Mid-staff instrument changes

Updated 1 month ago

    When a musician is required to double on a different instrument for a section of a piece, the instruction to switch instruments is generally placed above the staff at the beginning of that section. A return to the primary instrument is handled in the same manner.

    MuseScore enables users to insert a special class of text called Change Instrument text for this purpose. This class of text is different from either Staff or System text in that it links the text to the playback and changes the sound to the new instrument.

    Effect of instrument change

    When an instrument change is made:

    • The sound played will be changed to that of the new instrument from that point onward, but the mixer display remains unchanged.
    • Subsequent notes are automatically adjusted to indicate the correct written pitch for the new instrument (but the new key signature still needs to be added manually—see below).
    • The new instrument name will be displayed in front of the following systems.

    Add an instrument change

    1. Select the start point of the change by clicking on a note or rest;
    2. Open the main palette by typing F9 (or from the View menu), and click on Text to open the text sub-palette:
      Text palette
    3. A click on the Change Instr. text in the palette opens the dialog (double-click in versions prior to 3.4)
      The top box shows the current instrument, the bottom the list of selectable instruments;
      Select instrument change
    4. Choose the instrument, then click OK. When an instrument is selected and the OK button is pressed, the text indicating which instrument the player will use appears in the score.
    5. Insert a new key signature, if required, at the change, for the staff in question.

    See also

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