Total n00b. Really basic usage feels really hard. Is there an "easy mode"?

• Mar 12, 2024 - 21:51

I'm using MuseScore- on Ubuntu Linux.

I've got an auto-generated .musicxml score downloaded from of a youtube video I would like to learn to play on the piano. The transcription is actually pretty good! But it's also pretty terrible. I'd like to make what appear to me to be some really small changes. I've thought about just printing it out and marking it up in person, but I'd love to do it "the right way" and end up with a nice clean transcription.

I've tried musescore a bunch of times in the past and never been able to get it to do anything I really want it to. I've read and tried searching, but to no avail. I've attached an image of a concrete example. In this measure, I'd like to move the F that's marked as part of the base clef into the treble clef. I think the right hand should play this note. If I try to move it to the other staff, the entire chord moves with it, probably due to the tie? How do I break the chord? ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Okay, so I just add the F note in the treble clef and delete it in the bass clef and move on with life. That almost works! But then, how do I move the eighth note replay of this note on the last half beat to be part of the treble clef, too? I couldn't figure out how to do that basic thing. If I try to move it up to the treble clef, it still connects it to the chord in the bottom (which I'd love to change to just take up the whole measure, but that breaks everything, too). Then I want to do the same thing, but backwards, with the first middle C of the second measure... We're on measure two and I'm already frustrated.

It's like the whole system is forcing me to be super fastidious with the right hand and left hand and enforce a bunch of rules that I don't know about, can't see, and, frankly, don't care about. I'd love to just be able to click on a location in the staff to add or delete a note, pick a note duration (if needed) and be done. You know, like how I would write music on a piece of paper? But there doesn't seem to be such a mode? I know it could be super dangerous. Maybe I could create nonsensical, or ambiguous transcriptions! That's fine with me. There only seems to be this mode which makes sure that all the "voices" (a hard for me to grasp concept) correctly account for the time of the measure, but even then sometimes it's like there are two voices within a voice? If you just try things, you end up with ties from a note to oblivion and before you know it you've ledger lines to the moon and back.

Sorry if this feels more like a rant than a request for help. Maybe it is. I'd love for simple things to be simple. I've spent so much time with this program and just cannot figure out how even the most basic stuff is supposed to work. Probably I need to watch like 10 hours of youtube videos and start with transcribing from a blank canvas, but that's not really my use case at all.

Any advise anyone can offer would be appreciated. If not, that's fine too. Consider this a request for a feature that is a mode just for idiots like me that just want some features to make "drawing" on a score sheet easier.

In all honesty and sincerity, thanks for the program and for making it freely available to idiots like me. I know I'm not entitled to a free, perfectly working copy of any software, so I really am grateful for the effort put in.

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Screenshot from 2024-03-12 17-25-11.png 15.18 KB


No one can just open a new program and use it without some study. What you want is simple. But you have to know how to use the software.
In the upper measure select the beam for the first two notes and then hit "X". Or the "Flip direction" in the tool bar. Do the same for beat two. Now hit "N" and select voice 2 from the tool bar. I forget if voice 2 is visible by default. Look up "voices, in the manual. Add the dotted half note and two 8ths. and the tie, to the treble clef Select and delete the notes you don't want from the bass.

Trying to fix something you imported is going to be much more complicated than entering something yourself from scratch. Try that first. The handbook is a good place to start and there are tutorials available to help explain basic entry.

In reply to by SteveBlower

>the whole system ... enforce a bunch of rules that I don't know about

bobjp is right, "No one can just open a new program and use it without some study". Your statement makes sense too, I'd say the roots are

  1. lack of manpower to design and code a magically easy editing method. Musescore the editor is built by volunteers.
  2. the free, open nature of the score file data format, which provides consistency and compatibility, complicates the matter.

> Probably I need to watch like 10 hours of youtube videos and start with transcribing from a blank canvas, but that's not really my use case at all.
>Any advise anyone can offer would be appreciated.
> just want some features to make "drawing" on a score sheet easier.

It's good you already know what you really need. It's 2024, but there's simply not a single sci-fi smart AND professional score editing software on the market yet. There's nothing wrong to stick to being a noob, pls try , it has the most intuitive input design I've ever seen.

Have fun but beware all your creations are then based on the proprietary score file format created and only supported by that company, which means limited import/export/conversion ability, and score files and software can simply "expire" one day and become useless on a future machine/OS, and no one is capable of helping you to update those scores. That's the no-go reason for me.

Anyway, if you're interested in learning musescore, beside the handbook SteveBlower mentioned, has good tutorials too.

One suggestion is to consider forgetting about "moving" things from one place to another and rather think about "destroy"/"create" and "extend"/"contract", unless you're moving horizontally in time in which case think about copying/cutting and pasting

For example, if what you have (you can inline the images so words + images are in proximity on the forum):

1) Want F note in treble clef. F is [Dotted Half], yet the treble clef has [Dotted Eighth], so you either have to have multi-voicings to allow for different durations at the same time-domain, or tie things together in the same voice.
2) Using second voice, inputting the first F, then tying into an [eighth], you still have an eighth rest to
3) input the last F note.
4) Then, you delete the top notes
5) Then you'd have a rest sitting there at the bass clef, and depending on your "interpretation", you could be liberal and just hold the F-C Diad so that there isn't any rest, unless you explicitly want it,
6) If so, you can "extend" the duration (check handbook for more details)

Anyways, enjoy the journey of music notation. If you don't quit, and you're like many of us, it'll take...
years.... bwahahah

In reply to by rothers

> but the F should be played with the left hand and should be notated in the bass. The original notation is correct.

I'm assuming this is sarcasm, right? One can't possibly be so certain about something that is so entirely subjective by construction, can one? I can think of reasons to play it with the left hand and the right hand and have tried both and can't think of a reason that one might be considered objectively more correct than the other. But, then, I've never been one who enjoys the sunlight of certainty on pretty much anything...

As mentioned, learning to use a program as sophisticated as MuseScore comes with a learning curve. And also as mentioned, unless you're really an expert in the advanced editing functions, it's almost always easier to enter music yourself than to clean up the mess created by AI programs that attempt to convert from PDF or other pictures.

Here is my basic getting started tutorial that should help:

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