The Album Manager allows you to prepare a list of multiple scores and save the list as an album file ("*.album"), print all the scores as one long print job with consistent page numbers, or even join the scores into a single new MSCZ score. This is ideal for preparing an exercise book or combining multiple movements of an orchestration.
To open the Album Manager, go to File → Album...
If you have previously created an album, you can open it through the Album Manager by clicking the Load button. A file selection dialog will appear to let you load the .album file from your file system.
To print an album as if it were a single document, click Print Album. The scores loaded into the Album Manager are printed in the order they are listed in with the correct page numbers, ignoring the page number offset values in Layout → Page Settings... → First page number for all but the first score. As the album is printed in one print job, double-sided printing (duplex printing) also works as expected.
To combine multiple scores into a single .mscz file, click Join Scores. The scores are combined in the selected order into one single score. If not already present, line- and section breaks are added to the last measure or frame of each score in the combined file.
All style settings are taken from the first score, different style settings from subsequent score are ignored.
All the scores should have the same number of parts and staves for this to work correctly, ideally with the same instruments in the same order. If the scores have the same total number of instruments but not the same ones, or not in the same order, then the instrument names from the first score will overwrite ones from subsequent scores. If some of the scores have fewer instruments than the first score, then empty staves will be created for those sections. Any part or staff that is not present in the first score will be lost in the joined score.
Upon clicking the Close button, you will be prompted to save your album as a .album file. This file is not the same as a joined score; it simply consists of the list of scores. Album files can be loaded into the Album Manager as described above.
You can customize many of MuseScore's default behaviors via the menu: Edit→Preferences... (Mac: MuseScore→Preferences...).
The Preferences dialog has multiple tabs:
Reset All Preferences to Default will reset all preferences to the ones MuseScore had when you installed it.
Cancel will close the dialog without applying changes.
Here you can define:
Use Canvas to set your preferred color and wallpaper for the score background and paper.
Scroll Pages, you can choose whether to display pages of a multi-page score laid out in a horizontal row, or scrolling in a vertical column.
Draw antialiased (on by default) makes diagonal lines and edges of shapes look smoother (less jagged).
Proximity for selecting elements controls the distance the mouse may be from an object and still act on it. Smaller numbers require more precision, making it harder to click on small objects. Larger numbers are less precise, making it harder not to click on nearby objects unintentionally. Choose a comfortable working value.
On this tab there are note input and MIDI remote control preferences. Here the following can be set:
Midi Remote Control allows you to enter or leave note input mode and also choose the duration for notes and rest directly from the MIDI keyboard as you enter notes into the score via MIDI, without having to use the computer mouse or keyboard at the same time.
The default setting for Midi Remote Control is 'off' with the checkbox blank, and all the option buttons below are grey. In order to set preferences it must be turned on with the MIDI keyboard connected.
To turn on Midi Remote Control click the checkbox, the current status of all Midi Remote Control Key settings is now indicated by the colored input option buttons:
- Green button is lit only if the MIDI key action is defined by the user.
- Red button is lit only during the preference setting process.
- By default no MIDI key actions are set and all buttons are unlit.
To enable a MIDI key operation: click the red button which lights up and stays lit until you press your chosen MIDI key for that operation and the green button is lit permanently. Once you have defined your key settings you can use the MIDI keyboard to control note input operations. You can verify your key settings by observing the MuseScore Note Input panel while pressing the MIDI keys.
To temporarily deactivate Midi Remote Control: click the Midi Remote Control checkbox, it is un-ticked and all MIDI input key action buttons are greyed. Your selections are always saved between MuseScore sessions so you can deactivate remote control at any time without losing your settings.
IMPORTANT, at the time of writing:-
1. The Clear option turns off all the green buttons for the current MuseScore session but all the user recorded MIDI key settings are retained and will be reloaded on the next session.
2. A MIDI key setting that is activated cannot afterwards be turned off and the green button will always remain lit but it can be overwritten with a different MIDI key by using the red button again.
3. Unfortunately, if the same MIDI key is used accidentally for two (or more) note inputs then both (or all) the associated green buttons stay lit but only one will work. You can fix this as in 2 above.
Score preferences include
Input/Output preferences enable you to set what device will be used for audio playback (e.g., built-in speakers, USB headset, wireless, etc.), whether to use a MIDI trigger (plugged-in keyboard), and whether to route audio output through JACK.
These settings determine how files from other sources are imported:
These settings determine how MuseScore files are exported:
Every action possible with MuseScore is listed, with the associated shortcut if it exists. To define a new shortcut, select an existing entry in the list and click Define... (or just double click the entry), then enter the new shortcut using up to four keys. You can also reset any shortcut in the list to its default value, or clear a shortcut you select. Shortcuts listed in preferences appear next to their associated commands in the menus.
Note: Some shortcuts, including default ones, may not work with some keyboards.
The list of shortcuts can be printed out or exported to other media (pdf etc.) using the Print button in the bottom right of the window.
This sets whether MuseScore will check for updates at startup.
Updates may be checked manually in Help→Check for updates
MuseScore not only allows you to create and print the full score but also the individual instrument parts.
Note: In the current version of MuseScore, it is not possible to split a single staff (that contains two or more voices) into separate parts. So, any instrument that you want to print out a separate part for also needs to have its own staff in the full score.
If you have an orchestral score in which each instrument gets its own part, this is the easiest method:
The parts can now be accessed by clicking on tabs above the document window.
You can define the parts at any point after creating a new score. You only need to define the parts once for each score, but you can make changes if needed. The following instructions use a string quartet as an example, but the same principles apply for any other ensemble.
You have now finished setting up the parts. You do not need to do this again, unless you add or remove an instrument from your full score.
This will generate files with the names "<title>" + "-" + "<part name>.<extension>". In addition, when exporting as PDF, this will also generate "<title>" + "-Score_And_Parts.pdf".
Parts and score are "linked", which means that any change to the content in one will affect the other, but changes to the layout will not. When you have the parts created, they are saved along with the score (if you open the score you have tabs for the score and every part you created).
However, if you wish to save a part individually:
This document is written for blind and visually impaired users of MuseScore 2.0. It is not intended to provide a full description of all of the features of MuseScore; you should read this in conjunction with the regular MuseScore documentation.
MuseScore comes with support for the free and open source NVDA screen reader for Windows. The features in this document have been tested on Windows with NVDA. There is no support at the moment for other screen readers such as Jaws for Windows, or VoiceOver for macOS, which may work differently, or not at all.
At this point in time, MuseScore 2.0 is mostly accessible as a score reader, not so much as a score editor. This document will focus on the score reading features, with only a brief description of score editing.
When you run MuseScore for the first time, you may want to permanently disable the Start Center window. To do so, go close the Start Center window first, then the Edit menu (Alt+E), choose Preferences, and in there, uncheck Show Start Center. Save and close the preferences window.
The user interface in MuseScore works much like other notation programs, or other document-oriented programs in general. It has a single main document window in which you can work with a score. MuseScore supports multiple document tabs within this window. It also supports a split-screen view to let you work with two documents at once, and you can have multiple tabs in each window.
In addition to the score window, MuseScore has a menu bar that you can access via the shortcuts for the individual menus:
Of these, only the File menu is of much interest when using MuseScore as a score reader. Once opening a menu, it may take several presses of the Up or Down keys before everything is read properly.
There are also a number of toolbars, palettes, and subwindows within MuseScore, and you can cycle through the controls in these using Tab (or Shift+Tab to move backwards through this same cycle). When you first start MuseScore, or load a score, focus should be in the main score window. Pressing Tab takes you to a toolbar containing a series of buttons for operations like New, Open, Play, and so forth. Tab will skip any buttons that aren't currently active. The names and shortcuts (where applicable) for these buttons should be read by your screen reader.
Once you have cycled through the buttons on the toolbar, the next window Tab will visit is the Palette. This would be used to add various elements to a score, but it is not currently accessible except for two buttons that are visited by Tab: a drop down to select between different workspaces (a saved arrangement of palettes), and a button to create a new workspace.
If you have opened one of the optional windows, such as the Inspector, or the Selection Filter, the Tab key will also visit these. You can close windows you do not need by going to the View menu and making sure none of the first set of checkboxes are selected (the windows that appear before the Zoom settings). By default, only the Palette, Navigator and MuseScore Connect should be selected, and the latter two are not included in the Tab order.
To return focus to the score window after visiting the toolbar, or a subwindow, press Esc. This also clears any selection you may have made in the score window.
When you first start MuseScore 2.0, an empty example score entitled “My First Score” is loaded by default. If you wish to experiment with editing features, this would be a good place to begin. Otherwise, you will probably want to start by loading a score. MuseScore uses the standard shortcuts to access system commands like Ctrl+O (Mac: Cmd+O) to open a file, Ctrl+S (Mac: Cmd+S) to save, Ctrl+W (Mac: Cmd+W) to close, etc.
If you press Ctrl+O (Mac: Cmd+O) to load a score, you are presented with a fairly standard file dialog. MuseScore can open scores in its own format (MSCZ or MSCX) as well as import scores in the standard MusicXML format, in MIDI format, or from a few other programs such as Guitar Pro, Capella, and Band-in-a-Box. Once you have loaded a score, it is displayed in a new tab within the score window. You can move between the tabs in the score window using Ctrl+Tab (does not apply for Mac).
There are a few interesting things you can do with a loaded score besides reading it note by note. You can press Space to have MuseScore play the score for you. You can use File / Export to convert to another format, including PDF, PNG, WAV, MP3, MIDI, MusicXML, etc. And of course, you can print it via File / Print or Ctrl+P (Mac: Cmd+P).
If a score contains multiple instruments, it may already have linked parts generated. Linked parts are presented as part tabs within score tabs, but currently, there is no way to navigate these part tabs using the keyboard. The parts would not normally contain information different from the score; they would just be displayed differently (each part on its own page). If a score does not already have parts generated, you can do so through File / Parts, and that dialog is accessible. If you wish to print the parts, you can work around the inability of accessing part tabs individually by using the File / Export Parts dialog, which automatically exports PDF’s (or other formats) for all parts in one step.
When you first load a score, the score window has the keyboard focus, but there will be nothing selected. The first step to reading a score is to select something, and the most natural place to begin is with the first element of the score. Ctrl+Home (Mac: Cmd+Home) will do this. You will probably also want to use this, should you ever clear your selection by pressing Esc.
As you navigate between elements, your screen reader should give the name of the selected element (most likely the clef at the beginning of the top staff of your score). You will hear it read the name of the element (for example, “Treble clef”) and also give position information (for example, “Measure 1; Beat 1; Staff 1”). The amount of information read is not currently customizable, but we tried to place the most important first so you can quickly move on to the next element before it has finished reading, or just ignore the rest of what is read. Pressing Shift currently interrupts the reading, which might also be useful.
Most navigation in MuseScore is centered around notes and rests only – it will skip clefs, key signatures, time signatures, barlines, and other elements. So if you just use the standard Right and Left keys to move through your score, you will only hear about notes and rests (and the elements attached to them). However, there are two special navigation commands that you will find useful to gain a more complete summarization of the score:
These commands include clefs and other elements that the other navigation commands skip, and also navigate through all voices within the current staff, whereas other navigation commands such as Right and Left only navigate through the currently selected voice until you explicitly change voices. For instance, if you are on a quarter note on beat 1 of measure 1, and there are two voices in that measure, then pressing Right will move on to the next note of voice 1—which will be on beat 2—whereas pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Right (Mac: Cmd+Option+Shift+Right) will stay on beat 1 but move to the note on voice 2. Only once you have moved through all notes on the current beat on the current staff will the shortcut move you on to the next beat. The intent is that this shortcut should be useful for navigating through a score if you don’t already know what the contents are.
When you navigate to an element, your screen reader should read information about it. For notes and rests, it will also read information about elements attached to them, such as lyrics, articulations, chord symbols, etc. For the time being, there is no way to navigate directly to these elements.
One important note: Up and Down by themselves, with Shift, or with Ctrl / Cmd are not useful shortcuts for navigation! Instead, they change the pitch of the currently selected note or notes. Be careful not to inadvertently edit a score you are trying to read. Up and Down should only be used with Alt/Option if your intent is navigation only. See the list of navigation shortcuts below.
The following shortcuts are useful for moving “horizontally” through a score:
The following shortcuts are useful for moving “vertically” through a score:
Next element: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Right
The Alt+Up and Alt+Down commands are similar to the Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Right and Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Left commands in that they are designed to help you discover the content of a score. You do not need to know how many notes are in a chord, how many voices are in a staff, or how many staves are in a score in order to move vertically through the score using these commands.
Excluding certain elements like lyrics, or chord names while reading the score is possible by using the Selection filter (F6). Uncheck those elements you don't want to read.
The Space bar serves both to start and stop playback. Playback will start with the currently selected note if one is selected; where playback was last stopped if no note is selected; or at the beginning of the score on first playback.
MuseScore supports looped playback so you can repeat a section of a piece for practice purposes. To set the “in” and “out” points for the loop playback via the Play Panel (F11):
You can also control the loop playback and control other playback parameters, such as overriding the basic tempo of a score, using the View / Play Panel (F11).
Score editing is currently not very accessible – too many score elements require intervention of the mouse in order to place objects onto a score. Additionally, visual reference and manual adjustment of the position of various elements is sometimes necessary due to MuseScore's limited support for conflict avoidance of elements.
In contrast, MuseScore does often provide ample default, and a platform to experiment with the basics of note input.
To enter note input mode, first navigate to the measure in which you would like to enter notes, then press “N”. Almost everything about note input is designed to be keyboard accessible, and the standard documentation should be good to help you through the process. Bear in mind that MuseScore can either be in note input or normal mode, and it won’t always be clear which mode of these you are in. When in doubt, press Esc. If you were in note input mode, this will take you out. If you were in normal mode, you will stay there, although you will also lose your selection.
You can customize the keyboard shortcuts using Edit / Preferences / Shortcuts. At some point, we may provide a set of special accessibility-optimized shortcuts and/or a way of saving and loading sets of shortcut definitions.
With Space, the editor advances to the next note, or rest of the staff to which figured bass is being added. To move to a point in between, or to extend a figured bass group for a longer duration, see below Group Duration.
Tab advances the editing box to the beginning of the next measure.
Shift+Space moves the editing box to the previous staff note or rest.
Shift+Tab moves the editing box to the beginning of the previous measure.
Digits are entered directly. Groups of several digits stacked one above the other are also entered directly in a single text, stacking them with Enter:
Accidentals can be entered using regular keys:
These characters will automatically turn into the proper signs when you leave the editor. Accidentals can be entered before, or after a digit (and of course, in place of a digit, for altered thirds), according to the required style; both styles are properly aligned, with the accidental 'hanging' at the left, or the right.
Slashed digits or digits with a cross can be entered by adding \, / or + after the digit (combining suffixes); the proper combined shape will be substituted when leaving the editor:
The built-in font can manage combination equivalence, favoring the more common substitution:
1+, 2+, 3+, 4+ result in (or )
and 5\, 6\, 7\, 8\, 9\ result in (or )
Please remember that / can only by combined with 5; any other 'slashed' figure is rendered with a question mark.
+ can also be used before a digit; in this case it is not combined, but it is properly aligned ('+' hanging at the left side).
Open and closed parentheses, both round: '(', ')' and square: '[', ']', can be inserted before and after accidentals, before and after a digit, before and after a continuation line; added parentheses will not disturb the proper alignment of the main character.
Continuation lines are input by adding an '_' (underscore) at the end of the line. Each digit of a group can have its own continuation line:
Continuation lines are drawn for the whole duration of the figured bass group (but currently are not continued on following systems, the same as for lyric continuation lines).
'Extended' continuation lines
Occasionally, a continuation line has to connect with the continuation line of a following group, when a chord degree has to be kept across two groups. Examples (both from J. Boismortier, Pièces de viole, op. 31, Paris 1730):
In the first case, each group has its own continuation line; in the second, the continuation line of the first group is carried 'into' the second.
This can be obtained by entering several (two or more) underscores "__" at the end of the text line of the first group.
Each figured bass group has a duration, which is indicated by a light gray line above it (of course, this line is for information only and it is not printed or exported to PDF).
Initially, a group has the same duration of the note to which it is attached. A different duration may be required to fit several groups under a single note or to extend a group to span several notes.
To achieve this, each key combination of the list below can be used:
Pressing several of them in sequence without entering any figured bass text repeatedly extends the previous group.
|Ctrl+6||half note (minim)|
|Ctrl+7||whole note (semibreve)|
|Ctrl+8||2 whole notes (breve)|
(The digits are the same as are used to set the note durations)
Setting the exact figured bass group duration is only mandatory in two cases:
However, it is a good practice to always set the duration to the intended value for the purposes of plugins and MusicXML.
To edit a figured bass indication already entered:
The usual text editor box will open with the text converted back to plain characters ('b', '#' and 'h' for accidentals, separate combining suffixes, underscores, etc.) for simpler editing.
Once done, press Space to move to a next note, or click outside the editor box to exit it, as for newly created figured basses.
The Style → General... menu command allows to configure how figured bass is rendered. Select "Figured Bass" in the list on the left side to display the following dialogue box:
The Font drop list contains all the fonts which have been configured for figured bass. A standard installation contains only one font, "MuseScore Figured Bass", which is also the default font.
The Size is the size of the font (in points). It is linked to the spatium value: for the default spatium, the entered value is used; for smaller or larger spatium values, a size value proportionally smaller or larger is used.
Vertical Position is the distance (in spatia) from the top of the staff to the top margin of the figured bass text. Negative values go up (figured bass above the staff) and positive values go down (figured bass below the staff: a value greater than 4 is needed to step over the staff itself).
Line Height is the distance between the base line of each figured bass line; it is expressed in percent of the font size.
The following picture visualizes each numeric parameter:
The Top / Bottom radio buttons select the vertical alignment: with Top, the top line of each group is aligned with the main vertical position and the group 'hangs' from it (this is normally used with figured bass notation and is the default); with Bottom, the bottom line is aligned with the main vertical position and the group 'sits' on it (this is sometimes used in some kinds of harmonic analysis notations):
The Modern / Historic radio buttons select the typographic style of the combined shapes. The difference between the two styles is shown below:
For the relevant substitutions and shape combinations to take effect and for proper alignment, the figured bass mechanism expects input texts to follow some rules (which are in any case, the rules for a syntactical figured bass indication):
If a text entered does not follow these rules, it will not be processed: it will be stored and displayed as it is, without any layout.
|Ctrl+G||Adds a new figured bass group to the selected note.|
|Space||Advances the editing box to the next note.|
|Shift+Space||Moves the editing box to the previous note.|
|Tab||Advances the editing box to the next measure.|
|Shift+Tab||Moves the editing box to the previous measure.|
|Ctrl+1||Advances the editing box by 1/64, setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+2||Advances the editing box by 1/32, setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+3||Advances the editing box by 1/16, setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+4||Advances the editing box by 1/8 (quaver), setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+5||Advances the editing box by 1/4 (crochet), setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+6||Advances the editing box by a half note (minim), setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+7||Advances the editing box by a whole note (semibreve), setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+8||Advances the editing box by two whole notes (breve), setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+Space||Enters an actual space; useful when figure appears "on the second line" (e.g., 5 4 -> 3).|
|BB||Enters a double flat.|
|B||Enters a flat.|
|H||Enters a natural.|
|#||Enters a sharp.|
|##||Enters a double sharp.|
|_||Enters a continuation line.|
|__||Enters an extended continuation line.|
Plugins are small pieces of code that add a particular feature to MuseScore. By enabling a plugin, a new menu option will be appended to the Plugins menu in MuseScore to accomplish a given action on the score or a part of it.
Some plugins come pre-installed with MuseScore—see →below. You can find many more plugins in the plugin repository. Some plugins there work with MuseScore 2; others will only work with older versions of MuseScore, some work with either.
To tell one from the other: for MuseScore 2.x the plugin code files have an extension of
.qml, for older versions, it is
Note that some plugins may require the installation of other components (fonts, e.g.) to work. Check the plugin's documentation for more information.
Most plugins are provided as ZIP archives, so download the plugin's .zip file and uncompress it to one of the directories mentioned below. If a plugin is provided directly as an (unzipped) .qml file, simply download and place into one of these directories.
Once a plugin is installed, it needs to be enabled in the Plugin Manager in order to use it—see →below.
MuseScore looks for pre-installed plugins in
%ProgramFiles%\MuseScore 2\Plugins (or
%ProgramFiles(x86)%\MuseScore 2\Plugins for the 64-bit versions) and in
%LOCALAPPDATA%\MuseScore\MuseScore 2\plugins on Vista, Seven and 10 or
C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\MuseScore\MuseScore 2\plugins (adjusted to your language version) on XP.
To install new plugins, the above folders should not be used or modified. Instead you can add other plugins to
%HOMEPATH%\Documents\MuseScore2\Plugins, or specify a different folder to look for plugins in MuseScore's Preferences.
On macOS, MuseScore looks for pre-installed plugins in the MuseScore bundle in
/Applications/MuseScore 2.app/Contents/Resources/plugins (to reveal files in the app bundle, right click on MuseScore 2.app and choose "Show package contents") and in
~/Library/Application Support/MuseScore/MuseScore 2/plugins.
To install new plugins, the above folders should not be used or modified. Instead you can add other plugins to
~/Documents/MuseScore2/Plugins, or specify a different folder to look for plugins in MuseScore's Preferences.
In Linux, MuseScore looks for plugins in
/usr/share/mscore-2.0/plugins and in
To install new plugins, the above folders should not be used or modified. Instead you can add other plugins to
~/Documents/MuseScore2/Plugins, or specify a different folder to look for plugins in MuseScore's Preferences.
To be able to access the installed plugins from the Plugins menu, they need to be enabled in the Plugin Manager:
It is possible to create new or edit existing plugins and run them via the Plugin Creator:
Here also the documentation of all available elements can be found
Some plugins come pre-installed with MuseScore, but they are not enabled by default. See →above to enable plugins.
This plugin imports ABC text from a file or the clipboard. Internet connection is required, because it uses an external web-service for the conversion, which uses abc2xml and gets send the ABC data, returns MusicXML and imports that into MuseScore.
This plugin enters line breaks in the interval you select on the selected measures or, if no measures are selected, the entire score. It is no longer being distributed and has been replaced by Edit → Tools → Add/Remove Line Breaks. If you ever used an early beta version of MuseScore 2, though, you may still see the plugin left over.
This demo plugin colors notes in the selected range (or the entire score), depending on their pitch. It colors the note head of all notes in all staves and voices according to the Boomwhackers convention. Each pitch has a different color. C and C♯ have a different color. C♯ and D♭ have the same color.
To color all the notes in black, just run that plugin again (on the same selection). You could also use the 'Remove Notes Color' plugin for this.
This demo plugin creates a new score. It creates a new piano score with 4 quarters C D E F. It's a good start to learn how to make a new score and add notes from a plugin.
This demo plugin shows some basic tasks.
This plugin names notes in the selected range or the entire score. It displays the names of the notes (as a staff text) as per MuseScore's language settings, for voices 1 and 3 above the staff, for voices 2 and 4 below the staff, and for chords in a comma separated list, starting with the top note.
This demo plugin creates a GUI panel.
Creates a random score.
Creates a random score too
This demo plugin runs an external command. Probably this will only work on Linux.
This test plugin iterates through the score list.
Demo plugin to demonstrate the use of a ScoreView
This test plugin walks through all elements in a score
MuseScore can import MIDI files (.mid/.midi/.kar) and convert them into music notation. To import, use the standard Open command.
Initially, the programs renders the MIDI to notation using certain default settings. A MIDI Import Panel appears at the bottom of the screen, showing a list of tracks (only tracks with note events are shown) and the operations available for each track. You can change these settings on a track-by-track basis and then reimport the data: The “Apply” button (at the top) submits any changes with immediate effect. The "Cancel" button immediately cancels any unsaved changes. The final result should be a better quality score reproduction of the file.
Use Shift+Wheel or Ctrl+Wheel to scroll track options horizontally; scroll tracks vertically without those modifiers.
If there are multiple tracks, then one more track is added at the top of the list to select all tracks at once.
In the MIDI Import Panel, you can choose which tracks to import and reorder them. Some information about each track is displayed: sound, staff name, and lyrics, if any. The presence of the lyric column is an indication that the file contains a lyric track—assignable to different tracks through the drop-down menu.
The MIDI import panel updates the relevant information of whatever file is in view, if the user has several open. If the MIDI import panel is no longer required, it can be closed by clicking the close button in the top-left corner. The panel will re-appear after clicking on the button "Show MIDI import panel" which appears right after the panel is closed.
After saving the score, the MIDI Import Panel will not be available, because MuseScore is no longer importing a MIDI file.
Quantize MIDI notes by some regular grid. The grid MAX resolution can be set via the drop-down menu:
However, the actual quantization grid size is adaptive and reduces when the note length is small, so for each note the quantization value is different. But there is an upper limit for the quantization value, and that value can be set by the user as "max. quantization".
For example, if some note is long - say, half note, and the max. quantization is set to 8th, then the note will be quantized with the 8th-note grid, not the half- or quarter-note grid as it supposed to be by the algorithm.
Such quantization scheme allows to quantize all notes in the score (with different lengths!) adequately.
importmidi_clef.cpp). This option is available for non-drum tracks only.
Note: The design of the notehead may vary depending on the music font selected (Emmentaler, Gonville or Bravura). Those in the palette are displayed as half notes in Bravura font.
MuseScore supports a number of notehead styles:
To change the shape of one or more noteheads in the score, use one of the following:
Occasionally you may need to change the apparent duration of a notehead—i.e. notehead type—without altering its actual, underlying duration:
When two notes of the same written pitch fall on the same beat, they are either offset – arranged side by side – or allowed to share the same notehead (the latter is particularly common in classical and fingerstyle guitar music).
Note: The rules governing the default behavior of such unison notes are as follows:
Offset noteheads can be turned into shared noteheads in one of two ways:
In the first example below, the notes of voices 1 and 2 share noteheads by default, because they are all black, undotted notes:
By contrast, in the next example, white notes cannot share noteheads with black notes, so are offset to the right:
To create a shared notehead, make the black eighth note invisible or change its head type to match that of the white note (as explained above):
In certain cases, a shared notehead, when pasted to a tablature staff, may result in two separate fret marks on adjacent strings. To correct this, make any extraneous tablature notes invisible by selecting them and using the keyboard shortcut V (or by unchecking the "visible" option in the Inspector).
From version 2.1, you can enter notation using one of several new note input modes—in addition to the pre-existing Step-time and Re-pitch modes. These are accessed by clicking a small dropdown arrow next to the note entry button on the note input toolbar.
This is the method of note entry that MuseScore has had from the beginning. You enter notes in Step-time mode by choosing a duration using the mouse or keyboard, and then choosing a pitch using the mouse, keyboard, MIDI keyboard or virtual piano.
For details see Basic note entry.
Re-pitch mode allows you to correct the pitches of a sequence of notes while leaving their durations unchanged (not to be confused with Accidental: Respell pitches).
You can also use the Re-pitch function to create a new passage from an existing one of the same sequence of durations—by copying and pasting the latter, then applying Re-pitch.
Rhythm mode allows you to enter durations with a single keypress. Combining Rhythm and Re-pitch modes makes for a very efficient method of note entry.
The Real-time modes basically allow you to perform the piece on a MIDI keyboard (or MuseScore's virtual piano keyboard) and have the notation added for you. However, you should be aware of the following limitations which currently apply:
However, these restrictions mean that MuseScore has very little guessing to do when working out how your input should be notated, which helps to keep the Real-time modes accurate.
In the automatic version of Real-time input, you play at a fixed tempo indicated by a metronome click. You can adjust the tempo by changing the delay between clicks from the menu: Edit → Preferences... → Note Input (Mac: MuseScore → Preferences... → Note Input).
The score stops advancing as soon as you release the key. If you want the score to continue advancing (e.g. to allow you to enter rests) then you can use the Real-time Advance shortcut to start the metronome.
In the manual version of Real-time input, you have to indicate your input tempo by tapping on a key or pedal, but you can play at any speed you like and it doesn't have to be constant. The default key for setting the tempo (called "Real-time Advance") is Enter on the numeric keypad (Mac: fn+Return), but it is highly recommended that you change this to a MIDI key or MIDI pedal (see below).
The Real-time Advance shortcut is used to tap beats in manual Real-time mode, or to start the metronome clicks in automatic Real-time mode. It is called "Real-time Advance" because it causes the input position to more forward, or "advance", through the score.
The default key for Real-time Advance is Enter on the numeric keypad (Mac: fn+Return), but it is highly recommended that you assign this to a MIDI key or MIDI pedal via MuseScore's MIDI remote control. The MIDI remote control is available from the menu: Edit → Preferences... → Note Input (Mac: MuseScore → Preferences... → Note Input).
Alternatively, if you have a USB footswitch or computer pedal which can simulate keyboard keys, you could set it to simulate Enter on the numeric keypad.
As of MuseScore 2.0.3, a range of common fretboard (or chord) diagrams for the guitar are provided in the Fretboard Diagrams palette in the Advanced Workspace (previous versions featured only one diagram).
A chord diagram can be created for any fretted, stringed instrument by customizing an existing one. It can be saved to a custom palette for future use if required.
To add a fretboard diagram to the score, use one of the following methods:
For example, to create a full-barre F# chord, from a C chord:
Set "Frets" to "4" and fret number (right-hand scroll bar) to "2." The diagram should now look like this:
Create the barre by holding Shift and clicking on the second fret of the 6th string. Click "OK" to exit and you should get this:
The same principle applies if you want a partial barré. For example, the partial barré in an A7 chord is created by pressing Shift, then clicking on the 4th string, second fret:
The size ("Scale"), color and position of a fretboard diagram can be changed by clicking on it and altering the relevant values in the Inspector.
The position of the fretboard diagram can also be adjusted in Edit mode:
Some default properties of fretboard diagrams (barre thickness, vertical position, size etc.) can be adjusted from the menu: select Style → General… → Chord Symbols, Fretboard Diagrams. Any changes made here affect all existing diagrams, as well as those applied subsequently.
If MuseScore or your computer should crash, or if power is lost, a pop-up message upon restarting MuseScore will ask if you wish to restore the previous session.
If you click No, any work from your previous session will be lost. If you click Yes, MuseScore will attempt to recover the files that were open.
When MuseScore recovers files after a crash, it renames them with the full path name added in front of the original file name. This very long name will appear in the tab(s) above the active score window. On some operating systems, when a user saves any of these recovered files, it will be saved in the folder in which the program itself is running. This is not necessarily the same directory in which the scores were saved when they were created. You may not be able to locate the revised file in the usual folder.
To avoid this, do not use "Save" the first time you save a recovered file. Use the "Save As..." menu item before making any revisions to the score, to save each recovered file under either its original name or a new name. This will open a window to allow you to navigate to the correct folder and directory. This is important in order to ensure that the file is saved to the folder in which you expect to find it later.
In the event that "Save" is used instead of "Save As..." with a recovered file, you will have to find the files in your computer. The actual location of those files will vary, depending on your operating system, and in which directory MuseScore is installed.
For Windows 7, with a default installation of MuseScore to the x86 program files directory, recovered files are auto-saved to
C:\Program Files (x86)\MuseScore2\bin.
For Windows 10, look in
C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\MuseScore 2\bin
You may need to run a system-wide search in order to find files saved directly after a session recovery. Use keywords from the original file name as well as wildcards, and specify the date modified.
The Score Properties dialog contains the document meta tags such as "workTitle," "Composer," "Copyright" etc. To view the dialog:
Several meta tags are generated automatically when you create a score using the New Score Wizard, and others may be added later. Meta tags can also be incorporated into a header or footer if required—see below.
Every score has the following fields available in Score Properties. Some are automatically filled in on score creation, while others will be empty unless specifically changed. The first four items in the following list are not user-modifiable, and cannot be used in the header or footer (they are not really meta tags).
When working on multiple scores that belong to one larger work, the nomenclature is like this: workNumber and workTitle are the number and title of the larger work (e.g. opus 8, “Le quattro stagioni” (The four seasons) by Antonio Vivaldi), movementNumber is the number of the movement you’re working on (e.g. 3 for Autumn) and movementTitle is its title (“L’autunno”). It is customary, when using the New Score Wizard, to create a work with the movementTitle as title (even though it ends up in workTitle then) and, directly after creating the score, fixing up this information in the Score Properties dialogue. This ensures that the title frame of the printed score contains the information you expect but the metadata is also correct.
Every part additionally has the following meta tag, generated and filled on part creation:
To show the content of one or more meta tags in a header or footer for your score/part:
From the menu, select Style → General... → Header, Footer, Numbers;
If you hover with your mouse over the Header or Footer text region, a list of macros will appear, showing their meaning, as well as the existing meta tags and their content.
Add tags (e.g. $:workTitle:) and macros (e.g. $M) to the appropriate boxes, as required;
The Master Palette enables you to access all the possible elements that could be added to custom palettes, and, in the case of Time Signatures and Key Signatures, make your own.
To open, use either of the following options:
Hovering the mouse over an item shows a tool tip (a short definition in black on yellow background).
The Symbols section of the Master Palette is a large repository of hundreds of musical symbols in addition to those found in the default palettes. You can open it from the Master Palette, or directly from the score by using the shortcut Z.
The symbols are listed under their respective musical font types: use the font menu on the bottom right of the box to specify Emmentaler, Gonville or Bravura. You can search for a particular symbol by entering a keyword in the search box.
Symbols are applied to the score by dragging and dropping, or by selecting a note or rest and double-clicking the symbol. The position can then be adjusted by dragging or by changing the horizontal / vertical offsets in the Inspector. Color and visibility can also be adjusted in the Inspector.
Note: Elements from the Symbols section do not follow any positioning rules (in many cases unlike identical elements from other sections of the Master Palette), nor do they affect score playback.
Elements from the Symbols section can be connected to each other on the score page, so that they can be moved as one unit:
Drag the first element and the attached element will follow.
MuseScore tukee monia tiedostomuotoja, joiden avulla voit jakaa ja julkaista partituureja muodossa, joka parhaiten vastaa tarpeitasi.
For more details, see Save/Export/Print.
To save and share your scores on the web at MuseScore.com:
For more details, see Share scores online.
MuseScore saves files in the following native formats:
A note about fonts: MuseScore does not embed text fonts in saved or exported native format files. If you want your MuseScore file to be viewed by other MuseScore users, make sure you are using the built-in FreeSerif or FreeSans font families for your text, or a font that the other parties have installed too. If a system does not have the fonts specified in your original file, MuseScore will use a fallback option, which may cause your score to appear differently.
MSCZ is the standard MuseScore file format and recommended for most uses. A score saved in this format takes up very little disk space, but preserves all the necessary information. The format is a ZIP-compressed version of
.mscx files and includes any images.
MSCX is the uncompressed version of the MuseScore file format. A score saved in this format will retain all information, except images. It is recommended for when manually editing the file format (using a text editor).
.*.mscz,) or (
Backup files are created automatically and saved in the same folder as your normal MuseScore file. The backup copy contains the previously saved version of the MuseScore file and can be important if your normal copy becomes corrupted, or for looking at an older version of the score.
The backup file adds a period to the beginning of the file name (
.) and a comma (
,) to the end (e.g. if your normal file is called "
untitled.mscz", the backup copy will be "
.untitled.mscz,"), and the period and comma need to be removed from the name in order to open the backup file in MuseScore. As it is stored in the same folder as your normal MuseScore file, you may also need to give it a unique name (e.g. changing "
.untitled.mscz," to "
Note: In order to see the MuseScore backup files, you may need to change your system settings to "Show hidden files". See also How to recover a backup copy of a score (MuseScore 2.x).
PDF (Portable Document Format) files are ideal for sharing your sheet music with others who do not need to edit the content. This is a very widely-used format and most users will have a PDF viewer of some kind on their computer.
To set the resolutuion of exported PDFs:
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) files are based on a bitmap image format, widely supported by software on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, and very popular on the web. MuseScore creates PNG images as they would appear if printed, one image per page.
To set the resolution of exported PNG images:
Note: If you want to create images that show only parts of the score (with or without screen-only items such as frame boxes, invisible notes, and out-of-range note colors), use Image capture instead.
SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files can be opened by most web browsers (except Internet Explorer before version 9) and most vector graphics software. However, most SVG software does not support embedded fonts, so the appropriate MuseScore fonts must be installed to view these files correctly.
To set resolution and transparency of exported SVG files, see the instructions under PNG (above).
MuseScore can export normalized synthesized audio of the score (via the File → Export... command) to the following formats:
WAV (Waveform Audio Format) is an uncompressed sound format. This was developed by Microsoft and IBM, and is widely supported by software for Windows, OS X, and Linux. It is an ideal format for use when creating CDs, as full sound quality is preserved. However, the large file sizes make it difficult to share via email or the web.
Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) is compressed audio format. FLAC files are approximately half the size of uncompressed audio and just as good quality. Windows and OS X do not have built-in support for FLAC, but software such as the free and open source VLC media player can play FLAC files on any operating system.
Ogg Vorbis is intended as a patent-free replacement for the popular MP3 audio format (which MuseScore also supports—see below). Like MP3, Ogg Vorbis files are relatively small (often a tenth of uncompressed audio), but some sound quality is lost. Windows and OS X do not have built-in support for Ogg Vorbis. However, software such as VLC media player and Firefox can play Ogg files on any operating system.
MP3 files are relatively small (often a tenth of uncompressed audio), but some sound quality is lost. To be able to create MP3 files, an additional library, lame_enc.dll (Windows) or libmp3lame.dylib (Mac), needs to be installed. MuseScore will prompt you for its location. You can get it at http://lame.buanzo.org/.
Some Mac users may find MuseScore encounters an error loading the MP3 library, possibly due to that library being a 32-bit library. A 64-bit build that will work with MuseScore is available from http://thalictrum.com/en/products/lame (note that it is necessary to rename the file to libmp3lame.dylib for MuseScore to recognize it). Homebrew users just need to run
brew install lame.
As of version 2.1 you can set the MP3 bitrate:
For all audio formats you can set the sample rate:
The following are musical score formats (like MuseScore's native format, MSCZ), which allow you to import files made with other music notation programs or export files that you can open with other music notation programs.
MusicXML is the universal standard for sheet music. It is the recommended format for sharing sheet music between different scorewriters, including MuseScore, Sibelius, Finale, and more than 100 others.
Compressed MusicXML creates smaller files than regular MusicXML. This is a newer standard and isn't as widely supported by older scorewriters, but MuseScore has full import and export support.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) (external link) is a format widely supported by sequencers and music notation software.
MIDI files are designed for playback purposes and do not contain score layout information about formatting, pitch spelling, voicing, ornaments, articulations, repeats, or key signatures, among other things. To share files between different music notation software, MusicXML is recommended instead. If you are only interested in playback, use MIDI.
*.md) (import only)
MuseData is a format developed by Walter B. Hewlett beginning in 1983 as an early means of sharing music notation between software. It has since been eclipsed by MusicXML, but several thousand scores in this format are still available online.
*.capx) (import only)
CAP and CAPX files are created by the score writer, Capella. MuseScore imports version 2000 (3.0) or later fairly accurately (2.x doesn't work, while the
*.all format from 1.x versions is not supported at all).
*.bww) (import only)
BWW files are created by the niche score writer, Bagpipe Music Writer.
*.sgu) (import only)
BB files are created by the music arranging software, Band-in-a-Box. MuseScore's support is currently experimental.
*.ove) (import only)
OVE files are created by the score writer Overture. This format is mainly popular in Chinese-language environments, such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. MuseScore's support is currently experimental.
*.gpx) (import only)
GP files are created by Guitar Pro.
A number of useful commands can be found in the Edit → Tools submenu.
This tool adds or removes line breaks over all or part of the score:
Chose Edit→Tools→Add/Remove Line Breaks…. The following dialog appears.
Chose one of the following options:
The explode command allows you to select a passage of music in a single staff and split (explode) the chords into their constituent notes. The top note of each chord is retained on this "source staff" while lower notes are moved to subsequent staves. Explode only affects notes in voice 1.
To explode a section of the score:
Notes: (1) MuseScore will discard the lowest note(s) of any chord that contains more notes than the number of staves in the selection. (2) If a given chord has fewer notes than the number of destination staves, then notes will be duplicated as needed so that every staff receives a note. (3) Any existing music in the destination staves is overwritten. (4) If you select a partial measure, the explode command will automatically expand it to a full measure.
The Implode command works in the opposite way to "explode":
Note: Implode works best if the rhythms of selected underlying staves are similar to that of the top staff—the latter providing the rhythmic template for the operation.
The voice 1 notes of underlying staves are copied to the top staff in the selection.
All selected notes in the staff are now displayed in voice 1.
This command fills the selection with slashes, one per beat. For normal (empty) measures, the slashes are added in voice 1.
If there are already notes in a measure in the selection, the command will put the slashes into the first empty voice it finds. If a measure contains notes in all 4 voices, voice 1 will be filled with slashes, over-writing any existing notes. In voices 1 and 2 the slashes will be centered on the middle line of the staff, in voices 3 and 4 they appear small and above or below the staff. All slashes are set to not transpose or playback.
This command toggles selected notes between normal notes and rhythmic slash notation: notes with slash heads, set to not transpose or playback. For notes in voices one or two, the notes are fixed to the middle staff line.
For notes in voices three or four, the notes are fixed above or below the staff and are also marked small (also known as "accent" notation). You may find it helpful to use the selection filter to exclude voices one and two from your selection before running this command, so only the notes in voices three and four are affected.
In percussion staves, the notes in voices 3 and 4 are not converted to small slashes but to small notes above or below the staff.
Rehearsal marks added via the text palette will automatically be labeled with the next letter or number (based on whatever you typed into the first rehearsal mark), but with the menu command Edit→Tools→Resequence Rehearsal Marks, you can change all marks at once from letters to numbers (e.g.) or correct marks that have become out of order through use of copy and paste. Select the range of measures you want to apply the command to before running it.
MuseScore automatically detects the sequence based on the first rehearsal mark in the selection—all rehearsal marks in the selection are then altered accordingly.
The sequence can be:
This command, available in MuseScore 2.0.3 and above, copies all the lyrics of a score, so you can paste them into another document.
MuseScore 2 offers several specialized functions to create engravings of early music (particularly medieval and renaissance) akin to commercial editions from the 20th century onwards.
In MuseScore, notes lasting longer than the duration of a measure are normally tied across barlines. However MuseScore has a special feature which allows it to display the note values intact, without splitting and tying them in this way. This enables you to notate music which is unbarred (i.e. not divided into measures), such as that of the renaissance:
Note: The feature is still in development and may contain bugs. The longest supported note value is the longa (a dotted longa is still broken up and tied over).
Since a complete lack of barlines could make performing the music more difficult for current musicians, many modern engravers settled on a compromise called Mensurstrich, where barlines are drawn between, but not across, staves.
To place barlines between staves:
Alternatively, you can use the Inspector:
Note: To reset barlines, select the relevant barlines and make the following settings: "Spanned staves" = 1; "Spanned from" = 0; "Spanned to = "8."
Before there was the concept of an absolute pitch, performers were required to transpose vocal music to a singable range for their ensemble "on the fly." To aid them, an ambitus was sometimes included, marking the entire range of a voice at the beginning of the piece.
To apply an ambitus, use one of the following methods:
When applied, the ambitus automatically displays the note range of the score: if there is a section break then only the note range of the section is displayed. Beyond the section break a new ambitus may be applied.
The note range of the ambitus can be adjusted manually by selecting it and changing the "Top note" and "Bottom note" values in the Inspector. For automatic adjustment click the Update Range button in the inspector.
In the mensural notation system, time signatures did not define the length of a measure, but the length of breves and semibreves. MuseScore supports mensural time symbols as a display method in the Time signature properties dialog rather than as symbols, but they are just for show, as the proportion of e.g. half notes per whole notes cannot be modified.
One way to make use of these symbols is to replicate when composers of the renaissance had multiple voices in different time signatures simultaneously without using tuplets. Edit the time signature on a per-staff basis, as long as the beginning and end of a measure in all staves match up. If they do not, then consider increasing the size of the measures to the lowest common denominator.
De Profundis Clamavi for 5 voices by Josquin Des Prez
Pianopartituureissa on yleistä käyttää molempia viivastoja (basso ja diskanttiavain) musiikillisen fraasin kirjoittamiseen. Tämän voi tehdä MuseScorella seuraavasti:
Kirjoita kaikki nuotit samalle viivastolle:
Ctrl+Vaihto+↓ siirtää valitun nuotin tai soinnun seuraavalle alemmalle viivastolle (Mac: ⌘+Vaihto+↓):
Note : this moves the whole chord, not just a single note from a multi note chord. If you need notes in the old staff at the same place, use voices.
To adjust the beam, double-click it to show the handles. Use the keyboard arrows or drag the handles to change the beam angle and position:
The Staff Properties dialog allows you to make changes to the display of a staff, adjust its tuning and transposition, change instrument etc. To open:
Staff Properties dialog, as of version 2.1.
For practical purposes, there are four different types of staff:
1a. Standard staff I. A pitched staff used for most instruments except fretted, plucked-string ones.
1b. Standard staff II. A pitched staff containing a fretted, plucked-string instrument, with options to set the number of instrument strings and tuning.
2. Tablature staff. A staff containing a fretted, plucked-string instrument, which displays music as a series of fret-marks on strings. Also contains options to set the number of instrument strings and tuning.
3. Percussion staff. A pitched staff for percussion instruments.
It is possible to change one type of staff into another using the Instruments dialog, as long as the original staff is loaded with the right instrument. For example, in order to change a standard staff to tablature, it must contain a plucked-string instrument. Similarly, to change a standard staff to a percussion staff you need to ensure that it has an appropriate percussion instrument loaded and so on.
Most options in the Staff properties dialog are common to all staves, but each type also has one or two specific options of its own.
The following Staff Properties options are common to all staves:
The number of lines making up the staff.
The distance between two staff lines, measured in spaces (abbr.: sp). If you set this to a higher value, the lines are spaced more widely apart; a lower value and they are closer together. It is not recommended to change this value for the standard group, for which the default distance is 1.0 (instead, change the actual size of the sp unit in Sivun asetukset); other groups may have different default values (for instance, tablature usually has a line distance of 1.5 sp).
Extra distance above staff
Increases or decreases the distance between the selected staff and the one above in all systems. However, it does not apply to the top staff of a system, which is controlled by the minimum/maximum system distance (see Layout and formatting: Style → General... → Page).
Alternatively, you can alter the "Extra distance above staff" directly from the score page:
1. Press and hold the Shift key.
2. Click on an empty space in a staff and drag it up or down with the mouse.
Note: To alter the spacing above just one staff line in a particular system, see Vaihdot ja välistäjät.
Changes the size of the selected staff and all associated elements, as a percentage (to adjust the overall score size, use Scaling from the Layout→Page Settings… menu).
Never hide this staff. This overrules any "Hide empty staves" setting in Layout and Formatting: Style → General... → Score.
Whether the staff clef will be shown.
Show time signature
Whether the staff time signature(s) will be shown or not.
Whether the staff barlines will be shown.
Hide system barline
Show/hide barline at left-hand edge of the staff.
Do not hide if system is empty
Never hide this staff, even if the entire system is empty. This overrules any "Hide empty staves" setting in Layout and Formatting: Style → General... → Score.
Create a reduced-size staff. You can set the default from the menu in Layout and Formatting: Style → General... → Sizes
Invisible staff lines
Make staff lines invisible.
Staff line color
Use a color picker to change the color of the staff lines.
Long instrument name
Name displayed to the left of the staff in the first system of the score. The long instrument name may also be edited directly as a text object (as of version 2.1): see Text editing.
Short instrument name
Name displayed to the left of the staff in subsequent systems of the score. The short instrument name may also be edited directly as a text object (as of version 2.1): see Text editing. Editing affects all occurrences in the score.
Usable pitch range
Notes outside this range will be marked in red in the score window, if "Color notes outside of usable pitch range" is ticked in Preferences > Note input.
Transpose written pitches (as of version 2.1) / Play transposition
This option ensures that the staves of transposing instruments display music at the correct written pitch. Set the transpose in term of a musical interval (plus octave if required) up or down. For plucked-string instruments such as the guitar, this property can be used to create the effect of applying a capo.
Navigation arrows (as of version 2.1)
Use the ↑ and ↓ buttons, at the bottom left of the Staff Properties window, to navigate to the previous or next staff.
Staves of fretted, plucked-string instruments have a few extra options in addition to those listed above,
Number of strings
Displays the number of instrument strings.
Edit String Data…
This button opens a dialog box which allows you to set the number and tuning of strings. See Change string tuning.
Clicking the Advanced Style Properties... button opens a window giving access to advanced display options for the staff. These will vary depending on the staff type chosen: see the relevant sections below for details.
At the bottom of the Advanced Style Properties dialog there are a number of buttons which allow you to easily change the following:
Show key signature
Whether the staff key signature will be shown.
Show ledger lines
Whether the staff ledger lines will be shown.
If checked, staff notes will have no stem, hook or beam.
If not checked, the top tablature line will refer to the highest string and the bottom tablature line will refer to the lowest string (most common case). If checked, the top tablature line will refer to the lowest string and the bottom tablature line will refer to the highest line (used in Italian style lute tablatures).
Fret marks are the numbers or letters used to indicate the location of notes on the fingerboard. The following group of properties define the appearance of fret marks:
The font used to draw fret marks. As of version 2.1, 8 fonts are provided supporting all the necessary symbols in 8 different styles (modern Serif, modern Sans, Renaissance, Phalèse, Bonneuil-de Visée, Bonneuil-Gaultier, Dowland, Lute Didactic).
Font size of fret marks in typographic points. Built-in fonts usually look good at a size of 9-10pt.
MuseScore tries to place symbols in a sensible way and you do not usually need to alter this value (set to 0) for built-in fonts. If the font has symbols not aligned on the base line (or in some other way MuseScore does not expect), this property allows you to move fret-marks up (negative offsets) or down (positive offsets) for better vertical positioning. Values are in sp.
Numbers / Letters
Whether to use numbers (‘1’, ‘2’...) or letters (‘a’, ‘b’...) as fret marks. When letters are used, ‘j’ is skipped and ‘k’ is used for the 9th fret.
On lines / Above lines
Whether marks should be placed on the string lines or above them.
Continuous / Broken
Whether string lines should pass ‘through’ fret marks or should stop at them.
Example of numbers on broken lines:
Example of letters above continuous lines:
Example of 'upside down' tablature (same contents as number example above):
Show back-tied fret marks
If unticked, only the first note in a series of tied notes is displayed. If ticked, all notes in the tied series are displayed.
From version 2.1, tick to allow the display of fingering symbols applied from a palette.
This group of properties defines the appearance of the symbols indicating note values.
The font used to draw the value symbols. Currently 5 fonts are provided supporting all the necessary symbols in 5 different styles (modern, Italian tablature, French tablature, French baroque (headless), French baroque). Used only with the Note symbols option.
Font size, in typographic points. Built-in fonts usually look good at a size of 15pt. Used only with the Note symbols option.
Applies only when Note symbols is selected (see below). Use negative offset values to raise the note value symbols, positive values to lower them.
Shown as: None
No note value will be drawn (as in the examples above)
Shown as: Note symbols
Symbols in the shape of notes will be drawn above the staff. When this option is selected, symbols are drawn only when the note value changes, without being repeated (by default) for a sequence of notes all of the same value.
Example of values indicated by note symbols:
Shown as: Stems and beams
Note stems and beams (or hooks) will be drawn. Values are indicated for each note, using the same typographic devices as for a regular staff; all commands of the standard Beam Palette can be applied to these beams too.
Example of values indicated by note stems:
Repeat: Never / At new system / At new measure / Always
Whether and when to repeat the same note symbol, if several notes in sequence have the same value (only available with the Note symbols option).
Beside staff / Through staff
Whether stems are drawn as fixed height lines above/below the staff or run through the staff to reach the fret marks each refers to (only available with the Stems and Beams option).
Above / Below staff
Whether stems and beams are drawn above or below the staff (only available with the Stems and Beams option / Beside staff sub-option).
None / As short stems / As slashed stems
To select three different styles to draw stems for half notes (only available with the Stems and Beams option / Beside staff sub-option).
Whether note symbols should be used to indicate also the rests; when used for rests, note symbols are drawn at a slightly lower position. Used only with the Note symbols option.
Displays a short score in tablature format with all the current parameters applied.
You can change any instrument in a score to a different instrument at any time. The following method updates instrument sound, staff name, and staff transposition all at once.
Not to be confused with Mid-staff instrument change.