How to combine two scores

• Jul 10, 2019 - 06:44

Combining scores is difficult using copy and paste because the embedded time signatures and tempo markings are not copied. I note that in muse score 2 the album concept is also limited in that the same instrumentation is required for all scores to be combined.

Any suggestions?


Copy/Paste "all" functionality is needed like bread in MuseScore.
Users should push the corresponding feature request (or even better propose a PR)

In reply to by frfancha

FWIW, if it could be reliably decided exactly how this should work in all the complex cases that would come up, the actual implementation probably isn't particularly difficult. The info is there in the clipboard, it's just a matter of applying it on paste. Much as I did when implementing the paste half/double duration commands.

To combine two msc* files into one, I save each as mscx, then combine those in a text editor (Notepad++ XML mode is very good). Sorry, I don't remember where on the forum I found this technique, but I can post the details if desired. Caveat: I've only used this technique on single-voice lead sheets.

In reply to by BanjoJake

This really does work! Note that I did this for leadsheets.

The trick for me was to realize that there can be only one Staff id="1" ... /Staff tag. The "meat" of the score is everything between that opening and closing tag. That's what you cut and paste. Your selection should start with VBox tag and end with /Measure tag. And your final three lines in the combined file should always be:

I combined eight scores into one file and it was straight forward. Like I said, this was for a leadsheets -- aka only one Staff ID. I'm sure it could work for multiple Staff ID's.

I did a real test with combining scores using musicxml. I figured I should delete the second heading areas identification, defaults, credit, part-list,
unfortunately the part id is referenced forward. I did manage to load one version but the second file was superimposed over the first.
It appears one would have to combine each part manually and that would mean renumbering all the measures unless the load does that automatically.

The save as musicxml results in a rigid format with all actual lengths imposed rather than dynamically reassigned on load.

so I added parts to the part-list and renumbered the parts in the second file-
That gave me 12 instruments - but there were fewer errors
It seems that manually renumbering the measures and combining part by part is required or leaving in the header and hoping that it creates a concatenated rather than a superimposed score.

I tried leaving out fewer of the header sections, removing one at a time, Got the same slew of messages
Measure 1, staff 2 incomplete. Expected: 1/1; Found: 6/4
etc etc - same result as the first experiment. There is no substitute for having continuous parts with sequentially numbered measures. So the combination could be done but would take a program to do it. .

There needs to be a new section component in musicxml - is there one?

Attachment Size
Jonah_1-4.musicxml 3.29 MB

In reply to by BanjoJake

your method works
I isolated the notes and chords in the second score by staff and copied each voice into the right place in the first score. The file loaded correctly.
This would be easy to program as a merge. But I think a cleaner solution would be to put some smarts into the score tag so that a direct append of the two files would be possible. Merging 6 parts in notepad is no fun and prone to error.

I have not yet identified what might be missing from the result file, but it loads without error and all the notes are there in the right places.

Attachment Size
Jonah_1-4.mscx 2.24 MB

In reply to by Bob MacDonald1

It really would be useful to combine arbitrary scores. That way collections (suites) of music could be combined into one entity. At the full score level this may not be such a big thing - anyone who wants to do this will probably find a way, and it might not have to be done too often. For me what would be useful would be to combine scores together, and then generate the parts, which could then be printed off. Maybe this is already a feature, but an alternative approach of generating parts for each individual score first, then trying to "glue" them together, either in Musescore or PDFs, would seem to present a lot more work. The size of each part on a printed page might be rather small, so it could make sense to have a way of combining them, otherwise there'll be a real cut and paste job using paper for sheets for performance.

Obviously if there's a restriction that the scores each have the same instrumentation, that can still work for some people, though right now I'm finding that I might change the instruments between pieces. Using generic "instruments" and sorting things out later might also be a work around (e.g. Soprano - voicing - map to flute or recorder, or violin etc. later on) - but it would be useful if there could be a way of combining scores which would avoid this particular problem or need for a workaround.

In reply to by dave2020X

I found a way to do part of what I'm trying to achieve, though I don't know if it'll do everything. Further testing is needed. Musescore 2 has an Album feature, which doesn't seem to have been implemented in Musescore 3 yet.

It is still possible to download MuseScore 2 - (MacOs at least), so I downloaded that. I set up a new folder (copied from previous work) for testing, then opened up MuseScore 2. In order to import previous (MS 3) versions I exported those in the xml formats, for input back into MS 2. I don't know if that was strictly necessary - it may be that MS 2 will read in files created by MS 3 - I've not checked that yet. I then created an album, and merged the scores. The particular scores used the same instruments. I was also able to generate suitable parts for each instrument.

I don't know what problems (if any) are introduced by using MS 2 instead of MS 3. Ideally one would expect to use the latest version of any software, rather than a version which is somewhat older, but as far as I can see the Album feature, or anything similar which will do the merge, is not yet available in MS 3.

So far this approach seems very quick and easy, though as I wrote, I've not tested all the possibilities.

If the results work out OK then once the combine has been done in MS 2 - the files can be saved and imported back to MS 3. Maybe if the Album feature does get implemented in MS 3, then this use of an older version won't be necessary. I'll report back again if I notice any other quirks, and I hope others will let me know if the Album (or similar) feature is incorporated in MS 3.

This approach could be useful for anyone who wants to generate compendiums of songs/lieder, for example.
Personally I've not tried writing scores for songs (with texts) yet - but perhaps I should, as an exercise.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

You may very well be right - but the approach I've taken to get the merge done does work - at least with some possible limitations I've mentioned but not yet investigated.

The odd thing is that I'm trying to create a set of pieces attributed to Rabbie Burns - and I created an album called Burns, which seems now to have found its way back into MS 3. Of course it may be that I didn't notice I'd done a conversion having generated the album in MS 2. In a tab in MS 3 this appears as "Burns*". Since there are actually only 4 parts we can each actually read each piece from one sheet of A4 music, but some members get confused if they see more than one line. Having all the pieces in one score (album) allows the option to print them all out, and also if needed to print out individual lines - which I anticipate will help some of our small group, while at the same time getting all the individual parts for the set onto one (or perhaps two) page(s).

So - yes - I would expect MS 2 and MS 3 not to be fully compatible, but for the moment if anyone else hasn't already had the foresight to anticipate the need to join scores together before going into MS 3, then this route via the older version does the job.

Importing or exporting between the versions of MS works reasonably well with the XML formats, and should get round any major difficulties with different .mscz versions.

In reply to by dave2020X

I should also mention that the Burns album I mentioned appears as a .mscz file in my test folder, having been created in MS 2.

Lastly - and related to the comments - does this board provide the ability to edit comments once the submit button has been pressed? I could have added this short reply to the previous message if I could edit it.

In reply to by dave2020X

Just use the older version if the album feature is of central importance to you. You cannot back-import scores (try it if you don't believe me). Consider the genius of the designers of old broadcast color television (NTSC) that allowed color shows to be seen in black-and-white on "old" TV's. That is not the case here.

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