This chapter is a quickstart tutorial suitable for absolute beginners who have zero knowledge of this notation software. It demonstrates the most basic workflow. There are also a number of similar learning resources available online, see Getting help.
In this chapter we'll
When you open Musescore, no score file is created or opened by default (unless you have changed settings in Preferences:General:Program start). You need to create an empty score and the first thing to consider is adding blank staffs using instruments setup. The quickest way is to apply a predefined template:
Learn more about instruments and how to add them and their staffs individually in Setting up your score:Instruments.
Learn more about template in Setting up your score:Create from template, and Templates and styles.
For the sake of simplicity, we're skipping these setups and using the default values listed eariler, but you should know that you can either add info such as key signature, time signature, tempo, pickup measure (anacrusis or upbeat measure):
Note entry with a computer keyboard is designed so that it feels natural and similar to typing in a word processor such as Microsoft Word. The simplest way to enter notes in MuseScore is to:
You’re now engraving in MuseScore! You’ll notice the blue note input highlight, which indicates that you are in note input mode. It shows you where in the measure your next note will be entered.
You can specify the duration of each note you enter in the Note input toolbar. To change note duration:
Learn more about this topic in Entering notes and rests.
The Palettes panel contains almost every notational object you might need to add detail to your score. The simplest way to add palette items to your notation is to:
Learn more about this topic in Palettes
Musescore's notation object interpreter and audio synthesizer provides audio playback. Simply press Space, or use the Play toolbar, see Playback controls.
Dynamics symbols affect instrument playback depending on the sound data used (SoundFonts, Muse Sounds, or VSTi, see MuseScore 3 features not (yet) implemented in MuseScore 4:Velocity controls). If an instrument use SoundFonts such as MS Basic, and you do not specify any dynamics symbol, its loudness is equavilent to MIDI velocity 80, or as if a mf (mezzoforte) is added, see Dynamics:Loudness of a note.
Playback of passages not affected by any Tempo markings will use the pace of crotchet (quarter note) = 120 beats per minute (bpm).
The Properties panel can be revealed by clicking on the Properties tab on the left side of the screen:
The Properties panel has a similar / the same function as the Inspector in other Musescore versions.
The properties panel will show settings that are specific to the object being selected. These settings usually affect the visual appearance of the selected object. Most of the time, changes you make in Properties will apply only to the object you have selected (e.g. you’ll change the selected hairpin, and not every hairpin in your score).
As you add details to your score, click on any object to see what settings are available.
Learn more about this topic in Properties.
To insert a single measure:
This Measure section contains controls that allow you to insert multiple measures at once. Simply set the number of measures you wish to insert in the text field. You can also use the dropdown menu to change the point where new measures will be inserted.
To delete a measure or group of measures:
Learn more about this topic in the main chapter Measures.
Save the score file in a native file format, so that it is fully editable later in Musescore. Scores can be saved locally or to a cloud storage provided free of charge to every registered user.
To save your score:
Learn more about this topic in the main chapter Opening and saving scores.
The Save to computer option triggers your operating system’s “Save” dialog, allowing you to save the score as a (compressed) MuseScore file, .mscz.
Scores saved online (to the cloud) appear in the program’s Home: Scores tab with a cloud symbol at the corner of the file icon. A copy is also automatically saved on your computer in the Cloud scores folder in your user “MuseScore 4” folder.
Export to useful non-native formats, such as PDF, MusicXML, MIDI. It is not the recommended way to store a score if you wish to edit it again in Musescore later on.
To export your score:
Learn more about this topic in the main chapter File export.