Play mode

    MuseScore has an integrated sequencer and Synthesizer to play your score. Basic playback functions are accessed from the Play toolbar (see image below) located above the document window:

    Play Toolbar

    By pressing the Play Play Icon button (or Space), you enter Play mode. In Play mode, the following commands are available:

    • Go back to previous chord
    • Advance to next chord
    • Go back to start of previous measure Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+)
    • Advance to start of next measure Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+)
    • Rewind to start of score Home (Mac: +Home)
    • Show/hide Play Panel F11 (Mac: Fn+F11)

    Press the play button again (or Space or Esc ) to stop and exit Play mode.

    MuseScore starts playback from the place it last left off. To start playback from a specific note (or measure), click on that note (or measure) before entering playback mode. Alternatively, if the score is already playing back, you can jump to a specific note by clicking on that note. The toolbar also has a rewind button to quickly return to the beginning of the score.

    To include playback of repeats, activate the Play Repeats Icon Enable/Disable Repeats-Button.

    Play panel

    To open the Play Panel from the main menu, choose ViewPlay Panel, or type F11 (Mac: Fn+F11).

    The Play Panel offers temporary controls over playback, including playback speed (labelled 'tempo'), loop playback (with specified starting and ending positions), and general volume for the current session.

    Please Note: Changes to the parameters in the Play Panel are not saved-to-file for the score, even when Save is clicked. They only affect the playback behavior in the current session. If you wish to modify the actual tempo of a piece, you must do it using the tempo text settings in the Inspector (F8) or via tempo text). If you wish to reset the default playback volume, you can do this in the Synthesizer dialogue. SynthesizerViewSynthesizer.

    Play panel

    Count in

    You can switch on and off a count-in to be played each time the playback starts. The count-in plays beats for a full measure (according to nominal time signature at playback starting point); if the starting point is mid-measure or at a 'short' measure (anacrusis), it also plays enough beats to fill that measure. The conductor icon in the play panel enables, or disables count-in.

    Metronome playback

    You can also switch on/off the accompanying metronome as the score is played (see the metronome icon on the play panel).


    You can loop playback of a selected passage in the score using either the Play toolbar (see image above) or the play panel.

    To loop from the Play toolbar:

    • Playback should be off, and the "Loop playback button" on.
    • Select the desired region of the score for loop playback.
    • Press the playback button.

    Playback will now cycle within the region marked by the blue flags.

    • Use the "Loop playback" button to toggle the loop on or off.

    To loop from the Play Panel:

    • Select the note from which you want playback to start and click on the "Set loop in position" button. The "Loop Playback" button becomes active.
    • Select the last note of the desired playback region and click on the "Set loop out position" button.
    • Press the play button.

    Playback will now cycle within the region marked by the blue flags.

    • You can use the" Loop playback" button to toggle the loop on or off.