MuseScore allows you to enter music notation from any of four input devices: computer keyboard, mouse, MIDI keyboard, or virtual piano keyboard. The default input mode is step-time, in which notes or rests are entered one at a time. However, other input modes are also available.
After exiting the New Score Wizard, your new score will consist of a series of measures filled with measure rests:
As you enter notes in a measure, the measure rests are changed to appropriate rests to fill the remainder of the measure:
Notes of different durations on the same beat are entered by using Voices:
This section introduces you to the basics of entering notes and rests in step-time from a computer keyboard. It is also recommended that you work through the tutorial, "Getting Started: An introduction to note entry in MuseScore". This is available from the Start Center.
Select a starting position for note input by clicking on a note or rest, or selecting a measure, with the mouse. If you don't select a starting point, the cursor automatically defaults to the beginning of the score when you enter Note Input mode ("Step 2" below).
To enter Note Input mode, use either of the following options:
To exit Note Input mode, use any of the following options:
Still in Note Input mode, select a note duration using either of the following:
This method of entry also works if you are not in Note Input mode—as long as you have a note/rest selected, or the score is newly-created (in which case note entry will default to the beginning).
Note: Note input in MuseScore overwrites existing notes or rests in a measure. If you need to insert notes you can make room for them by moving a section of the score using the copy and paste command. You can also insert new measures at any point (see Measure operations: Insert).
The following keyboard shortcuts are used to select note/rest duration in Note Input mode:
See also: Tuplets.
Music notation can be entered by:
This section expands on "Basic note entry" (see above) and introduces you to the full range of commands available for entering notes or rests from the computer keyboard.
You can enter a note by typing the corresponding letter on your keyboard. Thus, after entering Note Input mode, type: 5 C D E F G A B C.
Note: When you enter a note using the keyboard, MuseScore places it closest to the previous note entered (above or below).
To enter a rest, type "0" (zero). Thus, after entering Note Input mode, type: 5 C D 0 E.
Note: The duration selected in the toolbar applies to both notes and rests.
If you want to enter a dotted note, press . (period/full stop) after selecting the duration.
For example, after entering Note Input mode, type: 5 . C 4 D E F G A.
If you want to enter a tuplet: see Tuplets.
If you want to write music with two or more simultaneous lines of independent melody (i.e. polyphony): see Voices.
To move a note up or down by a semitone:
To move a note up or down diatonically:
To move a note up or down by one octave:
When a note is moved up or down with an arrow key (see above), any accidental required is automatically generated by the program. Accidentals can also be added manually—see Accidentals.
If you want to add a chord note above your previous entry:
Thus, typing C, D, Shift + F, Shift + A, E, F results in:
To add a note at a specific interval above or below one or more notes:
Note: To create chords with notes of different durations, you will need to use more than one Voice.
Here is a list of useful editing shortcuts available in Note Input mode:
It's easy to enter notes with the mouse, but it is not the fastest way to enter lots of notes.
Note: If you hover the cursor over the score in Note Input Mode it will show you a preview of the note or rest you are about to add.
You can also insert pitches using a MIDI keyboard.
note input mode
The pitch should be added to your score.
Note: The MIDI keyboard enters one note or chord at a time. This mode of note input (often called "step-time entry") is fast and reliable. Beginning with version 2.1 MuseScore introduced a limited real time entry mode, in which the musican plays a passage and MuseScore tries to produce the notation.
If you have multiple MIDI devices connected to your computer, you may need to inform MuseScore which is the MIDI keyboard. Go to Edit→Preferences... (Mac: MuseScore→Preferences...). In the preferences dialog, click on the I/O tab and select your device under the section labeled "PortAudio".
You can also input notes using the on-screen piano keyboard.
The method of note entry is similar to that for a midi keyboard:
In addition to the existing Step-time and Repitch modes, three more input modes have been added in MuseScore 2.1 (see links below). All can be accessed by clicking the small arrow next to the "N" button on the left of the Note Input toolbar.
Depending on the skill of the musician, certain notes are considered beyond the range of a particular instrument. For informational purposes, MuseScore optionally colors notes red if they are outside the range of a "professional" player, and olive green/dark yellow if outside the range of an "early amateur." The colors appear on the computer screen, but not on printed copies.
To enable/disable note coloration and to set "professional" and "amateur" ranges, see Usable pitch range (Staff properties: all staves).
Notesection is used to only change the size of the individual notehead; the one in the
Chordsection will change the note head, stem, beam, and flag sizes all together.
By default, the small size is 70% of the normal size. You can change that setting in Style → General→Sizes.
To change the length of a single note or rest:
Increasing the duration will overwrite the notes or rests that follow it; decreasing the duration will add rests between it and the notes or rests following.
For example, to change three sixteenth rests into a single dotted eighth rest:
As the duration increases, it overwrites the other two sixteenth rests following it.
To change the pitch of a single note:
To change the enharmonic spelling of a note, select it and use the J command. For more information, see Accidentals.
To change the pitches of a passage of music by a constant interval, you can use Transposition.
To change the pitches of a passage of music to a different melody, while keeping the rhythm unchanged, use Re-pitch mode.
If your score contains a lot of misspelled accidentals, you might try the Respell Pitches command (see Accidentals: Respell pitches).
To change a rest to a note of the same duration:
To change a note to a rest of the same duration: