Engraving improvements in MuseScore 4.2

• Nov 17, 2023 - 16:31

For information about changes to style settings in this version, see this page.

New features

Guitar bends (handbook)

Main implementation: Issues 19612 & 19823 / PRs 19746 & 19832
MuseScore now has an entirely new implementation (engraving, playback and UI) of guitar bends. These are a new item type, replacing the severely limited bend item available in previous versions. (The old type of bend can no longer be created, though it will still exist if you open an old score that uses them.)

Alternate guitar tunings (handbook)

Main implementation: Issue 16804 / PR 19308
A new item is available for specifying alternate guitar tunings, available in the Guitar palette. This can be configured by a popup widget and is rendered on the score as a block of string numbers and pitches.

Synchronisation between score and parts (handbook)

Main implementation: Issue 16544 / PR 18722
Changes to item properties can now be managed independently in the score and parts. Changes made in the score now affect that item in the part, but not vice versa; when a property is changed in the part, it becomes desynchronised from the score. Text can also be modified in the parts independently of the score.

Items in parts can be re-linked to the score via toggles for position, style/appearance, and (where relevant) text.

Certain item types - staff text, system text, clefs, ottava lines and frames - can also be excluded from the parts, such that they only appear in the score, or vice versa.

Some items would fail to synchronise between parts and score entirely, such as figured bass, or symbols which are attached to rests. Most of these issues have now been addressed; there may be some that are still outstanding but we intend to address these in the next releases.

(There are still many outstanding legacy issues with part synchronisation affecting specific object types, which will be addressed in the next releases.)

Arpeggios spanning specific voices (handbook)

Main implementation: Issue 19668 / PR 19734
Arpeggios can now span specific voices. When added to a voice, both the top and bottom handles can then be moved up or down to adjacent voices with Shift+Up and Shift+Down, or by dragging. They will also go stave-to-stave in the case of multi-stave instruments. In the case of cross-stave arpeggios, a long-standing complaint that only accidentals of the 'origin' (uppermost) stave would be considered when determining the offset for the arpeggio has also been addressed. Slurs at the very top or bottom of an arpeggio will now avoid colliding with it.

(This does not yet affect playback: only the voice the arpeggio 'belongs' to, which is its uppermost chord, will be arpeggiated.)

New placement options for ties

Main implementation: Issues 18685 & 19532 / PR 19127
MuseScore's previous default behaviour was to draw ties to single notes 'outside' (connecting the top/bottom of the noteheads) and to draw ties to chords 'inside' (connecting the right and left of noteheads). This can be now configured either way for single notes and chords; the default for new scores is that all ties are drawn 'outside'. As well as a score-wide style setting, this can be overridden for any given tie via Properties.

Layout fixes

  • Issue 11833 / PR 18988: Accidentals in figured bass no longer mangle horizontal alignment
  • Issue 13766 / PR 19485: 'Gap below' and 'Gap above' of frames is now properly ignored when they appear at the bottom or top of pages, respectively
  • Issue 16426 / PR 19358: Tempo markings no longer collide with time signatures on single-line staves
  • Issue 17852 / PR 19438: Tuplet brackets are now shown when at the notehead side in 'Auto' mode
  • Issue 17891 / PR 19161: Instrument labels now follow the size of the instrument's largest stave
  • Issue 17982 / PR 17983: When migrating files from MU2, the score is now properly laid out immediately
  • Issue 17955 & 19456 / PR 19403: Glissando lines are no longer displaced unnecessarily by accidentals or other symbols attached to noteheads
  • Issue 18143 / PR 18169: Microtonal accidentals and ottavas now affect glissando angle
  • Issue 18197 / PR 18279: Key signatures arising from instrument changes no longer create incorrect key signatures on other instruments
  • Issue 18212 / PR 18279: Local key signatures at system breaks no longer produce unnecessary key signatures on other staves
  • Issues 18231, 19472 & 19060 / PRs 19065 & 19773: System markings are no longer duplicated in parts when extra instruments are shown
  • Issue 18270 / PR 18416: Default vertical offset for hairpins has been corrected
  • Issue 18587 / PR 18959: Expression items no longer snap to invisible dynamics
  • Issue 18589 / PR 18954: Notes tied across systems on single-line staves now appear at the correct vertical position
  • Issue 18707 / PR 19291: Articulations are now properly positioned at the stem side of slash notes
  • Issue 18709 / PR 18712: Special characters in part names are no longer lost in custom parts
  • Issue 18724 / PR 19402: Ledger lines no longer collide with stems when voices overlap
  • Issue 18726 / PR 19228: Accent direction on grace notes is now consistent with other articulations
  • Issue 18740 / PR 19108: Clefs are no longer duplicated or removed in parts when bars are added or removed around multirests
  • Issue 18760 / PR 18917: Trill lines no longer create excessive vertical space
  • Issue 18818 / PR 18905: Slurs are no longer deformed when flipped to notehead side in a multi-voice context
  • Issue 18857 / PR 19269: Position of single-note tremolos on simple tab staves is corrected
  • Issue 18860 / PR 18920: Setting a new default scale for dynamics via Properties no longer messes up the size of other dynamics
  • Issue 18961 / PR 19356: Bar repeat numbers no longer collide with repeat symbols or barlines
  • Issue 18969 / PR 19001: Adding expression text to a multirest no longer breaks it
  • Issue 19057 / PR 19333: Dots to cross-stave notes are now positioned correctly according to dots in other voices
  • Issue 19070 / PR 20275: Barlines are no longer broken improperly (temporarily) at the start of a system when changes are made to the previous system
  • Issue 19073 / PR 19129: Tremolo beam thickness now scales to cue-size notes
  • Issue 19081 / PR 19436: Ties that are created when durations are repeated or pasted are now properly attached to the relevant notes
  • Issue 19082 / PR 20107: Lines ending at the very end of a score will have their end position persist over save/reload (and, where relevant, will also play back properly, e.g. for trills)
  • Issue 19139 / PR 19273: Articulations on cross-stave notes are no longer displaced by notes on the origin stave
  • Issue 19206 / PR 20064: Direction of cross-system slurs no longer sometimes becomes wrong after a save/reload
  • Issue 19221 / PR 19225: Whole and half rests no longer lose their 'ledger lines' when outside the stave
  • Issue 19396 / PR 19469: Changing between pitched and unpitched instruments in the middle of a bar no longer leads to incorrect vertical placement of notes before the change
  • Issue 19481 / PR 19559: When offsetting flags of grace notes, the slash now follows correctly
  • Issue 19488 / PR 19558: Offsetting a notehead vertically no longer extends the stem at the opposite side
  • Issue 19489 / PR 19552: Fermatas are now properly centered on rests on resized staves
  • Issue 18555 / PR 19828: Rests with a beam starting or ending on them are now displaced to the same position as rests within the beam
  • Issue 19581 / PR 19827: The second bar of a double-bar repeat is no longer considered empty and thereby removed in cutaway mode
  • Issue 19598 / PR 19828: Fixes an issue where adjusting the vertical position of a rest within a beam would seriously distort vertical spacing
  • Issue 19610 / PR 20175: Rhythmic slash notation created from a dotted chord will no longer acquire redundant extra dots
  • Issue 19669 / PR 19831: Notes are now properly displaced for the interval of a 2nd between voices when part of a beamed cross-stave group
  • Issue 19765 / PR 19789: Cross-stave notes are now properly laid out for instruments which have been hidden/unhidden
  • Issue 19848 / PR 19948: Breath marks (or any right-aligned segment) no longer distort system width.
  • Issue 19918 / PR 19973: Fixes a bug where tremolo beams would sometimes disappear in certain specific circumstances
  • Issue 19962 / PR 20232: Melisma lines in a second voice no longer disappear when a longer note is present in voice 1
  • PR 20124: Tuplet brackets now use MiterJoin for corners

UX/interaction fixes (not an exhaustive list)

  • Issue 13261 / PR 20506: The 'Minimum distance' field in Properties now updates in real time when items are moved/offset
  • Issues 14218 & 18175 / PR 20240: Pitches on tab staves can now be edited within ottava lines
  • Issues 16850 & 19142 / PR 19142: Changes made to rehearsal mark styles no longer cause changes made to them in the properties panel to be lost
  • Issue 17042/ PR 19247: Deleting a cross-stave tuplet no longer fails to replace it with the appropriate rest
  • Issue 17074 / PR 20433: Placement settings (Above/Below) for text lines are restored to Properties
  • Issue 17655 / PR 19162: Style dialog now allows negative values for ottava hook height
  • Issue 18329 & 18330 / PRs 19300 & 19304: Meaningless properties and operations have been removed or disabled for trill auxiliary notes
  • Issue 18331 / PR 18438: Trill auxiliary notes now follow their parent note when it is moved and are removed when it is deleted
  • Issue 18404 / PR 18530: Transposing no longer creates unnecessary key signatures when the selection starts at the beginning of a system
  • Issue 18573 / PR 19547: When adding notes to chords, articulations no longer become duplicated
  • Issue 18603 / PR 19666: Text components for pedal lines now have sensible defaults, so can no longer be rendered unselectable when reset
  • Issues 18611 & 19063 / PR 18653 & 19090: Key signatures are no longer lost when inserting or deleting a bar at the start of the score
  • Issue 18886 / PR 19335: Notes already input to the score now update immediately when a drumset definition is edited
  • Issue 18906 / PR 18949: Scores now preserve their key signature even when the last instrument is removed
  • Issue 19283 / PR 19271: Using 'Join measures' just before a key change now moves the key change to the previous measure
  • Issue 19323 / PR 19546: When using 'Join measures', the behaviour of time signatures in and around the joined section now behave logically
  • Issue 19480 / PR 19482: Adding or removing an accidental to a tied note no longer fails to apply to the change to the last note of the tie chain
  • Issue 19483 / PR 19566: Fixes an issue where multiple simultaneous instrument changes could cause edits to instrument labels to be applied to the wrong instrument
  • Issue 20309 / PR 20328: Fixes incorrect scaling for various distances on resized staves

Other bug fixes

  • Issues 14328 & 15791 / PR 19336: A few fixes to default score ordering
  • Issue 17115 / PR [19271]
    (https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore/pull/19271): Fixes a file corruption caused by using 'Join measures' in a part
  • Issue 17416 / PR 20156: Symbols attached to rests will now appear in parts - and can also now be moved around
  • Issue 17940 / PR 20230: Fixes a bug where some files imported from MU1 would open as entirely blank
  • Issue 18644 / PR 18904: Fixes a crash when moving tempo lines in parts
  • Issue 18655 / PR 18656: 'Prefer sharps or flats' setting is now preserved in parts
  • Issue 18798 / PR 19316: Fixes a bug where thick brackets could get messed up in horizontal continuous view
  • Issue 18879 / PR 18887: Adding tuplets to linked staves no longer causes file corruption
  • Issue 18940 / PR 20277: Fixes a crash when copy/pasting notes on a staff containing a local time signature
  • Issue 19371 / PR 19393: Custom colours applied to line items are no longer lost when a file is saved/reopened
  • Issue 19373 / PR 19405: Fixes a bug where, when inserting a bar in a part, hairpins within that bar would move in the part but not in the score
  • Issue 19460 / PR 19872: Text line offsets are no longer lost when a file is saved/reopened
  • Issue 19625 / PR 19659: Measure stretch is now properly ignored when opening files from pre-4.0 (rather than being read but then discarded, and changing only after the first re-render)
  • Issue 19766 / PR 20366: Fixes a crash triggered when hiding an instrument in a part then undoing and redoing
  • Issue 20003 / PR 20141: Unnecessary calls to layout the entire score are now avoided, so many common operations will be faster, especially in large scores
  • Issue 20365 / PR 20412: Fixes a crash triggered when copying a repeat bar on a linked stave

MusicXML improvements

  • Issues 13214 & 16638 / PR 18737: Chord symbols are no longer mangled in import
  • Issue 15903 / PR 17489: Extended Helmholtz-Ellis SMuFL accidentals are now imported correctly
  • Issue 16135 / PR 18556: MuseScore no longer imports instruments with hidden empty staves as hidden instruments
  • Issue 16497 / PR 18556: Articulation placement properties are now exported correctly
  • Issue 17037 / PR 18556: Accidentals in instrument names are now imported as the correct symbols
  • Issue 17553 / PR 19506: Several additional types of notehead are now exported correctly
  • Issue 17796 / PR 19512: Correct system is now exported after a multirest
  • Issue 17828 / PR 19214: Default state of MusicXML import settings now matches that of MU3
  • Issue 17841 / PR 19132: Tie position (above/below) is now exported correctly
  • Issue 18158 / PR 20225: Hidden lines on text lines are no longer exported
  • Issue 18451 / PR 19455: The correct line-end type is now exported for brackets
  • Issue 18982 / PR 18999: Importing a file containing multiples of the same instrument no longer produces duplicate parts
  • PR 19132: Implements import/export of colours for a large number of item types; also several other fixes
  • Issue 19186 / PR 20248: Fixes a crash when importing files with marcato, tenuto and staccato on the same note
  • Issue 19332 / PR 18766: MuseScore no longer crashes when encountering a wavy-line without an explicit ending
  • Issue 19576 / PR 19606: Title frames are no longer missing from parts in an imported file
  • PR 19605: Invisible clefs are now imported and exported correctly
  • Issue 19770 / PR 20213: Fermatas attached to barlines are now imported correctly
  • PR 19972: Ports a larger number of MusicXML improvements previously only available in a backend build of MU3.6
  • PRs 20219 & 20224: Adds support for sostenuto pedal import and export
  • PR 20252: Improves export of technique elements (bowings, harmonics, tonguing, mutes, etc)
  • Issue 20490 / PR 20511: Fixes a bug which would significantly corrupt exported MusicXML files where the first bar number of the score is offset


Love the new bends features, and the improved tie options are great too. It's pretty encouraging to see Musescore continue to make big steps towards being a triple-A notation app. Thanks for the detailed update!

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