Basic playback functions are accessed from the Play toolbar at the top right of the program window:
From left to right, the icons are:
To the right of the playback controls are counters showing
This panel can also be undocked giving you access to additional controls—see play position and tempo, (below). To redock the Playback Panel: click and hold down the "6 dots", then drag the Playback Panel to the top right of the MuseScore screen and release.
Notes: (1) If no selection is made before activating Play, playback returns to the place it stopped at previously; or, if no previous playback, to the start of the score. (2) The Play button changes to a "stop" icon while music is playing.
To rewind playback click on the Rewind icon on the Play toolbar. Rewind returns the playback to the beginning of the score or, if a loop is set, to the beginning of the loop.
To loop playback over a section of music:
In the example below, playback will cycle over the selected two bars of Violin 2 and Viola, the region marked by the blue flags. Use the "Loop playback" button to toggle the loop on or off.
Musescore can automatically add metronome ticks sound to playback if desired, use the metronome button.
How many ticks are added onto each measure is determined by the time signature and tempo. It does not depend on the note value (duration) used on metronome markings (both crotchet ♩ = 60 and quaver ♪ = 120 markings create identical result).
There are two tick sound clips, strong ticks and weak ticks. Which one is added is determined by the beat and written tempo (not affected by the tempo slider). Beat is dictated by the time signature only, but not affected by the beaming style, or the note value (duration) used on metronome markings.
These ticks are not added to any exported audio files. If you want to include these ticks to exported audio, try these:
The current playback position is shown by counters to the right of the playback controls. One shows the position in terms of time elapsed, the other in measures and beats (see image in overview).
The numbers in the time and measure counters can be edited after clicking on them; playback will be resumed from the edited position.
When the Play toolbar is undocked from the toolbar area, it automatically expands to include two slider controls. By dragging the sliders you can adjust the playback position and tempo of playback. Note that tempo overrides are only temporary, and do not affect the actual written tempo(s); returning the slider to "100%" restores normal playback.
In the following example the position of playback is about one third of the way through the score, and the playback tempo slider is set to 78 quarter note beats per minute (bpm); or 130% of the nominal metronome mark, 60 bpm, displayed in the score.
Click the settings button (cogged gear) on the Play toolbar to show the following controls:
You can uncheck or check these options as desired.
Enable MIDI input to write music to your score with a linked MIDI device (such as a keyboard or drum machine) during playback. See Working with Midi for details.
Uncheck this option if you want playback to ignore any repeat indications in the score.
Uncheck this option if you want playback to ignore chord symbols in the score.
When checked, this option pans the score during playback; uncheck if you want the view to remain stationary.