Numerous problems with MuseScore 4 - and 3 - and the iOS app

• Feb 9, 2023 - 23:02

At first glance MuseScore 4 looks very nice and I was looking forward to using it, until I discovered numerous bugs:

  1. MuseScore 4 files do not play in the iOS MuseScore App (the scores are blank). I have reported the error, and the support team has promised a bug fix is coming up some time. Looking forward to that

  2. After importing a MIDI-file I separated the voices into separate scores, but the separate scores only contained one pause for the entire score (file is attached)

  3. An .mscz-file downloaded from showed only the topmost instrument. All other instruments seemed to fall out of the bottom of the page (Lay a garland, attached)

  4. All above errors were observed on MacOS. When installing on Windows 10, the program crashed on startup.

  5. Installing MuseScore 3 on Windows was not a solution, as the play back functionality does not work (it appears to be a well known bug that is not going to be fixed now the version 4 is out)

Fortunately, MuseScore 3 still works on MacOS and I was able to convert MuseScore 4 files to MuseScore 3 files by exporting to MusicXML and importing, but titles were lost and had to be reentered

At this stage I am pleased that I was able to revert to version 3, but with all the problems I would never recommend any of the MuseScore products to peers. I used to be very happy with MuseScore, but currently it is in a totally chaotic state which I would not recommend anyone to try.

By the way: The latest iOS APP fails on some iPhones: The entry pages are made with jumbo letter size which prevents the user from entering and/or selecting options. One of my fellow choir singers tried to start using the app, but we had to give up...

This is extremely serious and I am going to consider using another tool.

Attachment Size
Pedersoen-Vaaren-Tutti.mscz 93.57 KB
Lay_a_garland.mscz 178.44 KB


Other than the mobile app issues, which as mentioned aren't really relevant here, can you please give precise steps to reproduce the problem you are seeing?

For instance, I can confirm the first file you attach is corrupt - the parts show as empty. The question is, how did it get that way? please attach the score from before the corruption occurred, and give precise steps to reproduce the corruption. Then we can try to confirm.

As it is, my best guess is you had done some editing in 4.0 - before 4.0.1 was released with a fix - and ran into a bug where certain editing operations can result in corruption.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc, thank you for following up on these issues.
The problem appears in version 4.0.1. What I did:
1. Imported a MIDI file with 5 voices (all named piano)
2. Selected "File -> Voices" (Stemmer/Uddrag in Danish)
3. Pressed "Open all" (Åbn alle in Danish)
It is very easy to repeat with the MIDI file, but I do not know if the problem is the same for all MIDI files. I cannot disclose the MIDI file. Hence, it is not attached.

In reply to by

When I open that score, click Parts, then Open all, the parts are perfectly normal. Is there something else you did after opening and before generating the parts? I'm guessing something involving changing instruments, since I see the original was all piano but you had changed them to voice. I tried replacing instruments myself, though, using the instruments panel, and it worked as expected. So I'm guessing it was something about the specific way you went about changing instruments that was unusual enough that it triggered a problem that thus far has not been reported. Let us know if you find the precise steps to reproduce the problem so we can try to confirm.

FWIW, it seems you can fix the problem by viewing a part, clicking the gear icon for the instrument, then choosing "reset all formatting".

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc, yes it is confusing indeed.
It appears that you have found a workaround:
1. Import MIDI file
2. Save file to .mscz-file
3. Close MuseScore 4
4. Open MuseScore 4
5. Open .mscz-file
6. Split score into parts: The parts look fine
If you skip step 3. and 4. then you reproduce the error that I have reported.
It appears that it can be reproduced with any MIDI file. I have attached "copyleft" MIDI file as an example. Follow above steps but skip 3. and 4. to reproduce the bug.

Thank you for finding the workaround.

Attachment Size
Etyde_1.mid 1.48 KB

Regarding the file from, it seems the user who created it added some bogus lyric characters - seemingly everywhere there is a tied note, there is a bogus character. Not sure what they were thinking, but they don't render well indeed, creating huge gaps. Anyhow, not really a bug in MuseScore, more a bug in the score itself.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,
thank you for clarifying. The score prints perfectly well on and in MuseScore 3. The fact that you cannot trust that something you produced in MuseScore 3 cannot present well in MuseScore 4 is - to my mind - a very good reason for people not to upgrade to MuseScore 4. Or to leave the ecosystem all together.

In reply to by

The fact that MuseScore 3 didn't do bad things with the buggy score doesn't change the fact that it's a buggy score. Check for yourself - it's filled with garbage lyric characters. It's really just an accident that it didn't cause problems in MsueScore 3 also.

If it's too much work to fix the bugs in that scores, you can certainly continue to use MsueScore 3 for that score, but no reason not to take advantage of the enormous advantages in MU4 for everything else. And then maybe fix the bugs in that score when you have time.

Meanwhile, you can also open an issue on GitHub to request that these garbage characters get treated differently in MuseScore 4 as well.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc, when upgrading from MS3 to MS4 I did not see any warning, that files from MS3 could potentially look different to the extend they would be useless. Having used MS for many years, I would describe myself as a skilled user, but apparently still lack the competence to correct strange files. And the file was downloadable from
I appreciate that you have taken your time to explain what is wrong with the file from an MS4 point of view. I will leave it to you to judge if it should lead to changes in MS4.

In reply to by

Again,l as already explained, scores that are not already buggy aren't so different as to be useless, so it would be completely inappropriate for MuseScore to want abut something that essentially never happens in real life. Only the minuscule percentage of extremely buggy scores might possibly look that different, and that's the fault of the score, not of MuseScore. So, simply fix those bugs in the score (by re-entering the lyrics, correctly this time). Or ask the person who created the score to fix the bugs.

And if you'd like to have MuseScore attempt to recover from those buggy scores more gracefully, simply submit a request on GitHub as suggested earlier.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc, we probably have to agree to disagree on this. I believe most people don't care why the scores that used to work nicely in MS3 do not work in MS4. Most people would simply blame MS4 for the problem.
Now, thanks to you, I know about this problem, but the rest of the world will not know. Anyway, it is your product. Your choice.

In reply to by

To be clear, it is not "my product" - I'm just one of hundreds of volunteers who helps support users for free here. So it's not up to me whether any of the developers implements a workaround for the buggy score in question. It's entirely up to you to decide whether it's important enough to be worth the couple of minutes of your time it would take to open an issue on GitHub. Then the process could begin of prioritizing this.

For all we know, though, this is the one and only score in the entire world that has this problem. I've literally never ever seen a single report of a problem like this. So when I mention the process of prioritizing. it's a matter of deciding how much effort to spend on working around a user error that has thus far only affected one score out of the millions on, versus how much effort is worth spending on problems that are more likely to affect more users. That's a decision for others to make, though, not me.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

apologies for not making clear that I meant "you" in plural. The linguistic confusion is not present in Danish.
I appreciate yours and your fellow volunteers efforts . You are really working hard for this product. As I am not a volunteer (on this product) I will leave the decisions to you and your fellow volunteers to decide.

As for playback of MuseScore 3 on Windows 10, that is supported and works perfectly for the vast majority of users. There are a very small number of people whose systems have some sort of incompatibility and there is an FAQ to help with that. See and be sure to follow the suggestions there carefully.

In reply to by

You clearly haven't tried all the steps in that article - one of them specifically directed you to post certain system details here, and you haven't done that one at least. And if you skipped that step, it's reasonable to guess you may have skipped others as well. So it's impossible for you to know if those steps would have helped or not - they only can help if you follow them :-)

I don't personally have download stats on MuseScore 4.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

I begin to like these conversations :-)

As I said, MS3 was installed from scratch on a totally standard laptop with Windows 10. I can see that all the steps in your link applies to an installation which has gone berserk. I should not have to troubleshoot on a standard PC with a completely new installation. I can do the troubleshooting, but my old granny cannot do it, and that - I believe - has to be the standard you look for. Otherwise you will loose users.

As I have already given up on MS3 on Windows 10 - because my Mac works flawlessly - I believe many others will. I have no motivation for going through painful troubleshooting to get this to work, and I believe many others would feel the same.

My whole point about this post is that the current state of the total MuseScore ecosystem is shaky after release of MuseScore 4. I see that a lot of people are criticising that they cannot use MS4 because their files will not play on the iOS app. You have to look at the complete picture and not just one application separately. Usually I would recommend MuseScore to my fellow singers in my choir - a large audience for you business - but right now I cannot, and unfortunately none of your good and sensible replies and attempts to help me has changed this.

In reply to by

No, almost all of those steps apply equally well to brand new installations. Again, until you have actually followed each and every one of those steps carefully and completely, you simply don't know if they will work or not. So please stop claiming otherwise.

Again, the vast majority of systems work perfectly right out of the box. Less than a fraction of a percent of systems have problems. I'm sorry yours happened to be one of them. If you'd like help fixing it, we volunteers remain here available for that purpose. The more time we spend arguing, the less time we have available for helping people.

Anyhow, the fact that you encountered one buggy scores out of millions, and that buggy scores was created with an older version of MsueScore, and that you also happen to be one of the 0.1% of users with playback problems in MuseScore 3, in no way whatsoever indicates any problem whatsoever with the MuseScore ecosystem as a whole. That's patently absurd, and the more time we have to spend pointing that out, the less time we have available to actually help people.

Aga8n, if you have a problem you'd like help with, please simply ask. We remain here ready to volunteer our time to help people. But the more time we spend arguing, the less time we have available to help people.

An easy way to get scores created on Musescore 4 to work is to export as .mxl and then open in Musescore 3, then you can upload directly from the application.

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