Help us to improve Note Input workflow

• Sep 23, 2019 - 10:10

Hi everyone,

We are looking for the ones who wants to help MuseScore to improve usability by implementing Tantacrul's redesign of the Note Input flow. Once it is implemented, there will be no need to enter "Note input mode" each time you want to enter notes :)


As you probably know, not so long ago, Martin Keary aka Tantacrul published a video about MuseScore. The video is full of constructive criticism and, what is the most important, the belief in MuseScore as an open source product with incredible potential. Marc Sabatella generously prepared a detailed report on the items discussed in the video. We addressed some of the ideas in recent releases. Still, some items required user research activities and preparing a complete redesign.

We are pleased to emphasise Tantacrul's interest in developing MuseScore. Martin prepared few redesign documents resolving the issues most often faced by users: palettes, Instruments dialog, drag & drop usability, note input, etc. Martin's redesign ideas are impressive with the simplicity of the solutions used and the potential for improving usability. At the moment, with the in-house team, we've almost finished redesign of the Palettes that will lead to better usability and ease of use.

Among other things, Martin prepared a redesign for the notes/rests input and the interaction model flow. We are pleased to share these improvements with you and ask for help in implementing the proposed changes.

Screenshot 2019-09-23 at 11.11.27.png

Call to action

We are inviting everyone interested in implementing the changes to read the attached document. After that, in the comments we can discuss the details if you should have any questions. Once the ones who want to implement the changes are identified, we can organise the work on the disjoint parts of the functionality (different sections of the document).

We are happy to support the development of this project and will be open for any questions 24/7 in Telegram.

Attachment Size
MuseScore_Note_Input_V04.pdf 803.53 KB


I personally think that having the Customise button so visible is overkill. My workflow would be to customise the toolbar once and then do not ever touch that button again for years. I believe it would be better if Customise was a menu item in the right click menu for the toolbar. Same thing for the Add Palettes button.

In reply to by [DELETED] 30992681

I agree on both points. The visibility of these options imho can just as well be covered by the "tours" a new user is offered, without taking up real-estate for anyone else.

With the current design I'd probably click the button once, just to customize that toolbar to remove that one button from it :-p

I highly encourage adoption of the suggested note input mode improvements. I started using Musescore (with no previous notation software experience) right before the Musescore 2->3 transition. Because entering notes when not in input mode kind of works but with many warts, it led me to be very confused. I actually filed a couple bugs demonstrating this, but the feedback was: don't do that -- select note input mode first.

Tantacrul raises these exact points (and so much more). Anyway, just feedback that his suggestions are not hypothetical. It is very easy for a new user, like me, to get confused.

If automatically dropping into note mode as suggested is not adopted, I would then suggest that the existing situation where attempting to enter notes when not in note mode should be disallowed instead of only half working.

Finally, a word of thanks for all the developers who make this possible.

In reply to by frfancha

Me too. I enter notes via computer keyboard in 99.9 % of cases and use the input mode button only to change mode (e.g. from normal to repitch) but NEVER use it to just start entering notes. I pray for not sacrificing efficient workflows of experience users just to have musescore being optimized for newbies.

In reply to by drowo

Let me add a whole-hearted #metoo here. Let's please NOT optimize for the lazy/ignorant. Any kind of tool needs training (and it's sad that this needs to be stated). Even more so tools that support complex tasks such as music notation.

Thank you for these suggestions. I would find a simplified, yet more functional note input very helpful. I have used musescore for one year and it has not yet come to my mind to customize it.

What annoys me sometimes, is that if you remove an augmentation dot from a note, it will be replaced by a rest. For me it would make sense to make the following note longer instead.

Thank you for developing musescore, i found it an absolute revelation.

I transcribe a lot of music in musescore, and I find the default note input method to be very clunky, because it's clunky to repeatedly alternate between picking a note duration, then typing its pitch. (I've also never gotten the hang of Real-time (automatic) input mode.) My usual workflow is to start in rhythm input mode, enter the rhythm for a whole phrase, then switch to re-pitch mode, and go back with my MIDI keyboard and input pitches for all of the notes I just entered. There's room for this workflow to be streamlined.

  1. Instead of using the period key to toggle dotted notes, it would allow more efficient rhythm entry if the shift key entered dotted notes. (Shift+5 would give you a dotted quarter.) As it is, there aren't even an "Insert dotted quarter note" action available in the preferences dialog for me to assign these shortcuts myself.

  2. Ties are awkward. I have to enter both notes, then go back to the first note and hit +. It would be better if I could do either of the following:

    a. I could hit the first note duration, then hit +, then hit the second note duration, and have the tie between the first and second notes. (Currently, if you try this, when you hit +, it adds a second note with the same duration as the first so that the tie connects to something. Hitting the left arrow to go back and replace that note makes the tie disappear when you enter the new note duration.)

    b. I could hit the first note duration, them hit the second note duration, then hit +, and the tie would go backward from the second note to the first.

As I get farther on in editing my transcription, and I find myself making rhythm and pitch corrections, it would be convenient to have keyboard shortcuts for switching between these two modes. There's a shortcut for re-pitch mode by default, but there isn't one for rhythm mode. (Though I suppose I should just configure one myself.) But I wonder whether these need to be different modes at all. They use two completely different sets of controls to accomplish their goals, so they could be the same mode. If you're in this mode, hitting a note duration adds a note of that duration, and if you have a note selected, then hitting a letter key changes the pitch of that note. This is starting to sound a lot like the default note input mode, with a few differences:

  1. Typing a note duration always places that duration note (instead of waiting for you to enter a pitch). It also makes a sound when you place that duration note, which is kind of useless, because the pitch is useless (you haven't specified which pitch you want), and the duration of the sound is useless (because it doesn't vary with the length of the note that you're trying to enter).

  2. After you re-pitch the last note in your composition, the cursor stays over the last note, so that the next pitch you enter re-pitches the last note of the composition again.

  3. In ordinary note entry mode (and the current rhythm entry mode), hitting a pitch replaces the duration of the currently selected note with the current default duration. In my proposed combined mode, hitting a pitch would replace the pitch of the currently selected note, while leaving the duration unchanged.

With a couple of small changes, you could make this combined re-pitch, re-rhythm mode replace the default note entry mode.

  1. Placing a new note (by typing a duration) is silent. Musescore only makes sound when re-pitching the note.

  2. After you re-pitch the last note in your composition, Musescore advances the cursor. If you enter another pitch while you're there, Musescore should place a new note with the currently selected duration (which is the same as the last duration note you added), and give it the pitch that you entered. (And this should make a sound because you're specifying the pitch.)

Another orthagonal improvement to note entry would be to allow Rosegarden keybindings on your keyboard for entering pitches. In Musescore, currently you type A to get an A, B to get a B, C to get a C, and so forth. You have to hunt-and-peck to find the pitches you want to enter. In Rosegarden, the keybindings are designed for the geometry of your keyboard, so the home row enters natural notes, and you hit shift and shift-ctrl to enter accidentals. (See for the bindings.) Alternatively, we might prefer key bindings where home row enters natural notes, and the row above it enters accidentals.

As it is, I can't even customize my key bindings to allow this, because there's no "Enter note B-flat" action in preferences.

In reply to by Ken Bloom

Hmm. I actually don't see an action in preferences that would allow me to configure a keyboard shortcut to enter rhythm entry mode.

Edit: I found it, but it wasn't easy to search for, because the name of the action in preferences, "Enter durations with a single click or keypress", is completely different from the name in the note entry menu, and didn't include the word "rhythm".

In reply to by Ken Bloom

Actually, it seems you may not be using the existing facilities to their full potential. Ties in particular you aren't doing right. They are very simple to enter: enter the first note, select the duration for the record, press "+" (or click the toolabr button). The second note is automatically entered. In other words, you were simply doing it in the wrong order.

EDIT: I may have misudnerstood, maybe you're only talking about using rhythm mode? To me using that is already many more steps than using the standard note input mode, but yeah, there is definitely room to make it more efficient.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I'm only talking about rhythm mode. If you changed ties in rhythm mode, I'm totally sure what what you'd do to create consistency between rhythm mode and normal note entry mode. (Unless you follow all the way through and combine these into a new default note entry mode, as I have proposed.) On the other hand, I rarely need ties in my music, so improving dotted notes would be much higher priority than dealing with ties, and if you just can't fix ties somehow, I could live with the inconvenience.

I'm not sure how rhythm mode is really many more steps than the standard note input mode. I guess if you have a very even rhythm with lots of repeated durations, then you don't need to keep entering the duration in standard note entry mode, so rhythm mode followed by re-pitch mode is more steps than standard note entry mode because you have to enter every single note duration. But if you're changing durations all the time, then changing duration between each pitch really breaks the flow of the music in my head and slows me down, plus it's awkward switching between piano keyboard and computer keyboard all the time, so doing a chunk of rhythm first helps me to minimize the number of times I have to move my hands between different input devices.

In reply to by Ken Bloom

It's the constant switching of modes, going back to the start point, and having to rethink the same passage twice and making sure the rhythms and pitches are in sync rather than just getting it right the first time that seems inefficient to me. But indeed, everyone works differently. Not sure what you mean about switching between piano and computer keyboard, though - you should be able to do everything from either. Personally I use computer keyboard for everything. But you can set up MIDI shortcuts for the duration commands etc.

In reply to by Ken Bloom

If you need a really rapid workflow, consider the numerical pad to enter duration (right hand) then keys a,b,c,d,e,f,g to enter pitch (left hand). If you mistyped duration (which happens frequently to me) use w and q keys to correct afterward by doubling / halfing duration or shift-w, shift-q to increase / decrease by a dot.
All that happens in normal input mode, which I never invoke explicitely using the mouse but instead click on the note / rest where I want to start the edit. There is no difference in my workflow between first entry of notes and changing a phrase.

In reply to by Ken Bloom

"3. In ordinary note entry mode (and the current rhythm entry mode), hitting a pitch replaces the duration of the currently selected note with the current default duration. In my proposed combined mode, hitting a pitch would replace the pitch of the currently selected note, while leaving the duration unchanged."

I think this is a good idea.

In reply to by Ken Bloom

I found this comment again while looking for previous discussions of rhythm mode to check on an idea I have. I do understand your suggestion I think and could imagine them being useful, but it would feel like a relatively "big" change to most people to merge these modes and have the behavior in step-time mode (the only used by 90%+ of users, probably) change unexpectedly.

However, I can some ways of improving rhythm mode based on discussion elsewhere, and it seems you are suggestion some of the same things I have in mind. In particular:

1) the idea that pressing a number in rhythm mode would repeat the last pitch rather than always going to the middle line. This would facilitate an "enter note, then change pitch with arrows" type of workflow that I see some people coming from Capella or Sibelius tend to favor.

2) the idea of making ties either toggle the toolbar so it means the next duration you enter would create the tie (to me, ideal, but might be a little complicated to implement) or have tie applied retroactively to the last note or chord you entered (probably simple but not ideal with respect to chords).

Anyhow, I've started a new discussion on these ideas - see

It's not the same thing as being able to criticize and design.
Instead of a flowing and intertwined design, there are now boundaries (squares) everywhere.
Who is responsible for this design, which gradually evolved into an evil Sibelius imitation?

Pallets: Squares in each other.
Note entry symbols: squares around.
It would make more sense to put the name of this software: SquareScore.
Instead of a relaxing, breathing design, there are square-prisons everywhere.

I'm just wondering: Isn't there any artistic eye in designing this?
If you want to use it, at least turn those squares into a "very very very" light gray color.

Now we need a new critic to criticize this new design: Perhaps the pen name Mantracrul.
Then hire her, And then we criticize what they will break.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

I would assume those are just quick mockups for the slide, and that it was easier to create them that way, and wouldn't consider that an integral aspect of the design. The design itself is more about the workflow, so I'd suggest not getting too distracted by the quirks of the software used to creater the mockups.

Although, FWIW, we do get constant criticism from new users especially that the toggle buttons in particular are unclear as to whether they are pressed or not, so having them look more like standard buttons is probably not such a bad thing.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

You understand the difference between visual design and user experience design, don't you?
This post is focused on the latter only. The idea is to achieve better usability using current style system.

Criticism and design are not the same, indeed. So, suggest your own vision for the visual design system for MuseScore, and we will consider that for the implementation.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Who says there aren't a lot of people who have trouble with basic note input? This forum gives a somewhat warped view, it's really only frequented by people already sufficiently invested in the platform that they are willing to create accounts, post to a public forum, etc. That's a very small percentage of the user base. More importantly, it's a minuscule percentage of the potential user base, when you incldue the people who give up right from the very beginning because they can't even figure out the basics.

Fixing bugs is important too, and we all continue to do our best to do that. Reaching out to find additional people to help with further improvements allows others to continue to focus on bug fixes or features for more advanced users.

In reply to by RobFog

Regarding new users, I’m probably too far removed from the new user experience to make judgement on the proposed changes, but I have some concerns-
1) The pdf only seemed to be concerned with revisions to already entered notes. Entering music into an empty measure wasn’t mentioned. (If I missed it, apologies.)
2) Any changes need to be cognizant of alternate work flows that do not rely on mouse clicks. I seldom use the mouse during note entry. Once keyboard shortcuts become a habit, the speed of basic music entry increases significantly. Both novice and advanced users must be catered to.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

"Who says there aren't a lot of people who have trouble with basic note input?"
I don't know who said that. But I'm not the one to say that.

I'm saying: "I haven't seen a new design request from users in the forum." <= The question I answered was on design. And the last paragraph was asking for something from me. The answer is that.
No hidden sub-meanings, no word touches. I just mean what I write. I always wrote in this forum open and direct.

For note input shortcuts I'd suggest, N for regular note entry, ctrl+shift+N for repitch, ctrl+shift+M, for rhythm, ctrl+[<] for Automatic realtime, ctrl +[>] for manual real time, and ctrl+[?] for insert mode

This way, N is still regular note mode and ctrl+shift+[N] to [/] all cleanly designate other note modes in the same fashion right next to each other... like rhythms are all numbers in the same row at the top of the keypad. Maybe note input modes could be the same way

I like the new design!
Some idea:
-Maybe it would be better to select the eight note by default instead of the quarter note if the user wants to add a tuplet.
-Maybe the double augmentation dot icon should only occur on the advanced workspace.
-Instead of ONE rest icon, there could be MORE icons (whole rest, half rest, quarter rest, eight rest ...)

thanks for improving musescore!

Two cents:
Whatever's decided, imo there needs to be a change how the behavior is related to leaving note entry so that one can select elements with ALT+Direction, and after finishing whatever procedures in editing an element, the means to continue note entry where the user left off needs to be fixed up. When an element is selected, pressing 'N' ought to highlight the note to which the element is selected. If the element isn't contingent upon a note, then upon the beginning of the measure with which it is attached. I would even venture to go so far as to eliminate the need of getting out of Editing Element (Alt+Shift+E) mode to get back into note entry, removing the need for pressing Esc first. That is, enable the ability to change a slur with the keyboard as it is already, and when done, just press 'N' and bam, back to note editing where you were instead of pressing Esc, and then pressing 'N' and finding out your Note entry highlighter jumped back to the beginning of the score, or having to press Esc, then Alt+Direction, THEN 'N'. Heck, go further and eliminate the need to press Escape so that the user can press Alt+Direction while in note-entry mode to exit and select the next/previous element. Why have to escape by ESC or 'N' and then do it?

In reply to by worldwideweary

Sounds like you're describing kind of a different and very specific issue or set of issues, some of which are just plain bugs to fix. I'd suggest you start a new thread of threads with a sample score and precise steps to reproduce the problems you allude to. In general, we do try to keep the selection consistent when navigating, and each release gets a little better (3.3 brings further improvements), but no doubt there are still corner cases we miss and we'd want to know about them, separate from any big picture design discussions.

Pressing "N" while still in edit input mode is an interesting idea, might be doable easily or might be tricky because really, there are a lot of operations necessarily locked out during an edit (and some, like accessing the Inspector, that currently aren't locked but probably should be because it doesn't work). Again, these are detail-oriented discussions best taken up in a single thread otherwise they'll get lost here and probably never acted upon.

I regularly use MuseScore at school, as a teacher. I would like to let you know that my pupils (11 to 14 years old an musically illitterate) can understand the basics of note input in an eyeblink. So, my suggestion is--let it be as it is right now (don't change anything).

Two things I just notice with an actual score (see the snippet):

  • The first one probably should be a separate feature request and doesn't belong to this topic. AFAIK to add a slur between a grace note and a middle or the top note of a chord is, to add the slur and adjust the slur manually (for example via arrow keys). It isn't very comfortable at time.

  • Concerning the note input modes: for the clef staff I'm switching frequently between the rhythm an the re-pitch note input mode (with this score and from time to time with other scores too). Above defining shortcuts for the note input nodes I could also imagine that's possible to select the desired note input mode easily via arrow up/down.


(Beside these issues, if I remember correct, a further concern was in this video, that there are some settings, they are only available via right click, which should better be placed inside the inspector. I agree with it (promptly I'm thinking on the pause settings of a section break (between other)) - but maybe this should be also further forum topic/(epic) issue entry.

Could it be an idea to assign rests to a 'hold' shortcut? Like when I want to enter a quarter note rest I hold 5 for 0.5 seconds. I think the idea of holding a key to access another function can be a smart way for things like 'dot' for switching to double dot.

Philip Bergwerf

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Things I had in mind:
Holding means holding a key for 0.4 seconds. The user can set a longer or shorter amount of time.
A) Dot:
1. select a duration using a shortcut. (1-9)
2. press '.'
Triple dot:
1. select a duration using a shortcut. (1-9)
2. hold '.'

B) Entering rests:
1. Hold the shortcut key of the rest you want to enter. (eight rest = hold '4' quarter rest = hold '5' etc.)
or: (default way)
1. select the duration.
2. press '0' or right-click.

C) Writing double sharp or double flat (currently, there is no default way to enter double sharp or flat using a shortcut)
1. hold up-arrow to change to double sharp
1. hold down-arrow to change to double flat
Currently, holding the up or down arrow will result in repeating the action. In normal use, I never make use of this function.

I got this idea by working a lot on a tablet and in the touchscreen apps holding a button is more commonly used to access a different function. this can also work on pc keyboard but will only work easily on a single key shortcut.

Holding '0' results currently in entering multiple rests very quickly. Ah, I didn't know the right-click shortcut for entering rest, thank you;-)

Philip Bergwerf

In reply to by Philip Bergwerf

1) Although seemingly obvious: if such a thing as holding were implemented, make sure not to remove the current functionality - i.e., don't remove the functionality of the current shortcuts but merely include timed-based versions, as both might serve two different methods for certain individuals.

2) Phillip, regarding C), there is a default way, albeit not so direct, via the [Change Enharmonic Spelling] shortcuts, and one of these is given a default shortcut key "j". As an aside, to be sure, there are shortcuts allowed to be defined by the user for double-flat/sharp.

In reply to by Philip Bergwerf

What I don't get about the rest thing is that it already works that way, and better, because you don't have to waste your time holding the duration key for 0.4 seconds. Just press the duration key followed by 0 or right-click and you get a rest. I don't understand what added value there is in holding the duration key for longer, but you are already welcome to do that if you like. Not sure why you'd even consider holding "0" for long, again, it already works instantly, what's the advantage of turning off the normal aut-repeat function? It's quite useful for entering multiple rests. Somehow I feel I am not understanding the problem you are trying to solve. It sounds like you are saying entering rests by pressing 0 is too fast now, you want pressing 0 to do nothing until you hold it for 0.4 seconds. But I suspect that is not what you are actually trying to say...

Also, in case you aren't aware, you press "J" to change the enharmonic spelling of a note and thus easily get the double sharp/flat. Or define a shortcut for those if you use them enough to warrant it. Double dot, too.

I get that long tap is common on tablets, but it's not on computers, so such a method would be almost completely undiscovered by most people. Which doesn't mean they have no value, but they'd have to have something of value beyond what's there now, and as far as I can tell, everything you describe is already possible.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I don't feel like there is a 'problem'. I know everything is already possible. The title of this message was: 'Help us to improve note input workflow'. So the question was not about solving a problem. My reaction is contextual.

The added value is an extra (optional)option to enter rests which is intuitive/easy to remember/logical. this future is not damaging any other functionality except machinegun adding notes in rhythm mode which is a useless future in my opinion.
Pressing '0' was your own suggestion;-) You wrote that I could press 0 as long as I wanted already and I simply reported what happens if you do so hahaha...
I was aware of the 'J'. Also the arrow hold idea is, in my opinion, a very intuitive way. The new user would maybe explore the shortcut by accident and understanding why it works so because it is logical and thus easy to remember. But of course, it destroys the ultimate machinegun transposing function;)

In reply to by Philip Bergwerf

What I am not understanding is how your proposal improves the current. Right now entering a rest is as simple as pressing 0. I am still having trouble understanding how pressing and holding 0 improves on this, and it definitely very much hurts the ability to rapidly enter a succession of rests. people expect holding a key to repeat, I don't understand the added value you are perceiving in disabling this important computer function just for this one command. So I suspect I simply am not understanding your proposal, but that's how I read it. Feel free to explain in more detail.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I didn't talk about removing any existing functionality. I introduced the idea of adding a extra optional functionality.
To clarify what I meant: Adding the option to enter rests by holding the note-selection-shortcut-key(by default 1-9). The rest-key(0) should stay as is(I didn't talk about holding the 0 key). Now the user can choose to enter rests in the default-way(select duration>enter rest(also rapidly if desired)) or hold-way. right now holding note-selection-shortcut-key does nothing.

Cases, where this is usefull, is in rhythm mode. I find myself looking at a tiny knob which is turning blue to see that I am in entering-rests mode(minimal user feedback). Besides if I close the toolbar(I desire to work only on keyboard) there is no feedback about being in entering-rest mode or not. This is where I started thinking about the 'hold' thing which would make the rest toggle mechanism optional. If I want to enter a lot of rest I can toggle and the functionality should also switch.

In reply to by Philip Bergwerf

In a sense, what is being describe would remove existing functionality ever so slightly since, while in rhythm mode, upon pressing a duration key, there is immediate emplacement (besides computing latency) of a note or rest. That is, MS doesn't 'wait' for a ['key-up' event] before a note's insertion. This would have to be eliminated to accommodate the suggestion.

In reply to by Philip Bergwerf

OK, I understand now. In your original listing of the steps, I was confused by the line at the end of step 1 "or: (default way)", I didn't realize you were offering two different methods for entering rests, I thought the "or" applied only to the word "default way" and the other two steps followed the first. Hence my confusion.

So, now I see you are not proposing changing the behavior of 0 but instead changing the behavior of the duration shortcuts. That's fine by me Not a feature I or most people would be likely to use, as long-press is not a common/natural/expected gesture on Windows at least, plus it takes no less time than pressing 0, and it makes rest entry different from note entry, which breaks concentration & flow. But indeed I don't think it breaks anything, either, so I'm not opposed to it.

Maybe it just me being dense but I have problems in understanding what all this is about.

1) "Having an {Enter input mode command} is bad".


Input mode DOES exist, as the programme works rather differently in it than it does out of it. So, having to use a command to enter it / leave it is clearer than having the programme entering it "automatically". "Automatically"? Are you kidding? It cannot read my mind, at most it can guess and not rarely it guess wrongly.

I already find annoying the few occasions when the programme enters the input mode by itself (for instance when using [Alt]+[n] to add an interval to an existing note). If I am not already in input mode, I am usually just correcting an error while revising and I do not want it to enter input mode at all.

2) All the matter seems to refer to using the mouse. Using the mouse is definitely the wrong way to manage a data entry software: would you type pages of text in a word processor by clicking with the mouse on a soft keyboard, if can avoid it?

Rather, I would welcome very much ways to reduce the need to move away from the keyboard to operate the mouse (for instance to reach the palettes).

Also, it may be possible to invent ways to let people know more easily and clearly the potentiality of the keyboard.

In reply to by Miwarre

Hello, Miwarre, nice to have your input!

I have a sense that long time users like us aren't the main beneficiaries of the proposed changes, but as long as we aren't inconvenienced, I'm all in favor of making things simpler / more intuitive for beginners. So far I'm unconvinced but open-minded. I kind of need to play with an actual implementation (and if you check the recent PR's, you'll see there is one, from Matt McClinch).

Anyhow, regarding the palettes - as of 3.3 they actually are keyboard accessible. Not in the sense of being able to assign shortcuts to everything (which many of us still wish for), but still, some very real improvements for all users, and night and day improvement for blind ones.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hello Marc, thanks for your reply. I definitely need to check the github master again, thanks for pointing out these improvements to me.

If I am referring to the same Tantacrul review (there was more than one?), perhaps part of my issue with all of this is that I was rather unimpressed (euphemism...) by most of that review in the first place: while I agreed with his comments about colours, for the rest my impression -- confirmed by his replies to comments -- was of an evangelist preaching some kind of Holy Book against manuals and documentation in general.

Unfortunately, reality is not intuitive in general and musical notation or data entry are not intuitive in particular. For instance, according to such a Holy Book, cars should be the Evil, as you cannot operate one without reading T.F.M (without an extensive training, actually; then maybe, cars ARE the Evil, but perhaps for other reasons... ;) ).

In reply to by Miwarre

I think it's to important to remember who use MuseScore the most. I.E. students. (Not old hats Sorry :)) Leveraging visual design to make a more straight forward user interface for a larger number of people is not a bad thing and only gets more involved. And if it remains unobtrusive, why not?

My input:

Customize button

There's no harm in having a button, but the proposed placement is too prominent. The top left corner is the most used area, but the button would only used once when you customise and never again after that. Making the button huge and putting it in the top left corner is like saying "we know the layout is terrible, but don't worry because you can change it".

Let's come up with a good layout that most user's don't need to customise and put the customise button somewhere where it doesn't get in the way, such as a right-click menu. Remember, the vast majority of users will never bother to customize regardless of how easy (or necessary) it is to do so.

Note input button

I support adding text to make it more descriptive.

The current icon is not fantastic let's wait and see if the proposed icon is actually an improvement before any decisions are made about changing it.

The dropdown could be changed to offer these options:

  • Note input
  • Editing
  • View only

This is a bit like the "Editing / Suggesting / View only" options in Google Docs. The different methods of note entry (e.g. step-time, real-time, repitch, etc.) could be moved to a separate control.

Rest button icon

No strong opinion here.

Tie button icon

I prefer the current icon. The proposed design make it less obvious that it inserts a tie rather than notes. Also it is more cluttered than the current icon.

Flip direction

I prefer the current icon. It is not obvious what the button does based on the proposed design.

Tuplet dropdown

I like this very much!

Limit to 2 voices

Maybe in the "Basic" workspace, but certainly not in the "Advanced" workspace.

Make it easier to enter Note Input Mode

I agree that certain actions should cause the user to enter Note Input mode without expressly doing so. An example is when the user clicks a duration button in the toolbar (when nothing is selected in the score). I'm not sure about other cases suggested.

It seems I'm late to the party. Many of these suggestions seem like regressions or much fuss over nothing, and I'm glad they were rejected. Rather than fussing over the appearance of a Save icon, though, I would rather see effort spent on the output.

For example, the previous work on preventing collisions was very welcome, and there needs to be much more of it. That's the most important thing I can think to change. It would also be nice if it were easier to hit a note without magnifying the view when dragging from a palette. And wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to double-click on a slur to edit it but once to delete it? And here's a goody: Every time I get a new version I have to reenter all my keystroke customizations by hand, one at a time.

I can make a YouTube video and rant and rave if that will help. Otherwise I would have to file bug reports one at a time. ;)

In reply to by RexC

I'm not sure which of the suggestions seem like regressions to you, but many if not most of the ones discussed in this thread have been implemented and have been part of MuseScore since 3.3. Not sure what the Save icon has to do with any of that though, it's not mention anywhere except in an unrelated video.

Meanwhile, 3.4 beta already removes the need to double-click elements to edit them, and also eliminates the need to double-click to add from the palette (dragging is seldom efficient in any case). Not sure what you mean about shortcut customization, those are needed only at major version changes (1 to 2, 2 to 3), which have happened so far one every four years.

Anyhow, feel free to start new forum threads with specific suggestions of your own, but best to actually try out 3.4 beta first, you may be very pleasantly surprised!

In reply to by RexC

The shortcuts page has an option to save your keyboard shortcuts to a file and then load them again, so no need to enter them again by hand after upgrading MuseScore or reverting to factory settings.

Now what would be useful is if you could sign-in to MuseScore and have your preferences synced across devices...

In reply to by RexC

As mentioned, they won't survive from MuseScore 2 to MsueScore 3, but they absolutely survive all the minor releases within a major release. So, from MsueScore 3.0 to 3.0.1 to 3.0.2 to 3.0.3 to 3.1 etc. Method of update should be as simple as downloading the installer and running it. On WIndows at least it's as simple as answering "yes" when the autoupdater asks you if you want to update.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I don't see any documentation on this, but with a little nosing around I found out what's happening. I have two files:
~/.local/share/data/MuseScore/MuseScore2/shortcuts.xml and

I believe I've had to enter the shortcuts three times now on each computer, because each major version stores data in a different location. Are the shortcuts.xml files interchangeable between versions?

EDIT: I didn't see the other replies until now, and didn't realize that the problem has been solved.

In reply to by RexC

I'm sorry, I didn't see all the replies except the last one until now. I see that the provision to save and reload shortcuts is new in version 3. That should be very helpful in the future.

Thanks to all who replied, and keep up the good work.

Customise Icon:
Nah, -1. Rather in drop-down
Note input:
Good for beginners!
Pretty much the same.
Flip Direction:
Not good. Much prefer icon in 3.4.2.
Tuplet dropdown:
Great! +10
2 Voices:
Okay in Basic workspace only

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