MuseScore 4. Moving from notation software to composition software.

• Xun 11, 2020 - 15:02

Hello, fellow musicians!

Today, we are happy to announce a new chapter in the history of MuseScore: we are now actively working on the development of MuseScore 4!

Moving from Notation Software to Composition Software

Although notation is always of paramount importance to MuseScore, we want to expand our capabilities to include other areas of modern composition: experimentation, sharing & collaboration, working with mixed media, sophisticated organisation and being able to produce high-quality audio. MuseScore 4 is the first step in achieving this expanded focus.

However, this does not mean that we are going to start adding new features at the expense of existing ones. In order to achieve our goals, we need to look ‘inwards’ first. Armed with two years of user feedback on MuseScore 3, we have begun the process of making significant improvements to almost all aspects of the application: improved engraving defaults, simplification of the interface, more powerful functionality and an overhaul of its appearance, to name a few.

Product side of MuseScore 4

Although we are still in the early stages of development, we wanted to show a few examples of what we are planning.

Home

One common issue we’ve found with MuseScore is that users often find it difficult to find and install SoundFonts and extensions. In fact, many users don’t even know they exist in the first place! We intend to fix this by creating a single place where these options are more visible and easy to access. In the long-term, we plan to continuously expand this space to eventually become your one-stop for everything: extensions, audio plugins, languages, external templates, fonts, libraries, preferences, tutorials, account information, etc.


Improved interface

Under the design direction of Martin Keary, we are making significant improvements to the interaction models and interface of MuseScore 4. Our focus is on ensuring that new users and professionals are able to work as quickly and easily as possible. All key actions should be conveniently "to hand" with more complex actions still being easy to find.

We are taking some of the new interaction ideas we introduced in the latest ‘Palettes’ panel updates and are now applying them across the app. Eventually, the MuseScore interface will reflect some of the interface advancements seen in modern DAW’s and visual creation apps.

The first (and probably the most significant) change we are making is to the ‘Inspector’ panel. This is a gigantic overhaul: we have simplified thousands of individual settings, making them much easier to find and understand, while paving the way for much more powerful settings and controls in the future.

We are also changing the default options found in the top bar, adding options for tuplets as well as some of the most common articulations. In addition, we will also make it easier for users to edit this toolbar to tailor it to their own unique workflow. We are also improving the playback panel to be more descriptive and aesthetically pleasing.


Instruments Panel

We have completely reimagined the system for adding and editing instruments, giving users a much faster and intuitive way to alter the layout and appearance of their scores.

The Sequencer

Building on our existing piano roll, the sequencer is a new page in MuseScore’s history. The ambition is to eventually allow composers to create highly polished audio - bypassing the need for a companion DAW. We will fully synchronize the ability to work in both the Notation and Sequencer modes, with the option to detach the piano roll as a separate interface element.

Collaboration and cloud features

Building on our existing ‘Publishing’ capability, where users can upload their scores directly to MuseScore.com, we will also provide an convenient (and free) way for users to save their ‘works-in-progress’ privately. MuseScore will start supporting cloud storage by default but will not prevent you from storing your files locally.

This is the first step in building up a sophisticated sharing and co-working capability. Next, we plan to add the ability to share your work with other musicians, who can add annotations (using the website, mobile or desktop apps) which will sync with your project. This will allow students and teachers, as well as arrangers and musicians to optimize the process of working together. No more emailing PDF’s to musicians to get feedback. They can look at and listen to your score online and make comments that will sync with your project immediately.



VST

Probably the most exciting part of our plans include a new audio engine as well as VST support. We plan to implement integration with Steinberg's VSTi SDK, while making sure that our system will integrate with NotePerformer. To that end, we are in constant communication with the engineers from the NotePerformer team to ensure that the integration goes smoothly.

If you are interested in hearing more about these plans, we are creating a YouTube video to be released soon. Subscribe to our channel now if you don’t want to miss it!

Technical side of MuseScore 4

In order to implement the concept of the new version of the editor, we made several important decisions:

  • We have moved to the new code style. Previously, we used the unpopular Banner style with weird 6-spaces indents and bracket positions. Now we stick to Qt-like code style and partly borrow ideas from Google Codestyle. This greatly reduces the entry barrier for experienced users who get used to 4-spaces indents and natural code styles.
  • We begin to actively use QML in UI development.
    • The first experiment of using QML in the editor interface was Palettes. The process of implementing and supporting Palettes has shown that QML simplifies the process of constructing an interface for a developer and provides a clear implementation of the MVC pattern. In addition, QML supports animations, touch interfaces and better support for accessibility features right out of the box.
    • The second approach was to implement a new UI for the inspector. The new inspector can already be tried in the master branch and nightly builds. Implementing such an interface using QWidgets would be very very difficult and time consuming.

More about the pros and cons of QML is explained by Vasily Perverzev in details on MuseScore Development YouTube channel.

Few words about MuseScore 3

We are proud of what has been achieved in MuseScore 3. Smart layout, new palettes, single note dynamics and literally a thousand of small and significant improvements comparing to what we had in MuseScore 2.

We are preparing MuseScore 3.5 release right now with more than three hundred of fixes and improvements thanks to the valuable impact of more than 20 contributors all over the world.

We want to make MuseScore 3 as stable as possible. This is because there will be no minor updates to the MuseScore 3 series anymore. We are planning to make patch releases like 3.5.1 if needed, but our main focus starting from now is MuseScore 4.


Comments

wao, se espectacular, cómo podría participar en el desarrollo del programa?
Puedo aportar ideas como:
La edición MIDI, puede funcionar si lo hacen directamente desde la estación de edición sin necesidad de abrir una nueva ventana.

This is absolutely great news!

Maybe this already been written, so sorry for not having read all 180 responses: I hope that the sequencer and VST support will include mapping (all) articulations to midi actions like channel changes and key switches.

I think I saw this asked somewhere in here but couldn't find the place... it's literally a heck ton of comments to find it... so we will be able to convert Musescore 3 files to Musescore 4 ones? And the opposite of course?

The UI improvements sound promising, thanks for continuing to make things more usable. Does these mean development in 3.5 will stop and we'll never see albums returned there?

I gather that MS is already a rather large and complex program. Since not all features are needed by all users, would there be any point in breaking up the program into a base component plus optional downloadable modules, such as is done with e.g. GNU Octave (a near-clone of Matlab)?

Also, there have been suggestions to add various features as add-on plugins, but I am not aware of any usable documentation on how to write a plugin or details of the API that is exposed to the plugin author.

In reply to by dhfx

It is a rather large piece of software indeed. But part of the behind-the-scenes work (the work currently being done) is a review and refactor of the code into better manageable, smaller modules.

MuseScore is already being split into the (very complete) base program and some extensions (such as MDL and the HQ SoundFont); and indeed, more of such extensions are expected to arrive in the future, tailored towards different composing/transcribing flows/instruments.

The current plugin API is available at https://musescore.github.io/MuseScore_PluginAPI_Docs/plugins/html/index…

In reply to by jeetee

Haven’t packaged it yet, I don’t have a usecase, and I got no user requests for it (many will probably want to just download it the usual way, but if more add-ons ① are available and ② end up being considered core functionality, this will likely change.

AIUI it’s just installing a couple of files into the right directories (/usr/share/sounds/sfz, /usr/share/mscore*/templates/, etc).

Hello,

My knowledge regarding coding is close to nothing — but I happen to speak both English and French quite fluently (the latter being my native language) and would be glad to provide translations if some are needed. I just ignore how and if it is possible...

Thanks for letting me know if I can help.

In reply to by sr3323

Most probably. Unless and until some 3rd party library or software needed to build and use MuseScore stops working there. The almost all things part of your sentence...
MuseScore 4 will most probably run on Windows 7, but won't be supported, because Microsoft does not.
Same/similar for some ancient macOS versions. Up to now, for MuseScore 3, we still provide it for macOS 10.10 and 10.11. Not sure whether we will (be able to) do this for MuseScore 4 too.

In reply to by Iothes

?? Exactly what I said, 32bit and 64bit version for Windows (because Windowes exists in either version and the 32bit Windows can't run 64bit MuseScore), only one version (64bit) for macOS (32bit macOS ceased to exist long ago, since at least 10.5) and Linux.
Not related at all to whether MuseScore 4 may support Windows 7 or not (which is probably but not guaranteed), or come in a 32bit and a 64bit (which certainly will be the case)

In reply to by Iothes

When a 64-bit operating system supports 32-bit apps, or 20 years ago, 32-bit Windows supported 16-bit apps, it is the equivalent of supporting a whole, not-completely separate, simulated operating system within itself. This is a very large amount of code and function. As discussed in another thread, supporting major functionality is not free, that is, any change to the internals of the product has to "not break" the hoary relic. That is a source of bugs, and a constraint on solutions and enhancements available to the basic product. When "the world has by and large moved on", it is appropriate to drop support kludges for obsolete relics. MacOS 10.15 has dropped support for 32-bit apps.

Supporting phone booths cost the telephone companies money. Although some people don't have cellular phones, and Superman has to change clothes somewhere, at some point phone booths were not worth their maintenance. Mutatis mutandi, the same for support for "obsolete" versions of a platform. Yes, "obsolete" is nasty word.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yeah, I know Windows 7 is out of support, but we don't want to update and risk losing some stuff. Plus, I really, really don't like Windows 10, for a bunch of reasons. Along with composing for films, I also do IT, so most people find it doubly odd that I hate Windows 10.
Anyway, thanks for the response. I figured it probably would work with Windows 7, but I have tried to install several programs before, and got an error message saying something along the lines of 'Your version of Windows is not supported. Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 is required to launch this program". Presonus' Notion 6, for example.

In reply to by choombaj

Windows 10 is supposedly the best out of all windows... :/ So it kind of really is weird if you use earlier windows... Perhaps the problem lies in customisation or something? But I recommend using a Linux distro if what you do is anything BUT gaming: they are the best for (almost) everything you want to do and there are many software substitutes of the ones found only in windows.

In reply to by Iothes

Windows 10 is slow, incompatible with most older programs (even with changing Compatibility Mode settings), not as customizable, forces too many things on you with updates, never EVER finds what you're searching for in the Start menu, etc. Really, the list goes on and on for me. When I upgraded my hard drive to an SSD, I made sure to install Windows 7 instead of 10. I have no plan on updating to 10 anytime soon, either.
That being said, Linux is becoming a more viable option every day. My only problem with Linux is that so much is based around the terminal, and I don't have the time to memorize all of the necessary commands for regular tasks, networking, etc.

In reply to by choombaj

That's a myth, or kind of: There are so many Linux Distributions for every "need". Some Linux Distros focus on customisability, some on privacy, or convenience and so on... In most that are designated to "common users" the terminal won't be needed almost never. I personally use the terminal only to execute .sh files or install stuff, nothing more. One that might look almost like Windows is Linux Mint.

In reply to by Iothes

Believe me, I know. I do IT. Linux Mint and Ubuntu are the main ones I use. However, I do some advanced system processes, so I do need to use the terminal for more stuff than the average user, and that's just a lot of extra work to memorize a hundred more commands.
Plus, I find it obnoxious to have to run 6 or so commands to install a program, instead of just having an executable file. I still use and really appreciate Linux, but Windows 7 is the best for me.

This is INCREDIBLE news! You almost made me cry!
This update is EXACTLY what I need to take on more complex music projects!
I can't wait to see what else you have planned for MuseScore 4!

Wow. The improvements sound great. I hope Musescore doesn't move toward the dreaded "F" word (Freemium Version) now that it is approaching something like Finale or Sibelius. I can see something like Max 4 instruments, no cloud saving, No saving to Musescore, no advanced editing, no MXL import, etc, etc. I know the temptation will be overwhelming to go freemium. Please don't.

In reply to by odelphi231

It is important to note that MuseScore is t just free but also “open source”. Meaning that even if anyone tried to sell it, anyone else could simply compile it for themselves and offer it for free.

That’s not to say hat no one can charge for additional services like for instance the score sharing website musescore.com. But the program itself by law must always remain open source and hence will always be available for free.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, I appreciate you telling us that. But what exactly do you mean by, " But the program itself by law must always remain open source and hence will always be available for free." Are there laws that prevent an open source program from EVER becoming a paid version. I guess I don't understand copyright law and open source law. Could it only mean that the 3.x version of Musescore will remain open source, but later version will be pay? Or does the law say, all versions until the year 2525, must remain free?

In reply to by odelphi231

As I said, nothing prevents anyone from trying to sell the program, and in fact there are those selling MuseScore today. But the legally binding license agreement within the program states clearly that the source code must remain open to everyone. Not “just” until 20525, but forever. As long as there are people wanting access to the program and people willing to host it, that will be possible, because the license requires it. Anyone who tries to violate this agreement would be sued, and would lose, because the license is well understood by all who know copyright law.

So again, even if someone want to sell the program, the source code will remain open, so someone else can simply make it available for free.

Feel free to do web searches for more info on how open source licenses work.

In reply to by odelphi231

Computer programs, like works of literature, enjoy copyright protection. Copyright basically means that, to do certain things (copy, modify, etc.) you have to have permission from the copyright owners (normally the authors, but exploitation rights often lie with their employers).

MuseScore 1, 2 and 3 come under a licence (which is what these permissions are called) that grants certain freedoms to the general public tied to certain conditions, such as, when giving away a copy of MuseScore (modified or not) one also has to hand over the source for that specific version to the recipient.

That being said, due to the two CLAs, nothing prevents a team of Werner and MuseScore BVBA from using a different licence for MuseScore 4. (In fact, if they wish to support VSTs and NotePerformer, they will have to do so.) Let’s hope they’ll choose a similarily Free one.

In reply to by mirabilos

So the bottom line of what you're saying is there's no legal guarantee that MuseScore 4 and all that comes with it (with specific reference to non-VST/NotePerformer-stuff like the planned engraving improvements) will remain open source?

Edit: I know the "Will MuseScore remain free/open source?" question has been answered many times. Its just there always seems to be some kind of remote possibility of that not being the case...

In reply to by BarnieSnyman

There are nōn-free variants of MuseScore with new features around right in this moment already: the (old, at least) Android äpp, for example. So, this is not actually a biggie.

There’s no legal guarantee that MuseScore 4 (as developed by MuseScore BVBA with contributions under a CLA) will stay Open Source, but a promise from the core team and the new owner Ultimate Guitar. (Promises can be broken, but ⓐ at that point, they’ll have annoyed users calling for blood, and ⓑ anything published already (if you managed to save a copy in time) will stay Free.)

That being said, MuseScore 4 is being developed publicly, so should they ever stop that, you can just pick up from the last Free version. This is what has been done for a lot of software that suddenly became nōn-free in the past.

I consider this a pretty strong guarantee.

For Debian packaging, I have extra concerns, such as licence compatibility of all dependencies and the likes, but we’ll see what will be once there will be anything to be.

Your plans for MuseScore 4 make me very happy.

Currently I use MuseScore to compose my music, then transfer it to Tracktion Waveform to record instruments and audio tracks, apply FX, and mix. This workflow is workable but I would like to jump easily back and forth between composing and recording stages.

Perhaps I don't have to buy Dorico elements.

All of this is amazingly interesting! However, I have one suggestion: better MIDI importing. I never liked how midis were previously imported: bad swing, grace notes not being implemented correctly, etc. So please fix all of that. Thanks!

In reply to by TheYellowGuy123

I understand the frustration but converting a MIDI file (primary one that is the result of recording a free performance or an improvisation) to a musical score is a very hard thing to do because MIDI simply does not contain required information.
The only possibility is to guess things using some artifical inteligence algorithms.
I think that, in general, other software does not do much better work... or you have different experiences?

Not even 3 years after and we're already looking towards MS4? I have to say that the promises are absolutely amazing! And with likely implementation of NotePerformer? I'm salivating! The UI looks super sleek, and just in general looks like a brand-new MuseScore! I'm really excited for a first release! I hope it means that I won't have to re-learn MuseScore if I want to migrate to 4. I wish you guys the best in development!!

Microtonal Scales: You would get a rather big number of new users in Asia and Middle East if MuseScore 4 would support microtonality.
>< This means that there would be no hard-coded 12-tone equal temperament scale (our standard western scale) inside the program. Instead it would be just one preset (among others) in a scale engine, which allows a user to set up whatever scale and temperament he wants to compose with.
>< Then you and the users would have to define the 'sizes' of flats, sharps and some auxiliary symbols for each preset scale.
>< Then you would have to redesign the tools and operations (transposition etc..) so that they would make sense in this kind of flexible environment.
>< Then you would have to develop synths to play these microtonal sounds
>< and then you do whatever else becomes necessary when implementing this

Would it be possible to include, or at least have downloadable, a default soundfont that isn’t the MIDI soundfont, so we can have accurate sounds for instruments like Bass Clarinets, Tubas, and Gongs, just to name a few?

I would like to see a redesign of the score Wizard. Currently, the Wizard treats every score set up as a unique situation. I'd like to see this changed. I know we have Templates, but this would be even faster and make a template more easily available. After once choosing a score setup, this could be checked as a default. A Template button could then call up the same type of score each time. So, if I prefer a grand staff, then a one click operation would set up that staff. The Wizard would then be used only for unique set ups. This could be useful for everyone because if you always use a certain ensemble set up, you can save all of the steps involved in setting up a score. The minimum steps are four and can be much more than that in large ensembles. Having default settings could reduce this to a one step operation.

I would also like to have a Log button, which is not only a grand staff set up, but the Title field is automatically filled in with the current date. I hit Log and a grand staff appears with the title for today of 200802_0001. I can then log all miscellaneous but not necessarily related ideas I have during a project.
The second number in the code is a serial number. This keeps everything in order. Like so:
200802_0001
200802_0002
200802_0003
200802_0004
200803_0005 etc.

Note that the multiple entries on 200802 are kept orderly by the serial number, and the series continues as the date changes. These files can be copied in bulk and always remain in proper order. This format is the same that is used for Tascam handheld recorders.

There could also be the option of programming the Log to the title of a current project. Say, I am working for four weeks on the same project called "To Timbuktu and Back with You," I could program the Wizard to title my Log entries as TT&BWY_0001, etc. This format would use up to six characters plus the serial number, just as the dated version uses six characters.

I've read the technical stuff in the OP, but what does it mean, in a broader sense, "Moving from notation software to composition software?" I take it that Musescore was first conceived to be notation software, most expedient for transcribers, and that it's sound reproducing features were secondary. So how does Musescore now move to "composition?" Is that the correct term? Or do you mean "performance?" How do these new features enable composers, specifically? The end of the OP highlights VST.

Where do these ideas come from? Who is on the development team?

In reply to by Rockhoven

I can't really answer the future-oriented questions, but I can speak to the history a bit.

It's true MuseScore was designed from the beginning for notation, with playback decidedly secondary in important. This in no way means it is only intended or useful or optimized for transcribing. It really is designed for, and used by, composers already. But, I would say the focus is composers whose final goal is producing notated music to give to human musicians to play. To me, part of what I see happening for MuseScore 4 is more of an acknowledgment that at least some composers are not creating for human musicians at all but for computer playback as the final output. So I expect to see improvements in the playback with this in mind, as well as engraving improvements for those composers who are writing for human musicians primarily.

As for where the ideas come from, the head of design for MuseScore is Martin Keary, aka @tantacrul, a quite famous designer in this space, although no doubt ideas from lots of sources. Since MuseScore is open source,e development team is whoever chooses to work on it. Although the company behind MuseScore has recently hired some people to drive some of this as well. Since MuseScore is open source,e anyone really curious about who is developing what can simply check the logs at https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Based on everyday activities on the MuseScore portal, it looks to me that the waste majority of MuseScore users are hobby musicians and composers. Sure, professional musicians do use MuseScore, but I think that there is smaller number of them, compared to huge number of people that love music but are not professionally involved in it.

To be honest, I think that the chance for non-professional composer's musical composition to be played by the human musicians is very low (especially to be played by the professional musicians). Thus, it is natural that people want to have a good computer playback from MuseScore. I think this is an important goal for MuseScore and I'm glad that you are giving it a higher priority.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc, I have to say I really appreciate the small design and usability improvements introduced in 3.5 making it much more usable for me personally , whereas many of the critic points I myself have had before were indeed addressed. Generally it's really impressive how this free software evolved since version 2 and that makes me much more motivated about the version 4 and the possibility for MS to become my primary notation software. As to the "moto" of this thread, I think (speaking from composer's and multidisciplinary perspective) it would be a really good thing if musescore would start closing that gap between DAW music composition production and live music production, since two processes are literally becoming inseparable these days. That's probably a dream of many composers to have a notation software, which would be capable of producing the realism of top VST-DAW soundtracks, where tedious midi editing is involved, but unfortunately all that work gets lost. If you then need to produce a decent playable sheet music, you basically have to start (almost) from scratch. Otherwise if you start with making s score, most of the time you have no realistic decently sounding mock-up until the music got rehearsed and played. Anyway thank you for your great work, and will meet again :)

In reply to by antonjazzsax

Someone asked yesterday if they could write an mp4 export routine for MuseScore. Hopefully he does. With the DAW being added in 4.0 and the general integration happening along with much needed engraving fixes expensive programs are soon to be a thing of the past.

In reply to by Rockhoven

I don't know the thoughts and aims of the developers. However my idea of a composing software could mean for example:
* tools for creating, visualising and managing the structure of a composition, say a symphony
* possibility to create different versions of any parts of a composition. So we could have three versions of the same chorus for example, and at any time we could select which one we prefer
* possibility to create instumentation sets, so we could change the instruments for the whole composition just be selecting an another instumentation set
* tools to help creating contrapunct
* tools to help voice leading and harmonizing
* assisted or even automatic creation of content
* templates for this and that
* video playback, so we could sync music with the video
* articulation and dynamics symbols that actually change the play back.

Our ideas end feedback certainly influence what the will get by MuseScore 4.

Excellent! I'm looking forward to working with v.4. I like the idea of adding the sequencer. Going from composing to mastering to post-production to audio in all one place will certainly streamline and speedup the work flow. Thanks and keep up the good work! I can't wait to dump my other DAW software.....

I've seen some of the comments here mention video playback as a desired feature and I just wanted to add my support for such a request. Composition is increasingly tied to other media (games, films, stage, advertisement or other visual component) and being able to write to video is increasingly needed by many composers. If the goal of is to move from "notation software to composition software" then I really believe that sync'd video playback is essential. Reaper achieved this by using VLC to handle the bulk of the work for them. I wonder if MuseScore might benefit from a similar approach?

In reply to by Unknown-1

Those are concept pictures. I don't think they're implemented yet.

Even so, they wouldn't come available in the nightlies as long as not enough (other) basic functionality has found its place in the new UI as well. The progress is available for self-builders behind a compile switch, but the nightlies still mainly use the current UI as a means of testing the internal changes.

I'm very glad to hear about this news!! I'm excited as I've always trusted in Musescore developers continuously striving for improvement, and listening to community feedback!

I don't know if you guys are still listening to suggestions, but I've got some that may be nice to be implemented into Musescore 4.
1. The ability to sync video footage with a score. This would be nice for all of us doing film scoring. Currently, I had to switch from Musescore to another DAW for film scoring, since there is no default option to do so in Musescore. I would LOVE to see this being implemented into Musescore 4, and I think that would definitely encourage more users to stay on Musescore instead of switching to another DAW.
2. The ability to freeze tracks into audio files during sequencing. As you know there are many VSTs that consume a lot of RAM, so implementing the option to freeze tracks would be nice!

If you guys eventually have implemented these suggestions, then Musescore would definitely become a professional software. I cannot wait to see what you guys are able to achieve! All the way I'll continue my pro subscription as my support :D

I hope you fix the bug in play button. Play button in Musescore 3 is really annoying, no matter how many times I reset the preferences, it still won't play or sometimes it takes too long to respond.

In reply to by Shirly Lyubomirsky

Without being being a developer: when it's ready ;-). But I don't think it will be released this year. As far I can see at time there probably will be released a 3.5.1 and a 3.6 version before.
But as mentioned before in this thread: it's always possible to check a development build of MuseScore 4 to see the state of progress.

I noticed something about integration with NotePerformer... This might be too much but could they try doing something about Linux too?

In reply to by Jeff Allston

Yee... I know... And don't think that I suggested that you pay them to do it. Perhaps I could try to mail them and say them that? Maybe they are like you: you basically just made musescore as a hobby (but well, musescore is open source too... :/ )

And yes I'm a bit disappointed that I see "apps" made only for windows, and mac os sometimes, but rarely Linux. That's why I praise you work! (Let's be honest Linux are the best, you won't change my mind! xD )

And I also feel a bit guilty of asking you to add all those features I suggest lately so I want to contribute too... at least by finding bugs in new builds... (so when will a straight mute soundfont appear?)

Ok sorry not sorry

Wow, I'm glad to hear about this news. I love the UI design approach, VST / Plugin integration, and updated Piano Roll / Sequencer. This is going to be an awesome upgrade. :)

You cannot add VST support to MuseScore (at least not with Steinberg’s SDK) because the latter is GPLv3 while MuseScore is GPLv2-only.

I’ve not even looked at NotePerformer, but it seems they are using a proprietary licencing scheme only, so this cannot at all be combined with GPL’d MuseScore. (Using the LGPL would make this possible… but it would also make it possible for the general public to create proprietary extensions and frontends to MuseScore itself, so not sure whether you want it.) In https://github.com/musescore/sftools/issues/29 we had similar issues with incompatible licences for the MuseScore-sftools (sf3convert) codebase, which is only a couple of files. While Werner and MuseScore BVBA together (due to there being two different CLAs in use) could relicence everything, it’s not clear whether they would want to do that.

(And even then, you can’t have support for both VST and proprietary extensions, because the VST SDK is still GPL, which means everything combined into one binary must be under a compatible licence.)

In reply to by mirabilos

Musescore (as far as I know) will not be including VST2 plugins or Note Performer, they will just be providing an interface so that you can load in those plugins yourself. I think this should avoid the licensing issues that you mentioned.

As an alternative - I think it is possible for Musescore to be licensed under both GPL2 and 3 together if the developers choose to do that.

It's entirely possible to provide support for both free and proprietary extensions at once. For example VST support would be both free and proprietary depending on the plugin that the user chooses to load. The interface itself would of course be free.

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