score compare tool

• Jun 10, 2014 - 09:37

I wonder if a feature like some tool recognizing the changes or differences between two scores concerning the same piece would be helpful.

Like as if I got a main file I´m working on, backuping it several times or try different things following different thoughts I got several stadiums of the same piece.

In my case I dont work clear structured, following a strict pattern. I work occasionally on more areas needing inprovement. Here a staccato, there a quarter instead of a quaver, a dynamic sign in this line, a cresc. hairpin, or just a missing note ...

It costs tons of time comparing bar by bar, staccato by staccato just to not miss a thing you already did.

A tool would be nice comparing two files marking the differences / changes in both files. Perhaps shown highligthed in different colors for a former stadium ( difference in an older file ) or if you got the older file, differences in the later ones sligthly indicated.

It could even be very helpful when musescore crashes ( doesnt happen to often )


In reply to by Shoichi

Thanks for the suggestion... But in my case totaly worthless.
The last step i take concerning musescore is exporting to a pdf file.

The copmparison has to be before that.
Right in musescore itself.

Such a tool in musescore included or just similar is what I meant.
Only because its annoying having a sore "score1.mscz" "score1b.mscz", "score1btrial.mscz" all the same pieces of works in different stadiums. And sometimes the things proceeding in.each score differ. So in the First file i already got dynamics included but then work stucked and I coninued in an other file (using the old as a proper backup)...

Then i'd like to have a tool showing me differences between both versions. At least I can decide wether I want to copy the old version, or not but at least I first of all get a hint of a difference.

It occured that in a late phase of a score I got several backups with just a few things differing. I don't want to check every bar every line in several versions for a difference I might not allow.

In musescore itself, maybe you could choose buttons showing, discrepance in dynamics, notes, articulation or things like that.

I agree that this would be a fantastic feature. It is extremely tedious and inherently prone to human error to try to find diffs in two versions of the same score.

Such a feature could vary wildly in complexity, but in the simple case, the ability to simply click on a "go to next diff" button while comparing two scores would be a vast improvement over the 'eyeball' method.

Recently I was working on a score based on CPDL #20871 (Sanctus from Messe de minuit pour Noël by Charpentier) to make it available for a virtual rehearsal to other members of the choir. I tried to compare it to the edition from IMSPL #318896 and noticed that there are quite a few differences.

Firstly I just displayed those two versions side by side as PDFs and marked the differences even though it was very tedious because the document layouts of those two scores are very different. Then I tried to find a compare tool for MuseScore (that's how I ended up in this conversation). Finally I came up with an idea and partial implementation for a Musescore compare tool.

The basic idea is to display the notes (and rests) overlaid so one could easily spot the differences especially if they would be highlighted in red.

The method below works for one voice instruments only such as human voices, wind wood/brass instruments, strings (mostly) etc.

  1. Make a copy of your score (to prevent any changes to the main score) and open it. Let's call it Score1.
  2. Open the second score (Score2):
  3. (Score2) Select all notes (rests/stems/beams) and change their colour to red*
  4. (Score2) Make all stem/beam directions automatic
  5. (Score2) Swap voices 1 and 2
  6. (Score2) Copy the instruments you want to compare excluding voice 1 (use selection tool F6 and untick voice 1 and any other elements you don't want to bring across to score 1)
  7. (Score1) Make sure all stem/beam directions are set to auto.
  8. (Score1) Paste the copied instruments from Score2 making sure the relevant bars align

Voice 1 is being displayed in foreground (black) and is masking voice 2 (red) if they are exactly the same or you will see red notes where the scores differ.

I know it is not perfect and a bit laborious but at the moment it is a proof of concept (worked for me) and maybe someone will find it useful too.

Feel free to make any suggestions and improvements.

* You can use a modified Color the notes of each voice plugin to change the colours in one step. Note that some beams won't change colour at the moment but the plugin can be easily fixed.

Hmmm.... another idea...?

Open the 2 scores in MuseScore for comparison.
Additionally, unzip (or export) those 2 mscz files to mscx. The two mscx (text) files can then be opened in Notepad++.
Next, run the compare plugin.
(From the Notepad++ plugin manager:
"Compare ...A very useful diff plugin to show the difference between 2 files (side by side).")

You can then locate the measure numbers (listed in Notepad++) where the differences reside, and then find in MuseScore.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

I found text diff tools useful when the number of changes between files were minimal.

I have tried comparing .mscx files a text diff tool similar to Notepad++ but it general in is quite difficult to locate the spot in Musescore based on the difference found with the tool. E.g. even though you can quickly find the measure number, you won't get the context, e.g. instrument/staff/page/section. Also the numbering of measures in .mscx file may have gaps, restarts (after section breaks or manual adjustments in measure properties). So the number isn't generally what you would enter after pressing Ctrl-F in MuseScore.

YES! This is will be very helpfull! I`m trying to compare more than hundreds pieces at now, because my dropbox take it as a conflict of files, and i don´t know which is right (the date is wrong...).

With the two scores open in MS, it should be possible to do a compare directly on the internal score representation. This would also allow choice of the types of elements to be compared: note pitches, dynamic markings, enharmonics, etc. and also allow for comparing a transposition with the original.

Which raises another question: Is there a good description of the internal score representation, and its correspondence to the contents of the .mscx file?

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