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Author Topic: MuseScore  (Read 10025 times)

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HallelujahAl

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MuseScore
« on: July 06, 2009, 09:10:56 AM »

Hi - I know that there was a previous thread concerning musical notation software - but it was quite a long time ago and the system (ratm) has suggested I might like to start a new topic instead. This is just to say that for a long time now I have been looking for a really good music notation package that will engrave as well provide for all my various musical needs - like for instance allow me to produce true arrangements for Piano Accordion, or produce full brass band arrangements etc without going to all the expense of buying Sibelius or something. In other words I've been looking for the perfect package - a brilliant and complete musical notation system and free. I believe that I've now found this musicians mecca - it's an open source system called MuseScore. It's free and it's really good and it's really quite easy to edit and manipulate etc - so just thought I'd share this with you all.
AL
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Chris Brimley

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2009, 09:53:07 AM »

I've used something called Finale NotePad.  This was free for a trial period, and you can then upgrade at a reasonable cost, which I did.   It's useful in that you can write guitar chords underneath the score, although there are certain little quirks in that which you have to get round, but the thing I most wish it did was to allow you to force it to put say 8 bars on each line, because I find that so much easier for dance band music, so that the structure's obvious from the layout.

Can MuseScore do this?  If so I'll give it a go.
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HallelujahAl

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2009, 10:15:52 AM »

Quote
I've used something called Finale NotePad.  This was free for a trial period, and you can then upgrade at a reasonable cost, which I did.   It's useful in that you can write guitar chords underneath the score, although there are certain little quirks in that which you have to get round, but the thing I most wish it did was to allow you to force it to put say 8 bars on each line, because I find that so much easier for dance band music, so that the structure's obvious from the layout.

Can MuseScore do this?  If so I'll give it a go.

MuseScore can do all of this and more..give it a go it's really brilliant. I've just been mucking about with the tune 'Rural Life' and I attch it as a pdf file to this posting - have a look.The problem I found with a number of the packages I looked at was that little things like inserting an anacrusis wasn't possible etc. This programme also lets me have upto four voices of music per stave which is phenomenal for a package that is totally free!
Regards
AL
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 10:45:38 AM by HallelujahAl »
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Mike Higgins

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2009, 12:20:01 PM »

Is MuseScore platform independant? I mean, does it need windows?
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HallelujahAl

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2009, 01:34:56 PM »

Quote
Is MuseScore platform independant? I mean, does it need windows?

Open source - so no, not dependant on Windows at all.
AL
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HallelujahAl

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2009, 03:08:30 PM »

again within a few minutes I was able to knock off this treble and bass stave intro to 'under Paris skies'. Its very easy and in my opinion much better than Sibelius - at no cost! The playback is great as well, helps me to hear exactly what it is I've written.
AL
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brianread

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2009, 09:20:24 PM »

Quote
Is MuseScore platform independant? I mean, does it need windows?

Open source - so no, not dependant on Windows at all.
AL

Open source does not _mean_ independant of Windows, but in this case a MAC version is in development (alpha release), and packages are available for Linux Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora, and/or you can build it from source, as well as Windows installable.
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HallelujahAl

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2009, 09:26:26 PM »

Quote
Open source does not _mean_ independant of Windows, but in this case a MAC version is in development (alpha release), and packages are available for Linux Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora, and/or you can build it from source, as well as Windows installable.
Thanks Brian for explaining this - I'm a self-declared computer thickie and basically thought that open source indicated that software could utilised across platforms but obviously not necessarily. In this case however there are opportunities to use MuseScore on, as you point out, a wide variety of platforms.
AL
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Chris Brimley

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2009, 09:21:31 AM »

Hi AL, I've downloaded it and I've looked briefly through the manual.  It certainly looks fairly easy to use . I'm trying first to input notes, but I can't seem to change the note length - any ideas what's wrong?  It just replaces the length of the rest for the same time period, and the note palette or the keyboard numbers don't seem to work.

First impressions - I'd like to check out the named chords, which will be useful.  Finale makes it difficult to put a chord under a rest, and it looks like MuseScore might be the same?  I like the fact that voltas are easy to put in - on Finale they're only visible on screen, and the playback feature just ignores them.  Also, you seem to be able to change key signatures at the beginning of any bar, which Finale refuses to, very annoyingly.  Can you put several tunes on one page?  An obvious need for folkies, but Finale can't do it.

Finale seems to have more sophisticated text and lyric functions, but I'm not sure whether that's really of much use.  The main difference that immediately strikes you seems to be that Finale is mainly mouse based for note input, which is pretty intuitive and quick, and it plays the note as you input it - very handy.  You can also easily select part of the music and delete it, copy it, or whatever, and a I haven't yet found a corresponding MuseScore function, though maybe there is one - I note that it will select all (though again I can't get it to work), so I assume there must be a bar select function somewhere.

Rgds,

Chris
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Alison Scott

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2009, 09:50:35 AM »

Ooh there's a Mac beta. I must have a go! Key feature for me; export to Lilypond so that you can get the beautiful Lilypond printouts if you want. I've been using Lilypond for a while but it is non-wysiwyg and deeply counterintuitive at times. 

HallelujahAl

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2009, 10:25:35 AM »

Quote
Hi AL, I've downloaded it and I've looked briefly through the manual.  It certainly looks fairly easy to use . I'm trying first to input notes, but I can't seem to change the note length - any ideas what's wrong?  It just replaces the length of the rest for the same time period, and the note palette or the keyboard numbers don't seem to work.

First impressions - I'd like to check out the named chords, which will be useful.  Finale makes it difficult to put a chord under a rest, and it looks like MuseScore might be the same?  I like the fact that voltas are easy to put in - on Finale they're only visible on screen, and the playback feature just ignores them.  Also, you seem to be able to change key signatures at the beginning of any bar, which Finale refuses to, very annoyingly.  Can you put several tunes on one page?  An obvious need for folkies, but Finale can't do it.

Finale seems to have more sophisticated text and lyric functions, but I'm not sure whether that's really of much use.  The main difference that immediately strikes you seems to be that Finale is mainly mouse based for note input, which is pretty intuitive and quick, and it plays the note as you input it - very handy.  You can also easily select part of the music and delete it, copy it, or whatever, and a I haven't yet found a corresponding MuseScore function, though maybe there is one - I note that it will select all (though again I can't get it to work), so I assume there must be a bar select function somewhere.

Rgds,

Chris
note length is changed by clicking on the appropiate note icon on the toolbar - I don't get any probs with the palette function. Are you toggling the note input switch on 'N' which is to the left of the note palette?
Chords can be placed in any section of the score - I've done this several times already, as I prefer to place chord changes just before the corresponding melody note (its just to do with the way I read music I guess). I love the fact that playback gives you the option of having the repeats played. If you input with the mouse - which is possible on MuseScore it also plays the note as you input. In response to your issue with select bars/measures - deletion copying etc I quote from the online manual which is a must and much better than the local manual:

Quote
Append

To add a measure to the end of the piece press Ctr+B. To add multiple measures use the menu Create ? Measures ? Append Measures....
Insert

First select a measure then press Ins to insert a new empty measure before the selected one. To insert multiple measures use the menu Create ? Measures ? Insert Measures....
Delete

To delete a measure you have to first select it in a special way. Press Ctrl on the keyboard as you click on an empty part of the measure with the mouse. The measure is marked with a dotted line indicating that you selected a "piece of time". Press Ctrl+Click to extend the selection. Pressing Del removes the selected measures.
Properties

To edit the properties of a measure right click on an empty part of the measure and select Measure Properties....
The thing I'm concerned about is that you say the note palette doesn't work. Click the large 'N' which is the first button on the note palette - that toggles the note input switch on or off. Try that. If it doesn't work the only thing I could suggest is that you may need to re-install - or go to the forums.

The online manual is a must as it is much better than the local manual!
Blessings & Hope you have fun with it!
AL
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Chris Brimley

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2009, 11:18:35 AM »

AL, Thanks for all your help, but I'm afraid it still doesn't work - and Microsoft comes up with an error report when I try to enter a note after toggling N, and closes the program.  I do get the different note lengths shown on the palette, but can't input them.  I'll try the forum as you suggest.  I'm using MS Windows XP Home Edition v5.1 SP3, though I do have a laptop with Vista I could try instead, I suppose.

Chris Brimley
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HallelujahAl

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2009, 11:25:21 AM »

Quote
Microsoft comes up with an error report when I try to enter a note after toggling N, and closes the program.
Hi Chris I had that at first and the forums page helped me - I'm struggling to remember the solution now but it wasdead easy. I think you must ensure that have a note value selected before toggling? Try that - but the forum pages certainly helped me. best of luck
AL
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Owen Woods

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2009, 04:49:36 PM »

I use noteworthy, but also now am going towards ABC Navigator for some things.
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HallelujahAl

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2009, 06:33:15 PM »

Noteworthy is good but I find MuseScore gives me more of an engraving tool as well, much more on a par with Igor or Sibelius but free ;D
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Chris Brimley

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2009, 09:55:19 AM »

AL, I've been playing with MuseScore a bit more - I found that the original stable version was unstable on my computer, and that was the problem with the note entry.  I loaded the latest pre-release version, and that seems more stable, at least with regard to this problem.

I've also asked them about having separate titled tunes on one page (of great use to us folkies, I suggested), and yes, there's a tutorial to show how that can be done:  http://ping.fm/Chqy4  

It's looking good - next promble - how to transfer all our Finale tunes on MuseScore.  I think manual recreation is probably the only answer, unless anyone knows of a better way?

Thanks for letting me know about this - the rest of the band is particularly happy that it won't have to buy lots of Finale licences any more!

Chris Brimley
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Bill the Farmer

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2009, 11:45:38 AM »

I've been looking at it as well. I found this page: http://www.musescore.org/en/node/111, which suggests that both MuseScore and Finale can export and import midi and MusicXML. I haven't tried it, as I use ABC, but it would be worth a try if you have a lot of scores to convert.
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Chris Brimley

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2009, 12:34:14 PM »

Bill, that's brilliant, I've just tried it, and it works a treat.  You lose all the text, chords, etc, but you do at least get the notes fairly accurately.  What you have to do is to save the Finale file as a MIDI file, first setting the quantization to the shortest note, and then you can open it in MuseScore, and respond to the prompt by setting the qunatization to the same value.

Rgds,

Chris Brimley
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Bill Young

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2009, 01:31:25 PM »

Chris,
When you say "Finale" score, do you mean scores produced by the full, expensive, Finale product, or Finale Notepad scores (used to be free, now lo-cost)? I have quite a number of Finale Notepad scores.

Bill

Chris Brimley

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Re: MuseScore
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2009, 02:13:03 PM »

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