I write for concert band, and I'm constantly annoyed by how I have to have a separate staff for every percussion instrument i want to use, or just make do with whats on the drum set list. Say I wanted to have maracas, a vibraslap, agogo, and cabasa on one percussion part. I think you should be able to assign each instrument to a voice, instead of having entirely different staff for each one. The same for mallet instruments. Say I want to have glockenspiel and chimes on the same staff. I think that you should be able to assign each one to a different voice, therefore having all instruments on one staff. I don't know if it would hard to program or not; it's just an idea. Thoughts?
Check the video tutorials at the end of http://musescore.org/en/handbook/drum-notation
You can definitely do it for unpitched percussion as shown in the tutorial (or just right click a drum staff, Edit Drum Set, and figure it out form there :-). You can also of course put glockenspiel and chimes on one staff, but for 1.3 you can't get different playback sounds. Might become possible in 2.0, that's not clear to me.
I'd also like to chime in that this would be an excellent feature for the mallet percussion. In a typical concert band piece, the mallet percussion are often all in the same part with text instructions as to what instrument plays when. Right now you can just put in a mallet staff and live with the playback issue, but the playback would be a nice feature. I'm envisioning something like the drumset palette in the sense that you can select which tone you want to assign to which voice (which I'm already familiar with doing for unpitched percussion). I could see it being an issue with mallets since you are actually writing pitches in addition to rhythm, so the keyboard shortcut feature wouldn't work the same. Just adding another voice to the request.
In reply to I'd also like to chime in by AvenueQ
More than "voices", the term "limbs" should avoid misunderstanding in many cases. And usually you don't need more than 4 limbs/voices at a time.
For score editing, your request should be translated in:
*GROUP* (copy and merge) a
*SET-OF* (max 4) selected single-percussion staffs (available in your score, not only in one part)
*WHERE* every single-percussion notes are on different lines (for readability)
*INTO* a new part, with a PercussionSet staff,
*WITH* a voice/limb for every single-percussion merged.
Could be a plugin...
Could need a new "PercussionSet" (close to "Drumset", but not defined on market standards)...
...Or just 4 single-percussion staffs (already availables).