MuseScore 2.0 in full screen, showing palettes, inspector, and piano keyboard
|Original author(s)||Werner Schweer|
|Developer(s)||Werner Schweer, Nicolas Froment, Thomas Bonte, and others|
|Initial release||August 2009|
2.1.0 / May 2, 2017
|Written in||C++, Qt|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Available in||48 languages|
|License||GNU General Public License|
MuseScore is a free scorewriter for Windows, macOS, and Linux, comparable to Finale and Sibelius, supporting a wide variety of file formats and input methods. It is released as free and open-source software under the GNU General Public License.
- 1 Features
- 2 History
- 3 Development
- 4 Adoption
- 5 Crowd-sourced engraving projects
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
MuseScore's main purpose is the creation of high-quality engraved musical scores in a "What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get" environment. It supports unlimited staves, linked parts and part extraction, tablature, MIDI input, percussion notation, cross-staff beaming, automatic transposition, lyrics (multiple verses), fretboard diagrams, and in general everything commonly used in sheet music. Style options to change the appearance and layout are available, and style sheets can be saved and applied to other scores. There are pre-defined templates for many types of ensembles. Functionality can be extended by making use of the many freely available plugins.
MuseScore can also play back scores through the built-in sequencer and SoundFont sample library. Multiple SoundFonts can be loaded into MuseScore's synthesizer. There is a mixer to mute, solo, or adjust the volume of individual parts, and chorus, reverb and other effects are supported during playback.
Supported file formats
MuseScore can import MusicXML, MIDI, Band-in-a-Box, Guitar Pro, Capella (in the cap3 format, not CapXML) and Overture formats, as well as its own MuseScore Format and Compressed MuseScore Format. It can export to MusicXML and MIDI file formats. Audio can be exported to WAV, FLAC, MP3, and OGG files, and engraved output can be exported to PDF, SVG, and PNG formats, or it can be printed directly.
Online score sharing
The MuseScore Connect feature allows MuseScore users to publish and share their music online through MuseScore.com. The service allows paying subscribers to share unlimited scores. Free accounts are also available, but users are limited to uploading five scores. The MuseScore Start Center displays featured scores from the website.
MuseScore.com allows playback of a score in any browser supporting the HTML5 audio tag. A score can also be linked to an online video, so that one may follow the sheet music while watching a video featuring that score.
Since May 2014 MuseScore has mobile apps available for iOS and Android which tie into the MuseScore score sharing site. The app can play scores, and allows changing of transposition and part extraction, but does not allow creating or editing scores. There is a free version and a paid-for version (Songbook) with more features.
MuseScore also runs as a portable application. It can be stored on a removable storage device such as a CD, USB flash drive, flash card, or floppy disk, so that it can be run on any compatible computer system.
MuseScore was originally created as a fork of the MusE sequencer's codebase. At that time, MusE included notation capabilities and in 2002, Werner Schweer, one of the MusE developers, decided to remove notation support from MusE and fork the code into a stand-alone notation program. Since then, MuseScore has been under constant active development.
The www.musescore.org website was created in 2008, and quickly showed a rapidly rising number of MuseScore downloads. By December 2008, the download rate was up to 15,000 monthly downloads.
Version 0.9.5 was released in August 2009, which was stable enough for daily or production use, and support for Mac OS X was added. By October 2009, MuseScore had been downloaded more than one thousand times per day. By the fourth quarter of 2010, the number of MuseScore daily downloads had tripled again, and was downloaded 80,000 times per month.
(At the end of 2013, the project moved from SourceForge to GitHub, and continuous download statistics have not been publicly available since then, but in March 2015 a press release stated that MuseScore had been downloaded over eight million times, and in December 2016 the project stated that version 2.0.3 had been downloaded 1.9 million times in the nine months since its release.)
MuseScore 1.0 was released in February 2011. Development has been continuous since then.
A blog post in May 2016 announced that MuseScore 3.0 was under development.
- MuseScore 0.9.5 was released in August 2009. This was the first stable version, as well as the first version to support Mac OS X.
- MuseScore 0.9.6 was released in June 2010. This version introduced many new features, including out-of-the-box support for playback of all instruments based on the General MIDI standard, support for multimeasure rests, initial support for custom key signatures, and the "Save Online" feature connecting to sheet music sharing site musescore.com.
- MuseScore 1.0 was released in February 2011. The milestone release focused on delivering a stable package rather than adding new features to the prerelease versions.
- MuseScore 1.1 was released in July 2011, fixing around 60 bugs and featuring improved jazz sheet support. MuseScore Connect, a feature allowing on-line community interaction and publishing, was also included in this release.
- MuseScore 1.2 was released in March 2012. This version included over 100 bug fixes, improved MusicXML import/export support, and improved support for special characters. It also introduced Marc Sabatella's original composition "Reunion" as the new demo score loaded when launching MuseScore.
- MuseScore 1.3 was released in February 2013 as a small update containing mostly bug fixes.
- MuseScore 2.0 was released in March 2015. A large number of new features were introduced, including full support for tablature and guitar chord diagrams, linked part/score editing, an image capture capability, two new music fonts, and MusicXML 3.0 support.
- MuseScore 2.0.1 was released in May 2015, fixing many bugs and introducing Isaac Weiss's "Getting Started" tutorial score along with several additional templates.
- MuseScore 2.0.2 was released in July 2015, with many bug fixes and new features, including playback of trills and other ornaments. The professional guide "Mastering MuseScore" was published in tandem with this release.
- MuseScore 2.0.3 was released in April 2016 with many bug fixes, and new features including the ability to reorder linked parts, a tool to copy all lyrics to the clipboard, and an AppImage build for all Linux flavors.
- MuseScore 2.1 was released in May 2017 with numerous new features, including real-time MIDI input, a new "Swap" function, and a tool to rewrite rhythms for clearer notation.
In May 2016, MuseScore.org announced that MuseScore 3 is in development. There is no specific release schedule; new versions are released when the developers consider them ready.
MuseScore is free and open-source and is written mainly in C++, with the graphical user interface making use of the cross-platform Qt toolkit. Werner Schweer, Nicolas Froment and Thomas Bonte are the full-time and lead developers of the project, with a wider community also contributing. Google Summer of Code has sponsored students to help develop MuseScore in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017. The development of MuseScore takes place on GitHub.
MuseScore reports over 7,000 downloads per day as of 2016. Many Linux distributions also include MuseScore in their software libraries, such as in the Ubuntu Software Center. MuseScore was also included in the VALO-CD collection, which provides free software for Windows.
Many educational institutions also make use of MuseScore, including Drew University and the Ionian University. The Board of Education of La Seigneurie des Milles-îles in Canada has also made MuseScore available on 10,000 computers across schools in the Milles-îles region in Quebec.
Crowd-sourced engraving projects
Open Goldberg Variations
In 2011, MuseScore launched a Kickstarter campaign to create high-quality, freely available digital score and audio versions of the Goldberg Variations. The process influenced the development of MuseScore 2, with notation improvements needed in order to create a high-quality engraving of the variations. With the fundraising goal met, MuseScore developers, pianist Kimiko Ishizaka, and crowd-sourced reviewers collaborated to create an engraved score and also record a new album, both of which were released under a Creative Commons Zero license (without copyright), meaning they can be downloaded and shared freely. In 2012, at the end of the online public review process, the final engraved score was released for free on MuseScore.com, and printed and bound by GRIN in Germany. Kimiko Ishizaka's recording was released for free on BandCamp.
Open Well-Tempered Clavier
In 2013, a second successful Kickstarter funded the creation of a new edition of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. Once again, the score underwent public review on MuseScore.com, and was recorded by Kimiko Ishizaka, with both score and recordings released into the public domain in 2015.
After hearing from a blind musician who contributed to the Open WTC Kickstarter, MuseScore set up new stretch funding goals to support making music notation more accessible to blind and visually impaired musicians. Though the top goal of automatically converting all scores in the MuseScore.com library to Braille was not funded, they did get funding to create Braille sheet music for both the Goldberg Variations and the Well-Tempered Clavier. The digital files (for Braille terminal) are available for free download, like the standard scores.
- List of scorewriters
- Comparison of scorewriters
- Free and open-source software
- List of music software
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- Prokoudine, Alexandre (29 May 2012). "Open Goldberg Variations: mission accomplished". Libre Graphics World. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "Open Goldberg Variations: The public review for the Open Goldberg Variations Project". musescore.org. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "Bach's Open Goldberg Variations, by Kimiko Ishizaka". Open Goldberg Variations. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "Goldberg Variations Complete (J.S. Bach BWV 988), with score, Kimiko Ishizaka piano". YouTube. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- Prokoudine, Alexandre. "Kimiko Ishizaka and MuseScore team release Open Well-Tempered Clavier". Libre Graphics World. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "Open Well-Tempered Clavier - MuseScore edition". MuseScore.com. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "The Well-Tempered Clavier, by J.S. Bach - Performed on the piano by Kimiko Ishizaka - free, libre, and gratis to download and enjoy". The Open Well-Tempered Clavier. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "Well-Tempered Clavier (J.S. Bach), Book 1, Kimiko Ishizaka, piano". YouTube. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- Douglass, Robert. "Kickstarting open source music and doubling the number of scores for the blind". OpenSource.com. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- Douglass, Robert (23 March 2014). "Braille edition of the Open Goldberg Variations". Open Goldberg Variations. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
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