Our Progress on MuseScore 4 - Update 3

• Oct 26, 2021 - 18:10

Hello everyone,

In this short post, I will outline our revised timeline for the release of MuseScore 4.

New Timeline

For anyone who has tried our nightly builds of MuseScore 4, it will be obvious that the playback sounds pretty strange (including a fun issue where VST plugins sound a half-step up from the default!). This is due to a large piece of unfinished work concerning the handling of playback data (dynamics, pitch, articulations, etc.). We had initially intended to simply reuse the MS3 system (which simply used MIDI events) but over the last few months have changed our mind.

Our codename for the new system we are building is MusePlaybackEvents. It will be an open event format that ensures the utmost precision when detailing the data required for high-quality and realistic playback, without losing compatibility with MIDI and VST. As I mentioned already, this was not work we had originally planned to do for MuseScore 4 but as we continue to experiment with higher quality samplers, we have come to realise that MusePlaybackEvents is a necessary investment right now. Not only will it open doors to take advantage of the full capabilities of our default (Fluid synth) playback, it will also allow us to build features that will provide exciting opportunities for VSTi's and MIDI 2.0 in the future too. We believe this work adds around 2.5 months to our schedule.

While this work is being undertaken, it has opened up some extra time for our engraving team, who have decided to bring forward some of the engraving changes we had originally planned for MuseScore 4.1 & 4.2. Some of these improvements are very significant and I'll be posting more about them shortly.

With that said, below is our revised timeline for the release of MuseScore 4.


We expect to be entering into our alpha phase once the MusePlaybackEvents work is ready in late December / early January


When we enter into our beta phase, we will have completed backend work on MuseScore.com that will allow members of the community to test uploads to MuseScore.com (this has previously not been possible and was something we felt we needed to address)

Beta 2

We expect to be releasing the external MuseSampler library midway through the beta phase so that the community can begin trying it out. This may very well materialise as a second beta release. It is worth noting that the expected size of the MuseSampler is 10GB.


We expect the release of MuseScore 4 around late March / Early April, 2022


Thanks very much,


I know a lot of people were really counting on "something" sooner rather than later, but personally, I applaud the revisions here - makes me that much more excited about what MuseScore 4 will offer!

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Absolutely agree. A mere extra 2.5 month to make sure 4.0 will have as much impact as possible seems like a good trade. You only get one .0 release after all.

Also engraving improvements are always the most welcome, as no matter what you add extra, that is always the most fundamental part of the product.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi, I have just downloaded the Beta version of Musescore 4. As being a Jaws for Windows user (blind screen reader) user. I could not use the interface at all. If I selected the My account" check, I could not get to the correct area of the screen to enter in the information. So I wish to know what active work and testing is being done in this area? If none, how can I help with testing and giving directions? Note, I do use NVDA, VoiceOver and Narrator.

In reply to by mhysnq

There is no beta version yet, we’re not quite at alpha. There is a very old build labeled beta but ignore that one - be sure you get the latest nightly, not that very old one. The current nightly builds definitely work with screen readers, including all the ones mentioned as far as I know.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

In the mid 1960's General Motors started to rush cars to the market that were in the Alpha + stage of development. Around the same time frame, Japanese cars came to the US and showed how well a car can be when it is not released until it is made as well as it can be. GM, once a power house that had 50% of the market share, started to dwindle on the vine. Today it is 15% There is no real good reason for rushing :)

In reply to by [DELETED] 30037188

Agreed. Things shouldn't be rushed.
However,GM still has the largest share (or close to it) of the market. It is less because there are so many more brands on the market than in the 60's. I was a mechanic in the 60's through the 80's. I can say that Japanese cars fell apart at much the same rate as any other. And any more there really isn't any such thing as an American made car. Parts come from all over. They are partially assembled here and there. Some final work might be done in the US.

I may be asking an ignorant question here - but am curious about how "Decent Sampler" might play into the v4.0 playback changes. When going beyond straight-up MIDI I run up against the edge of my knowledge. But I have been following Chris Henson's Pianobook channel and am intrigued by the possibility of playing around with the repository of instrument samples there. (Pianobook is working to make most of the sample libraries there available in Decent Sampler.) (Also, I'm on Linux so can't use the Windows/Mac software.)

thank you for the hard work on 4, 3 was great compared to 2 as you continue to add good stuff
maybe you could later add an atmospheric filter like chamber, studio, practicebox, concerthall echo effects
the problem i find with my songs is that the whole notes don't reverberate enough, the quarter notes sound too punchy and the sixteen/eighth notes need a bit of twang/tinkleling to differientate between bow movement
i've never used VST so i don't know how much of a difference it will make and perhaps i'm just being neurotic and asking for too much but i would like to make better stuff and have it sound as if a person were actually playing it

In reply to by StrangeJohn

Since Musescore 4 will accept VST effects, you can use plug-ins to add a reverb effect of your choice. I've tried one of the nightly builds and managed to use a convolution reverb plug-in successfully.

If you don't knows, convolution reverb uses files called "impulse responses" to accurately model the reverb of a room, or even of an object, or an amp. There are many free impulse response libraries that include concert halls, practice rooms, staircases, tunnels, cathedrals, and outside environments...

About the differentiation between bow strokes, I found a way to differentiate between two rapid notes that uses the same samples (apply random amount of EQ to each note), but I don't know if there's a program that can automatically do that...

I agree. A great foundation and flexibility for integrating notation with MIDI/VST would be a huge win.
A lot of people seem to work directly in a DAW since they have to massage the MIDI/samplers anyways. It would be great to have the notation software powerful enough to get closer to an end product that more closely resembles live playing or at least a starting point to then do some extra work in a DAW.

I'm also eager to know what the plan for timecode, transport sync support is? Will there be a way to sync with video?

Thanks for the continued updates Martin. More time for significant engraving improvements gets two thumbs up from me :)

My attitude towards project delays in general is evenly split between "I'm glad they're taking the time to get it right" and "That will just make me more excited when it finally arrives!" Please keep us posted!

Thanks Tantacrul, very cool!

In all seriousness, I can't wait to try out the alpha. MuseSampler I haven't heard of, and has me intrigued, as does all the MusePlaybackEvent stuff. But as long as it is still fully compatible with MIDI like you say, I can't imagine it being a bad thing.

Something to think about adding also…Could you add an option to enable an entry measure box at the top of the score page…when writing I don’t always know what I want to put so I would like to edit 1 practice bar with a series of notes and then if I like what it sounds like I could just press enter and or copy it to the actual score…the practice box could easily be deleted or wiped clean to make new beats and rhythms without actually having to edit the real whole score…a clear button could be added and maybe an option to make 1 to 4 to maybe 8 practice boxes at the top in other words I just want an area to write melody rhythm beats without touching the score until it’s ready to be added

Hi all muse score team thanks for your great and hard work to improve us a masterpiece of software. As a blind user I have a question will the muse score 4 speak some informations for example when you change the note duration will muse score tell you that you for example select a quarter when you press 5 or eight when you press 4. Also it'll be good that muse score speak dotted when you press the dot and it will be good that muse score tells you that you chose for example voice 2 when you press alt ctrl plus 2. Wish you the best in your development.

In reply to by karlobogatac1

They're adding quite nice things for Voice Over, and I remember seeing quite a number of Issues and Pull Requests on GitHub about accessibility and Voice Over integration. One of the last ones I remember was about making it read the notes on the score, not exactly what you asked, but related. I'm pretty much sure they will add these things eventually.

> MuseSampler will be around 10GB

That seems huge. I know sound libraries tend to be huge, but that just doesn't seem like it will integrate easily in the ecosystem.

There isn't much details here about MuseSampler. I've read the info about it in the other posts, but I can't seem to find what it is that will take all this space. Is there some other posts I haven't seen?

Excellent news! by the way consider to fix some issues in the next new version. Some better improvements to brackets, staves distances, full control about sizes between staffs/staves, dynamic placements, further editing elements options, playback some embellishments more accurate, time options, etc i know there are some plugins, but I think some users (I include myself) don't know how to use them. Thanks!!

In reply to by MichelCA

I’d encourage you to open new threads in the Support forum to ask your questions about these features. While there is certainly always room for improvement, it could well be that at least some of the controls you desire are already present, and we’re happy to help you learn to use them. And then through the discussion there in those threads, it might also become more clear what specific limitations you are running into.

Hi Martin, this is great, really awesome. I would like you to address the issue with Musescore 4 that I've had on a nightly build, but I don't know if it will be carried over. When I open a score in Musescore 4, the mixer opens on it's own covering half of the score. It's not a big deal, but it would be nice to not have that, especially as the mixer button is in a very locatable and user friendly place.

Hi, are the sounds from the 10GB MuseSampler library completely new or is it a compilation of the old soundfonts listed in the documentation?

In reply to by littleccguy

Another vote for the Album feature. If I have, say, the 4 movements for a symphony each as a separate score, I need a way to merge them into a single score. I'm almost at the point of trying to write a Python program that would edit the .mscx scores directly - but I'm already doing enough of that sort of thing in my day job.

Actually, I just looked at the .mscx of an album I created in MS 2 and imported into MS 3, and I think I can see what would need to be done to take some MS3 scores and splice them into an album. In Python it wouldn't be too difficult - in fact I'm surprised no one has claimed to have done it already. Or am I missing something?

In reply to by littleccguy

I've written a simple python3 program (attached) that takes 2 MS3 .mscx score files and concatenates them into an album. For more than 2 files, run the program again with the album itself as the first file and a new second file each time. For now, the file paths/names must be edited into the program code. The resulting album .mscx can be loaded back into MS3 and written out in standard .mscz format.

As usual, no guarantees/warranties are provided; users are welcome to modify and (hopefully) improve the code. The attached file should be renamed "mscx2album.py" and can be run in a shell by the command
"python3 mscx2album.py".

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I love the musescore, but the writing format for drums and percussion seems to me to be very plastered. In musescore 4 do you intend to change or will it be exactly the same format as it is today? Thanks


"... some of the engraving changes we had originally planned for MuseScore 4.1 & 4.2. Some of these improvements are very significant and I'll be posting more about them shortly."

What do you mean by shortly ? This week maybe ?

Looking forward to see all these new planned engraving features !


It's nice to see the Open Source Community working on stuff and that we know what is actually happening. Wouldn't a video on the Musescore Official YouTube Channel explaining the progress of it be a bit nice?

Thank you for the continued updates. For my classical style composition, I like to write in score with computer keyboard and mouse. However, my desired final product is computer realized audio. I'm glad you're working on this aspect of the process.

As a college student, I am bad at being patient and I want an update now. That being said, it sounds like the delay is for good reasons and hell, I'm not even paying to use the software, so fair enough.

I'm looking forward to the playback features. Will the sound samples be layered? Will there be a mod wheel, vibrato wheel, expression wheel? My understanding is that layered sound samples allow for the mod wheels to cross fade between layers. Also, currently adjusting velocity per note requires chosing a dynamic per note. I feel that an adjustable curve should be provided to control the mod wheels.

>> Our codename for the new system we are building is MusePlaybackEvents. It will be an open event format that ensures the utmost precision when detailing the data required for high-quality and realistic playback, without losing compatibility with MIDI and VST. <<

I had a quick look at some of the pull requests and got the impression that articulations are modelled via note length etc, like in MS2 and MS3. For example a thrill is modelled as a sequence of 3 midi notes playing some standard sound. However most high quality VST libraries come with sampled thrills, requiring to play only one midi note but on the right articulation sound. Will MPE account such libraries as well?

Out of curiosity: is there somewhere to go to see what is in development for Musescore 4?

There is so many suggestions, both good ones and less so, floating around in the requests section and in the bug tracker, but I can't find somewhere to see which ones are being worked on, or which is being rejected.

Not that I have very much to do with it, other than curiosity. I can't code, so my only way of contributing is currently to suggest thing... ;-)

I do, however, use Musescore for work, and talk warmly about transfering to Musescore from other paid apps, and I'd like to be able to know at least a little bit more what features are in the works.

I don't want to nag people, but if there's a nice place to go to peak over everyones shoulder, it would be nice to know. :-)

Thanks for keeping us updated with news. I would like to ask - out of curiosity and gratitude: how many programmers are currently working on 4.0 ? I have always been amazed at how much productivity the Musescore team had despite the relatively small number of developers.

Hello, I have just checked the latest nghtly build..... GORGEOUS !
I have questions about the mixer.
I see insert FX slots, but no Sens FX slots. Do you plan to implement Send FX in the mixer ?
Also, is it possible to create a bus in the mixer ?

Godd job guys ! Merry Christmas and Stay safe.

Could we have another update. Im curious on when alpha will come out as December is ending. No rush tho, as a developer, I know the tedium and difficultly of creating software

Thank you very much for this information. I would like to say that it will be very useful to have a way to set a specific number of systems per page. Right now I'm editing material for SATB choir and I've been trying to get 3 systems per page, but while using the different available options of alignment, I just got 3 systems on some pages, and 2 systems on another page... Kind of complicated to set it up, even when I have enough space to accommodate everything in there.

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In reply to by Alba0712

I don' think this is a reasonable goal.

If you have a minimum of two systems on each page just add a page break after two systems on every page. You will not be able to force three systems onto a single page if they don't fit (if they don't fit it's because they require more space than is available) unless you reduce the overall size of everything or increase the page size or possibly adjust the placement of some specific items that are forcing systems further apart than they might need to be (e.g. moving a rehearsal mark horizontally to avoid a dynamic below the previous stave) It's impossible to advise on such adjustments from a picture. Best to start a new thread and attach the score you are having problems with.

I use the computer QWERTY keyboard, with the > key and < key features of MuseScore, going note by note (step function), but with a new sophisticated amazing breath musical instrument. It works great, but I would like to enhance the playing by varying the volume of the note being played, to make it more “natural”. In other words: How can I vary the volume of a note CONTINUOUSLY (and not only in the full score)? In the "note by note mode", say you are playing a flute and you want to play each note with a varying volume as you blow stronger or weaker: How can you do that with MuseScore software? Thank you. Julian, julianort@gmail.com

Any chance of getting accelerando/decelerando markings this version? It feels like the sort of basic thing that I'm surprised still hasn't been added, although I'm not sure if there's a reason why it hasn't so far.

I just tried musescore 4's nightly build for the first time and it caused me to fail NO NUT NOVEMBER
In all seriousness, I'm so happy that I can now compose in musescore, where I'm most comfortable writing music, AND actually use my VSTs, all in one place. I hate traditional DAWs - I've tried FL studio, Ableton, I actually kind of like using garageband... -but anyway, now that I can do it all in musescore, music production will never be the same. Thank you, musescore team!

In reply to by berniesanders

I am not sure whicj tread I am replying at but sorry if not in the right place.

I wonder if the multiple movement support is still in scope for v4?

I volunteer for testing for the three movement piece on the archives. It is close to 100 pages and I decided at the start not to include all in one file. I have tried to copy-paste 2nd movement after 1st but it failed badly.
Audio was the main goal at this stage and separate mp3's are easy to join as one m3u playlist. But having separate parts with the last page problems is not ideal. (Problems of streched page coverings, in-line coverings are usually OK and they seem to have a parameter to control it)
I also think some tool for quality control would be useful. It seems there are many ways to get in trouble without knowing. I have ceated a system-text that on part level causes the system to fail if edited.

In reply to by jounip

I have written a Python script to append two MS3 single-movement files to create an album file of both movements. The files must be converted to .mscx format first by loading into MuseScore and exporting as .mscx (uncompressed .mscz). By applying the script repeatedly you can combine any number of movements into a single album. See my earlier post in this thread: https://musescore.org/en/node/325860#comment-1108495

I know the whole effort musescore team is doing, but now that it's almost April I would like to ask a possible date for the release.

In reply to by MichelCA

AFAIK, the first step is an alpha release, to see the progress of it, check from time to time: https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore/projects/41.
For the next step for a beta version there seems to be much work in progress: https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore/projects/43.
So it wouldn't make sense for me to announce a release date, if there are known bugs. It would only occur complains of user.
Meanwhile check for testing the nightlies: https://ftp.osuosl.org/pub/musescore-nightlies/

I am currently using Presonus Notion which has been good but there are a few basic bugs that haven't been sorted for several years. I used to use MuseScore in the very early years of it's original release but my main complaint was the quality of playback sounds. MuseScore 4 looks like it could be an amazing update with vst/vsti support and I'm really looking forward to trying it out.
Any update on when it will be released?


On July 19th I got the new Musescore4 nightly build.
When I open a file and start Play, the Blue line start moving and the sound comes after 5-6 seconds later?

Just wondering if there's been any update to a timeline for this so far? There have been updates on other things, but not the release date as far as I can see

What a great job! I'm very excited to see a new version of Musescore finalized! Musescore 4 looks really crazy and the nightly versions give us a nice glimpse of its future! I don't know if it's only for my case or if the problem is normally solved, but the sound of the playback has not changed compared to the first nightly versions (still this very high-pitched instrument, with a super slow temp, which does not correspond to a piano).

Other than that, I can't wait to see a finalized version of Musescore 4!

Tantacrul, not sure if you're still reading this here... just a note: if you want MusePlaybackEvents to be adopted by a great deal of applications, you will want to license that specification as something other than GPL3. MIT license would be far more appropriate (while still be perfectly ingestible by MuseScore's GPL3 core license).

And for crying out loud, please think of a different name. MPE is already a well-known acronym that means something quite different (MIDI Polyphonic Expression)...

In reply to by EvilDragon


I did not understand any of your suggestions, because I am not computer and/or MIDI savvy. Your suggestion may even be good as considered by those in the know. I do know that when a comment has an angry and demanding overtone, in, rarely if ever gets the consideration for which you ask. Unless you and Tantacrul are good buddies just have fun in public, your entire last sentence would be better omitted.

In reply to by [DELETED] 30037188

I am neither angry nor demanding, though... It is just a suggestion. The licensing question does not require computer/MIDI savvyness, it is more about how to get your idea more widely accepted in the world (which it won't be if MusePlaybackEvents would be if it remains an idea under GPL3 license, which explicitly forbids ingestion by closed source software).

The last sentence is perfectly normal English idiom. Not being angry, nor demanding. I'm sure Tantacrul well understands the usage and implication of that idiom :)

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