Look-ahead to MuseScore 4.2

• Aug 31, 2023 - 11:44

Hi everyone!

Here's a quick update about some of the things we are working on as we prepare for the release of MuseScore 4.2 later this year

Alternate string tunings for guitar

We’re working on a new ‘string tuning’ element, which will be accessible via the Guitar palette. This will provide an easy way to specify new tunings for multiple strings and (optionally) have those tunings displayed in the score. You’ll be able to choose from a list of preset tunings or enter an entirely custom tuning. Tunings can be added to any measure in the score, and will take effect from that point onwards in terms of tablature fingerings and pitch range warnings (red notes).



We’re working on a much smarter system for handling the synchronisation of elements between parts and the main score. By default, elements and their properties will be synchronised between the score and all parts. However, you will be able to turn off synchronisation for specific properties on individual elements where you would like those properties to be different between the main score and the parts. Improving this functionality is going to make a huge difference to ensemble and orchestral scores made with MuseScore, and we’ll be really keen for testing and feedback on this feature in particular, when it’s ready.


We're adding the ability to apply dynamics to specific voices, so you could have Voice 1 mezzo-forte while Voice 2 is piano, for example, and you'll hear that effect during playback. We're also working on an option to vertically centre dynamics between the two staves of a grand staff.



4.2 will also bring some welcome improvements to performance, particularly in the area of audio generation. Our current tests show MP3 rendering is at worst unchanged, and at best up to 10 times faster than before, depending on the score. These speed improvements also benefit cloud saving and publishing to MuseScore.com and Audio.com.

Share on Audio.com

MuseScore 4.1 introduced the ability to upload score audio to the free streaming site Audio.com, a new platform under the Muse umbrella that's closely associated with Audacity, MuseScore's sister application. In MuseScore 4.2 we plan to improve Audio.com sharing by providing an option to update existing audio in-place rather than uploading as a new file each time.



We're delighted to welcome Zac Jansheski to the MuseScore desktop team. Zac has worked at Muse for several years now, but he recently joined the MuseScore team as a Quality Assurance Engineer. If you’ve taken a peek at our GitHub repo lately you’ve probably noticed an increasing raft of concise and carefully crafted issues with his name on them! Luckily for us, Zac is also an expert percussionist, and he’ll be helping with the major percussion overhaul we have planned for later in the 4.x series.

Get involved!

Please see our previous announcement for ways you can help out, including documentation and translations. If you're a developer, don't forget to take a look at the Community Projects board.

Also, today (August 31st 2023) is your last chance to Vote for MuseScore in the UX Design Awards! If you haven't voted yet, please consider doing so now.


It sounds very promising. Thanks for your hard work.

I am wondering when the pianoroll will be reintroduced, and when the "DAW arrangement view" will come (the game-changer feature of MS4), along automation and MIDI mapping. Maybe it has been abandoned?

In reply to by creal

According to the developers, MuseScore 4.2 takes at least five months to develop. Therefore, if alpha comes out first as early as the end of October and beta tests are released in late November or early December, and there is no problem, the official release at the end of December is most likely. So I've made a rough road map with this. 4.3 will be released in 2024, but no specific release schedule has been released yet.

In reply to by chaejunsu0902

Thank you. But at the end, that does not answer my question. We don't know if the pianoroll will be reintroduced in 4.3 or if the arrangement view/automation will be in 4.3, 4.4, or even MS5. Maybe it's not even in the pipes anymore.

Maybe we cannot have more info, and that will answer my question

> ... a new ‘string tuning’ element ... will provide an easy way to specify new tunings for multiple strings and (optionally) have those tunings displayed in the score. You’ll be able to choose from a list of preset tunings or enter an entirely custom tuning.

Really nice that MS4.2 will simplify the matter of designating altered tunings for stringed instrument.

A couple of questions:

• Once a user has defined a custom tuning can they save that as a "preset" that's easily accessed in other scores? And will it be possible to export and share a list of such custom presets?

• I'm curious, what's the purpose of the show/hide icons?


In reply to by Jm6stringer

If I follow the logic then, by showing the 6th string (of Drop D tuning) the reader sees the the string that has been altered from standard tuning. Alternately, the user could show the full tuning by Showing each string.

I'd also like a parallel option where MuseScore displays string pitches (in a mono spaced font) to the left of the initial tablature staff, or optionally at the left of every tablature staff. See the attached images.


In reply to by yonah_ag

For me the note letter would be sufficient without the octave number.

I agree.
Most guitarists who employ alternate tunings develop a "feel" for the "correct" octave number. If they get it wrong, they learn quickly. (Try cranking a string up a whole octave by mistake. See what happens... :-)

On the other hand...
For the "Edit String Data" dialog, octave numbers are needed because the same dialog is used for different stringed instruments. Also, it makes it easy to discern re-entrant tunings: e.g., for 5-string banjo.

In reply to by yonah_ag

yonah_ag write > For me the note letter would be sufficient without the octave number.

Yes, simple class letters would suffice. Even as I made the graphic I found the octave number unattractive and I felt it divert my attention from the pitch class.

And the octave numbering is knowable in the capo element dialog.


In reply to by scorster

Adding a vote for displaying the tuning in the TAB. In my world - the Mountain Dulcimer - the convention is to replace the text "TAB" with the string tuning; and that does reduce clutter. (And i think it's pretty obvious that the TAB staff is tab after all.)

Also, fwiw, in some situations I do need to show the octave number as that can be non-obvious at times (tho can be handled with a notation text at the top of the score as well).

Hope you will improve the channel mixer with the ability to chose and play instruments in other sound fonts for the main instruments and for the chords … thx

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks Marc for your feedback
In fact I had done that already but found that it is not working for the chords on top of the score which are now shown differently in the new mixer.
Hope 4.2 will also cover the sound selection for these chords. I ma using them quite a lot !

In reply to by philippe888

They are shown different indeed but it absolutely works to select a new sound the way I described. If you have a score you are having trouble getting to sound the way you want, just ask for help in the Support forum and attach the score, and we’re happy to help!

In reply to by philippe888

I hope that Linux support will improve. Currently only the basic Soundfont is available.
MuseScore Hub (https://www.musehub.com/) provides a RPM, but it just downloads the soundfonts. Useless since the engine "Muse Sampler library" is "not found in Linux. Besides it does not fit with usual Linux packaging and automated updates. At least there is a Flatpak available with basic sound.

In reply to by BrnVrn

I'm not sure what you mean. Muse Sounds have been available on Linux and working just fine since day one. That's true with the original ".deb" file for Muse Hub as well as with the ".rpm" file for the new Muse Sounds Manager. In both cases the Muse Sampler is installed automatically.

Flatpak is available for MuseScore but definitely not recommended. Typically these third party builds are outdated and often built incorrectly leading to hard-to-diagnose bugs. The supported AppImage installs and updates very simply from the command line ("install" and "update" options respectively).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

You keep saying that, but I can confirm that Musescore 4 broke a lot of things related to sound for Linux users. Removal of the the options under I/O preferences (Port audio, ALSA Audio and particularly Jack Audio) was a bad mistake. I had sort of hoped that would be fixed before 4.2 and I sure hope it will be fixed by 4.2 otherwise I will not be able to get off 3.6.2

for film work, I DESPERATELY need , and I'm sure a lot of other film composers also need, the possibility to MIDI SYNC Muse Score with a DAW .
This could be via another program or utility like the IAC bus in Mac OS for example, or Jack Audio , midi pipe etc.
For that there needs to be a Midi Sync page within Muse Score that can send and receive sync and midi transport control information.
After that, a routable midi out and in for each instrument would be amazing- then one could transfer instantly midi tracks between Muse Score and the DAW.

I would like to try the smarter system for handling the synchronisation of elements between parts and the main score. But where can I find it? And how does it work?
As for dynamics per voice, it's very welcome. However we also need the ability of creating custom dynamics with custom volume changes. Sometimes we need more subtle dynamics, something between and mf and f, or f and ff, like a real musician can do.

In reply to by shoogle

When reading the bug and pull request above I didn't understand clearly how that smarter management works. In MU3 when I wanted a visual only symbol I could use alt+f9 and scroll down to symbols. When I wanted symbols that affected the parts, like staff text, I would only add them and go to their properties. Now it seems that something similar is being brought back but in a very complicated way.

Could someone please make changing the velocity of muse sounds work? I've also tried with soundfonts and MSbasic. I do use a mac, though.

When will we get back the possibility to play musecore sounds with a midi keyboard in real time. That is, in such a way that the sounds play as long as the key is pressed.

Wow this forum is seriously out of control! LOL! People asking for help and reporting bugs on the Announcements forum. People making announcements and having discussions on the Support and Bug Reports forum. Yee-haw!

In reply to by hamsandwichnow

I also wanted to implement the feature I had at request which is to have the Chord Symbols playback based on the Rhythm of the Slashes if using Slash Notation (either with stems or w/o stems) because I wanted Chord charts to sound like they're being strummed (also for Unpitched percussion it'll be the ride cymbal sound).

In reply to by yonah_ag

It's sometimes surprising what unusual, but useful, scores can be made with Musescore. This above one is completely made in TAB and would've been easier if fixed measure widths could be used. (I think that there may already be an enhancement request for this option).

My other main help tool is this score:


But I still haven't got to grips with standard notation!

In reply to by hamsandwichnow

I think the key word here is "popular", as in my daughter has a guitar, there is a guitar shop up the road, I could draw you a picture of a guitar, there are likely to be many guitar players willing to record their playing to create a soundfont. A forterpiano, on the other hand i have only seen in a museum...

>> In MuseScore 4.2 we plan to improve Audio.com sharing by providing an option to update existing audio in-place rather than uploading as a new file each time.

I'm wondering if there is already a way—here on the .org forum—to embed a link to audio.com that provides in-forum playback. If not, hopefully that's in the works for 4.2

With MuseScore.com, pasting a link suffices, but here's a link from audio, but it affords no inline preview or playback:


Audio.com's Share menu does indeed offer an embed option ... but that provides pure HTML and I don't know if there's a simple way to "slice" that into a post.

How soon will this be updated? Also, could the ability to make an arpeggio span two staves be added, and can someone actually make changing the velocity of an instrument work?

In reply to by beniegenie

Last I heard December was seeming like a good guess as to the schedule for 4.2.

Support for cross staff arpeggios is a long standing request, so presumably that will happen in the not distant future.

Velocity settings for notes already work, when using Soundfonts. Support for this in Muse Sounds is also being worked on for a future update. I don’t think it would make it into 4.2 but Id be very happy to be wrong.

In reply to by gholst80

It’s not difficult, it’s just no one yet has stepped forward to volunteer. But, why not simply use the image capture feature built into your computer? Or any of the various third party image capture utilities? Or for cases where you need to generates lots of them with consistent sizing, the export facility within MuseScore? If you need help with these, just start a new thread and describe your use case and we’re happy to help you accomplish it with the tools already available.

In reply to by hamsandwichnow

Yes, but I have to:
1. Export the png
2. Open the image file with an editor
3. Resize the image
4. Copy the image
(5. Delete the temporary file from the disk)
I have to do this for each part of a score, the old builtin function is a lot faster.
If I need to send a partial snapshot of a score with whatsapp the old function is faster.
For my daily work MS 3.6 is better

In reply to by gholst80

Again, the place to ask for help is in a separate thread in the Support forum, where you explain your unique special use case and why it requires a transparent background. That would be exceedingly unusual, but in the separate thread where you explain it, we will be happy to help you find solutions.

In reply to by gholst80

Even if not you're not asking, we're still offering :-). Unless your use case is very different from the norm, I am quite confident sure we can show you how to get the job done today, so you don't have to wait for someone to volunteer to implement this particular feature, nor do you need to put up with the sub-standard engraving or other limitations of MU3. I really want to help you get the best possible results.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hello Marc, I suppose that he was asking for the reintroduction of a useful function rather than for a workaround.
In the italian forum, just today we were talking about some useful functions that disappeared in the 4.x version of MS.
We suggested to focus the development on the reintroduction of these features before develop new code. A user said: make MS 4 be able to do what MS 3.6.2 can do
Some users think that in MS4 the focus has been more on the audio features instead of of the primary writing function. Image capture, comparison between scores, but also Linux audio support and the ability to open more score with tabs.
(Sorry for very bad english)

In reply to by zorba

Yes, we’d all like to see the image capture feature come back, so hopefully someone volunteers to implement t it.

But meanwhile, I still want to help people see how to get their job done using other methods.

As for the the overall focus of MU4, actually, improvements to the score writing were huge. The engraving quality is light years better, plus major improvements and new features specifically for the editing process.

In reply to by zorba

fwiw, I would like to endorse, gently, zorba's comment. I too continue to use MS-3.6.2 due to a few missing features in MS-4 that are critical to my own notation work. I play an unsupported instrument and have to make use of plugins (still questionable in MS-4), one (odd) MS-3 feature that never got implemented in MS-4, and a custom soundfont (soundfont capability took a small step back in MS-4). So, net-net, by subtracting some MS-3 features I stand in a net-loss position vis-a-vis MS-4.

Just looking at the forum messages over the past year it does seem to me that many MuseScore users are in an analogous situation to me. It does seem to me that getting the missing 3.6.2 features into MS-4 really should be a priority at this point. Just my personal vote...not that I get a vote really...but if I did... : )

Nothing personal in my critique here; and I do truly appreciate that a notation application of MuseScore's sophistication is both Open Source and available on Linux.

In reply to by rocchio

This was the post in the italian forum:

Here and in a lot of other threads users say that prefer use MS 3.6 instead of MS4 due to some missing features. In a big project like Musescore I think that it cannot be left to the decisions of individual volunteers but it is necessary a form of coordination capable of defining what the priorities
The result is that a lot of people (me too) prefer to work with an old version. In this way I cannot help the development because, for example, I cannot report bugs present in the new branch.
What a lot of people report as missing:
- Image capture
- Piano roll
- al lot of plugins non compatible with MS4 but needed by users
- linux audio properties
- scores opened in tabs
(Sorry for bad english)

In reply to by zorba

Of course, the overall priorities are determined by the project leaders. But for any given feature that is low-priority - because they are niche features required by only a very small number of users - it's still the case that they can be implemented sooner rather than later if some individual developer from the community finds them important enough to work on themselves.

That's the beauty of open-souce software, and it is exactly how MuseScore has become the success it has. Since the beginning, the project leadership has set priorities and designed and developed the major core features, and hundreds of others - including myself - have contributed their talents to add more value even if those features weren't originally considered a top priority by the core team. I'm quite proud of what we in the community have made possible, and will continue to encourage the community to get involved in this way - it's the biggest strength of MuseScore.

So anyhow, yes, there were some relatively seldom-used features that were not re-implemented before the initial 4.0 release - a prioritization decision made by the project leadership. Holding up the release just for those niche features would have been unfair to the vast majority of users who don't need those features and have been able to enjoy MuseScore 4 all this time already.

Those who absolutely still rely on those missing features can continue to enjoy older releases, or - in the case of image capture - use the simple alternative provided by the OS. And, as always, people with ideas about features they'd like to see implemented are welcome to contribute to their development. Meanwhile, the project leadership has already stated their commitment to seeing these features added back and offered their support to people wishing to help, while also prioritizing this work alongisde other features needed by other users.

Hello, thank you for your hard work, I am wondering a couple of things:

  1. when notating or trying out some music before notating it using the midi controller, there is a latency, and also fast phrases seem to come out slower that intended, chords on the piano sound are hard to play, there is something wrong, I don't know what it is, but makes it really hard to try out new stuff before notating them. this issue was not found much in musescore 3.6

Will this be improved or fully worked on in version 4.2?

  1. one feature that other paid softwares like sibelius and dorico have is the ability to live record your phrase with the software notating the right notes and rhythms almost immediately

will this ever be included and when?

this is one of the biggest features that are important in softwares nowadays, cuts your notating time by a big margin.

if these 2 features + piano roll + ability to attach a video are included this would be a big step for musescore in comparison to other softwares on the market,

again I say really thank you for your hard work, and for the awesome musesounds that you've previously included in the 4 version,

best regards,

In reply to by Joseph.Zayoun


  1. The note input algorithm has been optimized in MuseScore 4.2, which increases performance and hopefully reduces latency between pressing a key and seeing/hearing the note.

  2. Existing versions of MuseScore already have a realtime input feature that allows you to play notes in time to a metronome or foot pedal beats. However, it's a bit tricky to use and the results are not great except for simple rhythms. Still worth a try though.

In reply to by shoogle

Hi, thanks for your reply,

great concerning point number 1, as for point number 2 I don't love the realtime input feature it's not practical, I prefer a feature that let's me record, like I do in a DAW and then notates it for me, in order to hasten the writing process

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