The Album feature has been disabled for 3.x. It will come back in 4.0.
The Album Manager allows you to prepare a list of multiple scores and save the list as an album file ("*.album"), print all the scores as one long print job with consistent page numbers, or even join the scores into a single new MSCZ score. This is ideal for preparing an exercise book or combining multiple movements of an orchestration.
To open the Album Manager, go to File → Album...
If you have previously created an album, you can open it through the Album Manager by clicking the Load button. A file selection dialog will appear to let you load the .album file from your file system.
To print an album as if it were a single document, click Print Album. The scores loaded into the Album Manager are printed in the order they are listed in with the correct page numbers, ignoring the page number offset values in Layout → Page Settings... → First page number for all but the first score. As the album is printed in one print job, double-sided printing (duplex printing) also works as expected.
To combine multiple scores into a single .mscz file, click Join Scores. The scores are combined in the selected order into one single score. If not already present, line- and section breaks are added to the last measure or frame of each score in the combined file.
All style settings are taken from the first score, different style settings from subsequent score are ignored.
All the scores should have the same number of parts and staves for this to work correctly, ideally with the same instruments in the same order. If the scores have the same total number of instruments but not the same ones, or not in the same order, then the instrument names from the first score will overwrite ones from subsequent scores. If some of the scores have fewer instruments than the first score, then empty staves will be created for those sections. Any part or staff that is not present in the first score will be lost in the joined score.
Upon clicking the Close button, you will be prompted to save your album as a .album file. This file is not the same as a joined score; it simply consists of the list of scores. Album files can be loaded into the Album Manager as described above.
MuseScore can import and export a wide variety of file formats, allowing you to share and publish scores in the format that best meets your needs.
MuseScore saves files in the following native formats:
A note about fonts: MuseScore does not embed text fonts in saved or exported native format files. If you want your MuseScore file to be viewed by other MuseScore users, make sure you are using the built-in FreeSerif or FreeSans font families for your text, or a font that the other parties have installed too. If a system does not have the fonts specified in your original file, MuseScore will use a fallback option, which may cause your score to appear differently.
MSCZ is the standard MuseScore file format and recommended for most uses. A score saved in this format takes up very little disk space, but preserves all the necessary information. The format is a ZIP-compressed version of
.mscx files and includes any images the score may contain and a thumbnail.
MSCX is the uncompressed version of the MuseScore file format. A score saved in this format will retain all information, except images. It can be opened with a text editor, allowing the user access to the file's source code.
.*.mscz,) or (
Backup files are created automatically and saved in the same folder as your normal MuseScore file. The backup copy contains the previously saved version of the MuseScore file and can be important if your normal copy becomes corrupted, or for looking at an older version of the score.
The backup file adds a period to the beginning of the file name (
.) and a comma (
,) to the end (e.g. if your normal file is called "
untitled.mscz", the backup copy will be "
.untitled.mscz,"), and the period and comma need to be removed from the name in order to open the backup file in MuseScore. As it is stored in the same folder as your normal MuseScore file, you may also need to give it a unique name (e.g. changing "
.untitled.mscz," to "
Note: In order to see the MuseScore backup files, you may need to change your system settings to "Show hidden files". See also How to recover a backup copy of a score.
PDF (Portable Document Format) files are ideal for sharing your sheet music with others who do not need to edit the content. This is a very widely-used format and most users will have a PDF viewer of some kind on their computers.
To set the resolution of exported PDFs:
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) files are based on a bitmap image format, widely supported by software on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, and very popular on the web. MuseScore creates PNG images as they would appear if printed, one image per page.
To set the resolution of exported PNG images:
Note: If you want to create images that show only parts of the score (with or without screen-only items such as frame boxes, invisible notes, and out-of-range note colors), use Image capture instead.
SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files can be opened by most web browsers (except Internet Explorer before version 9) and most vector graphics software. However, most SVG software does not support embedded fonts, so the appropriate MuseScore fonts must be installed to view these files correctly. SVG is the current format for all scores saved on MuseScore.com.
To set resolution and transparency of exported SVG files, see the instructions under PNG (above). Note that MuseScore does not (yet) support gradients on export (although it does for images in a score).
You can adjust the sample rate of all audio formats as follows:
WAV (Waveform Audio Format) is an uncompressed sound format. This was developed by Microsoft and IBM, and is widely supported by software for Windows, OS X, and Linux. It is an ideal format for use when creating CDs, as full sound quality is preserved. For sharing via email or the internet, use a compressed alternative such as MP3.
MP3 is a very widely-used compressed audio format. MP3 files are ideal for sharing and downloading over the internet due to their relatively small size.
To set the MP3 bitrate:
Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) is compressed audio format. FLAC files are approximately half the size of uncompressed audio and just as good quality. Windows and OS X do not have built-in support for FLAC, but software such as the free and open source VLC media player can play FLAC files on any operating system.
Ogg Vorbis is intended as a patent-free replacement for the popular MP3 audio format (which MuseScore also supports—see above). Like MP3, Ogg Vorbis files are relatively small (often a tenth of uncompressed audio), but some sound quality is lost. Windows and OS X do not have built-in support for Ogg Vorbis. However, software such as VLC media player and Firefox can play Ogg files on any operating system.
MusicXML is the universal standard for sheet music. It is the recommended format for sharing sheet music between different scorewriters, including MuseScore, Sibelius, Finale, and more than 100 others. MuseScore imports
*.musicxml, but exports only
*.musicxml. If you need
*.xml (because the program you want to import it needs that), you need to rename it yourself after the export.
Compressed MusicXML creates smaller files than regular MusicXML. This is a newer standard and isn't as widely supported by older scorewriters, but MuseScore has full import and export support.
MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a format widely supported by sequencers and music notation software. For details of the protocol see the MIDI Association website.
MIDI files are very useful for playback purposes but contain little in the way of score layout information (formatting, pitch spelling, voicing, ornaments, articulations, repeats, key signatures etc.). To share files between different music notation software, MusicXML is recommended instead.
For details about how to import MIDI files see MIDI import.
*.md) (import only)
MuseData is a format developed by Walter B. Hewlett beginning in 1983 as an early means of sharing music notation between software. It has since been eclipsed by MusicXML, but several thousand scores in this format are still available online.
*.capx) (import only)
CAP and CAPX files are created by the score writer, Capella. MuseScore imports version 2000 (3.0) or later fairly accurately.
*.bww) (import only)
BWW files are created by the niche score writer, Bagpipe Music Writer.
*.sgu) (import only)
BB files are created by the music arranging software, Band-in-a-Box. MuseScore's support is currently experimental.
*.ove) (import only)
OVE files are created by the score writer Overture. This format is mainly popular in Chinese-language environments, such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. MuseScore's support is currently experimental.
MuseScore can open Guitar Pro files with the following extensions: *.gtp, *.gp3, *.gp4, *.gp5, *.gpx, and, as of version 3.5, *.gp.
*.ptb) (import only)
PTB files are created by Power Tab Editor. MuseScore's support is currently experimental.
Note: This page applies to MuseScore 3.1 and above only. Users of versions prior to 3.1 should go to Fretboard diagrams (prior to version 3.1).
MuseScore allows the use and creation of fretboard (or chord) diagrams. They usually appear above the staff on lead sheets and piano scores. They are commonly used for guitar chords, but MuseScore permits the creation of diagrams for any instrument.
Below is a simple example of Fretboard Diagrams use.
(Note: Fretboard Diagrams are an alternative to and quite different from Tablature, which is a specialized notation form that is preferred by some string instrument players.)
The Fretboard Diagram mechanism can be used in several different ways.
Standard chords. A set of 21 common chord diagrams for the guitar are found in the Fretboard Diagrams palette in the Advanced Workspace. These consist of a single example of a major, minor, and seventh chord for each diatonic scale tone (CDEFGAB). These 21 chords are adequate for many simple pop or folk music scores. See the overview of this palette below.
Modified chords. In many cases, the standard chords from the Fretboard Diagrams palette are used as a starting point for creating modified chord diagrams, via the Inspector. This technique enables chord extensions, alterations, different voicings, different positions, etc. to be applied to the 21 standard diagrams. There are literally thousands of guitar chords in general use, making a comprehensive palette or dictionary impractical. See How to use Fretboard Diagrams for custom/complex chords for examples.
"Freehand" chords. More advanced guitarists often prefer to start from a blank chord grid, and then draw the specific chord tones desired. See How to use Fretboard Diagrams for custom/complex chords for examples.
Note: Many aspects of music notation follow well-established engraving standards. Guitar chord diagrams are an exception. Usage has varied widely from year to year, from publisher to publisher, from teacher to teacher, and from arranger to arranger. Many inconsistent practices persist today, and distinct styles of chord notation are preferred in different musical genres and regions. For this reason, the MuseScore Fretboard Diagram interface supports diagrams of various types. Users are free to choose their preferences.
The Fretboard Diagrams palette in the Advanced Workspace provides 21 diagrams, comprising a single major, minor, and seventh chord for each diatonic scale tone (CDEFGAB). The name of each diagram appears when the cursor hovers over the entry.
Note: This range of chord diagrams, or indeed any selection of 21 chords, would not typically be sufficient for publication purposes. Arrangers must consider many other voicings, positions, and chord qualities. This palette is also an example of the diverse diagram formats in use, as discussed above. These 21 chords happen to incorporate open/mute string indicators (the X and O symbols above the diagrams). Although those symbols do often appear in published scores, their usage varies by context. For example, jazz arrangements generally omit mute string indicators, unless contextually important, and rarely use open strings.
Additional palettes that contain a broader range of standard chords are expected be available in the future. These would try to address the needs of specific musical genres and situations.
Modified Fretboard Diagrams are created by adding and then editing an existing diagram from the palette. By modifying standard chords, it is possible to create Fretboard Diagrams for any playable chord, and to reflect fingering on any Western fretted stringed instrument, regardless of tuning, number of strings, or number of frets. Most of the material below deals with the process of modifying diagrams and creating new ones.
Custom diagrams can be saved to a custom palette if desired for future use. Modified diagrams can of course be copied/pasted within a score in the usual ways.
To add a Fretboard Diagram to the score, use one of the following methods:
As the cursor hovers over the chosen diagram within the palette, its name will appear as a pop-up hint (see the example in the overview).
When adding a Fretboard Diagram to a score, a chord symbol is also automatically created. The chord symbol is normally placed above the diagram, and uses the chord name from the chord's palette cell. Automatic placement and formatting of a diagram's chord symbol is controlled by style settings (see style settings, below).
A Fretboard Diagram's generated chord symbol can be selected, moved, and modified like any other text element. It behaves generally like the normal chord symbols that are added using Add→Text→Chord Symbol or the shortcut Ctrl+K.
Note 1: A field on the Chord Symbols style page (Style submenu: select Format→Style…→Chord symbols) – rather than on the Fretboard Diagrams style page – controls the chord symbol's "Distance to Fretboard Diagram". This value interacts with the Element "Minimum distance" field, within the Inspector, to control automatic placement of the chord symbol relative to the diagram. Note also that the Fretboard Diagram's "top edge" includes the blank space where open/mute string indicators would appear, even if that area is empty. This may leave a larger gap than is desired. As usual, manual placement can be used to override the automatic settings.
Note 2: Automatic chord symbols generated for Fretboard Diagrams are not completely integrated with normal Chord Symbols that may be directly associated with notes on the staff. Specifically, focus does not flow from a Fretboard Diagram's chord symbol back to the sequence of other symbols on the page when using Space to move through the chord symbols. This minor issue will be addressed in a future update.)
Visibility, Color and Stacking order can also be adjusted in the "Element" section: see the diagram under editing.
Certain default and global properties of Fretboard Diagrams (see diagram below) can be adjusted from the Style submenu: select Format→Style…→Fretboard Diagrams. Some of these properties are subject to override via the Inspector; but most affect all Fretboard Diagrams in the score.
Most Fretboard Diagram properties exposed by the Inspector offer "reset to style default" and "save as style default" buttons. These values do not typically appear on the style page, but are manipulated via the Inspector.
When a Fretboard Diagram is selected, it can be edited in the Inspector as follows:
The Inspector displays three sections related to the Fretboard Diagram:
Below is an example of the Inspector with a Fretboard Diagram selected.
(See Inspector properties above in the editing example.)
(See Inspector properties above in the editing example.)
Some arrangers and educators use a more advanced form of Fretboard Diagram that a) incorporates multiple types of "dot", and that b) allows multiple dots per string.
This technique is particularly associated with the many books and arrangements published by Ted Greene and his successors. (Note: No other notation software currently supports this diagram style.)
Multi-dot notation style. With this approach, the round dots are played first. Then, on successive beats, the notes represented by the other dots are then played in order. This allows a single diagram to represent several beats of music. (The usual sequence is: dot→X→square→delta. Usage varies however.) Here are two examples of multi-dot diagrams.
Optional-note notation style. Another use of multiple dots per string allows other symbols to show optional notes, rather than delayed notes. Typically, a related chord voicing is shown, such as an optional extension or an optional rootless chord version. Here is an example of an optional extension.
MuseScore Fretboard Diagrams allow the creation of these and other types of multi-symbol diagrams. A chord is first created and edited using the basic steps described above. Then, the multiple dot buttons above the diagram are used to add secondary notes.
(Note: Experienced users of Ted Greene style diagrams will find that several secondary features from Ted's diagrams are not yet supported in MuseScore. These include: a. Displaying the fret number on a higher fret than the first visible fret. b. Allowing the note symbols to include digits, not just the four dot styles currently supported. c. Allowing the creation of annotation on and between diagrams, such as circling a particular note, or drawing lines linking notes in adjacent diagrams. However, MuseScore does provide many tools for drawing and annotation that can serve in place of these techniques.)
(Note: Because multi-note symbols are not standardized, even within the Ted Greene community, users must be careful to indicate how they are being used within a given score.)
Note: This page applies to versions of MuseScore prior to 3.1 only. Users of MuseScore 3.1 and above should go to Fretboard diagrams.
A range of fretboard (or chord) diagrams for the guitar are provided in the Fretboard Diagrams palette in the Advanced Workspace.
To add a fretboard diagram to the score, use one of the following methods:
As the cursor hovers over the chosen diagram within the palette, its name will appear as a pop-up hint.
When a fretboard diagram is selected, it can be edited in the Inspector as follows:
Visibility, Color and Stacking order can also be adjusted from the "Element" section.
Certain default and global properties of Fretboard Diagrams (e.g. barre thickness, vertical position, scale, fret-number font-size and position) can be adjusted from the Style submenu: select Format→Style…→Fretboard Diagrams. Some of these properties are subject to override via the Inspector; but most affect all Fretboard Diagrams in the score.
MuseScore can import MIDI files (.mid/.midi/.kar) and convert them into music notation.
The MIDI Import Panel appears at the bottom of the screen: you can expand this by dragging the interface with the document window upwards. The panel shows all the tracks in the file (only those with note events are shown) and allows you to adjust parameters affecting the conversion process. If there are multiple tracks, then one more track is added at the top of the list to select all tracks at once.
To accept the default conversion: Simply press the "X" symbol on the top-left of the Import Panel to close it. The panel can be re-opened at any time during the session by pressing "Show MIDI import panel" at the bottom of the document window.
To reimport the file: Adjust the desired parameters in the Import Panel (see below) and press Apply. If you have made changes to the Import Panel but wish to UNDO them, press Cancel. To close the Import Panel, press the "X" symbol at the top-left of the panel.
Mouse wheel scrolling (MIDI Import Panel): Vertical scrolling is the default. For horizontal scrolling, press Shift or Ctrl while using the wheel.
Quantize MIDI notes by some regular grid. The grid MAX resolution can be set via the drop-down menu:
However, the actual quantization grid size is adaptive and reduces when the note length is small, so for each note the quantization value is different. But there is an upper limit for the quantization value, and that value can be set by the user as "max. quantization".
For example, if some note is long - say, half note, and the max. quantization is set to 8th, then the note will be quantized with the 8th-note grid, not the half- or quarter-note grid as it supposed to be by the algorithm.
Such quantization scheme allows to quantize all notes in the score (with different lengths!) adequately.
importmidi_clef.cpp). This option is available for non-drum tracks only.
MuseScore allows you to choose from any of several note input modes. Step-time (see below) is the default, but others can be accessed by clicking the small dropdown arrow next to the note entry button on the note input toolbar.
This is the default method of note input and involves entering notes one at a time: first by selecting a note duration using the mouse or keyboard, then choosing a pitch using the mouse, keyboard, MIDI keyboard or virtual piano.
For details see Basic note entry.
Re-pitch mode allows you to correct the pitches of a sequence of notes while leaving their durations unchanged (not to be confused with Accidental: Respell pitches).
You can also use the Re-pitch function to create a new passage from an existing one of the same sequence of durations—by copying and pasting the latter, then applying Re-pitch.
Rhythm mode allows you to enter durations with a single keypress. Combining Rhythm and Re-pitch modes makes for a very efficient method of note entry.
The Real-time modes basically allow you to perform the piece on a MIDI keyboard (or MuseScore's virtual piano keyboard) and have the notation added for you. However, you should be aware of the following limitations which currently apply:
However, these restrictions mean that MuseScore has very little guessing to do when working out how your input should be notated, which helps to keep the Real-time modes accurate.
In the automatic version of Real-time input, you play at a fixed tempo indicated by a metronome click. You can adjust the tempo by changing the delay between clicks from the menu: Edit → Preferences... → Note Input (Mac: MuseScore → Preferences... → Note Input).
The score stops advancing as soon as you release the key. If you want the score to continue advancing (e.g. to allow you to enter rests) then you can use the Real-time Advance shortcut to start the metronome.
In the manual version of Real-time input, you have to indicate your input tempo by tapping on a key or pedal, but you can play at any speed you like and it doesn't have to be constant. The default key for setting the tempo (called "Real-time Advance") is Enter on the numeric keypad (Mac: Fn+Return), but it is highly recommended that you change this to a MIDI key or MIDI pedal (see below).
The Real-time Advance shortcut is used to tap beats in manual Real-time mode, or to start the metronome clicks in automatic Real-time mode. It is called "Real-time Advance" because it causes the input position to move forward, or "advance", through the score.
The default key for Real-time Advance is Enter on the numeric keypad (Mac: Fn+Return), but it is highly recommended that you assign this to a MIDI key or MIDI pedal via MuseScore's MIDI remote control. The MIDI remote control is available from the menu: Edit → Preferences... → Note Input (Mac: MuseScore → Preferences... → Note Input).
Alternatively, if you have a USB footswitch or computer pedal which can simulate keyboard keys, you could set it to simulate Enter on the numeric keypad.
When the notes are entered they will be placed just before the selected starting element, which will be highlighted with a square blue marker. The start element and any subsequent notes or rests within the same measure will be shifted forward. You can move the insertion point forward and backward using the arrow keys → or ←, and the new insertion point will then be highlighted.
Insert Input mode (called Timewise in versions prior to 3.0.2) allows you to insert and delete notes and rests within measures, automatically shifting subsequent music forwards or backwards. Measure duration is automatically updated as you go.
Alternatively, if you have only one or two notes to insert, you may prefer to use a shortcut:
If, at any time, the total duration of the notes and rests within the measure does not match the time signature, a small + or - sign will be shown above the measure.
See also: Remove selected range (Tools).
To leave Note Input mode, click on the Note Input tool button, press N, or press Esc. This puts you in Normal mode, in which you can change durations and delete notes or rests as follows:
You can choose choose any one of nine notehead schemes for a standard staff. To set a notehead scheme:
The schemes are as follows:
(For more info about the different variant of shape notes, see the SMuFL specification)
The setting applies to a given staff and the notehead will be used when entering and editing notes. Here is an example.
You can customize many of MuseScore's default behaviors via the menu: Edit→Preferences... (Mac: MuseScore→Preferences...).
The Preferences dialog has multiple tabs:
Reset All Preferences to Default will reset all preferences to the ones MuseScore had when you installed it. Ok will save the settings and close the dialog. Cancel will close the dialog without applying changes. Apply will make changes take effect without closing the dialog.
Here you can define:
Use Canvas to set your preferred color and wallpaper for the score background and paper. The default "Background" is dark blue (RGB 20, 36, 51; Alpha 255) and the default "Paper," white.
On this tab there are note input and MIDI remote control preferences. Here the following can be set:
Midi Remote Control allows you to use certain keys on your MIDI keyboard to enter notes and rests and to select note durations, without involving the computer mouse or (computer) keyboard. The default setting is off.
To assign a command to a MIDI key:
Once you have defined your key settings you can use the MIDI keyboard to control note input operations. You can verify your key settings by observing the MuseScore Note Input toolbar while pressing the MIDI keys.
To temporarily deactivate Midi Remote Control: uncheck "Midi Remote Control": all MIDI input key action buttons are now greyed out. Note: Your key assignments are always saved between MuseScore sessions and are not affected by deactivation.
Notes: (1) The "Clear" option turns off all the green buttons for the current MuseScore session but all the user-recorded MIDI key settings are retained and will be reloaded on the next session. (2) A MIDI key setting that is activated cannot afterwards be turned off, and the green button will always remain lit: however it can be overwritten with a different MIDI key by using the red button again. (3) If the same MIDI key is accidentally assigned to more than one option, then all the associated green buttons remain lit although only one will work. To fix, see "(2)".
Score preferences include
This enables you to set the audio interface (API) and specify the device to be used for audio playback: e.g. built-in speakers/headphones, USB headset, wireless, etc.
When an external MIDI input device is connected, its identifier appears in MIDI Input. When the device is connected for the first time, you also need to select the correct MIDI Output option in order to enable note input and correct audio playback (e.g. in Windows, this might be "MMS<device name>"): then close and reopen the program to confirm the changes.
Check these options as required if using the JACK Audio Connection Kit.
In case of lost communication between your audio device or your MIDI keyboard and MuseScore (no sound output or MIDI action), click on Restart Audio and MIDI Devices to restore them.
These settings determine how files from other sources are imported:
These settings determine how various files are exported from MuseScore:
This tab lists all the commands in MuseScore and any keyboard shortcuts associated with them. Shortcuts listed in preferences also appear next to their associated commands in the menus.
To search for a particular command: Enter its name in the "Search" box near the bottom of the window.
To create a new shortcut for a command:
To reset a shortcut to its system default: Select a command in the list and press Reset Shortcut to Default.
To save the shortcuts list: Press Save and save to a file name of your choice.
To load a saved shortcut list: Press Load etc.
To clear all shortcuts for an entry: Select the entry and press Clear.
To print out the shortcuts list (incl. export to pdf): Press Print etc.
This sets whether MuseScore will check for updates and extensions at startup.
Updates may be checked manually in Help→Check for updates.
Allows you to control specific settings for "application, "export", "i/o" and "user interface", as well as color settings.
If MuseScore or your computer should crash, or if power is lost, a pop-up message upon restarting MuseScore will ask if you wish to restore the previous session:
When MuseScore recovers files after a crash, it renames them with the full path name added in front of the original file name. This very long name will appear in the tab(s) above the active score window.
To ensure that the file is saved in its original location. You should immediately save the restored file using the "Save As..." option: this will open a window to allow you to navigate to the correct folder and directory. If you use the "Save" command instead, the file will be saved in its current location which is unlikely to be the original one.
In the event that "Save" is used instead of "Save As..." with a recovered file, you will have to find the files in your computer. The actual location of those files will vary, depending on your operating system, and in which directory MuseScore is installed.
For Windows 7, with a default installation of MuseScore to the x86 program files directory, recovered files are auto-saved to
C:\Program Files (x86)\MuseScore 2\bin (actually
For Windows 10, look in
C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\MuseScore 2\bin (actually
You may need to run a system-wide search in order to find files saved directly after a session recovery. Use keywords from the original file name as well as wildcards, and specify the date modified.
How to recover a backup copy of a score (MuseScore HowTo)
You can change the appearance of a staff mid-score by adding a Staff type change element to a measure, and adjusting its properties in the Inspector.
When you alter a Staff type change property in the Inspector, the new value takes precedence over the value shown in the global Staff properties dialog. Only those property values in "Staff Properties" that cannot be changed in the "Staff type change" dialog will be valid throughout the score.
The properties that can be altered in the Staff type change dialog in the Inspector are:
How far the changed staff shall be moved up or down: measured in spaces (abbr.: sp) .
Tick the box to create a reduced-size staff.
Changes the size of the staff and all associated elements, as a percentage.
The number of lines making up the staff.
The distance between two staff lines, measured in spaces (abbr.: sp).
How many steps up or down the notes in the staff are offset.
Whether the staff barlines will be shown.
Show ledger lines
Whether ledger lines will be shown for notes above/below the staff lines.
Whether the notes shall be shown in standard or slash style.
Allows selection of how noteheads are displayed.
Whether the staff clef will be shown.
Generate time signatures
Whether the staff time signature(s) will be shown or not.
Generate key signatures
Whether the staff key signatures will be shown or not.
To illustrate the use of Staff type change, the staff shown below was created using the following steps:
Change "Lines" to 7,
Afterwards the global Staff Properties are changed using Staff properties:
1 Set "Lines" to 2.
2. Change "Staff Line Color".
As can be seen, the change in "Lines" is only effective up to the first staff type change, whereas the change to "Staff Line Color" is effective throughout the score.
A number of useful commands can be found in the Tools menu.
This opens the Transpose dialog with various options for transposing passages of music.
The explode command allows you to select a passage of music in a single staff and split (explode) the chords into their constituent notes or voices as follows:
To explode a section of the score:
Notes: (1) If the selection is all in voice 1, MuseScore will discard the lowest note(s) of any chord that contains more notes than the number of staves in the selection. (2) If the selection is all in voice 1, and If a given chord has fewer notes than the number of destination staves, then notes will be duplicated as needed so that every staff receives a note. (3) Any existing music in the destination staves is overwritten. (4) If you select a partial measure, the explode command will automatically expand it to a full measure.
The Implode command works in the opposite way to "explode":
All selected notes in the staff are now displayed in voice 1.
This allows you to swap the voices of a selected measure-range of notes. See Exchange voices.
Join or split measures. See Measure operations: Split and join.
This command is used to completely remove an element, or range of elements from the score.
To remove measures (including partial measures):
Note: If the selected range includes only part of a measure, the result will include a measure of smaller duration than the indicated Time Signature. This is indicated by a small - (minus) sign just above the system.
To join measures:
The following table is a comparative summary of the Delete and Remove selected Range_ commands when applied to single elements:
|Selected Element||Apply Delete||Apply Remove selected range|
|Note||Replaces with rest||Removes score section|
|Rest (voice 1)||No effect||Removes score section|
|Rest (voices 2-4)||Deletes rest||Removes score section|
|Barline||No effect||Deletes barline and joins measures|
|Measure||Replaces contents with rest||Removes measure|
Note: To insert notes, see Insert.
This command fills the selection with slashes, one per beat:
If a measure is empty the slashes are added to voice 1, full-sized and centered on the middle line of the staff:
Notes: (1) If there are already notes in a measure in the selection, the command will put the slashes into the first available empty voice. (2) Voice 2 slashes are full-sized and centered on the middle line of the staff; voices 3 slashes appear small and above the staff; voice 4 slashes are small and below the staff. (3) If a measure contains notes in all 4 voices, voice 1 will be overwritten. (4) All slashes are set to not transpose or playback.
This command toggles selected notes between normal notes and rhythmic slash notation:
The selected noteheads are changed to slash noteheads which do not transpose or playback.
Slash-notehead notes in voices one or two are fixed to the middle staff line; those in voices three or four are small ("accent" notation) and fixed above or below the staff:
In percussion staves, notes in voices 3 and 4 are not converted to small slashes but to small notes above or below the staff.
Corrects accidentals to fit in with the current key signature. See Accidentals: Respell pitches.
Any notes that are tied and are the same length as a dotted note will be changed to the dotted note with two limitations. (i) Only the last note of a group of tied notes will have a single dot. Notes with more than one dot are not produced using this option. (ii) Dotted notes will not span from one group of beamed notes to another unless their duration is the same as all of the beam groups it covers. Any notes with more than one dot will be regrouped according to the above rules.
Note: This is an experimental feature and there are known bugs. Articulations and ornaments are deleted and some pitches respelled. Ties across barlines may be lost on UNDO.
The Resequence Rehearsal Marks command allows you to re-order the numbering/lettering of rehearsal marks if, for any reason, they have got out of sequence. For details see Automatically resequence rehearsal marks.
This command creates a copy of the score (in a new tab), eliminates the repeat barlines and notates the repeat sections in full instead.
This command copies all the lyrics of the score to the clipboard:
Take a snapshot of a selected part of the document window. PNG, PDF and SVG formats are supported. See Image capture.
This automatically removes any blank measures at the end of the score.
"智能对比"是 结果显示模式的默认选项：它以人类易读格式展示差异（例：“小节 1：音符：属性 pitch 改变 从 B4 变为 C5”）。若您偏爱以XML代码展示的对比结果，请将结果显示模式选项更改为"原始对比数据"。
Every score displays the following fields in Score Properties:
It is customary, when using the New Score Wizard, to create a work with the movementTitle as title (even though it ends up in workTitle then) and, directly after creating the score, amending this information in the Score Properties dialogue.
To show the content of one or more meta tags in a header or footer for your score/part:
这将会生成名为“<标题>" + "-" + "<分谱名>.<扩展名>”的文件。此外，当导出为PDF时，也会生成"<标题>" + "-总谱与分谱.pdf".
%ProgramFiles%\MuseScore 3\Plugins （32位版本则是
%ProgramFiles(x86)%\MuseScore 3\Plugins ）和
%LOCALAPPDATA%\MuseScore\MuseScore 3\plugins （对于Win7或更高）。
%HOMEPATH%\Documents\MuseScore3\Plugins . 如果想要更改安装新插件的文件夹，可在MuseScore的偏好中指定。
/Applications/MuseScore 3.app/Contents/Resources/plugins 处的MuseScore bundle中（右击MuseScore 3.app，选择“Show package contents显示包内容”以显示相关文件）以及
~/Library/Application Support/MuseScore/MuseScore 3/plugins .
~/Documents/MuseScore3/Plugins . 如果想要更改安装新插件的文件夹，可在MuseScore的偏好中指定。
~/.local/share/data/MuseScore/MuseScore 2/plugins .
~/Documents/MuseScore3/Plugins . 如果想要更改安装新插件的文件夹，可在MuseScore的偏好中指定。
该插件对所选范围（或整个乐谱）中的音符依据音高进行着色。It colors the note head of all notes in all staves and voices according to the Boomwhackers convention. 每个音高有不同的颜色。C 与 C♯ 颜色不同，而 C♯ 与 D♭ 颜色相同。
该插件会创建一篇新的乐谱。它会创建一篇新的钢琴谱，有着4个四分音符：C, D, E, F. 利用它可以学到如何通过插件创建新乐谱以及增加音符。
This demo plugin demonstrates some basic tasks.
该插件对所选范围（或整个乐谱）中的音符进行命名。它会将音符的名称显示为staff text，依据MuseScore的language settings：voices 1 and 3 notes above the staff; voices 2 and 4 notes below the staff; and chord notes in a comma separated list, starting with the top note.
Digits are entered directly. Groups of several digits stacked one above the other are also entered directly in a single text, stacking them with Enter:
Accidentals can be entered using regular keys:
These characters will automatically turn into the proper signs when you leave the editor. Accidentals can be entered before, or after a digit (and of course, in place of a digit, for altered thirds), according to the required style; both styles are properly aligned, with the accidental 'hanging' at the left, or the right.
Slashed digits or digits with a cross can be entered by adding \, / or + after the digit (combining suffixes); the proper combined shape will be substituted when leaving the editor:
The built-in font can manage combination equivalence, favoring the more common substitution:
1+, 2+, 3+, 4+ result in (or )
and 5\, 6\, 7\, 8\, 9\ result in (or )
Please remember that / can only by combined with 5; any other 'slashed' figure is rendered with a question mark.
+ can also be used before a digit; in this case it is not combined, but it is properly aligned ('+' hanging at the left side).
Open and closed parentheses, both round: '(', ')' and square: '[', ']', can be inserted before and after accidentals, before and after a digit, before and after a continuation line; added parentheses will not disturb the proper alignment of the main character.
Notes: (1) The editor does not check that parentheses, open and closed, round or square, are properly balanced. (2) Several parentheses in a row are non-syntactical and prevent proper recognition of the entered text. (3) A parenthesis between a digit and a combining suffix ('+', '\', '/') is accepted, but prevents shape combination.
Continuation lines are input by adding an '_' (underscore) at the end of the line. Each digit of a group can have its own continuation line:
Continuation lines are drawn for the whole duration of the figured bass group.
'Extended' continuation lines
Occasionally, a continuation line has to connect with the continuation line of a following group, when a chord degree has to be kept across two groups. Examples (both from J. Boismortier, Pièces de viole, op. 31, Paris 1730):
In the first case, each group has its own continuation line; in the second, the continuation line of the first group is carried 'into' the second.
This can be obtained by entering several (two or more) underscores "__" at the end of the text line of the first group.
Each figured bass group has a duration, which is indicated by a light gray line above it (of course, this line is for information only and it is not printed or exported to PDF).
Initially, a group has the same duration of the note to which it is attached. A different duration may be required to fit several groups under a single note or to extend a group to span several notes.
To achieve this, each key combination in the table below can be used to (1) advance the editing box by the indicated duration, and (2) set the duration of the previous group up to the new editing box position.
Pressing several of them in sequence without entering any figured bass text repeatedly extends the previous group.
|Ctrl+6||half note (minim)|
|Ctrl+7||whole note (semibreve)|
|Ctrl+8||2 whole notes (breve)|
(The digits are the same as are used to set the note durations)
Setting the exact figured bass group duration is only mandatory in two cases:
However, it is a good practice to always set the duration to the intended value for the purposes of plugins and MusicXML.
To edit a figured bass indication already entered use one of the following options:
The usual text editor box will open with the text converted back to plain characters ('b', '#' and 'h' for accidentals, separate combining suffixes, underscores, etc.) for simpler editing.
Once done, press Space to move to a next note, or click outside the editor box to exit it, as for newly created figured basses.
To configure how figured bass is rendered: from the menu, select Format → Style… → Figured Bass.
Line Height: The distance between the base line of each figured bass line, as a percentage of font size.
The following picture visualizes each numeric parameter:
Alignment: Select the vertical alignment: with Top, the top line of each group is aligned with the main vertical position and the group 'hangs' from it (this is normally used with figured bass notation and is the default); with Bottom, the bottom line is aligned with the main vertical position and the group 'sits' on it (this is sometimes used in some kinds of harmonic analysis notations):
Style: Chose between "Modern" or "Historic." The difference between the two styles is shown below:
For the relevant substitutions and shape combinations to take effect and for proper alignment, the figured bass mechanism expects input texts to follow some rules (which are in any case, the rules for a syntactical figured bass indication):
If a text entered does not follow these rules, it will not be processed: it will be stored and displayed as it is, without any layout.
|Ctrl+G||Adds a new figured bass group to the selected note.|
|Space||Advances the editing box to the next note.|
|Shift+Space||Moves the editing box to the previous note.|
|Tab||Advances the editing box to the next measure.|
|Shift+Tab||Moves the editing box to the previous measure.|
|Ctrl+1||Advances the editing box by 1/64, setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+2||Advances the editing box by 1/32, setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+3||Advances the editing box by 1/16, setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+4||Advances the editing box by 1/8 (quaver), setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+5||Advances the editing box by 1/4 (crochet), setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+6||Advances the editing box by a half note (minim), setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+7||Advances the editing box by a whole note (semibreve), setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+8||Advances the editing box by two whole notes (breve), setting the duration of the previous group.|
|Ctrl+Space||Enters an actual space; useful when figure appears "on the second line" (e.g., 5 4 -> 3).|
|BB||Enters a double flat.|
|B||Enters a flat.|
|H||Enters a natural.|
|#||Enters a sharp.|
|##||Enters a double sharp.|
|_||Enters a continuation line.|
|__||Enters an extended continuation line.|
Note: For Mac commands, Ctrl is replaced with ⌘.
MuseScore 提供了几个专有功能来创建雕刻版的早期音乐（一部分是中世纪和文艺复兴期间的）akin to commercial editions from the 20th century onwards.
In MuseScore, notes lasting longer than the duration of a measure are normally tied across barlines. However MuseScore has a special feature which allows it to display the note values intact, without splitting and tying them in this way. This enables you to notate music which is unbarred (i.e. not divided into measures), such as that of the renaissance:
Note: The feature is still in development and may contain bugs. The longest supported note value is the longa (a dotted longa is still broken up and tied over).
Since a complete lack of barlines could make performing the music more difficult for current musicians, many modern engravers settled on a compromise called Mensurstrich, where barlines are drawn between, but not across, staves.
To place barlines between staves:
Before there was the concept of an absolute pitch, performers were required to transpose vocal music to a singable range for their ensemble "on the fly." To aid them, an ambitus was sometimes included, marking the entire range of a voice at the beginning of the piece.
To apply an ambitus, use one of the following methods:
When applied, the ambitus automatically displays the note range of the score: if there is a section break then only the note range of the section is displayed. Beyond the section break a new ambitus may be applied.
The note range of the ambitus can be adjusted manually by selecting it and changing the "Top note" and "Bottom note" values in the Inspector. For automatic adjustment click the Update Range button in the inspector.
In the mensural notation system, time signatures did not define the length of a measure, but the length of breves and semibreves. MuseScore supports mensural time symbols as a display method in the Time signature properties dialog rather than as symbols, but they are just for show, as the proportion of e.g. half notes per whole notes cannot be modified.
One way to make use of these symbols is to replicate when composers of the renaissance had multiple voices in different time signatures simultaneously without using tuplets. Edit the time signature on a per-staff basis, as long as the beginning and end of a measure in all staves match up. If they do not, then consider increasing the size of the measures to the lowest common denominator.
De Profundis Clamavi for 5 voices by Josquin Des Prez
时间轴是作为谷歌仲夏之码活动（Google Summer of Code 2017）的一部分开发的，并首次在MuseScore 3.0中引入。
The timeline is a navigation tool that displays an abstraction of the score to the order of measure numbers and instrument names. There are four parts to the timeline:
This is found in the top left corner of the timeline. These are the names of the meta rows.
This is found in the bottom left corner of the timeline. These are the names of the rows in the main grid.
This is found in the top right corner of the timeline. These hold the meta values of the score.
This is found in the bottom right corner of the timeline. This holds multiple 'cells' (a specific measure and staff in the score represented as a square)
Meta are elements found on the score that are not notes, but are still important to the score (key signature, time signature, tempo, rehearsal marks, bar lines, and jumps and markers).
To select a measure in the timeline, press the mouse button on the cell. A blue box will appear around the selected cell and the respective measure in the score will be selected. The score view will place the selected measure in view.
Holding Shift and holding the left mouse button and dragging the mouse over the main grid will create a selection box. Upon releasing the mouse button, all the cells underneath the selection box will be selected, as well as all the measures in the score.
If a cell is already selected, holding Shift and selecting another cell in the timeline will stretch the selection to that new cell, similar to how the score does
If no cells are currently selected, holding Ctrl and selecting a cell will select the entire measure
To clear selection, holding Ctrl and clicking anywhere on the grid or the meta rows will clear any current selection.
Selecting the meta values on the timeline will attempt to select the respective meta values in the score.
Scrolling the mouse wheel up or down will move the grid and instrument labels down or up respectively. The meta labels and rows do not move.
Holding Shift and scrolling the mouse wheel up or down will move the grid and meta rows left or right respectively. The meta labels and instrument labels do not move.
Holding Alt and scrolling the mouse wheel up or down will move the grid and meta rows left or right respectively, faster than Shift scrolling. The meta labels and instrument labels do not move.
To drag the contents of the timeline, hold the left mouse button and move it around.
All meta labels besides the measures meta may be rearranged in any way. By moving the mouse cursor onto one of the meta labels, small up and down arrows will appear. Click the left mouse button on the up arrow to swap the meta label with the one above it. Click the left mouse button on the down arrow to swap the meta label with the one below it.
In order to hide all the meta labels while keeping all the meta information on the timeline, there is an arrow that appears on the measures meta when the mouse is over it. Click the left mouse button on the large up arrow to collapse all the currently visible meta rows into one row, where the meta values are staggered in that row. Click the left mouse button on the large down arrow to expand the meta rows again.
All instruments--hidden or not--will be displayed on the timeline. To start this interaction, the mouse cursor is moved over an instrument label. A small eye will appear on the right side of the label that is open if the instrument is visible on the score, and closed if the instrument is hidden. Click the left mouse button on the eye to toggle between the two options.
To zoom in or out of the score, hold Ctrl and scroll the mouse wheel up or down respectively.
To bring up a context menu, right click on the timeline. There are three context menus found in these locations: meta labels, instrument labels, and meta rows.
Upon clicking the right mouse button on the meta labels, a context menu appears that displays all possible meta labels as well as two options: "Hide all" and "Show all." Next to each meta label in the menu, there is a check box that shows if the meta label is currently being shown on the timeline. To show or hide one of the meta labels, select the box of the meta label in the context menu. Selecting "Hide all" will hide all meta labels except for the measures meta. Selecting "Show all" will display all meta labels.
Clicking the right mouse button on the meta rows will display the same context menu as the meta labels.
Clicking the right mouse button on the instrument labels will display a context menu with the option to "Edit Instruments." Selecting this will bring you to the same dialog as Edit > Instruments... or pressing I for the shortcut.
To transfer a Master palette item to a custom palette:
注意：Except for the Symbols section (below), it is not usual to add items directly to the score from the Master palette: use the workspace palettes instead. However, if desired, items can be added directly using either (i) drag-and-drop or (ii) by selecting one or more notes/rests and double-clicking the item.
The Symbols section of the Master Palette is a large repository of hundreds of musical symbols in addition to those found in the preset 工作区。You can open it from the Master Palette，或直接使用快捷键Z。
The Symbols subcategories can be displayed by clicking on "Symbols". Use the font menu on the bottom right of the box to specify Emmentaler-, Gonville- or Bravura-specific symbols. You can search for a particular symbol by entering a keyword in the search box.
The position of the symbol can be adjusted by dragging or by changing the horizontal / vertical offsets in the Inspector. Color and visibility can also be adjusted in the Inspector.
Note: Elements from the Symbols section do not follow any positioning rules (in many cases unlike identical elements from other sections of the Master Palette), nor do they affect score playback.
Elements from the Symbols section can be connected to each other on the score page, so that they can be moved as one unit:
Drag the first element and the attached element will follow.
注意：The design of the notehead may vary depending on the music font selected (Emmentaler, Gonville or Bravura). Those in the palette are displayed as half notes in Bravura font.
MuseScore supports a range of notehead styles:
Occasionally you may need to change the apparent duration of a notehead—i.e. notehead type—without altering its actual, underlying duration:
When two notes in different voices, but of the same written pitch, fall on the same beat, one of two things may happen:
MuseScore follows standard music notation practice as follows:
Note: If two unison notes occur in the same voice they are always offset.
Offset noteheads can be turned into shared noteheads in one of two ways:
In the first example below, the notes of voices 1 and 2 share noteheads by default, because they are all black, undotted notes:
By contrast, in the next example, white notes cannot share noteheads with black notes, so are offset to the right:
To create a shared notehead, make the black eighth note invisible or change its head type to match that of the white note (as explained above):
In certain cases, a shared notehead, when pasted to a tablature staff, may result in two separate fret marks on adjacent strings. To correct this, make any extraneous tablature notes invisible by selecting them and using the keyboard shortcut V (or by unchecking the "visible" option in the Inspector).
The default position for most elements is controlled by their style settings. The specific properties you can set vary by element type but may include:
For details of the settings available for each element type, see Layout and formatting: Style.
To change the default position:
Use one of the following methods:
After an element had been automatically placed, it's position can be changed manually using one of the following methods:
If the element type can be placed both above or below the staff, you can change the position by:
Note: When automatic placement is enabled for an element, you cannot position it in a way that causes a collision with other elements.
The element reverts to its default position. It can be repositioned as desired and is no longer avoided when placing other elements.
To change the value for Stacking order:
In cases where elements are allowed to overlap, Stacking order controls the order in which they are placed on top of each other. The element with the lower value will be placed behind.
谱表/声部属性对话框允许您修改谱表的显示、调音、移调、替换乐器等等。右击一行谱表并选择 谱表/声部属性 来打开它。
1a. 标准谱表 I。被大多数乐器（琴格、拨弦乐器除外）使用的音高谱。
1b. 标准谱表 II。包含一个琴格、拨弦乐器的音高谱，有可以设置乐器的弦数以及调律的选项。
2. 指法谱. 包含一个琴格、拨弦乐器的谱表，可将音乐显示为一系列在弦上的品格图。亦包含可以设置乐器的弦数以及调律的选项。
增加或者减少所有谱表组中选中的谱表和上方谱表的间距。注意：此设定不适用于谱表组中的第一行谱表，第一行谱表上方间距是用“最小/最大谱表组间距”来控制的（参看版面与格式：格式 → 样式… → 页面）。
这个选项和格式 → 样式… → 乐谱中的“隐藏谱表组中的空白谱表”设定一同决定谱表为空白时是否隐藏。
这行谱表不会被隐藏，即使整个谱表组都是空的。这个选项否定格式 → 样式… → 乐谱中的任何“隐藏谱表组中的空白谱表”设定。
创建一个缩小化的谱表。您可以进入顶部菜单格式 → 样式 ... → 大小来设定缩小化的默认大小。
'Upside down' 指法谱.
字体用来显示品格号。提供了8套字体以支持在8套不同样式中的所有必要符号（modern Serif, modern Sans, Renaissance, Phalèse, Bonneuil-de Visée, Bonneuil-Gaultier, Dowland, Lute Didactic）。
选择数字 (‘1’, ‘2’...）或字母（‘a’, ‘b’...）作为品格号。使用字母作为品格号样式时，跳过“j”而用“k”作为第九个品。或是因为拉丁文中不存在字母j（译者注）。
选中一个音符，然后按下Ctrl+Shift + ↓/↑ （Mac: ⌘+Shift + ↓/↑）。这会把选中的音符（和弦）下移/上移到另外一个谱表，例:
本文档为使用MuseScore 2.x盲人与视觉障碍者而写。It is not intended to provide a full description of all of the features of MuseScore; you should read this in conjunction with the regular MuseScore documentation.
MuseScore comes with support for the free and open source NVDA screen reader for Windows. The features in this document have been tested on Windows with NVDA. There is no support at the moment for other screen readers such as Jaws for Windows, or VoiceOver for macOS, which may work differently, or not at all.
At this point in time, MuseScore 2.x is mostly accessible as a score reader, not so much as a score editor. This document will focus on the score reading features, with only a brief description of score editing.
When you run MuseScore for the first time, you may want to permanently disable the Start Center window. To do so, go close the Start Center window first, then the Edit menu (Alt+E), choose Preferences, and in there, uncheck Show Start Center. Save and close the preferences window.
The user interface in MuseScore works much like other notation programs, or other document-oriented programs in general. It has a single main document window in which you can work with a score. MuseScore supports multiple document tabs within this window. It also supports a split-screen view to let you work with two documents at once, and you can have multiple tabs in each window.
In addition to the score window, MuseScore has a menu bar that you can access via the shortcuts for the individual menus:
Of these, only the File menu is of much interest when using MuseScore as a score reader. Once opening a menu, it may take several presses of the Up or Down keys before everything is read properly.
There are also a number of toolbars, palettes, and subwindows within MuseScore, and you can cycle through the controls in these using Tab (or Shift+Tab to move backwards through this same cycle). When you first start MuseScore, or load a score, focus should be in the main score window. Pressing Tab takes you to a toolbar containing a series of buttons for operations like New, Open, Play, and so forth. Tab will skip any buttons that aren't currently active. The names and shortcuts (where applicable) for these buttons should be read by your screen reader.
Once you have cycled through the buttons on the toolbar, the next window Tab will visit is the Palette. This would be used to add various elements to a score, but it is not currently accessible except for two buttons that are visited by Tab: a drop down to select between different workspaces (a saved arrangement of palettes), and a button to create a new workspace.
If you have opened one of the optional windows, such as the Inspector, or the Selection Filter, the Tab key will also visit these. You can close windows you do not need by going to the View menu and making sure none of the first set of checkboxes are selected (the windows that appear before the Zoom settings). By default, only the Start Center, Palettes and Inspector should be selected. See Initial Setup for instructions for disabling the Start Center. F9 can be used to toggle the Palettes while F8 will toggle the Inspector.
To return focus to the score window after visiting the toolbar, or a subwindow, press Esc. This also clears any selection you may have made in the score window.
When you first start MuseScore 2.x, an empty example score entitled “My First Score” is loaded by default. If you wish to experiment with editing features, this would be a good place to begin. Otherwise, you will probably want to start by loading a score. MuseScore uses the standard shortcuts to access system commands like Ctrl+O (Mac: Cmd+O) to open a file, Ctrl+S (Mac: Cmd+S) to save, Ctrl+W (Mac: Cmd+W) to close, etc.
If you press Ctrl+O (Mac: Cmd+O) to load a score, you are presented with a fairly standard file dialog. MuseScore can open scores in its own format (MSCZ or MSCX) as well as import scores in the standard MusicXML format, in MIDI format, or from a few other programs such as Guitar Pro, Capella, and Band-in-a-Box. Once you have loaded a score, it is displayed in a new tab within the score window. You can move between the tabs in the score window using Ctrl+Tab (does not apply for Mac).
There are a few interesting things you can do with a loaded score besides reading it note by note. You can press Space to have MuseScore play the score for you. You can use File / Export to convert to another format, including PDF, PNG, WAV, MP3, MIDI, MusicXML, etc. And of course, you can print it via File / Print or Ctrl+P (Mac: Cmd+P).
If a score contains multiple instruments, it may already have linked parts generated. Linked parts are presented as part tabs within score tabs, but currently, there is no way to navigate these part tabs using the keyboard. The parts would not normally contain information different from the score; they would just be displayed differently (each part on its own page). If a score does not already have parts generated, you can do so through File / Parts, and that dialog is accessible. If you wish to print the parts, you can work around the inability of accessing part tabs individually by using the File / Export Parts dialog, which automatically exports PDF’s (or other formats) for all parts in one step.
When you first load a score, the score window has the keyboard focus, but there will be nothing selected. The first step to reading a score is to select something, and the most natural place to begin is with the first element of the score. Ctrl+Home (Mac: Cmd+Home) will do this. You will probably also want to use this, should you ever clear your selection by pressing Esc.
As you navigate between elements, your screen reader should give the name of the selected element (most likely the clef at the beginning of the top staff of your score). You will hear it read the name of the element (for example, “Treble clef”) and also give position information (for example, “Measure 1; Beat 1; Staff 1”). The amount of information read is not currently customizable, but we tried to place the most important first so you can quickly move on to the next element before it has finished reading, or just ignore the rest of what is read. Pressing Shift currently interrupts the reading, which might also be useful.
Most navigation in MuseScore is centered around notes and rests only – it will skip clefs, key signatures, time signatures, barlines, and other elements. So if you just use the standard Right and Left keys to move through your score, you will only hear about notes and rests (and the elements attached to them). However, there are two special navigation commands that you will find useful to gain a more complete summarization of the score:
These commands include clefs and other elements that the other navigation commands skip, and also navigate through all voices within the current staff, whereas other navigation commands such as Right and Left only navigate through the currently selected voice until you explicitly change voices. For instance, if you are on a quarter note on beat 1 of measure 1, and there are two voices in that measure, then pressing Right will move on to the next note of voice 1—which will be on beat 2—whereas pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Right (Mac: Cmd+Option+Shift+Right) will stay on beat 1 but move to the note on voice 2. Only once you have moved through all notes on the current beat on the current staff will the shortcut move you on to the next beat. The intent is that this shortcut should be useful for navigating through a score if you don’t already know what the contents are.
When you navigate to an element, your screen reader should read information about it. For notes and rests, it will also read information about elements attached to them, such as lyrics, articulations, chord symbols, etc. For the time being, there is no way to navigate directly to these elements.
One important note: Up and Down by themselves, with Shift, or with Ctrl / Cmd are not useful shortcuts for navigation! Instead, they change the pitch of the currently selected note or notes. Be careful not to inadvertently edit a score you are trying to read. Up and Down should only be used with Alt/Option if your intent is navigation only. See the list of navigation shortcuts below.
The following shortcuts are useful for moving “horizontally” through a score:
The following shortcuts are useful for moving “vertically” through a score:
Next element: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Right
The Alt+Up and Alt+Down commands are similar to the Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Right and Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Left commands in that they are designed to help you discover the content of a score. You do not need to know how many notes are in a chord, how many voices are in a staff, or how many staves are in a score in order to move vertically through the score using these commands.
Excluding certain elements like lyrics, or chord names while reading the score is possible by using the Selection filter (F6). Uncheck those elements you don't want to read.
The Space bar serves both to start and stop playback. Playback will start with the currently selected note if one is selected; where playback was last stopped if no note is selected; or at the beginning of the score on first playback.
MuseScore supports looped playback so you can repeat a section of a piece for practice purposes. To set the “in” and “out” points for the loop playback via the Play Panel (F11):
You can also control the loop playback and control other playback parameters, such as overriding the basic tempo of a score, using the View / Play Panel (F11).
Score editing is currently not very accessible – too many score elements require intervention of the mouse in order to place objects onto a score. Additionally, visual reference and manual adjustment of the position of various elements is sometimes necessary due to MuseScore's limited support for conflict avoidance of elements.
In contrast, MuseScore does often provide ample default, and a platform to experiment with the basics of note input.
To enter note input mode, first navigate to the measure in which you would like to enter notes, then press “N”. Almost everything about note input is designed to be keyboard accessible, and the standard documentation should be good to help you through the process. Bear in mind that MuseScore can either be in note input or normal mode, and it won’t always be clear which mode of these you are in. When in doubt, press Esc. If you were in note input mode, this will take you out. If you were in normal mode, you will stay there, although you will also lose your selection.
You can customize the keyboard shortcuts using Edit / Preferences / Shortcuts. At some point, we may provide a set of special accessibility-optimized shortcuts and/or a way of saving and loading sets of shortcut definitions.