Updated 1 day ago

    This page provides information on tempo markings such as crotchet ♩ = 80 , crotchet = quaver ♩ = ♪ etc , fermata symbols, their playback details, and metronome tick sound. To add markings such as ♬ = ♪ 𝅘𝅥𝅯 see Swing instead.

    Tempo markings

    Tempo markings can be found in the Tempo palette of the Basic and Advanced workspaces.

    Add a tempo marking

    Use any of the following methods:

    • Select a note or rest and press the keyboard shortcut Alt+Shift+T.
    • Select a note or rest, and from the menu bar choose AddText...Tempo Marking.
    • Select a note or rest and click an appropriate metronome mark in the Tempo palette (double-click in versions prior to 3.4);
    • Drag-and-drop a metronome mark from the Tempo palette directly onto a note or rest.
    • Edit more intuitively with Tap tempo plugin.

    Note: The advantage of applying from a palette or using a keyboard shortcut is that you can decide beat note value, because it follows the exisiting time signature automatically.

    Edit the displayed content

    NOTE: Changing this alone may or may not affect playback as you may expect, read below.

    Tempo markings are Text. Edit the displayed content and it's styles and properties as required. See also Fonts.


    Fermatas are available in the Articulations and Ornaments palette.
    In playback on a score with multiple instruments, if a note or rest of one instrument is extended with a fermata symbol, every notes sounding the same moment as that note will continue to sound until the extended note ends.
    Fermatas applied to barlines has no effect

    Edit a fermata time stretch

    Select a Fermata symbol, edit its property in Fermata in the Inspector:

    Placement: Above or below note
    Time stretch: Multiplication of normal time duration to play back the current element. Value 1.00 is meaningless as it means no time extension.

    Tempo of playback

    Musescore understands metronome markings such as crotchet ♩ = 80 and metric modulations such as ♩ = ♪ and creates suitable playback. To use this function, the note, or the augmentation dot must be added from the Special characters palette: Common symbols tab, see Text editing chapter. Do not use raw unicode characters. Metronome marking interpretation function can be switched on and off for each marking individually in the inspector.

    Musescore ignores tempo expression text such as Andante, Moderato, ritardando ("rit.") or accelerando ("accel."). For example, Andante ♩ = 75 and Moderato ♩ = 75 are both interpreted as ♩ = 75.

    Edit tempo used in playback

    Select a Tempo marking, edit its property in in the Tempo text section of the Inspector;
    Inspector: Tempo Text

    • Follow text: Toggle Musescore's metronome marking interpretation function
    • Tempo: Tempo for playback. Ignored if Follow text is checked
    • Style: Text style
    • Tempo: Above or below staff

    Note: Actual final playback tempo depends on the setting in the Play Panel. Check settings inside if your score does not produce correct audio.

    Ritardando and accelerando

    Musescore does not understand and does not create playback for any tempo expression text, including ritardando ("rit.") and accelerando ("accel."), and thus cannot create correct playback for these.

    To create ritardando ("rit.") and accelerando ("accel.") playback, you must add multiple tempo markings. Make tempo markings invisible as required, visibility does not affect playback. Use the TempoChanges plugin to automate this process.

    For printing and reading purpose, you can also use Staff/System Text to add the expression text.

    In the example illustrated below, the tempo was originally 110 BPM (beats per minute). At the ritardando, the tempo decreases by 10 BPM on the first note of each measure. Each tempo change is made invisible by unchecking the Visible checkbox in the Inspector (Keyboard Shortcut V), so that only the ritardando shows on the printed score:


    Overriding playback temporarily in Play Panel

    Use Play Panel to temporarily override Tempo markings and play the score back at any tempo:

    1. Display the play panel: ViewPlay Panel or F11 (Mac: Fn+F11):

      Play panel

    2. Move the tempo slider up or down as required. The tempo is shown both as an absolute value and as a percentage of the currently indicated tempo mark. Double-click the tempo slider to reset it.

    Note: BPM is always measured and displayed in quarter note beats per minute, regardless of the (denominator of the) time signature in effect.


    Musescore can automatically add metronome ticks sound to playback if desired, use the Playback toolbar or Play Panel, see the Play mode chapter.

    How many ticks are added onto each measure is determined by the time signature and tempo. It does not depend on the note value (duration) used on metronome markings (both crotchet ♩ = 60 and quaver ♪ = 120 markings create identical result).

    There are two tick sound clips, strong ticks and weak ticks. Which one is added is determined by the beat and written tempo (not affected by the adjustment settings on the Play Panel, but see comments on a related feature request #304412). Beat is dictated by the time signature only, but not affected by the beaming style, or the note value (duration) used on metronome markings.

    • For simple meters, the top number of the time signature is the number of beats in each measure. 2 = duple, 3 = triple, 4 = quadruple. Strong ticks are created on each beat. No weak ticks are created.
    • For compound meters (6/8, 9/8, etc), the top number of the time signature divided by three, is the number of beats in each measure. 6 = duple, 9 = triple, 12 = quadruple. Strong ticks are created on each beat. Weak ticks (two weaks following one strong) are created only if it is below 60 beats per minute. For example, onto measure using 6/8, both dotted crotchet ♩ . = 59 and quaver ♪ = 179 markings create the result of two strong ticks and four weak ticks in each measure.

    These ticks are not added to any exported audio files. If you want to include these ticks to exported audio, try these:

    See also

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