Changing instrument does not affect change in part names.

• Jan 2, 2023 - 19:26

Dear all,
given a score that was written for some instruments, i need to adapt it to other instruments.
For this reason I use the change instrument function of musescore 4.
However when I then want to export the score, the parts are still the old ones.

The solution i found was:
1. create new empty parts
2. rename them according to the wished instrument name
3. add to the part the specific instrument that one wants to have

I would appreciate knowing if this is the indended use or if there are other approaches.


Related to this, changing the name of an instrument does not change the label on the mixer. It seems that whatever the original instrument name is gets stored somewhere and not changed.

I am having the same problems, you can change on the properties of a part whatever you want, but it is not reflected on the export of individual parts, on the popup for parts selection you also se the 'old' names, that can not be modified anywhere..... clearly a bug, pretty nasty as the 'wrong' name is present on the exported pdf files.

Are you sure you're setting the actual part name, in the Parts dialog, or the part name that appears within the title frame, on the parts themselves? That works for me. My guess is you are only setting the staff names, which indeed doesn't set the actual part name, by design., No need to create new empty parts, just change the name of the default ones and change the text on the part.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Parts dialog? I'll enclose some screen shots for clarity...
In my case I have three accordions, which I name Acc 1, 2 and 3.
Same instrument selected using soundfont I added.
'renamed' on instruments properties screen, and coherent with parts properties screen.
All is nice and coherent on properties of part, on instruments properties, etc... it goes wrong on export, there the names are incoherent and impossible to change... On the exported result it's all wrong also.
Tried to save, reopen etc.. as it's clearly some incoherence between redundant info within musescore;
How do I adjust the name appearing on export?

Attachment Size
Musescore1.jpg 242.06 KB
Musescore2.jpg 144.27 KB

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I think the confusion comes from there being two "different" names: the instrument name and the part name. Currently, changing the part name does not affect the name on the score (the instrument name?) and vice versa.
Musescore 4 - instrument vs part names 1.PNG
Musescore 4 - instrument vs part names 2.PNG

The only way to have the names be consistent between my score, and the individual parts is to change the name in both the "Instruments" panel and the "Parts" dialog. Because in MS 3, creating parts pulled the correct name I expected for each instrument, I never tried changing instrument names after creating parts themselves, so I'm not sure what the behavior was there (ie. were names "linked" across parts in MS 3?)

To "fix" this slight inconvenience, maybe the parts that show up by default in the parts dialog (the parts that only show one individual instrument by default) should be linked to the name on the main score? This would probably require some sort of heads up in the UI of the parts dialog, to inform the user of which parts are linked to the main score (ie. changing the name on the score will change the part name). However, this would be adding complexity to the parts dialog, which is the whole reason it was redesigned for MS 4 (to remove complexity). What we have now is much better than what existed in MS 3, despite the issue I've described here, so I'd be wary of making any changes that add complexity.

Also, somewhat related, but there is a third name for the part/instrument in the mixer?
Musescore 4 - instrument vs part vs mixer names 1.PNG

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The confusing bit is why parts (not all, but some) revert to their old names after the names have been changed in the Parts dialogue. Change name, close window, save, quite the score, reopen the score, check parts names... old parts names have re-appeared.
In the main score they all have been renamed successfully, and the renamings persist.
In the mixer they stay as the names of the instruments, and don't seem to be changeable.

In reply to by nedkershaw

It's normal for now that the mixer names are not customizable, but that's on the radar for future improvement.

But the names you can change should survive save/reload just fine,. If you have a specific score where this doesn't happen and steps to reproduce that problem, please attach the score here and give the steps so we can try to confirm.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Just to add my support to the other users. What is significant for me is that changing the Part and/or instrument, wherever you do it, doesn't get saved. The "*" doesn't appear on the tab to show that the score has changed, there is no "Undo" available, and you can close the score without being warned that changes will be lost - because it doesn't think there have been any changes. Even if you make an unrelated change (e.g. the tempo/bpm) the Part doesn't get saved

In reply to by Rob Mason

It works when I do it.

Note the part name is not necessarily an instrument name as a part may contain more than one instrument. It might contain all the woodwinds for example in which case it would probably make sense to give it the name "Woodwind"

This is how to change a part name.

Open the parts menu by clicking here

Parts Button.jpg

This opens the parts menu where you can click on the three dots to give you the choice of these options to change the part properties


Clicking on the rename option opens the partname for editing.


After changing the name


Close the menu and then the part tabs look like this


Note that there is an asterisk against the main score name and that the part name in the tab has changed.

After saving the asterisk disappears and the changed name is still present when I reopen the score.

Are you doing anything different to get your different result?

In reply to by SteveBlower

OK Steve - thanks for taking the time. I have now figured out what's going on. I'll leave the experts to decide if it's a bug or, what we used to call "a feature".

I had been doing (almost) exactly what your description says. After several trials, I realise that it is the "Open All" button that makes the s/w realise there is a change to save. From a newly loaded score, if you open the Parts menu and do nothing except click on the "Open All", then the * appears on the main score tab (as you described). Then you are warned to save before closing, even though nothing has changed apart from the scores parts are now shown in the tabs. Bob's your uncle.

What I had been doing, is that I had made the name change in the Parts menu, and then clicked on "Close" which doesn't make the * appear.

I discovered the "issue" because I wanted to export the parts (e.g. to pdf) of a score I otherwise had no reason to change. Opening the Export dialogue, I saw that one of the Parts had an old name. So, I followed the routine you described to change the Part name, except that I Closed the Parts menu without doing the Open All. I achieved exactly what I wanted it to do - the Export dialogue now showed the Part names as I hoped, and the correct exported files were created.

Then the problem comes that the change is NOT saved. I repeated the exercise several times - I tried a deliberate ctl-S before closing; I tried doing a Save As to a new name from the menu; I tried Save a Copy from the menu. Every one failed to save the Part name change.

I thought I had completely tested it, and proved that it was the Open All that was the trigger to force the name change to be saved. For completeness, I did a final trial. I don't generally have the tabs open for the individual Parts. I opened my score, then opened the Parts menu and clicked Open All having made no other changes whatsoever. The * appeared and I was asked to save on closing, which I did. I now opened the score again, only now the individual Parts are already showing. I changed the Part name and exited with Close (as I had been doing originally) and, waddyaknow the * appeared.

So to sum up - and sorry for being so long-winded - to change a Part name, and have the change recognised/saved, you need to have the Parts tabs open, either when you open the Parts menu or when you Open All as part of the change process. In my book, that's a bug, but you can call it a feature if you want!

In reply to by Rob Mason

Odd?, I can change the part name without opening any parts at all, just by opening the parts menu and then clicking on the three dots for the part who's name I want to change. Make the change, click close and I see an asterisk in the score tab. If I save, close and re-open I see the name change in the part.

Perhaps a screen recording of what you do/see would help sort out what is going on at your end. You can either record as mp4 but change it's extension to one that is acceptable to this forum (e.g. .zip) or put the recording on YouTube and attach a link here.

Also, can you say which version of Musescore and operating system are you using. You can copy and paste the information from the Help>About Musescore menu. I seem to recall that there was (or perhaps still is for some OS) a bug related to renaming parts. If there was/is, my set up seems to be not affected by it.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Thanks for the prompt reply, Steve. Your procedure exactly mirrors what I was doing - apart from the asterisk/saving part. If you don't mind, I've spent enough time on this (as have you!) so won't be doing the screen recording - I have a method that works and that is good enough for me.

I am on MuseScore "OS: Windows 10 Version 2009 or later, Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit): 4.2.1-240230937, revision: d757433", and Windows 11 v23H2, cumulative update KB5034123

Solution is very easy - musescore file is just xml text file:
1) save the score as mscx (unzipped folder)
2) open mscx in some plain text editor (for example notepad++)
3) change content of tag "trackName" and save it

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