R.4309 - download it here (and is any subsequent prerelease ‘better’?)

• Jun 16, 2011 - 05:07

I’ve praised R.4309 highly, most recently in the thread under General Discussion where I proposed the utility of having a place for us to talk about MuseScore’s ongoing development -- specifically the Nightly Builds and their progress toward version 2.0 -- from the point of view of end-users who are actively exploring and testing the Nightlies.

Now my uses of MuseScore, and therefore my experiences and my own concerns about features and functionality, won’t necessarily be the same as others’. (I use MuseScore exclusively to re-typeset 19th century piano music.) Still, for my purposes, these are the features that I liked so much in R.4309 that I’ve actually used it to ‘real’ work -- at my own risk, obviously, but so far so good.


1. Fingerings position themselves automatically in relation to note head, stem and/or beam -- without any need to specify X or Y settings in the Fingering Text Style -- provided that it’s a single note and not part of a chord. (When fingerings are applied to individual notes of a chord, they snap right on top of the notehead and still need to repositioned.)

2. Further to point #1 -- when the direction of a stem is reversed (shortcut ‘x’), the number can thence be automatically repositioned by selecting it and then using Reset Position (CTRL + r).

3. The context menu (i.e., right-click) or any item of text includes “Text Properties...’, from which you can change the current Style and apply a different one or, alternatively, click ‘Unstyled’ and apply direct (non-style-based) formatting.

3. It’s possible to have ottava lines and hairpins that are diagonal -- though it must be enabled on a case-by-case basis via Edit Element rather than turned on at the Style level.

4. Subgroup beaming has been implemented, though there may be some limitations on the actual types of subgroups and beams it can be applied to.

5. It’s possible to click-and-drag some text elements while constraining their movement either vertically or horizontally while holding down the SHIFT key or the CTRL key, respectively.

6. Pedal markings (the 'modern' kind with lines/hooks for 'apply' and 'release') can now also accommodate a ‘carat’ shape to show a change of pedal. It’s done by specifying that the hook at the start (or end) of the line (as applicable) be changed from 90° to 45°. Unfortunately, because there’s still no “snap-to’ feature (i.e., grid), it’s tedious to get successive lines aligned really cleanly.

7. When changing the length of something (e.g., a spacer, a note’s stem, or the height/tilt of a beam), the increments of change are implemented differently: SHIFT + arrow key makes a modest adjustment; CTRL + arrow key makes a more substantial adjustment (seems equivalent to one unit of ‘space’); and ALT + arrow key makes a rather large adjustment.

Two Flaws/Issues

1. Slurs and ties seem to be drawn (attached, anchored, whatever the proper term) in exactly the same way. In practical terms, the mark that ties two tied notes together appears identical to a slur. It should not; they’re supposed to look slightly different; the end points of slurs should be centered over or under the note head, while the end points of ties should be slightly outside the ‘corner’ of an imaginary rectangle around the note head.

2. When clicking on text to select it (e.g., in preparation to drag it, see #5 above), the text doesn't change color to indicate that it's been selected.


I am so impressed with R.4309’s feature set and stability! A few more comments follow:

I don’t know quite where the controls over fingering positions are headed. I like what I see, but it seems there should be a way to turn off the automatic positioning behavior and just have a fingering hew to the style-based position when desired.

FWIW, I see that its possible now to create and name a ‘new’ Text Style, though it’s been a bit dodgy in practice. Personally, I would use it to create individual Styles for positioning fngerings neatly above, below, to the left, and to the right of a notehead ... as needed. Part of the problem getting that to work, though, seems to be in some instability concerning X and Y positioning and how the program treats the increments of ‘mm’ and ‘sp’.

I’ve recently learned that Nightlies older than the handful listed at any given moment are not officially available any longer. Their shelf life is brief, and R.4309 is already long gone. I’ve uploaded it to my MediaFire account, though, if anyone needs or wants it:


As usual, no representations (express or implied) are made about the stability or functionality of this prerelease -- no more so by me than the developers when they posted it publicly in May. It worked great for me, but my personal use of MuseScore is for a narrow purpose and my experience is limited. YMMV!

And it’s entirely likely that a prerelease since 4309 has been even better, whether in general terms or for the particular needs of specific end-users. It definitely wasn’t the case for me when I downloaded a couple of subsequent ones, so I stuck with 4309 and didn’t pay much attention for a couple of weeks from that point on.

Now that we actually have a place to talk about this stuff, though, I plan to keep up with the Nightlies on a regular basis. I hope others will do the same -- let’s use this space now that we’ve got it! -- and report their commentaries and feedback. It’s been made clear that the development team may or may not be interested in anything described here among us end-users; this is by us and for us.

Personally, I do expect that the developers will be at least interested in this sub-forum, but we have to understand that they have absolutely no obligation whatsoever to act upon, make decisions based upon, or even acknowledge any preferences we express or requests.we make. But let’s not be discouraged in the least from testing, trying out, and saying what’s on our mind about what we find!


The major re-factoring which the code underwent in the past week or so seems mostly over and the current revision, 4387, seems to be mostly usable again.

There are still some regressions but, at least for my needs (editions of XVI / XVII C. instrumental music), I'm finding it usable.

Of course, this is just a user perspective; developers may have more surprises in their hat...


In reply to by Miwarre

Gave it a shot, though.

The context menu for text looked normal again -- but when I clicked on 'Text Properties...' it took me into Tuplet Properties.

Once I got into Text Properties, changes I tried to make to StyledUnstyled didn't 'take'.

Finally, when I noticed that the Beam Properties palette was completely blank, I gave up.

Back to 4309 for me .. for now.

ALSO -- though this isn't news and won't come as a surprise to anybody using the Nightly Builds:

I had the experience of being unable to open files in 4387 that had been created in 4309. Attempting it caused 4387 to crash immediately.

That's no big deal -- EXCEPT that the file is now corrupted and can no longer be opened in 4309 either.

So -- as everybody already knows (or should!) -- BACK UP ALL YOUR WORK. And if a file causes the program to crash, DON'T try to open the backup copy. You'll wind up with two corrupted files, and will have no choice but to fall back on the automatic backup that MuseScore made (the one with the filename that starts with a period and ends with a comma). That's better than nothing, but it means lost work -- sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

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