MuseScore 3.0.1 - Changing instrument is changing part name

• Jan 23, 2019 - 06:41

I have imported a v2 score into v3 and found a issue with the part names printed before each staff.
I have many scores that have a Mallet Percussion staff and within this staff I often change from one mallet instrument to another (i.e. xylophone to bells and later to vibraphone).
As obvious the part name cannot be the same as the instrument name here, so I use a generic part name, long instrument name and short instrument name.
However now in v3 when I do this the next page after the change instrument has the staff name set to the new instrument. I have found no options in v3 to either hide this text (so I can place a staff text) or edit this text or change this behaviour.
In v2 this was not a problem. Change of instrument did not effect the staff part name being displayed.
I found an old issue for v2:
In that issue it is mentioned that v2 should keep the name defined for the staff when changing the instrument. Because of this I believe this is a bug in v3. If not a bug, then at least it is a change of behaviour and one that I personally do not like.

I have attached a sample score (apology for the Dutch in the score). Staff 29 is set to display Mallet Percussion or Mallet Perc while the instrument selected is Glockenspiel. Page 2 displays Mallet Perc., as expected. In measure 12 the instrument is changed to Vibraphone. Page 3 now displays Vib. instead of the expected Mallet Perc.

Attachment Size
Test.mscz 14.18 KB


This was implemented as an improvement over the past (version 2) result of having the original instrument's name being forced onto a different instrument. At the time I indicated that this would at times be less than optimal, but in my opinion was better than having the English Horn being called Ob. III without the option to change it.

In the past, I normally did what you do and made the short name EH/Ob. III and use Instrument change text to show which instrument was actually playing. I noted that there would be issues in cases like the French horns being called F. Horn rather than Corni en F if the rest of the score was in Italian. Since it is impossible to make an instrument name invisible, this is an even bigger problem than I initially thought it would be.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi, I finally figured out what you mean by changing the Mixer sub-channel. However, while that changes the sound, it does alter the transposition. Also, some instruments (like vibraphone/xylophone/marimba/etc.) sound different by 1 octave for the same written note. I am now forced to add all kind of 8va/8vb to the score, just to make it sound right. Life would be so much easier if the instrument at the start of the staff would not change, or if it at least was optional not to change it.

In reply to by Henk De Groot

Does the attached score do what you want? Test05a.mscz

It is possible to change what is displayed as the staff name by editing the long and short instrument names in the staff properties dialogue. When I edited your example, I right clicked in the first measure to and copied the long instrument name and then right clicked in the measure with the Instrument change to vibraphone and pasted it into the long instrument name there and then repeated the exercise for the short names. The change applies from the start of the staff or from a measure with an instrument change before where you make the right click and persists until the next instrument change. At the next instrument change, the staff names revert to the default names based on the instrument to which you have changed. This means that if you want one name to apply throughout the score you need to change the long and short instrument names in the staff properties every time you make an instrument change.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Seems the manual has not yet caught up with this.

"Long instrument name
Name displayed to the left of the staff in the first system of the score. The long instrument name may also be edited directly as a text object (see Text editing).

Short instrument name
Name displayed to the left of the staff in subsequent systems of the score. The short instrument name may also be edited directly as a text object (see Text editing). Editing affects all occurrences in the score."
(my emphasis).

I will see what I can do to remedy that later today.

And while we are on the topic of instrument/staff names, would it make life simpler if the option to edit the long/short names was presented in the instrument change dialogue? (rather than, or in addition to, presenting it via the staff properties dialogue.) I think this was part of the original suggestion #88861: Option for editing abbreviated staff names in instrument changes, but the facility wasn't actually implemented that way.

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