MuseScore (Part 1): Quick Start Guide | Martin Cohen | Skillshare

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MuseScore (Part 1): Quick Start Guide

teacher avatar Martin Cohen, Teacher, musician and composer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Introduction video part 1

    • 2. MuseScore installation

    • 3. Starting the program

    • 4. Creating a score

    • 5. Entering notes and rests

    • 6. Saving your scores

    • 7. Playback

    • 8. Printing and exporting

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About This Class

MuseScore is a FREE music notation software that you can use to write sheet music.

Because of its built-in playback feature, the program is also a great tool for music composers.

You can even use MuseScore to write your own play-along tracks to practice your instrument.

This course is part 1 out of 5 of a series of MuseScore courses.

In this course you will learn the basics of MuseScore: where to download the program, how to install (on Windows, Mac and Linux computers), how to write your first score, save, print and playback the score.

In the following parts of this series, we will go much deeper into the functionalities of MuseScore with for example:

-MuseScore menus, navigation, customizing MuseScore

-Entering notes and rests with a MIDI-keyboard

-Adding lyrics

-Adding chord symbols

-Guitar tablature


-Editing your score

-Page layout

-Multiple voices

-Adding dynamics, repeats & jumps, rehearsal marks, dynamics and many other symbols

-Export audio & MIDI

-Image capture


Meet Your Teacher

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Martin Cohen

Teacher, musician and composer


Martin Cohen is since about 25 years a teacher of physics, mathematics and informatics.  

He taught at several schools in and around Amsterdam and at the European Schools of Brussels (Belgium) and Luxembourg.

He recently decided to quit his regular teaching job to concentrate only on online teaching.

Martin is originally from Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  

He is a passionate musician and composer. Since the age of 8 years, he plays the piano.  

He played in several rock, blues and jazz bands and he has now a jazz quartet.  

At the moment, he teaches (online) the piano, music theory and composing techniques.  

Martin has a masters degree in physics from the Free University in Amsterdam.

See full profile

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1. Introduction video part 1: hi and welcome to the course. Mu Score Part one Greek start guide. In this course, you will learn all you need to make beautiful sheet music with a fantastic free music notation software called New Score. My name is Martin Cohen on the piano teacher and composer, and I use music er almost every day. This course is part one of a series, Of course, is, um, you score in this series. You will learn how to write professional sheet music, court sheets, lead sheets or even a whole some book or fake book. The building playback function makes it possible to not only use new score to make sheet music, but it's also an unmissable tool for music composers. And you can even use music or to practice your own instrument just right out the parts for the other instruments. Then playback your score in Luke moat, and you have a whole orchestra at your disposal that accompanies you while you're playing your instruments. In this introductory course. So part one of this series you will learn how to down note and in Seoul, new score on the Windows Mac or Linux computer, and you will learn how to create your first score, how to enter notes and rests, how to play back your score and how to safe brint and export your work. Now, if you don't find the item you were looking for in this course off the music or Siri's, have a look at one of the other parts of this music or Siri's. And this Siri's consists of five different parts. So five different courses. And finally, I'd like to thank you for your interest on. I hope we will meet each other soon inside of this course. 2. MuseScore installation: Hi. And welcome to this lecture where I show you how to install new score. I will start to show you how to instill music or on a computer with windows. And after that, I'll give you the installation instructions on a Mac and on Lennox. So let's start with windows. First of all, open your web browser and go to use score dot Argh! Here you will directly find a button to download music score, so just click the button free download. Okay. It says your download will start in a few seconds, and there it is. So you just click to safe the download Onda. As you see, I have Firefox. No, this is not the same in every web browser, but in Firefox you have here, I will click on it. You have the progress bar and you see how far it is. Okay, we have nine seconds left. Almost there. There we are. Okay to install. Just click here. Okay. And it says, Do you want to run this file? Okay. I want to run the file so I click Run. So the installation wizard comes up on I only have to click next. I have to accept the license agreement so 1/2 to click here go to next. Well, you can, of course, change this, but normally, just leave it as it is and click on next. Okay, it's ready to install new score, so just click the bottom install and it will install mu score for you and it installs music . Or right now, Okay, click on finish. And if everything is okay, it will launch music or directly. And there we go music or is installed to install new score on the MEC. First, go to this page. Once on this page, click on the download format button to download music score dot DMG file. Once downloaded to double, click the file, you will then see this window click and drag them. You score Aiken to the application's folder. Aiken. When you're not logged in as an administrator, you may be asked for a password. In that case, click authenticate and enter your password. Mu skirt will now be installed into your applications folder. Okay, when this is ready, new score is installed and ready to use. Let's have a look to Lennox now. Now the installation instructions depend on the Lennox distribution you have. I will show you how to do it on Lenox Mint. On many other popular Linux distributions, you will probably have to proceed in a similar way. First, click on the icon in the left bottom corner in the window that opens, choose administration and then software manager. You might have to enter your password. The software manager will open into search books. Just type muse, score and press enter. Okay, now, my Lennox computers in Dutch. But the English version looks exactly the same from the list of options that appear. Choose the 1st 1 and double click it, You know only have to click install, and the program will be installed. Now. In my case, there is no installed button because the program is already installed. But if on your computer music ER is not installed, you will, of course, see the install button. After a while, new skirt will be installed on your computer and ready to use for linen. There are also other installation possibilities. For more information on those possibilities, go to this page 3. Starting the program: once mu score is installed, you can open it in the same way as every other program on your computer. Now, if you say that symbol, I know how to open a program on my computer, then of course, you can without any problem, skip this lecture and move on to the next one. So let me start with how to open Muse. Score on a computer with a Windows operating system in Windows, you can simply double click on the desktop Aiken to open mu score. So here, double click ATM, you score will open. Okay, let me close it for now. If for any reason you don't have this desktop, Aiken, you can also go to the Windows icon in the left down corner. Click it and then well, if you use it very often, the program, you will see it listed here. If not done, you can go toe all programs here, click it and search for it. Here it's here. New score. You open it on done by simply clicking here. You open your score so I will close it again. Now the last option is again. You click on the windows. Aiken in the left bottom corner and you type muse scored. You don't even have to take the whole word. You see it appears here you click on it on it will open you score. Anyway, all three methods will lead to the same result. Once opened, you can pin the program to the task bar by right clicking the icon on the task for here. Just right. Click it and then in the context menu that that appears you choose pin this program to task for Click on it and it's not been to the test for now if you close the program so let me close it. You see that the Aiken is still in the tusk for when I click it Now it opens again. Okay, by the way, if you don't want it anymore in the task for Let me close it for it first. If you don't want it in task there anymore, just right. Click it and Jews un pin this program from south from the task bar and it's a way. Okay, so that's about it for Windows. Now, how does this work on other platforms? Let's first have a look at the Mac to open music or on the neck. You also have different options. If the music or Aiken is somewhere in the dark. So somewhere amongst the icons that you see on the bottom side of your screen, then you can simply open music or by clicking its Aiken. There. Another way to open music er, is to click on the application's icon in the dock. A menu with icons off all your applications will open. Simply scroll till you find a musical riken and click on its to open music. Or the third way to open music or on your Mac is to click on the Finder. Aiken. A window will open where you can search from you score by clicking on the Meuse scorer item . The program will open. Okay, time for Lennox now, Now again. It will, of course, depend on the linens distribution that you have, but I will show you here how it works. In Lenox Mint. Click on the menu Aiken in the bottom left corner of the screen, in the window that opens Jews sound and video, and on the right side, just click on music or to open it 4. Creating a score: When you first open, you score. You will see the next image in the middle. You see the start center in the start center. You can choose whether to create a new score here, which will bring up the new score Wizard, which I will show you later. You can also open an existing score. Now. This is only possible. If you have created scores already, they will show up here or on the right side of the start center. You can find and download scores online. Did you can open in new score now if the empty score that has already displayed in new score and that you see behind the start center is enough for your purposes. So if you only need one stuff with a treble clef and 1/4 quarter time signature, you could click the start center way and start entering notes directly in the empty score. Now, if you already clicked everything away, so also this empty score and you don't have the empty score and no start center anymore. You can done go to file and don't click on new the new score Wizard will open year. You can enter title subtitle etcetera but it's not necessary to do that now. You can always add this information later. So for now, I will not enter his information and just click on next in this section of the new scorer wizard, you could choose between many options. As you can see, in most cases, you will want to use the first option. Choose instruments. I'll come back to deception later, but let me first get you back to the empty squirt at Mu scored displays. Normally when you opened a program, it's the second option. Cold Travel Cliff, which will give you an empty score with a treble clef and 4/4 time signature. Okay, before clicking on the treble clef option, noticed that you also have a bass clef option and a grand staff option. The bass clef option gives you a simple based stuff. Empty score with a 4/4 time signature when you need to Right to score for piano. You would rather go for the grand staff option. This will display an empty score with a travel and base cliff again in 4/4 time signature. So, for now, let me click on the Travel Cliff option, then well, next and done on finish to get you back where we were. An empty score with a trouble clef that you can directly use to inter notes. No off course. You don't always want to. Just one simple trouble. Cliff score. In fourth quarter time, you might want to have either an other time signature or another key signature with Sharp's ARF. Let's perhaps you want to create a score for more than just one instrument. That, for example, when you want to ride out scores for a whole orchestra. Or perhaps you want a combination of holders. So let me show you how to do that. First go again to file and click on you. By the way, you can also simply use this button here. So let me click here. This will again bring up the new score, Wizard. So Okay, let me now fill in Something for title subtitle on it etcetera. So title I will feel in my title. My subtitle Composer just right composer for no lyricists just right lit written Lee rich cysts for no copyright. Well, I leave that for now. I click on next and we're again on this window. I will now click on choose instruments here, you're able to add all the instruments you want to appear in your score. No, let me start by adding a piano. So I click on keyboards, piano and done on ad. So this adds the piano to the right side. As you can see, it's automatically created a bass and a treble clef, which is, of course, normal for a piano. By the way, if I wanted, I could delete the bass clef or the trouble cliff by selecting it, for example, the base class and then click on remove. I will not too, which I will leave it as it is for now. No, let me add a second instrument. I will now add a basic eater, so I go to plucked strings, bass guitar, click on it, click on add and the bass guitar appears in the right window. As you can see, debase has only one bass clef, which is normal for her base base. So you see that music or automatically chooses the best default staff. Depending on the chosen instrument. You can, however, always adept it to how you want it to be now for no, I will not add any more instruments, but you can, of course, at as many instruments as you want. So click on next to take you to the next window, where you can choose the key signature. Well, I keep. I will keep it now, for as it is, I will choose the key signature with no sharps, no flats. But you can. Of course, she was a key signature that you won't like a legal next, which gives me now the possibility to enter time Signature entered a time signature you want, so it's no for fourth, but you can choose whatever you want. 5/4 3/4 I will keep it for fourth for no. You could choose a pickup measure. Just click on pick up 1/4 note. For example, whatever you want, the number of measures you want. You can always add or delete measures later. Click on finish, and there we have our score. Now you're done with the creation of your score, and you only have to enter denotes rests and other elements you want to have in your score . 5. Entering notes and rests: after entering all the information in the new score Wizard, we're now ready to enter notes and rests, so we're finally ready to write our first score. We will create a score for the melody of the song. Twinkle, twinkle, little star. So let's get started. First of all, we have to put mu score into note input moat. You can get me a score in note. Input moat in three different ways. First, in the main menu, click on notes and then on note input. I will not do it for now because I will first show you the other methods. Second into toolbar Click on this icon and 1/3 option to put new score and Notre Input. Moat is, without doubt the most simple way. It's by using the simple keyboard shortcut and so simply press the letter end at Mu score will be a note input moat. So let me use this last method. I press the end on the keyboard and viola. I'm in note input moat, by the way. To get out of note input mode, you can use the same three methods, so either in main menu, click on notes and note input or click on this symbol here, or just type again. End by the waiters, even another method to get out off a note input mode. And that's by simply pressing the escape button. Okay, but we will not leave the note input moat, since we will now start entering notes. Now you see that when I'm in note input moat here When I moved with the cursory in to score Window the Blue Ghost notice following the mouse cursor wherever I go, when I do a left click on my mouth note will be entered at the place of the cursor. So let me show that for the first out of Twinkle Twinkle, I will write to score for Twinkle Twinkle in the key of C major. So our first notes going to be a C. We want to first note to be 1/4 note, so check well. If the quarter note option is highlighted in toolbar, you can see that here. This is the quarter note option. If not, you can, of course, always click on the quarter Note. Normally, when you start using new score, the quarter note is already selected by default. Okay, click on the right place. So a middle state See here on the first beats of the first measure and there's our first note. We go on the same way to enter the other notes. So there we go again. A c done a g, another G. So that's our first measure. Let's go on to the second measure. A A. No, The next G is not 1/4 note. It's 1/2 note. So before entering the G first click the half notes symbol in the toolbar, which is here, So I will click it. You see that it's now highlighted, and I can now click in my score and harass my half note G. So there are our 1st 2 measures already Now, To be honest, there is a method for entering notes that is much quicker. Instead of clicking with the mouse in this court, we can use keyboard shortcuts. Those keyboard shortcuts are simply the letters of the notes. So you want to see just diaper see one a. D. Simply type of D etcetera. So let's use that for the rest of the song. Now, every time I use a keyboard shortcut from no one, I will display a yellow square within red letters to use keyboard shortcut. In this way, you can see exactly which shortcuts I'm using. So there we go. First note in Measure three isn't f Now watch out. We're still in half. Note entering moat, so you first have to choose again. Quarter notes. Since the F we want to entering, Measure three is 1/4 note. Now you can, of course, click with your mouse here in the tour toolbar Quarter note. But also here we can use a keyboard shortcut. The keyboard shortcut for 1/4 note is just the number five, so I press five. You can see that the quarter note Aiken in October is now highlighted here. So now we can enter the F by simply typing F. So there we go. If and here's our f Okay, let's enter the other notes. So again, F don e again e de again D No, we need 1/2 note for to see the keyboard. Shortcut for 1/2 note is the number six. So our type six. So you see that the half notes symbol is now highlighted in the toolbar. Type C and here's our half notes see? No, we need quarter notes again. So type five now type the next notes. G. Hey, what's this? It's one octave too low. We have a short got for debt. Also use control plus arrow off and this puts the G A knocked of higher. So control plus arrow up is an octave up. Okay, again g f again in f e not to eat. We now need tohave notes, so type six and done the d. There's our half note now. The next two measures are exactly the same as the previous two measures. So let's copy the last two measures and pays them into the next measures. To do this, we have to quit denote input note so you can use one of the methods I mentioned before. I will now use the escape button. We will first select to the last two measures. No, you will see that clicking and dragging doesn't work. When I click here and I drag you see that the whole score moves. That's not what I want. I want to select the last two measures. No, instead, breasts and hold shift and den, click and drag to select the measures so breast shift. Then hold the shift button. Click and drag. And here are our two measures selected. You see the selected measures have a blue box around them indicating your selection. Now copy the selection with the usual keyboard shortcut control plus C. Now we have to paste this on to the next measures to do that. Click somewhere in the first measure to select it. So click here. Now this measure is selected. Now use the keyboard shortcut control plus V to paste in the two measures. And that's it. Okay, let's do the last few lines. First click in the next measure to indicate that we will continue there. Then we have to enter again. Note input mode. So I will press at the end. Be sure know that the quarter notice selected, if not breast five. But as you see in our case, the quarter note is selected. Then enter the rest of the notes, so C c g Okay, this one has to go a knocked off up. So control era the gun G A. Hey, no, Let's assume that I don't want the next G to be 1/2 note, but instead I wanted to be 1/4 note, followed by 1/4 rest. So I'm still in court or noting put now. So I simply type G. There's my quarter note G. Now you see the rest already. But when I now which type my next note, it would take the place of the rest, which I don't want to enter arrest. Simply use the keyboard Shortcut. Zero. This adds arrest with a duration set at the same way as no, no duration. So you have to type of Fife for 1/4 rest and six for 1/2 rest, and you can see which duration is selected by looking at the note duration. Aiken. So here, since we were still at quarter note input, it will know Add 1/4 wrist, so type zero and the quarter rest is at it. Okay, the last little line. Now, now simply type F if e e d d and I was six for the half note and our last note See six. This activates the half note input moat and see. Okay, that's the whole melody. The only thing is that we're left with a number of measures that we don't need. So let's select him again. You select measures by holding shift and then clicking and dragging. So I hold shift, I click. It's still in the note. Input moat. Let me first quit to the note input mode by clicking on the end. Now I can hold shift. Andi there are selected the rest off my measures. Okay. To remove the measures goto edit in the main menu here, go down to measure and click on delete selected measures. You can also use the shortcut, as you see here control plus delete. Let me do that. We've still one line left was probably hidden. So let me do again Shift, click and drag and let me now use control plus delete. Okay, and that's it. Our score is ready now. I haven't been talking on how to add a dotted note. So let me quickly show you for this purpose. I will create a new score. So I go here. New score. I will just go quickly through this Jews Well, I would take the trouble Chlef next and finish. There we are. Okay. Let me add that note with a duration off three beats to do this first, go into note input mode. So I click. I press end now you can select the half note and the dot in the toolbar here, half note and dot first like on half note down undocked. But we can, of course, also use keyboard shortcuts. In that case, you use the keyboard shortcut for 1/2 note, which is six. Let me type six. Is he already debt? 1/2 note is selected, and then just type a dot and you see that the DOT is also selected here. No, I can enter my note. I can, of course, do it by mouse. I could also do it by pressing a letter. I will not do it by mouse. The result is the same. You see adopted note three beats long. Another thing I'd like to show is how to add accidentally. For example, I didn't want to have in a but instead at a sharp Well, that's simple with the A selected and you see that the A selected because it's blue just breast the aero a button on your computer. There we go, and there's are a sharp you wanted to be fled. Instead, he was one more time. The arrow up button. There we go. This gives you a B and then breast the area arrow down button and wanna RB flint. So remember the arrow up and down buttons can be used for half notes up half notes down If you use it's together with control. So control arrow up or control aero down you move an octave up or down. 6. Saving your scores: Okay, so we've just entered to the notes of the song. Now, off course, like in every other program, you have to safe your work. So let's do that now. You can save your work by going to file, click and safe. Not a way to do it is by clicking just on this Aiken, let me do that. Of course you get a place where you can save your song. Give it a title. I will call it Just twinkle safe and that's it. Now you see that into Tep here It says twinkle. You see that The on the other, Tep I can click on it. We have This was to be flat. I just showed you We still have untitled entitled to and there is a little asterisk. This asterisk indicates that the song is not safe yet or if you make a change mint to your song it will also show the estrous to show you that you still have to save your change mints. So, for example, I want this g here not to be 1/4 tone, but I wanted to be 1/2 ton, so I click to select it. Let me show you again. Just click. Be sure not to be a note input moat, because otherwise it will make a note and then just click on the half note. Okay, now this is 1/2 note. You see that next to the name Twinkle, there's an asterisk. It means the song has bean changed, and you have to save it again. No, when you now click the save button, it's simply saves in the location. And with the name you indicated before, be sure to safe regularly, not make the whole song and the at the end of the song safe. It might be a problem with a computer. Then you will lose all your work. So I would say, when you start making your song already saved the song, give it a name, location, and then every well you can see every five minutes, perhaps even every minute is better safe. Your work. It's better to lose a minute of work done five minutes of work or even half on hour of work . It's very simple. As you saw. Just click this Aiken and that's all 7. Playback: Okay, so you entered the notes and the score is now ready to be printed or to be exported as a PdF or as an image file. But printing or exporting is not the only thing you can do with your score. It's also possible to play back the entered melody. You can use this, for example, to check your melody, see if everything is right if you entered the right notes. If you enter the right rhythm, etcetera, you could even use it to practice Now You could, for example, right a piano accompaniment and practice your guitar while music or playbacks the piano for you. The playback function is, of course, also very handy when you use music or to compose music, especially when you composed music for multiple instruments. You can directly here what the impact on the music is when you change. For example, some notes in the base or when you add another instrument, etcetera. Okay, so let me quickly demonstrate how the most important playback function in new square work. Now I will use my very simple melody with only two right hand piano part, so it will sound very simple if you have written parts for several instruments. It sounds already more impressive. Okay, so let's have a look. You can find the playback section here in the tool bars. Our most important button is, of course, this one. The play button when I click the play button view score normally starts to play back the song from the beginning, when clicking the play button again music or stops the playback. When I now click it again, it will play back from where we left off. So I click. I click again. It pauses. I click again at Mu Squirt will continue where it left. Okay, I stop it. It's also possible to click on a note to select it. Let me say, for example, this note. Be sure not to be in note input. Note. Otherwise, you cannot select notes in this way, so the note will turn blue to indicate that it selected. And when I now hits to play button, new score starts to play. From that node on. Okay, let me stop it. Okay. Before I go, let me give you a handy keyboard shortcut. The keyboard shortcut for this play button is just the space button, so I hit the space button. I hit it again and it stops. Okay, let's have a look at two other important buttons into playback section. This one is also important. When clicking this button. It will rewind to the beginning of the score. So when I click and I play again, it will go to the beginning off this song. Stop Rewind today. Now, when this button is highlighted, you will hear the metron on sound. During playback. You can total that button on or off when clicking. So with the Metrodome, and I can toggle it all off. You're in play, Vic. All those control and even some more handy controls can also be found into play panel. Not first of all, how do I open the play panel? The plate panel can be opened in two ways via the main menu, So click on if you and done play panel and here's your play panel. Another way. Let me close it for now. Another way to open it despite a keyboard shortcut. F 11 so F 11 and there's my play pedal. Okay, so you see that in the play panel? I also have the play button here and the rewind button here. I can also toggle the Metrodome on and off, on and off. And you see here another button that is very handy. This button can be clicked to total on or off the count in before playback. So let me quickly show you how it works. So when using to count in its no activated and done playing, let me sure to be. Let me be sure to rewind. So it clicked four times before starting the song. Now, this time without Metrodome, I can also put the Metrodome on. Let me rewind it and don't play that central. Other handy functions into play panel are two tempo and volume sliders on the right site. So let me quickly demonstrate tempos. Lighter, slower volume slider. Okay, let me stop it. For now, note that those sliders are just tempo and volume settings that are only used for playback function. The settings set here so into play panel will not influence tempo or volume settings that are made elsewhere in Muse Score 8. Printing and exporting: okay. Printing or exporting your score in new score is very simple to print. Just select from file in the main menu the Option brint. This will open the print dialog box, where you can specify settings as the brimmed range and the number of copies and some other settings, depending on the operating system you use. But maybe you want. Instead of printing your score, expert it as a PDF file. So let me close this for now. TOE EXPORT and pdf file. GOTO file and expert In this dialog box, you can specify the location of your pdf file. Be sure that in the box safe as type, the PdF file type is selected before heading safe. As you see by default, this is selected. If you want to expert your score in another file, formatted PdF. Then in the safe as type books, just select another file type. As you can see, Mu score allows you to save your score in a fair amount of final types like image files, sound files and media files. Also, a very nice feature is the image Capture moat. You can enter the image capture mode by clicking on this icon in the toolbar. So you see that after clicking the image, capture moat Aiken, a gray rectangle, appears that allows you to define the region to be captured. So imagine, for example, that you want to capture the 1st 2 measures of your score. To do that dragged the rectangle to the two measures and Dan click and drag the handles around a rectangle to define the region that she wants to capture. Here are my 1st 2 measures. Select it. Okay. Once you defined your region, you can simply use the control policy to copy it to the clipboard. So control plus C and it's now in a clipboard. And after that you can use it in another application, like in words or in pained etcetera. So let me, for example, open paint. So here I have paint opened and I click Control plus V and Rana. There we have the image of R selected region. After that, you can save the image as an image file, and you could do the same thing exactly the same thing. To import the image into a word document or any other application