. I couldn’t do it. Only to copy and past slice by slice. Please think how to drag (shift left or right) notes and areas!

10. When I delete a note it is replaced by a pause, that's good. But if I try to delete a pause nothing happens. I hoped that the right note will shift left, replacing the pause, only in the bar I am working of course, but no way! Very smart solution will be to allow the shift in a bar (not more than in one) if
only Del is pressed (click on pause sign), and to elongate the left note if Ctrl+Del are pressed, and shift all the notes from right bars if Shift+Del are pressed.

11. Think also to select working area and to block (ready) area to prevent any unwanted changes! Sometimes I changes text accidentaly.

12. The plyback panels, that I need constantly to play back and to change the bpm to hear some chards is disproportionnaly big and closes an important area on the screen. I cannot be minimized due to the strange design: some buttons and characters are relatively small and follow the style of another windows, and some are disproportionnaly big and arranged to take a max of space.

There are also some minor remarks, that I could note if you are interested in my experience.


Thanks for your comments. It would be better, however, to start separate threads for these, and incldue sample scores and precise steps to reproduce the problems oyu are trying to describe, as most of them are pretty unclear.

overall, it sounds like you are trying to push the playback facilities of MuseScore further than they were designed for. Keep in mind the primary urpsoe of MsueScore is notation, not playback.

Meanwhile, I'll try to address some of your points as well as I can:

2) I guess you are saying the pitch of some particvular note is flat when played with some particular isntrument using some particular soundfont? Can you be more specific about which instrument and which soundfont (if you haven't changed soundfonts, just say "the default")?

4) It is true that the player doens't play notes that started before the start point. Sometimes you might want that, other times you might not. If you want playback to begin earlier, simply start earlier.

5) Actually, accents *do* play back, so do many other articulations. Fermatas play back if you set the desired time stretch amount using the Inspector.

6) I can't tell, but are you perhaps confusing ties with slurs? Ties are meant to be adjacent notes, although we do support ties betwene non-adjacent notes for special purposes. Creating ties is indeed designed to work by selecting the first note and this adds a tie forward. I don't understand what benefit you think there would be in adding a new command to tie backwards.

7) Tuplets are harder to deal with internally than you might imagine, which is why certain operations are disabled.

9) Given that you'd still have to select which notes you want to move, and still specify how far you want to move them, it's going to be virtually the exact same number of clicks to move notes using any other method than cut & paste.

10) see above. Deleting a rest makes no musical sense. What you really are trying to do is move a certain number (only you know how many) of subsequent notes earlier. So, cut and paste allows you to do this directly, without MuseScore needing to guess whether you want the notes and how many you want moved if so.

I start using Musescore as I hoped that I could bypass paper sheets step when composing, and it's why I am looking for features that some people may judge as "having no sense". )

I consider the Musescore concept as a scores editing tool, not only as a retyping tool, if I am on the wrong way, you are welcome to bypass my suggestions and let me know my mistake. If not, pay attention to realize the concept of TOOL, that should be easy and comfortable to use.

All my suggestions can be divided in two parts: playing features and editing features. Let me start by seconds.

First and only thing I demand is to follow a logical way and don't restrict functional capabilities of the tool. For ex., when I select an area (across bar and staves) by arrow keys, I can enlarge or reduce it using 'right' and 'left' keys. But the same logic is not available for 'down' and 'up' keys - to deselect a stave! Also I cannot select two staves when there is another one between, or a voice only. So I mark a thing to improve: selection capabilities to enhance. It will be useful in player mode as well.

Second suggestion in the same logic of good tool is the past and replace feature. You write that deleting a rest have no musical sense. But let me remark that a rest have no less sense than a note, in music, and enlarge, reduce or delete note have no more and no less sense than enlarge, reduce or delete rest. Anyway every tool should perform his features; look at any editor - word, waveforms or pictures: it can select, copy, past, drag, modify multitude of objects and in different ways. For ex. have a capital letter in a word have no gramm. sense, but I can type iPad, have two decimals in a number have mathem. no sens, but you have Musescore 2.0.2! So if I have to stretch a note, for ex. first of two 1/8, the program do it very smart, making second one 1/16. And if I want delete a rest, it means that I have to stretch a note! To simplify a task I consider that it should be the right note, because the left one can be stretched in one click as above. So no add keys to use, only Del. Please try it, you'll see that it is logical!

Thirdly I return to ties. You wrote: 'Creating ties is indeed designed to work by selecting the first note and this adds a tie forward. I don't understand what benefit you think there would be in adding a new command to tie backwards.' First of all '+' function create a note, but with of the same length that departure one, and it can be other - so always a step to change it. I never seen an editor to make notes after ties. ) On the contrary, notes are placed first (especially when composing - an organ score, you know it), and then tied as necessary. You wrote also: 'we do support ties betwene non-adjacent notes for special purposes.' Across multiples bars and lot of music? For what purposes a tie bypass a music, slurs etc? I, musician, cannot understand it. Please think of a simple thing: when pressing a '+' key if there are adjacent notes, ties them! No new command need!

Finally think of locking some part of score to prevent accidentally changes. When a score is quite big, and I have to move sheets on the screen, sometimes notes are dragged accidentally. It's annoying to check after them!

I hope that I wrote all this not in vain. I really like contribute in improvement of Musescoure, that I consider promising.

I return to player features later.

In reply to by etranger

Also I cannot select two staves when there is another one between, or a voice only.
Multiple selection is indeed not supported. It's not supported in many text editors either... You can however select a single voice if you want. See View > Selection filter.

Deselecting a staff via Shift + up/down should indeed be possible. It's a bug. Would you mind opening a bug report for it? https://musescore.org/en/project/issues See https://musescore.org/en/developers-handbook/how-write-good-bug-report-…

Deleting rests
I'm sorry but I don't understand your explanation about deleting rests.
Let's say you have this, you select the first 8th rest and you delete it. What should happen? Why? Note that it's a very simple example, I could have use nested tuplets or change the time signature, the clef and the key signature in between...

Capture d'écran 2016-02-17 12.32.14.png

Currently nothing happens, and you decided what you want to do by using copy and paste.


notes are placed first (especially when composing - an organ score, you know it), and then tied as necessary.
I'm sorry but that the way you work. A lot of people prefers to enter ties while entering notes...
But MuseScore needs to accommodate both uses cases and it does. You can enter a quarter note tied to half note very easily (select a rest, press N, 5, C, 6, +). Or you can enter a quarter note, a half note, press Esc, select the first note and press +. Suggestions for improvements are welcome but need to consider all use cases, not just one...

Across multiples bars and lot of music?
We need tie across barlines and over multiples notes for construct like this. I agree that we should make this less easy to do and improve simple ties entry. However, that will not happen after a discussion mixed with a lot of other topics.


In general, long posts like this one don't have much effect in the code and will not improve MuseScore much. It's better to focus on one given feature and help to make it better. We all agree that "MuseScore should be easy and comfortable to use" or "selection capabilities to enhance" but it's better to focus on one thing and solve it once and for all, instead of making a large post that nobody will read. For example, if you believe we should improve ties entry, do make a proposal on how it should work, in a separate thread. Expect other people to comment on this proposal, show you musical constructs you never saw, even if you are an experienced musician and in the end, a developer will join and MuseScore will be improved !

In reply to by etranger

I agree with Nicolas' comments regarding selection (there is a bug where Shift+Up/Down won't deselect) and deleting rests (it's nowhere near as simple as you think to guess what notes you wanted moved and then actually do the move, better to let the user decide if/how he wants notes moved).

Regardsing ties: to be clear: I think you are misunderstanding how this works currently. First, when entering a tie during note input, it definitely does *not* have to be the same duration as the original note. Simply select the desired duration before pressing "+". So, the creat a half tied to an eighth, type 6 C 4 +. This is guaranteed to be more efficient than entering the notes first then tying later. But if you dfor whatever reason choose to enter notes first then change your mind and decide to tie them later (which seems strange to me), you do so simply by selecting the first note then pressing "+". So I don't understand your concern.

As for locking the score, are you trying to move the canvas by dragging it? That's not normally a good way to do it,. Instead, use the page up.down keys, or the mouse wheel (with Ctrl to move horizontally). Or use the Navigator window. Also Ctrl+F to seek to a specific measure, page, or rehearsal letter. All of these are much more efficient, and you won't be likely to accidentally change something. Not that a lock isn't good idea, but it really shouldn't be an issue once you start using other navigation methods.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

About ties. I understand well the way that feature is working now, and I wrote in my first post that I should use a step more to tie from the previous note. I repeat, when one types a _known_ score (from paper sheet), there is no problem to put a tie with a next note. But when you are composing/editing directly you put notes first, naturally.
Evoked example //musescore.org/sites/musescore.org/files/tie1_1.png is not strongly correct, and anyway can be considered as an exception. So I'll propose a feature to tie adjacent notes in any direction (that is logical), and tie far notes (across another) with Ctrl or Shift+, as it can be useful _quite_ rarely.

In reply to by etranger

I compose directly all the time, and virtually never put in two notes and then change my mind and decide they should be tied. Are you saying this actually happens often for you? A tie is just a way of notating some particular durations that can't be notated otherwise. I know the duration of a note before I enter it whether it's notated as a tie or not - probably *more* so when entering duratiosn involving ties thasn otherwise. So it still seems somehow you might be misunderstanding something, although I can't quite tell what.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

>... A tie is just a way of notating some particular durations that can't be notated otherwise...<

Or shouldn't be notated otherwise.

How does one not know the duration of a note and whether it should be tied if manual entry is the only option?

The only exception that comes to mind is vocal music with multiple verses under the same notes. Most do compose to the first verse only and have to edit if subsequent verses so require.

You can use ties or dotted ties to indicate that, combined with the words, the durations may not be the same in every verse. Dotted ties are a convenience in this situation but not mandatory. It is acceptable to use a tie or a melisma in the same situation.

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