Create a new score
This is the window that displays when you open MuseScore for the very first time:
To open the Start Center (if not already visible), use any of the following options:
- Press F4.
- From the menu bar, select View→Start Center...
From the Start Center you can:
- Open the "Getting Started" tutorial score.
- View thumbnails of previously-opened scores: click on a thumbnail to open it.
- Open a score from your computer's file system: click on Open a score ...
- Create a new score (by clicking on the icon with the plus sign).
- See the "In the spotlight" score of the day.
- Search sheet music on musecore.com.
- Link to mobile apps
- Link to follow MuseScore on social networks
Create new score
To open the New Score Wizard when the Start Center is not open, use one of the following options:
- Click on the New Score icon in the toolbar on the top left of the window;
- Use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+N (Mac: Cmd+N);
- From the menu, select File→New....
Title, composer and other information
Step 1: Enter score information.
Enter the title, composer, or any other information as shown above, then click on Next >. This step is optional: you can also add this information after the score is created (see Vertical frame).
Step 2: Select template file.
Here, you can choose from a range of solo, ensemble and orchestral templates. If you wish to choose exactly what instruments should be in your score then click on the "Choose Instruments" template (under "General").
You can also create your own score templates. These are displayed under "Custom Templates". See below.
Choose instruments or voice parts
If you can't find an appropriate template, then click "Choose Instruments".
The Chose Instruments window is divided into two columns:
The left column contains a list of instruments, or voice parts to choose from. This list is categorized into instrument families, and clicking a category shows the full list of instruments in each family.
The default entry is "Common instruments" but you can choose from others, including "Jazz instruments" and "Early music". There is a search box at the bottom of the instrument window: typing the name of an instrument there will search for it in "All instruments".
The right column starts off empty, but will eventually contain a list of instruments for your new score in the order that they will appear.
To add instruments to the score, use any of the following options:
- Select one or more instruments in the left column and click Add.
- Double-click an instrument in the left column.
The instrument names, and their associated staff lines, now appear in the list of instruments in the right column. You can add more instruments or voice parts, as needed. Each instrument added in this way is allocated its own Mixer channel.
Add Staff / Add Linked Staff
To add a staff to an existing instrument in the score:
- Select a staff in the score list on the right-hand side (e.g. see "Staff 1" in the image below). Click Add Staff or Add Linked Staff.
- Adjust the Staff type, if applicable.
Summary of commands:
|Command||Staff added||Edit staves independently?||Share mixer channel?||Examples|
|Add Staff||Unlinked||Yes||Yes||Guitar staff/tab, Piano grand staff|
|Add Linked Staff||Linked||No. Edit in one staff updates others||Yes||Guitar staff/tab|
See also, Combine pitched staff with tablature.
Change order of instruments
To change the order of instruments (or staves) in the score:
- Click either an instrument name or a staff, in the right-hand column, and use the ↑ or ↓ buttons to move it higher/lower.
Delete an instrument
To delete an instrument, or staff line, from the score
- Select an instrument, or a staff line, in the right-hand column, and click Remove.
Select key signature and tempo
Step 3: Select key signature and tempo.
The wizard asks for two things: The initial key signature and tempo of the score. Select any of the former and click Next > to continue. An initial tempo can be set here too.
Set time signature, pickup measure, and number of measures
Step 4: Create time signature etc.
You can set your initial time signature here. If the score starts with a pickup measure (also known as an anacrusis or upbeat measure), then mark the Pickup measure checkbox and adjust the "Duration" accordingly.
Measures is set to 32 by default: you can change the number here, or add/remove measures later from the score.
Click Finish to create your new score.
Adjustments to score after creation
Any settings you make in the New Score Wizard can always be changed when you start work on the score itself:
Change instrument set-up
To add, delete, or change the order of instruments: from the menu, select Edit→Instruments...; or use the keyboard shortcut, I. This opens the Instruments dialog which is virtually identical to the Chose Instruments dialog in the New Score Wizard (see above).
See also Change instrument (Staff properties).
Adjust layout and formatting
To adjust the distance between staves and systems, set page margins etc., see Layout and formatting.
The second screen of the new score wizard allows you to choose a template to create a new score from (see above for details). To create a score using this method, click on a template instead of the "Choose Instruments" option. Continue and finish the new score wizard as usual.
Template files are normal MuseScore files, stored in a template folder. There are two template folders created by default: the system template folder that contains the templates installed with MuseScore and should not be modified, and a private user template folder to add your own templates to. You can create a custom template that will show in the new score wizard by simply saving a score into that folder.
User template folder
You can configure the location of your private templates folder. From the menu, select Edit→Preferences...→General.
On Windows, the user template folder is located at
On macOS and Linux, the user template folder is located at
The new score wizard will show templates from both the system and the user template folder.
System template folder
The content of this folder should not be modified.
On Windows, the system template folder is usually located at
C:\Program Files\MuseScore 2\templates or in the 64-bit versions at
C:\Program Files (x86)\MuseScore 2\templates.
On Linux, look under
/usr/share/mscore-xxx if you installed from the package manager. If you compiled MuseScore on Linux yourself, then look under
xxx being the version you are using).
On macOS, look under