This chapter covers the saving of MuseScore scores in formats other than the native ones (*.mscz and *.mscx), such as MusicXML, MIDI, MEI, MP3, PDF, PNG etc.
Exporting your score
To export a score:
- Select File→Export
- Choose a Format from the dropdown list
- Select the parts to export by checking/unchecking the appropriate boxes on the left of the dialog
- If you want to combine all parts in one file click on the radio button titiled All parts combined in one file
- Click Export...
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a universal format for text, pictures, music and so on. Use this format when you want to generate music scores for other musicians to read.
Virtually every computer will have a dedicated PDF reader; if not a PDF can also be opened using web browsers such as Firefox etc. PDF scores can also be printed to hard copy if desired.
Like PDF, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) enables you to zoom in and enlarge the image without loss of quality. Use SVG when you want to embed extracts of music inside another document or webpage.
Portable Network Graphics (PNG) is a compressed graphical format suitable for editing or embedding in all kinds of documents. However, PNGs become pixelated if you zoom in or enlarge the image, so consider using PDF or SVG instead if your software supports it.
OGG files commonly contain lossy Vorbis-compressed audio, which offers higher quality than MP3 at the same file size. Use this format for personal listening, if your device supports it.
Most Android devices support OGG audio, but Windows, macOS, and iOS devices require third-party software in order to read these files. You may find MP3 easier to use.
MP3 is a lossy compression format that is universally supported. Use this format to share audio with other people for listening purposes (not for editing).
FLAC is a lossless compression format that fully preserves audio quality, but produces larger file size than the lossy compression formats. Use FLAC when sending audio for someone else to edit, but only if you can't send them the actual MuseScore file (e.g. because they don't have the necessary instrument sounds or audio plugins installed for it to sound the way you intended).
WAV is an uncompressed format. It offers full audio quality but its files are extremely large. Use this format for audio that you plan to edit yourself in another program, such as Audacity.
Other audio formats
If you need audio in a format not mentioned above (e.g. Opus or AAC), this requires using an external audio conversion tool. Audacity is a free program that can be used for this purpose. It's developed by Muse Group, the same company that makes MuseScore.
Simply export your score from MuseScore as a WAV file, then open this file in Audacity, or whichever audio program you choose to do the conversion. Using WAV as the transition format ensures the highest quality after conversion and avoids wasting time compressing the file in MuseScore only to decompress it immediately in the other program.
Alternatively, you could use a website to do the conversion. In this case it's better to use FLAC as the transition format, as this will reduce the size of the upload while retaining maximum quality. Make sure you research any third-party software or web service carefully before using it. Some websites retain files after you have uploaded them, and some will even make the files available to other users.
Once the file has been converted to the desired format, you should listen to it to ensure the quality is acceptable and the entire file was converted.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) is a well-established music industry standard for encoding all the notes and instruments in a score, but none of the visual formatting. MIDI files can be played in some media players, but only if the right software (or hardware) instruments are available to realize it. The files can be edited in a sequencer or other music notation software.
You should be aware that the sound generated by a MIDI file is dependent on the virtual instruments used to play it back, so it's likely to sound different when played outside of MuseScore. Also MIDI does not preserve visual formatting, so the file will look very different when opened in any notation program, including MuseScore, compared to the original score.
MusicXML is a universal standard which aims to preserve as much of the original score formatting as possible. It can be opened in any modern score writer. MuseScore 4 uses MusicXML 4.0, although some features have yet to be implemented.
Braille Ready Format (BRF) is a plain text format that can store written text or music documents intended for use by people who are blind. These files can be opened in third-party software for reading with an electronic braille display or embossing onto paper as raised dots.
MuseScore's braille files use bar-over-bar formatting, which means there is a separate line of braille for each staff, and measures are vertically aligned between staves like in the print music. (An alternative would be bar-by-bar or section-by-section formatting, where one or more measures are written for the first staff, followed by those same measures for the next staff, and so on, all on a single line of braille. MuseScore does not support these types of formatting currently.) MuseScore's braille files use ASCII rather than Unicode character encoding, so sighted users who open these files in a text editor will just see random letters and punctuation characters; you would need to install a special braille font in order to see the braille as dots.
MuseScore's braille conforms to the Braille Authority of North America's Music Braille Code 2015, but many of its features have yet to be implemented. At present, you may get better results if you export scores as MusicXML, and then use a third-party MusicXML to braille conversion tool, such as the free web-based tool SM Music Braille.
Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) is an open XML format that represents the semantic structure of music notation documents and is developed as a community-driven effort. The MEI support in MuseScore focuses on MEI Basic, a subset of MEI that facilitates the use of MEI for data exchange and improves interoperability. The MEI support in MuseScore is available as of version 4.2 and is documented here.
Customizing export settings
[To be added]