MuseScore 2.0 now available

Released in March 2015, MuseScore 2.0 is the freshly made-over version of the free open-source notation software program that first appeared in 2008. MuseScore has been an reasonable alternative to the high-end notation options Finale and Sibelius, but has felt at times a little clunky and missed a few important features. I’m happy to say that Musescore 2.0 is cleaner and a number of these missing features have been added.

MuseScore can be downloaded here free.


Free Cheatsheet – Updated for MuseScore Version 2

I’ve updated my MuseScore Quick Reference Guide.

>>Click here to download your copy<<


Favourite New Features

1. New-look interface

The graphic user interface has had a make-over and the new look and feel of MuseScore is clean and pleasing on the eye.

2. The Inspector

Similar to the inspector panel you find in Microsoft Word MuseScore’s Inspector gives you quick and easy access to the settings for the currently-selected element in your score.

3. Continuous View

There is a new option for viewing your score – called Continuous View – which I highly recommend while you’re working on your score. Finale started the trend with this option (known as Scroll View) and Sibelius introduced a similar feature in version 5 of the program (known as Panorama view). Using this view while building all the elements of your score means that you’re less likely to lose your place – no more jumping from the bottom of one page to the top of the next. It also prevents you from thinking about layout and formatting too early in your workflow process.

4. Basic and Advanced Palettes

The Palette – the panel on the left of the screen where you select musical elements such as clefs, time signatures, barlines and articulations now has two view options: basic or advanced. Most users will be content with seeing fewer choices here, but experienced users can expand the options.

5. Selection filter

The selection filter allows you to remove a specific musical element within a selection of music. This means you can select a passage of music and filter out say, the slurs so that you can copy and paste the passage – minus the slurs – to another part of the score.

6. Replace pitches without changing rhythm

Replace Pitches is highly useful (and happens to be one of the most under-utilised features I know of in Sibelius) allows you to rewrite the pitches of notes in a passage without changing the rhythm. It’s extremely useful when you’re inputting notes for instruments within the same family. Often the trumpets, trombones and saxophones will play the same rhythm in a big band score. Replace Pitches means that you can input just one part – say the trumpet – with all the notes, dynamics and articulation, then copy that part to the trombone and saxophone staves. Once the notes have been copied across you can respell the pitches leaving the rhythm and other elements intact. A huge time-saver.

7. Image capture

There are times when you might need to take a “snapshot” of part of your score – a screen capture that you can paste into Microsoft Word or another document. It can be really useful when you need to show musical examples in an essay or when you’re creating worksheets for students. MuseScore 2.0 now includes an in-built feature called Image Capture that allows you to do just that.

8. Guitar TAB

Guitarists will be very pleased to find that guitar TAB is now an option in MuseScore. When selecting instruments for your score, you can choose to add either a guitar notation stave or a tablature stave. The TAB stave shows both the fretboard fingering and the rhythm.

These are just a few of the new features available in MuseScore 2.0. Visit the MuseScore website to read the full list of changes.

MuseScore is a great option for composers and songwriters who want to provide charts for band members, for those looking to try notation software for the first time, students needing to create digital scores for assignments and anyone on a tight budget.


Save Time With Tutorial Videos

Back in 2009 I created a series of videos for the first version of MuseScore titled MuseScore in 10 Easy Steps. Dr George Hess – Associate Professor of Music at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore – has created a new series of tutorials titled MuseScore in Minutes which can be found on Youtube.

Here are the first two tutorial videos. The rest can be viewed on the MuseScore How-To channel.


MuseScore in Minutes: Video 1

MuseScore in Minutes: Video 1

Free Cheatsheet – Updated for MuseScore Version 2

Download your copy of the updated MuseScore Quick Reference Guide for MuseScore Version 2.

>>Click here to download your copy<<