MuseScore 3.6 Release Candidate Is Out!

• Dec 29, 2020 - 20:45

MuseScore 3.6 Release Candidate is Out!

We are pleased to announce the release candidate of MuseScore 3.6, the largest (and last) of our updates to version 3. This is our 'engraving release', which addresses many of the biggest issues affecting the layout and appearance of your sheet music and is the result of a massive collaboration between our community and internal team. It is the first big step towards the type of world-beating engraving capability that we aim to achieve in the future.

Two of the most notable additions in this release are Leland, our new notation font and Edwin, our new typeface. Leland is a highly sophisticated notation style created by our head of product, Martin Keary and our engraving expert, Simon Smith. The aim of Leland is to provide a classic notation style that feels 'just right' with a balanced, consistent weight and a finessed appearance that avoids overly stylised quirks. We will be releasing a video about how (and why) Leland was created to coincide with the official launch of 3.6. Our new typeface, Edwin, is based on New Century Schoolbook, which has long been the typeface of choice by some of the world's leading publishers, chosen specifically as a complimentary companion to Leland. In addition, we have provided new default style settings (margins, line thickness, etc) to compliment Leland and Edwin, which match conventions used by the world's leading publishing houses.

Equally as important as our new notation style is our new vertical layout system. This is switched on by default for new scores and can be activated on older scores too. It is a gigantic improvement to how staves are vertically arranged and will save you hours of work by significantly reducing your reliance on vertical spacers and manual adjustment. We have also created a system for automatically organising the instruments on your score to conform with a range of common conventions (orchestral, marching band, etc.). In addition, newly created scores will also be accurately bracketed by default. You can even specify soloists, which will be arranged and bracketed according to your chosen convention too! These three new systems are the result of a wonderful collaboration between Simon Smith and our community member, Niek van den Berg.

We have also greatly improved how we display the notation fonts: Emmentaler and Bravura, which more accurately match the intentions of the original designers and have included a new jazz font called 'Petaluma' designed by Anthony Hughes at Steinberg.

Lastly, we have made some very useful improvements to our export process, which now includes a new dialog containing lots of practical, time-saving settings. This work was implemented by one of our newest community members, Casper Jeukendrup.

We have lots more to do to improve the engraving capabilities of MuseScore, including important overhauls to our horizontal spacing and beaming systems. MuseScore 3.6 may be a massive step but there are many more steps ahead!

You can install the 3.6 Release Candidate version alongside the version you have currently installed. Please be aware that we have disabled uploads to for this release candidate. This is a necessary precaution due to the significant alterations made to engraving and score organisation. It will be enabled for the official stable release of MuseScore 3.6

Additional Engraving fixes

  • Overhauled style defaults, both general and Leland-specific
  • Added feature to indent initial systems of sections
  • Improved adjustment of stem lengths on chords outside the stave
  • Improvement to the appearance of tremolo and buzzrolls markings
  • Correct interpretation of beam spacing and ledger length settings in SMuFL fonts
  • Improved positioning of flags, honouring their orientation and design in their respective fonts
  • Bracketed accidentals can how have customisable padding inside their parentheses
  • Improvements to placement and spacing of accidentals with regard to ledger lines
  • Improvements with spacing involving invisible items

Known Issues

  • Uploads to have been disabled. The will be enabled again for the official stable release of 3.6
  • There is an issue with some Music XML imports, which do not always accept our new defaults without some manual work. Depending on the source of the file, font faces and sizes may be specified locally for each text item. A dialog will be presented when importing an XML file to ask if you wish to apply the text font Edwin to the file or not; this will force the font change but may not affect size or other attributes. It may be possible to reset styles more comprehensively by opening Format → Style and selecting the 'Reset all Styles to Default' option on the bottom left corner of the dialog. After that, you may also need to choose 'Format > Reset Text Style Overrides'. Ultimately, it may be necessary to reset some text items manually

See also the handbook page for the new changes and features

Full release notes are available here

Download MuseScore 3.6 Release Candidate

Windows 64-bit Windows 32-bit macOS 10.10 or higher Linux AppImage
(64-bit only)


In reply to by Sanethebro

But to be clear, "included" doesn't mean it is installed by default, you'd still need to install it yourself if you hadn't previously. And actually, whether or not it sees your existing installation probably depends on your system and whether you have it installed in MuseScore3Development or just MuseScore3.

In reply to by gustebus10

Not sure what you mean by "activated", but if you are referring to selecting a note - say, by clicking it - nothing has changed recently. It still highlights blue. That was a change a year or so ago to the specific shade of blue used I think, maybe you hadn't updated recently enough to notice? Or maybe you customized your shade long ago in Edit / Preferences / Advanced but the release candidate is not by default using your existing settings?

In reply to by gustebus10

Check your voice 1 button in the toolbar, it is also black.

I'm guessing there's a preferences mixup, leading to the voice colors being "empty" thus defaulting to black. You can either reset to factory settings or manually pick new colors in the advanced preferences list.

In reply to by Nadine Hill

Not sure which problem you mean, best if you can post a link to the specific issue you mean. In general, some invisible elements do affect spacing and others don't, by design - this is based on years of input from users as to how these elements are used.

One aspect of this that was not by design had to do with invisible key and time signatures and the spacing at the beginning of a measure. All reported problems having to do with this are indeed fixed for 3.6 RC.

New topic. How does "Improvements with spacing involving invisible items" work? Aggressively? Does it work for invisible notes? Am I supposed to see a change, especially from scores I've already done?

In reply to by Nadine Hill

The only such changes I am aware of involve the behavior of invisible key and time signatures at the start of a system, bugs involving that spacing have been fixed. I am not aware of any bugs that have reported involving spacing of invisible notes, they have always work as designed. That is, invisible notes on visible staves can still be used for spacing purposes as always, but notes on invisible staves are ignored as always.

So the only changes you should see are to fix the spacing at the beginning of scores involving invisible key or time signatures. At least, the only changes relevant to that. Other improvements were made as well, but most of them require you to opt in by changing to the new default fonts and/or applying the new style defaults.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Okay. That is one of the major bust I am having really having to deal with though. Irregular. Spacing. As you can see here on my transcription last year, at the end of the exposition on the first movement, invisible notes represent the trills. They are not much notes, in fact it is a quintuplet. It still affects both staves' notes and is very displeasing:

In reply to by Nadine Hill

As I said, if you wish to have invisible notes that don't affect spacing, simply add them to a separate staff and make the staff itself invisible. Only place invisible notes on a visible staff if you do want them to affect spacing, like to get certain proportional spacing effects. It's very important to support both - invisible notes that do affect spacing, and invisible notes that don't. That's why we provide both options. So just choose the one you want for any given situation.

In reply to by Nadine Hill

You don't need to write a whole separate staff - only the passages where you wish to write notes that are heard and note seen. So simply add the staff (in Edit / Instruments), then put the notes you want to hear on that staff rather than the visible staff. When you're all done, go back to Edit / Instruments and make the staff invisible. It's the same basic process you'd also use for creating visible representations of these ornaments as ossia, except you'd mark the staff cutaway instead of invisible. It's actually considerably easier and less fiddly than dealing with invisible notes on the main staff.

if you have further questions about any of this, please start a new thread (since this has nothing to do with 3.6, this feature has been present for years), and attach a short example representing your best attempt at this, and we can them advise further.

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