MuseScore, MuseScore 3, MuseScore 4
What does MuseScore in this handbook refer to
This handbook is a guide to features of MuseScore, the music notation program for Windows, macOS, and Linux supporting a wide variety of file formats and input methods. MuseScore is released as free and open-source software under the GNU General Public License. MuseScore is developed and supported by non paid volunteers and managed by Muse Group employees. MuseScore BVBA is a subsidiary of Muse Group. Source: wikipedia, forum discussion.
Create, play back, and print sheet music for free. MuseScore is open source music notation software that runs on Windows, MacOS, and Linux, and is available in over fourty different languages. It features an easy to use WYSIWYG editor with audio score playback for results that look and sound beautiful, rivaling commercial offerings like Finale and Sibelius. Source: Handbook: MuseScore product description
What is not the MuseScore referring to in this handbook
These are often referred to as musescore, but is not what this handbook is about:
- The score viewer and playback mobile apps (Android, iOS), or
- The score viewer and playback interface provided by musescore.com
MuseScore versions, MuseScore 3, MuseScore 4
MuseScore 3.6.2 is the latest version of MuseScore 3. MuseScore is an open-source software, official MuseScore's source code is at github, forks (wikipedia) see "External Link" section. Some improvements made to Musescore 3 are impossible to be merged into MuseScore 4 due to the substantial change in programming framework / library.
Most of MuseScore software development has since moved on from version 3.6.2 to 4, Muse Group employees no longer work on bug fixing of Musescore 3.6.2. MuseScore 4 is in fact a result of continuous development from MuseScore 3.6.2 with huge playback and countless engraving improvements. Reimplementation of important features, such as JACK, is not yet complete, see also discussion1, discussion2, discussion3.
When choosing which MuseScore version to use, take note of the company's distribution versioning and feature implementation philosophy, and consider your production needs. For example MuseScore 3.6.2 Linux supports audio and MIDI routing with JACK, which has implications for automation and video synchronization. Source: https://github.com/orgs/musescore/discussions/13745
MuseScore 3 and MuseScore 4 can be installed and opened side by side on the same OS, see Version 3 and 4 installations side-by-side. Score files are opened by default with the last installed Musescore version, see Change default programs in Windows and Problem with Shortcuts to MuseScore 4 files. You can always choose manually with "Right-click > Open with". Note that MuseScore native format (*.mscz and *.mscx) are backward compatible: MuseScore 4 opens MuseScore 3's *.mscz without error, see Native format compatibility
Notable forks (wikipedia):