OpenScore: First editions available! How to submit scores.

So far our Kickstarter campaign has raised 65% of the funding required to make OpenScore a success, and we only have 10 days left to get to 100%. Kickstarter funding is all-or-nothing, so if we don’t reach the target then we won't be able to review your contributions and turn them into OpenScore editions. You can help us by sharing the campaign on social media, telling all of your friends about it, and backing it if you can.


Another way to help is by sending us your existing transcription. Thanks to the generous contributions of the community, we have been able to put together the very first OpenScore editions over at If you want to see your transcription added to the collection then keep reading to find out what you need to do.

How to submit a transcription

Make sure your transcription is uploaded it to your online MuseScore account, and then send us an email containing:

  1. A link to your score(s) on
  2. The link to the IMSLP page for the work you transcribed.
  3. The reference number of the particular IMSLP edition you used.

Send the email to with "OpenScore submission" and the name of the work in the subject line. (If you are sending multiple works just put one or two of them in the subject line.)

Requirements for submissions

We can only use your transcription if it meets the following requirements:

  1. It is complete. (A few mistakes are OK, but there mustn’t be any music missing.)
  2. It is an exact (or near exact) transcription of an IMSLP edition - not your own arrangement.
  3. The IMSLP edition is in the public domain worldwide (not only in certain countries).
  4. You agree to waive all rights on the transcription under Creative Commons Zero.


These are suggested requirements which are prepared to overlook in certain situations:

  1. Where possible, we prefer transcriptions to be based on printed editions rather than handwritten manuscripts.
  2. Transcriptions should stick to the language of the original. All titles, instrument names and text should be in the same language as the IMSLP edition. Exceptions may be made if the IMSLP edition uses a non-latin alphabet.


Can I submit multiple pieces?
Sure! Please send them all in the one email, or as a reply to the original email if you have already sent it.

Do I need to extract parts and submit them separately?
No, you do not need to extract parts. Just submit the full score.

My piece has multiple movements. Should I submit them together or separately?
Ideally you should use a separate file for each movement and send us one email with links to all of the movements. If you joined the movements together into one file that is also acceptable.

Can I submit a single movement from a piece with multiple movements?
Not at the present time. If you transcribe a work with multiple movements then you must have transcribed all of the movements.

What if there are multiple pieces in one IMSLP edition?
There will be one OpenScore Edition per IMSLP edition, so if there are multiple pieces in a single IMSLP edition then you must have transcribed all of them (ideally in separate score files). For example, this IMSLP edition contains two pieces, so we cannot accept a transcription of one without the other. However, the two pieces on this IMSLP page have separate editions, so you only have to send one. As another example, each of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos has its own IMSLP page, so it’s OK to send us a transcription of just one of them.

Thank you for your support. Please remember to share the campaign. We look forward to seeing your transcriptions!

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OpenScore: Happy Birthday Gabriel Fauré! shoogle's blog OpenScore: how and what to transcribe!


I'm transcribing at time the orchestral suite No. 3 (BWV 1068) (hope no one other has done it before ;).

My questions:

  • It's better to better to use section breaks between the parts/sections/movements (better for the output, but with the known bug with playback) or using line breaks (=no pause in the playback)?
  • Are there somewhere resources for tempo indications for the individual parts?

For longer works it's actually best for each section/movement to be stored in it's own separate file, but for shorter work like this a single file is fine. Please use a section break to divide the movements. If you experience the bug where the section break pause is played on repeats then right-click on the section break and set the pause to be 0 seconds via the "Section Break Properties".

In general you should only include information that is in the edition you are transcribing. One of the few exceptions to this is tempo markings, which are required for correct playback. If the edition you are transcribing doesn't contain a tempo marking then you can insert a suggested tempo in square brackets.

"[Allegro (♩ = 120)]" or "[♩ = 120]"

If you can't find a tempo in any IMSLP edition or other trusted source, listen to some recordings and try to determine if there is "conventional" tempo at which the piece is usually performed. If there are no good recordings then you are free to suggest a tempo that seems appropriate for the piece, based on its title, theme, musical content, etc. (Naturally, we may change the tempo later if new information becomes available, or if there is a debate about tempo and the consensus is to use a different one to that which you suggested.)

Question concerning acceptable typographical adjustments: If I'm using a score that writes choral SATB parts with soprano/alto/tenor/bass clefs, should I keep them in those clefs or convert to the modern treble/treble/treble/bass clefs?

If so, it'd be treble/treble/treble 8vb/bass clefs
You could do some manual trickery (in the instrument definition of the score) with transposing clefs, so toggling concert pitch changes between them.

Thanks Jojo, but no trickery please! All instruments should use MuseScore's default clef, except for instruments where the clef is allowed to change (e.g. piano, viola, cello, etc.) or when the correct instrument doesn't exist in MuseScore (e.g. "Canon" in the 1812 Overture) and your are forced to adapt the closest matching instrument that does exist in MuseScore.

I meant something like the attached.
But I certainly understand that this isn't wanted ;-)

SATB-with-transposing-clefs.mscx 29.6 KB

It's an interesting idea. I'm trying to balance the needs of users (who will want the modern vocal clefs and transposing instrument clefs) and OMR training (which wants the score to look exactly like the original). It's not possible to satisfy both needs with the single toggle provided by the "Concert Pitch" button. Perhaps this is something that could be handled by the "layers" feature if it ever arrives.

But am I right in thinking you had to edit the XML manually to make this happen? That's not really a user-friendly solution. ;)

Yep, that's why I called it "manual trickery" ;-)
The above file might serve as a template...

Good question! You should convert them to the modern clefs (note that the tenor uses an octave clef - treble clef with an 8 underneath), but you might find it easier to keep them in the old clefs while doing the transcription and change the clef just before submission.

Note that if any of the SATB parts split further into 1st and 2nds (e.g. Soprano I, Soprano II, etc.) for more than a few notes then you should use a separate staff for the 1st and 2nd on each part (S I, S II, A I, A II, T I, T II, B I, B II). The 1st and 2nd lines should be identical everywhere except where the split happens.

Thanks! I do have another question: For instruments that frequently switch clefs (e.g. cello and bassoon flipping between tenor/bass clefs), should I stick to the clefs provided on the reference score or am I allowed to switch to other commonly used clefs? I have a section in the cello part that's giving me spacing nightmares (ledger lines + ornamentation + every string staff has a dynamic), and it would be extremely easy to work around if I change just 2 measures from bass clef to tenor clef.

Clefs should be the same as the original, except where the original uses a clef that is never used in modern score. If this causes layout issues then that's unfortunate, but we consider accuracy with the original to be more important.

To be honest its probably easiest if you keep everything in the original clef and we will decide which need to be changed after you submit the score. It only takes a second for us to change the clef, but transcribing a score into a different clef, or checking for errors in the wrong clef, is much more difficult.

You shouldn't worry about spacing, page turns or collisions until you have finished everything else, because the best layout will probably change as you add more symbols. The exception to this is you might find it easier to transcribe if you add line breaks in the same places as the original. Reduce the stretch and stave space size if you have to.

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