Cross-platform multi-lingual music composition and notation
  2 reviews

MuseScore is an Open Source (GNU GPL) music notation software that runs on all platforms supported by Qt5 (GNU/Linux, MacOS X, Windows), and is available in over forty different languages. It features an easy to use WYSIWYG editor with audio score playback for results that look and sound beautiful, rivaling commercial offerings like Finale and Sibelius.

Create, play back and print sheet music for free. Features include:
- easy-to-use and customisable interface
- optional dark theme (to focus on the score)
- tours for first-time and returning users
- albums combining multiple scores
- unlimited score length
- unlimited number of staves per system
- up to four independent voices per staff
- score creation wizard and templates
- easy and fast note entry with a (PC) keyboard, the mouse, including
an on-screen virtual (piano) keyboard, or MIDI (step-time, real-time)
- timewise input (moving subsequent notes/rests), also for unmetered music
- half-time and double-time paste commands for copy/paste
- continuous view: focus on the content, scrolling by as an endless
ribbon, undistracted by line breaks or page breaks; switch to page
view to polish up for printing
- timeline view
- automatic part extraction (by staves or voices) and transposition
- advanced transposition: transpose a selected passage to any key,
or by any interval — or even transpose diatonically within the same key
- repeats, including segnos, codas, measure repeats, advanced repeats;
linearisation command to expand repeats
- dynamics, articulations and other expression markings
- playback support for almost all notation elements
- custom text markings
- style rules that apply to the whole score at once
- automatic placement system (smart layout), now even more flexible
- lyrics
- chord symbols
- Jazz notation, including lead sheets and slash notation
- swing and shuffle playback
- integrated sequencer and two software synthesisers (FluidSynth for
SF2/SF3, Zerberus for SFZ), which also can use third-party soundfonts
- single-note dynamics
- mixer for instrument levels and effects
- mixing and panning for individual parts
- percussion notation
- sticking (“fingering” for drummers)
- early music notation
- cross-staff beaming
- import of graphics
- custom key signatures
- additive time signatures
- system dividers
- user-defined score styles
- cutaway staves
- pianoroll editor, edit playback parameters of each note individually
- score comparison tool
- and much more…
Choir features:
- powerful lyrics copy and paste tools
- implode/explode: combine up to four voices on one staff,
then separate to individual staves
- hide empty vocal staves, such as in a piano intro
- figured bass for historical notation
- smart lyrics: unlimited verses, with notes and staves automatically
spaced, and verse numbers automatically aligned
- voice leading checker: download the Check Harmony Rules proofreading
plugin to check for errors in your part writing, according to
standard rules
- part mixer: mute, solo, or change volume of staves to learn
individual lines — settings even apply to MP3 export
Piano features:
- support for solo + piano (add small staff with different instrument)
- support for cadenzas (smaller notes and variable length measures)
- complete notation: pedaling, fingering, cross-staff beaming — you
name it; everything needed to write piano sheet music is here
Guitar features:
- bends, fingerings, and other common guitar notations supported
- add/remove linked staves any time; enter notes on either standard
(pitched five-line) or TAB staff
- percussion/drumset also included
- templates include guitar, tablature, guitar+tablature, rock/pop band
- complete tablature: multiple tab styles available — from note symbols
outside the staff to upside-down strings — and linked standard/tab
staff pairs
- Guitar Pro import: MuseScore can now open files from Guitar Pro, so
you can easily migrate over. Import filters are improving with every
release; GP3, GP4, GP5, GP6, GTP, GPX are currently supported.
- Fretboard diagrams: 21 default chords for every key, and a powerful
editor to create your own — with barre, fret position, and any number
of strings
- multiple or differently shaped dots per string; partial and multiple
barres; ability to not show nut; customisable string/fret distance;
chord symbols for diagrams and saving those to the palette; etc.
- beyond guitar: banjo, mandolin, ukulele, oud; custom string tunings;
even historical lute tablature: MuseScore does them all.
Orchestral features:
- templates for common instrumentations
- custom linked parts (e.g. create choral score from orchestra+chorus):
any change you make to the content of any part is immediately
reflected in the full score — and vice versa
- powerful style controls: edit the formatting of parts and score
independently — or apply the same style to all parts with one click
- one-click transposition: instantly switch between transposed and
concert pitch: sounding pitches stay the same while the written notes
Jazz features:
- templates for Jazz Lead Sheet, Big Band and Jazz Combo
- real “handwritten” Book-style jazz font for text and chord symbols
- formatting tools include adding line breaks every X measures
- instantly switch between transposed and concert pitch
- intelligent chord symbol: chord names are automatically formatted
when you finish typing — plus, they transpose with the notes
- easy slashes: commands to fill bars with slashes — and to turn notes
into rhythmic slashes, and even accent notation above the staff
Marching ensembles features (needs the MDL extension):
- marching band, indoor percussion, front ensemble, drumline and drum
corps (even G bugles); no setup or configuration — select a template,
start writing
Band features:
- diverse templates: concert band, brass band, marching band, battery
and pit percussion — ready out-of-the-box (plus big band for jazz)
- custom linked parts: you can even keep a drumline score linked to a
full marching band score and to individual percussion parts
Most elements in MuseScore are laid out automatically on a “virtual note sheet”, with a near professional-quality layout engine, but can also be positioned manually, giving you total control of every score element’s position. The capabilities of MuseScore can be extended via plugins and extensions, and the growing repository on contains many plugins submitted by users and an active development team.

MuseScore includes a set of sounds that reproduce common instruments (as defined by General MIDI) without taking up a lot of disk space or memory providing full orchestral and band sounds (with the Drumline extension installed this includes marching percussion). The general (non-Drumline) sound font is available as musescore-general-soundfont Debian package, if you wish to reuse it with other synthesisers.) You can also load any sound font you prefer for a wider variety of sounds or for more realism.

MuseScore can import and export MIDI and MusicXML files, and it can also import from Capella and several other programs. MuseScore can export to PDF, PNG, and other graphic formats, to WAV and other audio formats such as OGG Vorbis and MP3, or to GNU Lilypond for an alternative layout and print option.

MuseScore can upload scores to, a score sharing site, and send scrolling sheet music videos to YouTube. In addition to the desktop software, you can rehearse “on the go” with MuseScore mobile apps (which do not support note entry, but many advanced playback functions). Note that all of these are commercial or otherwise non-free offers optionally integrated with, but not part of, the Free notation program. Scrolling video scores feature the notes highlighted in the score as they sound — and highlighted on a virtual piano keyboard below.
Latest reviews
Gitzolinick 1 week ago

This is an old version and it cannot read files done with the 3.6.2 one. It would be nice to update, or keeping the updates going. Thanks

jepe 1 month ago

“AWESOME” is not the whole truth: it is amazing! immense! incredible! brilliant!
MUSESCORE developers open a traditionally closed / separated world to all of us...
we can now think music, analyze and understand music, SEE MUSIC, and create music as we write... just like Mozart did, for example...
this new step really is a great leap, and what we get is NOT the traditional way, cause we enter the terrain of music from a new direction anyway, with instruments in our hands, listening to tons o great music and experimenting,
with MUSESCORE, however, we extend our MODERN access to music and limits don't exists here…
* * * THANKS to the developers * * *