Handbook for MuseScore 3
This handbook is valid for MuseScore versions 3.0 to 3.6.2. If you are using a different version of the program, please consult the appropriate handbook for your version:
This handbook is maintained and translated by the MuseScore community. Contributions are welcome! In case of doubt, please consult the English version of this handbook, or ask for help in the Support Forum.
Try browsing the illustrated Glossary for notations you are incapable of naming.
Use the links below to explore content in each chapter of the handbook. Alternatively, you can view the entire handbook as a single continuous page in a printer-friendly format with a multi-level table of contents.
This chapter helps you to install and run MuseScore for the first time. It will introduce you to the various learning and help resources.
- Learning MuseScore
- Get Support
MuseScore exists for various different operating systems, like Windows, macOS, as well as many Linux distributions, and several BSD variants.
Find the instructions for the system you use below.
- Initial preferences
- Language, translations, and extensions
- Checking for updates
The previous →"Getting started" chapter guided you through the installation process.
This chapter shows you how to set up a new score using the MuseScore Wizard, and how to enter and edit basic music notation. The various parts of the program window are described—toolbars, Inspector, palettes etc.—as well as viewing and navigation options.
- Create a new score
- Note input
- Edit mode
- Measure operations
- Copy and paste
- Selection modes
- Undo and redo
- Viewing and navigation
- Concert pitch
- Share scores online
In the previous →"Basics" chapter you learned how to enter notes and interact with the palettes. The "Notation" chapter describes the different types of notation in more detail, including more advanced music notation.
- Note input (→Basics)
- Palettes (→Basics)
- Workspaces (→Basics)
- Key signatures
- Time signatures
- Arpeggios and glissandi
- Articulations and ornaments
- Articulation Text (Mid-staff sound change, e.g. pizz., trem.) (→Sound and playback)
- Breaths and pauses
- Dynamics (→Sound and playback)
- Grace notes
- Measure rests
- Octave lines
- Tempo (→Sound and playback)
- Tremolos (on stem or between notes) (but see also Articulation Text above)
- Repeats and jumps
- Voltas (1st and 2nd time endings)
- Drum notation
See also →Advanced topics.
Inside MuseScore, you can play back your score using the internal synthesizer. This chapter covers dynamics and tempo notations, the playback controls, and ways to extend the instrument sounds. If you are having problem with playback, try suggestions written on How to restore sound if playback stops working
- Mid-staff instrument changes
- Piano Roll Editor NEW
- Play mode
- Soundfonts and SFZ files
- Capo playback NEW
- Playback: Chord symbols / Nashville numbers NEW
- Microtonal notation, tuning and playback (→Notation)
Many score elements in MuseScore are based on text, either alone (e.g., staff text, dynamics, tempo, fingering, lyrics, etc.) or in combination with lines (e.g., voltas, octave lines, guitar barre lines, etc.).
This chapter covers these text types and their formatting options:
- Staff and system text (The "Expression" button on the Text Palette is a styled Staff text.)
- Chord symbols (incl. Nashville Number System, and Roman Numeral Analysis)
- Rehearsal marks
Other types of text are covered in other chapters:
- Tempo (→Sound and playback)
- Dynamics —p, mf, etc. (→Sound and playback)
- Mid-staff sound change (eg pizz) (→Sound and playback)
- Mid-staff instrument changes (→Sound and playback)
- Swing (→Sound and playback)
- Repeats and jumps —DC, Fine, Coda, etc. (→Notation)
- Figured bass (→Advanced topics)
- Frame text —in vertical, horizontal or text frames (→Formatting)
- Headers and footers —different from standard text objects (→Formatting)
- Lines (→Notation)
- Layout and formatting (overview)
- Page settings
- Breaks and spacers
- Image capture
- Align elements
- Albums disabled in 3.x, expected back in 4.x
- Automatic placement
- Cross-staff notation
- Custom palettes (→Basics)
- Early music features
- Figured bass
- File formats
- Fretboard diagrams
- Layer (experimental)
- Master palette
- Microtonal notation, tuning and playback
- MIDI import
- Note input modes
- Notehead schemes
- Recovered files
- Score properties
- Score comparison NEW
- Staff / Part properties
- Staff Type Change
- Timeline NEW
This chapter describes how to find help using MuseScore: the best places to look, the best way to ask a question on the forums, and tips for reporting a bug.