Musescore as Engraving Software

• Apr 8, 2021 - 13:09

I really enjoy working in Musescore, and have thought about starting a side business of engraving, copying, etc. But, it seems most people in that field use Finale, Dorico, or Sibelius. Is anyone here using Musescore commercially in this way? Is there any reason why it couldn't work? It seems to me it can do everything the others do, end result wise, but just can't do it as efficiently. Is that right?

I would hate to have to invest hundreds of dollars, plus lots of time in learning another program when Musescore is so good and always getting better.


"Is anyone here using Musescore commercially in this way?"
Yes, I am currently using MuseScore to produce scores for publication by London Music Press. They accept (and edit) either Sibelius files or MuseScore files, and I see no reason why you can't work with MuseScore. It will vary from publisher to publisher.

"It seems to me [MuseScore] can do everything the others do, end result wise, but just can't do it as efficiently. Is that right?"
As I have only ever used MuseScore, I can't comment: you'll have to wait for someone who knows Finale, Sibelius or Dorico. But MuseScore is certainly evolving rapidly, with great emphasis on a slicker and more effective user interface. MS 4 (next year probably) will be a big step forwards, and in the meanwhile MS 3.6.2 works quite efficiently for me. ;-)

Musescore is already a successful engraving software. If you know how to read and write musical notes, you can immediately start being a "copyist".

In the latest version of the Musescore software, with the new music and text fonts they have developed, the scores you will write are adjusted almost ready-made on the fly, without the need for many adjustments. Of course this is set to an average standard and there is always room for your own corrections and adjustments.

If you are going to work on a small scale or as a boutique, you should agree with your client about page view, dimensions and layout, and negotiate several print (or PDF) proofs.

To do this job professionally, you need to know other things. Although it looks simple: Page layout, footer, header, page number locations, copyright space, line and staff spacing, header fonts, font sizes and their layout are some of them and it varies for each publisher. And if not properly adjusted (sometimes even 1mm inaccuracy) it can cause big problems. Also, each music publishing company has set a special style and wants all their publishing to have the same custom look.

At the publisher I worked for, I saw works that were ready for some of them by simply writing the notes and then applying the style file. // Yes, minor corrections will always be made.
And they don't distribute these style files to anyone, they only use them internally. Because its own engraving properties (special look and feel) are in these style files.

Musescore software also has the ability to create style files, but you must create them yourself. And once you create it, you can apply over and over to many scores you will write later and set up hours of fine-tuning in one second.

In some software, you have to do one job in one way, and in another you have to do it another way. Because every software is developed with different perspectives. If you learn the features of the software you will work with well, you can do a very good job. In other words, although the features offered by the software are important, the other important part is based on the user's skill.

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