MuseScore (Part 2): Menus, Navigation & Customizations | Martin Cohen | Skillshare

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MuseScore (Part 2): Menus, Navigation & Customizations

teacher avatar Martin Cohen, Teacher, musician and composer

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Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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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 (42m)
    • 1. Introduction video part 2

    • 2. Overview

    • 3. View menu

    • 4. Navigation

    • 5. Customizing MuseScore

    • 6. Sp unit - more customizations

    • 7. More customizations - Preferences

    • 8. More file operations

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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 2 out of 5 of a series of MuseScore courses.

If you’re totally new to MuseScore, I would advise you to start with “MuseScore (part 1): Quick Start Guide”, where 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 this course you will discover MuseScore even better: you will learn about:

-The View Menu: this menu-item lets you appear and hide several important windows and panels in MuseScore like the Play Panel, Navigator, Mixer, Synthesizer, Piano Keyboard and many more

-How to navigate through the program and through your score.

-How to customize various settings in MuseScore like the basic distance unit in MuseScore (the sp-unit), text styles and colors and much more, and how to save those settings for use in future scores.

-The different ways of saving your score. It is for example possible to save a whole album with different songs.

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

-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

Teacher Profile Image

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 2: hi and welcome to the course music or parts to menus, navigation and customization. In this course, you will learn all you need to make beautiful sheet music with a fantastic free music notation. Software called You Score. My Name is Martin Cohen on the piano teacher and composer, and I use music er almost every day. This course is part two off 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 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. No, if you're totally new to music, or I would advise you to start with part one off this new score course. Siri's, which is a quick start, guides to music or and where you learn how to install and start to program, how to create your first score and how to safe print and expert Yes, course. In Part two of this music or course Siri's, you will learn about the items in the view menu and how to use them. You will also learn how to navigate through the program and your score, and you will learn how to customize the program to your own wishes. 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 his 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. Overview: In this lecture, I will give you a quick overview of the layout of the main window in new score. First of all, when you open, you score, you will see to start center. I introduced the start Center in part one of this Muse Court course. Siri's. You can use the start center to create a new score or to open an existing score. Okay, let's have a look at the main window of you score so I will click the start center away. The main window of new score is divided into different sections in the View menu. You can hide or display most of those sections, which I will show you later. In this course, first place where everything happens is here the score window totally on top. You will find the main menu. Besides the items that can be found in every program, like file edit view. There are also items that are specific to muse score like, for example, ad notes, layout style. On the left side are repellents. In the pellets, you will find key signatures, time signatures, lines, symbols and many other markings that you can add to your score. The two burst section can be found just under the main menu. The toolbar section in itself is divided in several subsections. The file operations like Safe, open and More the Playback control section, the Note input section. And there are also some more buttons in the toolbar section that will be discussed later. Like the view settings here, the media enable Button the concert pitch button and the image capture mode button by right , clicking an empty space in the tuber section. Two bars can be added or removed from the Stuber section, so I will right click here in the context menu that appears. I now can check or uncheck the options to make them appear or disappear from this section. So, for example, fellow operations are now gone, right clicking on dykan. Let him appear again in the toolbar section. On the right side, you can find the inspector. The inspector displays information about selected elements. Let me explain this better. If I select an element in my score, for example, this rest, you can see that the inspector displays many properties of that rest Gahler, horizontal offset, vertical offset and more. I'm not limited to selecting only rests or notes. I can select, for example, a bar line here it turns blue, indicating that its selected now the inspector shows the properties of the bar line. I can select the cliff. I can select time signature, etcetera. Every element in your score is selectable, and when selected, the inspector shows all the properties off that selected element. It's also possible to change the properties of an element in the inspector. So, for example, the color. Okay, now you see that the time signature is still blue, but that is because it's still selected. When I'm not click here to de select it, it's turned red. The last section is the status bar that can be found at the bottom of the main window when selecting an element. For example, his rest. You see that the status bar displays properties of this at that element. Like the inspector, it also displays information on the moat were in like note input mode or screen capture moat. And so um so. For example, when I go to note input mode so I press and you see it's puts step time note input mode here, some sections can be undocked. This is the case for dip L It's and the Inspector Let me show you that when I click here and I drank the pellets away you see that the pellets section is under I can even resize this section And of course, I conduct it again by dragging it back to its place. And there it is. Inspector is also undock Kable re sizable and it's possible docket again. 3. View menu: the view menu that can be found in the main menu is very useful since it allows us to show our high to several sections of the main vent window the keyboards to mix her two synthesizer and much more. As you can see for the purpose of this lecture, I added a very simple bass guitar melody as we will need it for the explanation of the mixer. So let me first opened a human. You said that you can see what's in it. In the following two areas of this menu, you can enable or disable various section of the main menu and some other windows. You can see that different sections of the main menu are enabled because the cases are checked. The cases that are checked now are checked by default. This is the case for the pellets, the Inspector and the Stages bar. Now, why did two birds is not checked? Well, let me hover with my mouse over the tubers and you see that the different subsections of the tool bars appear and that they are all checked. When you un check. For example, the inspector, then the inspector is not visible anymore in the main window. You can enable the inspector again by checking it again and areas. Okay, I will come back in a moment to the other items in these areas of the view menu. But let me first go to the rest of the items. No, Zoom in and zoom out her self explanatory. So let me go on with documents side by side and documents stacked. When I checked the case next to documents site by site, you see, to score windows next to each other in this way, you can view two different scores at the same time. So, for example, this top let it be here. I have two scores at the same time. Okay. It's, for example, so possible to view the same score. When you score is very long, you can view to different parts of the score. For example, you can also check the documents stacked. What happens is this. So you will not see the two scores next to each other, but displayed one stacked on top of the other. Okay, let me on. Check it for now. Okay. The next area when I uncheck show invisible the invisible elements in this court will not be displayed anymore. Now what do I mean by invisible elements? Let me go to the score. Look, for example, at the fourth quarter time signature here, I can make this time signature invisible so that in the printed and exported versions of the score, this time signature is not displayed. Now. How do I make the time signature invisible, So you first have to select it, which have already done done go to inspector and uncheck visible No, at first sight. You don't see any difference, but that's because the time signature is still selected and defer blue. But when I d. Select a time signature by clicking somewhere else, you see this time signature Great out. The time signature still exists but will not appear on a printed or exported document when I now go back to the View menu and uncheck show invisible, the time signature disappeared from the score. So now invisible elements in the score are really not visible anymore. Even not grayed out show. Unprintable, unprintable elements are line breaks, page breaks, section breaks and spacers. You can see the symbols for those in unprintable elements into palettes section under breaks and spacers. Let me show you Balance section brakes and spacers. This is a line break. Is this a page? Break is a section break and does too Heart spacers, Spacer down, Spacer up now in our score. You see, for example, line breaks here, here and here. So when I know I'm check, show unprintable. You see? That's the line. Breaks have disappeared. Next item show frames frames are used to place blocks of text in your score. In our score, you can see one frame the one that holds two title and composer frames Have a blue desk border, which, by the way, is not printed or exported When you're when you print or export your score. Okay, So when I uncheck show frames into view menu, the blue dished border disappears. Yeah, you know. Okay, let's go back to the View menu. Show page margins. This is by default unchecked. When I check it, you can see that the page margins are shown around our score. Okay, let me I'm chicken again. Okay, Back to the View menu. Full screen. Full screen is by default, unchecked. In my case, it's, however, checked because for the purpose of this lecture. I use full screen mode, but when I uncheck it, see what happens. You see again the task part of windows at the bottom of the screen. Okay, let me put it back into full screen mode again. No, let's go back to this area now because there were still some items that we haven't seen yet . The first item start center just brings up the start center that we already saw in the introduction section of this course. When a chick monster pellets, the master pellet shows up where you have the same items as independents, but with one extra item called symbols in symbols. You have a very large number of special symbols at your disposal that you can add by simply dragging them into your score. So, for example, let me drag just random item No, for example, this one and you can drag it wherever you like. Okay, click the master pill of the wait. Go back to my view menu. The play panel. Well, we saw it again. It just brings up the plate panel that we already saw in part one of this music or course Siri's. So by checking it, you just bring up the play panel when a check navigator, then a navigation area is shown under your score. You can drag the blue rectangle to show different areas off your score, which is especially handy when working with large scores with, for example, several pages. Okay, back to the view menu the mixer. When I check its case, the mixer shows up in the mixer. You can set the volume banning reverb and chorus for each instrument. Individually, you can also mute an instrument or let it play on its own. Just check the so no case you could even set other similar instruments. When clicking here into piano, you can choose between several different pianos. So bright Gemma, huh? Grand electric pianos, roads, harpsichords, etcetera. So we'll click this away, and I will now bring up this synthesizer. Okay to synthesize, Let me start with the first up. The synthesizer allows you to choose the sound fund that issues for playback. Mu score comes with one preinstalled son front that is called fluids are three. This sound from contains more than 200 instrument sounds, including the percussion sounds. For most people, this sound fund will be largely sufficient so there's no real need to add other sound films on the master effects tab. You can adapt the reverb on the tuning tap. You could adept the overall tuning of this synthesizer. That standard is the A with 440 hertz. The two sliders on the right side control the volume for the Metrodome and the overall rate playback Filion affected the View menu. The selection filter. I will explain the selection filter later when we talk about making selections. So let me finally check the last option, which is the piano keyboard. As you see, this brings up the piano keyboard. When I play back our melody, the piano shows that notes plate by highlighting than in blue. So let me play Okay, still, but for now, the piano keyboard can also be used to include notes, as you will see later in the lecture about note input 4. Navigation: navigating three or score is, of course important, especially when you have very large scores. So let's see how to easily navigate three or score in music. Or, first of all, you see that the melody I had, I made it a little bit longer. In fact, I just copied it a few times, So to have a large score for the purpose of this lecture. Okay, first zoom so you can zoom just here in toolbar you consent. It's to, for example, 200% and you see you zoom in. I will put it back to 100%. Other ways to zoom are with control and the plus and the minus button. So when I press control and I president the plus button minus button. So while pressing control breast plus or minus two, zoom in or out you can. Also, while holding control, use your mouse wheel so I press control and I go with my mom as well up to zoom in and down to zoom out. So that's it about zooming. No, to go from one place to another in your score, you can drag the score, just click it and drag to go down. Just scroll with your mouse wheel. This is for a vertical scroll. You can also scroll horizontally. In that case, used the shift button so I will press shift and done. Use my mouse wheel to scroll horizontally. Okay. How to quickly go to a special location? In your score, you can use defined comment. Just use control plus f. And you see that on the bottom of the screen, you have a go to field where you can put for example, the measure. Now I want for example measure. Well, let me say 42. 42 on it goes directly to Measure 42. Now what you see is that it's highlights. The first note in measure 42. It actually select the first note off Measure 42. Okay, I want to go back to measure one. Measure one. You see, the first C is selected. Now, it's not only possible toe find measures. You can also find pages. For example, I want to go to page three, then type P three and you see the first note in page three is selected here. Okay, Page one. I can also go to every hearse, A letter Now what is a rehearsal letter? For the purpose of this lecture? I put some rehearsal, Others you see here a be Where's to see? Here's to see aunt. Here's a d how to put them I will tell it later, but for now it's just to navigate through our score. So how to go to a rehearsal number? Okay, very easy. Just tied the letter off rehearsal number, for example. D. And there we are. It's elects the first note. Elmer, your hair salon marking D. Okay, I want to go back to the beginning, so I will just type one and it goes to my first measure. Then another way to navigate we saw is already. That's the navigator, you know, in the view menu, you can go to the navigator now. It's also handy. You see it also hear the F 12 button is perhaps easier to use, So I will just type F 12 and there's my navigator. And you know, you can drag this blue rectangle to go wherever you want in your score. Okay? This button in the toolbar page view when we said it toe continues view. Look what happens. My score is in continues view. It means you can scroll horizontally to see the whole score. Okay, let me put it back to page view. Okay, Now you see the pages or displayed one next to the other. If I know Goto edit preferences on I choose the canvas tap and go to scroll pages vertically and I click on. OK, look what happens. I cannot scroll vertically through my whole score. You see that? The navigators on the right side. Now you can also scroll by dragging the blue rectangle. Okay, for now, we'll put it back preferences horizontally. Okay, On other way of navigating is from note to note. Let me select this note here. I can go from this notes to the note left by using the arrows arrow to left takes me to to note that just on the left side arrow to the right. One more time to the right eso with those arrows. When we left, I can go from one note to the other. I can also skip a measure. So when I hold control and done, do the arrow to the right. Okay? It goes to the next measure. In this case, it's next note. But when I now do it, I press control and do the right arrow. You see, it goes to the next measure. The first note back left arrow. And we're back to this note now, ofcourse the up and down arrows you can not use because what happens when you do the up arrow now? Well, we saw that already. When entering notes Ah ha, it goes, Ah, half tone up. That's not what we want. We only want the note that is below the A. So, for example, the f that is in the bass guitar. Now you can do that. But pressing the old button and then the aerodrome and then it goes to the note below. This is handy when having courts. I don't have courts here in this score, but let me make one. So I will put it into note input motor, press the end and let me make Okay, Gordon note. Let me make here a seat. Try it. See Court. Andi, I will go out off note in putting amount now and you see Okay, the top note is now select it when I know press bolt and the arrow down button one time one no doubt One more time. I go to the bottom note when I want to go from the bottom. Note to the top note. What I can do is control, plus ELT so press control and Ault herro up and it goes directly to the top note Arrow Down with Control and Ault Breast and it goes to my bottom notes off the court. 5. Customizing MuseScore: um you score is highly customizable to start, let me show you how to customize the tool bars. Every two bar in the toolbar section is undetectable. So, for example, the playback section I can click here, drag it, take it wherever I want here, for example. But you can also place it here, Duckett, on other location in your toolbar section, you can even put it here, for example on the other side. Done etcetera. I will for now. Place it bet Word was You can do that. Of course, with any toolbar into Uber section, for example, etcetera. The pellets section at the left side year is also customizable. First of all, on the down side, you see advanced. That means there are a lot off pallets here. When I click here at choose for basic, they're less pellets. Only the most important ones, the most used once, are present. It's, however, possible to customize even more your pellets. In that case, click here the little plus two at a new workspace. Give the workspace and name I will for now just call it a custom. But of course, you give it a more appropriate name. Click on OK, And what it does you can see here we have the three workspaces, basic, advanced and custom. We're now on custom. It copied actually the workspace we were in before creating the new workspace we were on basic. So we have now the elements that were into basic workspace. Now we could start to customize our own custom work space. You can customize the pellet section by just right clicking an item put Insert new pellets done. Gift your palate and you name. So, for example, my symbols okay and verities. My symbols. Now you can add symbols to your own palette When you click on my symbols. You see, there are no symbols in, so we can add symbols. You can either add a symbol like, for example, this a out of your score. You do that by clicking control shift and then dragging the item. So let me do that. I press control shift and there's my symbol in my palette or otherwise I can also out of the monster palette, for example, in symbols. Well, I can drag for example, this one the tap simply dragging. I don't have to hold control and shift in this case. So you can add as many symbols as you like to your own palette. For example, the most used symbols you would put him in your own parents? No, by right. Clicking the symbol and choosing properties. I can give it a name. So for example, Tab. Okay. Now, when hovering with my mouse, you see that tub appears okay. As I said, you could put as many symbols in here, but dissemble that you lose that use a lot so that you have really your own palette with your symbols. 6. Sp unit - more customizations: First of all, what is an SP unit? Well, to show you this, let me zoom in a little bit into this score. I was put its toe 400% moving a little bit. No, The SP unit is the distance between two lines in a stave. So for example, this Why is this important? It's important because Mu scorer uses this unit for all measure men Sin Muse, score. What I mean by this is look for example in style, General, where you can make a lot off Fine. Joining a lot of custom is ations. You see here, for example, minimum with measure for SP. So that means the unit SP is really used for all the other measures in you score here. Well, let me take something. Everything is in espys. All measurements are counted in ESPYs. Okay, let me go. Get out here. Let me first show you where you can set this sp unit. I go to layout page settings and here in scaling this stuff space sp sp is actually short for spots ume, which is Latin stuff space. It's set now on 1.764 millimeters. You considered an inch click here 0.69 inch and you can adapt it to another amount of inches to another amount of millimeters. As you won't. Of course, this will influence all the utter measure men's and sizes in new score. So if you want to fit more on your paper, for example, you can decrease this staff space. Everything else will decrease also because it because everything is measured in number off s peace. Okay, let me go to get out of here, okay? More customization. When I go to style, I can customize general and text in text. For example, you can customize in this score well. Title Subtitle Composer Lyricist etcetera Fingering dynamics technique Everywhere where you have a text you can set deformed size styles are bold italics or underlining caller offset alignment Everything For every single type of texts you can set this style. General, let me click here you have a lot off settings available. I cannot go through every setting you have to try to make yourself But let me take, for example Well, let me take bar lines. So what can you do? Bar line thickness final bar, Nightline thickness. So every single element is customizable. As I said, you have to go through this yourself. You can customize really everything. Notes collapse arpeggios, beams Tried them out and you will see that you are able toe. Do very many customers ations to customize new escort to your wishes. Now, once you have your customization for your scored ready, you can save it that you get out of here again Go to style Safe style. You give it a name and, um, you square it will save it in an M s file one's safety. You can use it in a new score so you go to style load style You load your style that you're safe before and the style settings that you saved into file will be used for the score Your knowing 7. More customizations - Preferences: more custom is ations can be made in the preferences to go to the preferences. Goto, edit and a here. Click on preferences. Well, I will not do all the taps, but I will do the most useful ones in general. Program Start. You can choose whether to start empty. Continue the last session. Start with new score. You can choose the language. It's no English, but you have plenty of languages that you can use firm. You score photo safe when you forget to safe. You can set mu. Score to Odo safe every two minutes, more or less as you want. Canvas. You can choose the background well. Scroll pages we saw already before. Note input. Now this is important. You can enable median boot, which means when you connect Amedi keyboard, piano, keyboard with meaty. Then you can input your notes. Using a piano keyboard. We will see that later. Color notes outside of usable pitch range. When notes are outside the range of an instrument, they can be colored media remote control. We will see that later. Went talking about median boot. I go to dick to exports. Now you can set the resolution for PNG and pdf files. Shortcuts. You can define your own shortcuts. For example, I will just choose one action, for example, at 16th. Great note. Grace notes. When I click on Define, I can define my own shortcut. It says, Press up to four keys to enter shortcut sequins. No, let me try something. For example. Well, control shift X. Okay. It puts control shift X here, but it says short gut conflicts with swap with clipboard. So when it's conflicts, you will be noticed. So we have to choose another shortcut. So clear it. I click here and choose another one. Okay, let me try another one. Well, let me say control shift plus end. Okay. There seems to be no conflict, so I can click, Add, and it will add this shortcut. There it is. So you can define your own shortcuts. Last step update automatic check for updates. 8. More file operations: basic file operations like opening and saving files, are very much the same in every program. The computer. There are, however, some elements that are specific to muse score and that I'd like to quickly show to you to open a file. You have several options. Of course, you can go to file open. You can also use this Aiken, or you can use the keyboard shortcut control plus O. Another way is to go to the start center in to Start Center. You will see the recent songs you made, which you can open from the start center. Another way is to click on file to hover your mouth on this item open recent, and you see all the reasons songs that you made, which you can then open but simply clicking. To save a song you can go to file. You have several options. Safe, safe as safe. A copy. Safe selection. Save online now safe and safe, as are the same as in every program that you can find on the computer safe. A copy saves a copy off the score you're working on under a different name. While you can stay working and editing your original score safe selection creates a new score and saves it directly made of the current selection. You, mate, Safe online lets you save your score online on you score dot com If you don't have an account, you will be prompted to make an account. Otherwise, you can log into your account, after which a dialect opens, where you can enter the information about to some. Another option is to save a template. You can save template simply. We're going to file and use safe or save as you will. Then go to your templates, Fuller to safe a normal mu score file. Now, how do you find your templates folder? Let me show you that first in preferences. So in the edit menu in the main menu Goto preferences in the general tip, You can see here where templates are sort. You see that this scores are stored here and a templates here. So when you know where your templates folder is, you can simply as I said, go to safe or safe as go to your templates folder and save it there. Now what does this do? It makes that any time when you're open, mu score into start center, let me open to start center into start center. In this section, your template will be loaded that you condone use so into template. You can say, for example, the number of measures or every other element that you want to ads regularly in your scores . You can also create an album. An album is a collection of songs you can use that, for example, to make a songbook to make an album, go to file album, just click on Add score, and you can select the songs you want to have in your album. For example, I will select the three I have here. I can move them up or down, so to make the order I want and what I can do once I've finished to create my album is either print album or I could join scores now joins scores. What does it do? It makes a new show you. It makes a new muse score file with the three or more songs that you have joined together, you can choose to have between the songs, section breaks or page breaks. So that's how you make a new album