Why can't I now print PDF of TAB Only?

• Sep 29, 2021 - 08:35

I have version 3.6.2.

I used to write lute tab scores with treble clef and tab stave, and could print each stave separately. Now I can't do that, and wonder why.

I don't think I did anything differently from before: create a guitar and tab score, change the tab to lute tuning, write my score, then print each stave separately.

Score attached.

Attachment Size
Lavinian Shore.mscz 17.72 KB


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Your score contains two linked staves. Look at the two check marks - image below. That's why you can't get a PDF export with two separate staves.


However, I guess you want this?

  • I.e. create two staves/instruments, then copy and paste the contents of one staff into the other. Then, in the Instruments dialog ("I" shortcut), uncheck "Visible" for the desired staff etc. and export. Lavinian Shore1.mscz
  • One could also create Parts ("File" menu), and export the parts.
    Lavinian Shore2.mscz

Question, out of curiosity: why do you start with a guitar staff when you have a choice of lutes and other related instruments (with their proper tuning already setted?)

In reply to by cadiz1

Thanks. I'm not sure how I linked the staves. Did that happen automatically with an upgrade version? I do not want them linked. I'll give your instructions a try.

I used lute for shorthand. Usually I choose one of the lute tunings, but this particular score is for a lyra viol in and Open G Major tuning. I could - on reflection - have just used an acoustic guitar tab for that tuning. Lyra viol scores are usually written in lute tab, but they used so many different tunings, some editing of the string names is required.

In reply to by cadiz1

I've now managed to create new unlinked staves, and have copied the treble clef notes into the new stave, and copied that into the tab. It's easy to print parts. My question now is: is there a quicker way to unlink staves? I have many scores that need to be unlinked.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

"Thanks. I'm not sure how I linked the staves. Did that happen automatically with an upgrade version? I do not want them linked. I'll give your instructions a try."

  • The template, Guitar + Tablature, has linked staves by default


  • If you want no linked staves (and print each staff), as explained above, create two instruments in the Wizzard.

    non linked.jpg

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

No, but the OP wants to print out separate parts, one in tab, one in staff notation. My method - which I assume is what he used in the past - produces separate parts without having to do the copy and paste, and is quicker than yours, I think.
Maybe he'll come back and tell us!

In reply to by robmackillop

Hi Robmackillop,

I also need the functionality you want.

Requests for great flexibility exist on the forum here and here.

In a future version of MuseScore you could easily configure your linked-staff score so it could create a Tablature-only PDF:

    * if MuseScore allowed users to show/hide individual staves in an instrument (In forum discussion—if I understood correctly—it has been mentioned that the functionality is currently possible, but there's simply no visibility checkbox for linked staves in the Instrument dialog. I'd be surprised if it was that simple, but it sure would be great!)

-- or --

    * if MuseScore could generate parts for the individual staves in an Instrument


In reply to by robmackillop

Thanks robmackillop,

I've mentioned some of the following points on the forum a number of times. But I'm not shy to underscore them again here.

Well honed tablature could greatly add to MuseScore's widespread adoption. I believe this because I assume that—well beyond the number of movie score writers and orchestrators—there are a much greater number of amateurs, semi-pro musicians and professionals who rely on tablature and chord charts with little or no need for standard notation.

It's just a numbers thing:

It's likely that under 2% of literate musicians are orchestral or movie score composers or arrangers. And maybe another few percent are serious educators or part of the publishing industry. Meaning that the remaining 90 to 95% of people likely to use notation software are the rest of us: a) those who teach b) those who self-document into notation what they compose or learn by ear c) amateurs, who likely range in talent from the best of musicians to complete beginners. And it's essential to extrapolate that b) and c) are the people most likely to use tablature and chord charts.

And it stands to reason that app developers aim for widespread adoption of their software. Of course, MuseScore is somewhat unique in this regard, as the notation app is entirely free. So what would be the benefits of MuseScore's widespread adoption since the app's popularity does not directly generate revenue? And why would MuseScore care to appeal to amateurs when it has successfully focused on producing professional level music engraving software?

• First, I don't have any window into the function and economics of MuseScore.org (the free notation app side of the equation) nor MuseScore.com (the subscription supported score sharing site) so the following is entirely conjecture.

• Obviously MuseScore.org's notation application is the content creation tool for MuseScore.com. And I suppose there's a chance that MuseScore.com turns an ongoing profit. To continue the synergy and growth perhaps Musescore.com reinvests some of that revenue into MuseScore.org app development. Assuming that scalability in is favor of MuseScores .com & .org, then growth on one side probably benefits the other. And growth on either side probably means greater profit or potential profit.

• Profit aside, MuseScore's widespread adoption means there are more people contributing to MuseScore development, simply by posting for support (and thereby outlining the places where users easily get lost) , by reporting bugs, by making valuable and creative requests and suggestions, by updating the documentation, by evangelizing MuseScore, and by working on the code to improve MuseScore by fixing bugs and adding features.

If the previous points are reasonably aligned to reality I hope MuseScore works hard on two fronts:

1) in continuing its steady march toward the highest quality engraving (matched by ease of use and stability.)

2) in garnering widespread adoption by appealing to the masses, and needs of amateurs, which likely means:

• tablature that rivals and exceeds the options in the competition
• overall ease of use and excellent UX (which apparently is around the corner in v4.0)
• learning tools like improved Looping functions, and the option to play along with the great recordings (at any speed, in any key) by slaving MuseScore playback to apps like Transcribe, by Seventh String

The list goes on ... but the point is the same.

Widespread adoption would likely benefit MuseScore.org and MuseScore.com because, as stated, there are way more amateurs and beginners than top-tier professionals. And many of those amateurs may be excellent copywriters who may care to contribute to the Handbook. Or they may be professional developers capable of contributing to the code, particularly in areas that help them get a foothold in music—and there's the synergy that would invite and captivate more everyday users.

The love of music by everyday people could really propel MuseScore forward ... if MuseScore supports the needs of everyday musicians.

Just sayin'.


In reply to by scorster

FWIW, I have no argument with improving overall ease of use, but what that means is highly subjective. But FWIW, the numbers don't support your assessment that the set of MuseScore users can be divided into 2% doing orchestral compositions and 98% caring primarily about tablature. Actually, by far the most common usage statistically is piano music, according to the most recent stats I saw.

Amateurs and non-amateurs alike do indeed like to have practice tools, but it's important to keep in mind that isn't MuseScore's primary function. Not saying there can't also be features to support that, but they should always be second in priority to actually creating sheet music. So while it's important indeed to focus on amateurs, it's even more important to focus on their notation needs specifically. Defining what that means in practice may be easier said than done, but it's important to have the right vision and focus.

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