This chapter helps you to install and run MuseScore for the first time. The chapter will also show you how to create a new score.
If you're on Windows 10, MuseScore can be installed from the Windows Store. Clicking here will open Musescore's page in the Store app. There you will only have to click Get the app > and MuseScore will be downloaded and installed.
Otherwise you can get the Windows installer from the download page of the MuseScore website. Click on the link to start the download. Your Internet browser will ask you to confirm that you want to download this file. Click Save File.
When the download finishes, double-click on the file to start the installation. Windows may prompt you with a security window to confirm this before running the software. Click Run to continue, you'll then briefly see
In case you don't see this installer window but something else, it's possible that the .msi extension is not associated with msiexec.exe. Either you can fix the association, or download and use the portable version of MuseScore instead.
Continuing you'll see
If you click Cancel, here or later, you'll see:
If instead you click Next to continue, the setup wizard displays the terms of the free software license.
Read the terms of the license, make sure the box next to "I accept the terms in the License Agreement" is checked, and click Next to continue. Next the installer will ask you to confirm the location in which to install MuseScore.
If you are installing a newer version of MuseScore but still want to keep the old version on your computer, then you should change the folder (note that MuseScore 2 can coexist with MuseScore 1 with no changes needed). Otherwise click Next to continue.
Click Install to continue.
Give the setup wizard a few minutes to install the necessary files and configurations. You'll see
Click Finish to exit the installer. You may delete the installer file you downloaded.
To start MuseScore, from the menu, select Start→All Programs→MuseScore 2→MuseScore 2.
You can uninstall MuseScore from the menu by selecting Start→All Programs→MuseScore 2→Uninstall MuseScore; or via Windows' Control Panel. Note that this will not remove your scores nor your MuseScore settings.
On Windows XP and Vista, the installer might be blocked by the system. If you don't manage to install MuseScore, right click the downloaded file and click Properties. If there is a message "This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer", click on "Unblock", "OK" and double click on the downloaded file again.
You will find the DMG (disk image) file on the download page of the MuseScore website. Click on the macOS link to start the download. When the download is complete, double-click the DMG file to mount the disk image.
Drag and drop the MuseScore icon to the Applications folder icon.
If you are not logged in as administrator, macOS may ask for a password: click Authenticate and enter your password to proceed.
When the application has finished copying, eject the disk image. You can now launch MuseScore from the Applications folder, Spotlight, or Launchpad.
Simply delete MuseScore from Applications folder.
You can deploy MuseScore to multiple computers with the "Copy" feature of ARD. Since MuseScore is a self-contained application you can simply copy the application to the '/Application' folder on the target machines. It is also possible to install multiple versions of the application as long as their names differ.
As of MuseScore 2.0.3 you can, for the first time, get hold of a copy for Linux straight from the download page, just like Windows and Mac users. This is possible thanks to the AppImage packaging format, which runs on pretty much all Linux distributions. If you prefer, there is still the option to get it the traditional way via your distribution's package manager (but you may have to wait for it to get packaged by the relevant maintainer). Of course, you can always build from source.
The AppImage format is a new way of packaging Linux applications. AppImages are portable - they don't have to be installed - and they run on pretty much any Linux distribution. Dependencies are included in the one AppImage file.
Before you download an AppImage, you need to know your processor's architecture. These terminal commands will show it:
The output will be something like "
x86_64" or "
i686(or similar) - 32-bit Intel/AMD processor (found on older machines).
x86_64(or similar) - 64-bit Intel/AMD processor (modern laptop and desktop computers, most Chromebooks).
armv7(or later) - ARM processor (phones & tablets, Raspberry Pi 2/3 running Ubuntu Mate, some Chromebooks, usually 32-bit at present).
Now you can head over to the download page and find the AppImage that best matches your architecture. Once downloaded, the file will be named "
Before you can use the AppImage you need to give permission for it to be run as a program.
From the Terminal:
This command gives the user (u) permission to execute (x) the AppImage. It works on all Linux systems.
cd ~/Downloads chmod u+x MuseScore*.AppImage
Note: Use the "
cd" command to change directory to wherever you saved the AppImage.
From a File Manager:
If you prefer to avoid the command line, there is usually a way give execute permission from inside a File Manager.
In GNOME Files (Nautilus), simply:
The process may be slightly different in other file managers.
Now you should be able to run the program simply by double-clicking on it!
When you downloaded the AppImage it was probably saved in your Downloads folder, but you can move somewhere else it at any time (e.g. you could put it on your desktop for easy access). If you ever want to remove it then simply delete it.
You can run the AppImage without installing it, but you must install it if you want it to be completely integrated with your desktop environment. This has the following benefits:
To install it, run the AppImage from the Terminal with the "install" option (see immediately below). This copies a desktop file and various icons to your computer. If you want to remove them you will need to run the "remove" option before you delete the AppImage. This does not affect any scores created with any version of MuseScore.
Running the AppImage from the Terminal allows you to use various command line options. The AppImage has some special options in addition to MuseScore's normal command line options.
You will need to change directory (cd) to wherever the AppImage is saved your system, for example:
cd ~/Desktop ./MuseScore*.AppImage [option...]
Or give the path to the AppImage:
Use the "--help" and "man" options to get more information about the available command line options:
./MuseScore*.AppImage --help # displays a complete list of command line options ./MuseScore*.AppImage man # displays the manual page (explains what the options do)
Import the GPG key:
su rpm --import http://prereleases.musescore.org/linux/Fedora/RPM-GPG-KEY-Seve
Go to the download page of the MuseScore website. Click on the link for the stable Fedora download and choose the correct rpm package for your architecture.
Depending on your architecture, use one of the two sets of commands to install MuseScore
for arch i386
su yum localinstall musescore-X.Y-1.fc10.i386.rpm
for arch x86_64
su yum localinstall musescore-X.Y-1.fc10.x86_64.rpm
MuseScore's desktop program will not work natively on Chrome OS, but there are some workaround solutions:
Since Chrome OS 69, certain chromebook models are able to run Linux apps and so you can install MuseScore for Linux as provided on our Download page. Feedback about the installation process and supported hardware is welcome on the forum
Via software-on-demand service such as rollApp: By just visiting this website, you can run MuseScore in the browser. You can access your scores via cloud services such as Google Drive or save them to your online MuseScore account through the menu File→Save Online.... Note that currently, sound and playback does not work on rollApp.
Via Crouton: Involves installing a Linux based operating system which runs in parallel with Chrome OS, and then installing MuseScore on Linux.
Alternatively, it is possible to install MuseScore's Android app on recent Chromebooks. You will need to update to the latest version of Chrome OS first. See the Chromebook support documentation for help installing Android apps on Chromebooks, and a list of supported devices. The app only supports playback of existing scores, not score editing or creation, but you can sign-in to your MuseScore account for easy access to all your scores on MuseScore.com.
This is the window that displays when you open MuseScore for the very first time:
To open the Start Center (if not already visible), use any of the following options:
From the Start Center you can:
To open the New Score Wizard when the Start Center is not open, use one of the following options:
Note: The following subheadings may differ slightly in versions prior to MuseScore 2.2.
Step 1: Enter score information.
Enter the title, composer, or any other information as shown above, then click on Next >. This step is optional: you can also add this information after the score is created (see Vertical frame).
Step 2: Choose template file.
Here, you can choose from a range of solo, ensemble and orchestral templates. Any custom templates stored in your user templates folder will be displayed under the heading, "Custom Templates". From version 2.2, you can use the Search bar (top right) to find specific templates.
The Choose Instruments window is divided into two columns:
The left column contains a list of instruments, or voice parts to choose from. This list is categorized into instrument families, and clicking a category shows the full list of instruments in each family.
The default entry is "Common instruments" but you can choose from others, including "Jazz instruments" and "Early music". There is a search box at the bottom of the instrument window: typing the name of an instrument there will search for it in "All instruments".
The right column starts off empty, but will eventually contain a list of instruments for your new score in the order that they will appear.
To add instruments to the score, use any of the following options:
The instrument names, and their associated staff lines, now appear in the list of instruments in the right column. You can add more instruments or voice parts, as needed. Each instrument added in this way is allocated its own Mixer channel.
To add a staff to an existing instrument in the score:
Summary of commands:
|Command||Staff added||Edit staves independently?||Share mixer channel?||Examples|
|Add Staff||Unlinked||Yes||Yes||Guitar staff/tab, Piano grand staff|
|Add Linked Staff||Linked||No. Edit in one staff updates others||Yes||Guitar staff/tab|
See also, Combine pitched staff with tablature.
To change the order of instruments (or staves) in the score:
To delete an instrument, or staff line, from the score
Step 3: Choose key signature and tempo.
The wizard asks for two things: The initial key signature and tempo of the score. Select any of the former and click Next > to continue. An initial tempo can be set here too.
Step 4: Choose time signature etc.
You can set your initial time signature here. If the score starts with a pickup measure (also known as an anacrusis or upbeat measure), then mark the Pickup measure checkbox and adjust the "Duration" accordingly.
Measures is set to 32 by default: you can change the number here, or add/remove measures later from the score.
Click Finish to create your new score.
Any settings you make in the New Score Wizard can always be changed when you start work on the score itself:
To add, delete, or change the order of instruments: from the menu, select Edit→Instruments...; or use the keyboard shortcut, I. This opens the Instruments dialog which is virtually identical to the Choose Instruments dialog in the New Score Wizard (see above).
See also Change instrument (Staff properties).
To adjust the distance between staves and systems, set page margins etc., see Layout and formatting.
A Template is simply a standard MuseScore file that has been stored in one of two "templates" folders: any files in these folders are automatically displayed on the "Chose template file" page of the New Score Wizard. Two templates folders are created by default:
This folder contains the templates installed with MuseScore and should not be modified. It can be found in the following locations:
Windows: Usually at
C:\Program Files\MuseScore 2\templates; or in the 64-bit versions at
C:\Program Files (x86)\MuseScore 2\templates.
/usr/share/mscore-xxx if you installed from the package manager. If you compiled MuseScore on Linux yourself, then look under
xxx being the version you are using).
Any templates that you create for future use should be stored here. Once in the user "templates" folder, they will automatically appear on the "Chose template file" page of the New Score Wizard—under the heading "Custom Templates". Note: prior to version 2.3, you need to restart MuseScore in order to see a newly-added template.
The default location of the user templates folder is as follows:
MacOS and Linux:
To configure the location of your private templates folder:
MuseScore will be installed and work with your "System" language (the one used for most programs, and generally depending on your country and the language settings of the PC, or account).
In the General tab, select the desired language from the drop-down list in the Language section:
To update translations, click on the Update translations button. Then click on the Update buttons for the languages you want to update (for an alternative method, see below).
As then indicated, you will have to exit and reopen MuseScore for changes and updates to take effect.
You can update the translation as explained above, via the preferences settings, but there is another method:
Click on the Update buttons for the languages you want to update.
Here too you will have to exit and reopen MuseScore for the update to take effect.
There are two ways to check for updates.
Now MuseScore will check for updates on every start and notify you, if need be.
Note: These options are only available in the Mac and Windows versions of MuseScore (except the version from the Windows Store), as only those can be updated directly from MuseScore.org. Linux distributions (and the Windows Store) have different mechanisms to make updates available.