Open Source Music Notations Software Musescore 3.3 Released!

Brief: Musescore is an open-source software to help you create, play, and print sheet music. They released a major update recently. So, we take a look at what Musescore has to offer overall.

Musescore: A Music Composition and Notation Software

Musescore 3

Musescore is open-source software that lets you create, play, and print sheet music.

You can even use a MIDI keyboard as input and simply play the tune you want to create the notation of.

In order to make use of it, you need to know how sheet music notations work. In either case, you can just play something using your MIDI keyboard or any other instrument and learn how the music notations work while using it.

So, it should come in handy for beginners and experts as well.

You can download and use Musescore for free. However, if you want to share your music/composition and reach out to a wider community on the Musescore platform, you can opt to create a free or premium account on Musescore.com.

Features of Musescore

Musescore 3 Screenshot
Musescore 3 Screenshot

Musescore includes a lot of things that can be highlighted. If you are someone who is not involved in making music notations for your compositions – you might have to dig deeper just like me.

Usually, I just head over to any DAW available on Linux and start playing something to record/loop it without needing to create the music notations. So, for me, Musescore definitely presents a learning curve with all the features offered.

I’ll just list out the features with some brief descriptions – so you can explore them if it sounds interesting to you.

  • Supports Input via MIDI keyboard
  • You can transfer to/from other programs via MusicXML, MIDI, and other options.
  • A Huge collection of palettes (music symbols) to choose from.
  • You also get the ability to re-arrange the palettes and create your own list of most-used palettes or edit them.
  • Some plugins supported to extend the functionality
  • Import PDFs to read and play notations
  • Several instruments supported
  • Basic or Advanced layout of palettes to get started

Some of the recent key changes include the palettes redesign, accessibility, and the not input workflow. For reference, you can check out how the new palettes work:

Installing Musescore 3.3.3 on Ubuntu/Linux

The latest version of Musescore is 3.3.3 with all the bug fixes and improvements to its recent Musescore 3.3 release.

You may find an older release in your Software Center (or your official repo). So, you can either opt for a Flatpak package, Snap, or maybe an AppImage from its download page with links for different Linux distributions.

Wrapping Up

I was quite fascinated to learn about Musescore being an open-source and free solution to create, play, and print sheet music.

It may not be the most easy-to-use software there is – but when considering the work with music notations, it will help you learn more about it and help you with your work as well.

What do you think about Musescore? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • I have used Musescore for a few years now, a brilliant music score program in my opinion, developing and becoming better with each new version. I have previously had problems installing the latest version (Mint 19.2), but use the AppImage, which I find works really well. The only problem I come across is that you have to activate a plugin every time you load the program, it doesn’t seem to keep that setting.

  • we’ve been using musescore for a few years and find it to be excellent! i really appreciate the midi playback since i’m not competent enough to hear what i write. there is a course for musescore too by marc sabatella one of the developers of the program:
    it’s should take someone from zero to hero!

  • We use it with my son. He is the musician, I’m the thechnical :)

    He plays french horn, and it’s very easy to transpose some melody for the horn originally written for flute for example :)
    Even if I don’t know anything about music-internals.
    Just change the instrument on staff/part properties!
    If it’s too high or too low pitched, it requires my son to tell where and how to transpose further…

    It’s also possible to set Musescore to use MIDI output (port audio), so it can drive our Casio CTK 3200, on USB so basically Musescore can play the piano along the horn… Absolutely lovely!!!

  • I’ve been using MuseScore for maybe 10 years now to transcribe sheet music from Concert C to E Flat for my saxes. I started with the first version and now have the second on my Mint 19 install.
    There was a big difference between the first and second versions, much easier to use. I would love to try the third version, but it just comes as an app. I do have a smart phone, but I keep it stupid by denying it access to the web. I have computers for accessing the web.
    I was hoping I might find a .deb file, but apparently not. I tried apt-get, but it only found the version of musescore that I already have installed. What I did find was info that there are problems with this release. So I think what I will do is try the sudo apt-get install musescore thing again in a couple of months hopefully I can get it eventually. Thanks for all the great articles.

    • I don’t like snap/flat/appimage either.
      I’m on Debian 10u2 now. I could install it via
      sudo apt install musescore3
      after I added
      deb http://deb.debian.org/debian buster-backports main contrib non-free
      to the etc/apt/sources.list

      Not sure about Ubuntu/Mint now, but robably you’ll need to look for a ppa to install it conveniently.

      • Thanks for both these answers. I’ve just recently switched from Debian to Mint because Debian stopped maintaining Rednotebook, and that’s a critical program for me. So I’ve never used a ppa and once again I am thinking about switching back to Debian. But I’m writing a novel so I use Rednotebook more than Musescore. I have Debian 10 on another partition, so I will install Musescore3 on that OS. Maybe Ubuntu/Mint will eventually have MuseScore3 in their repositories. Or maybe I will get so tired of everything being green that I will switch back to Debian and put up with Rednotebook the way it is. Thanks for your help.

    • After I sent, I found the ppa for you:
      add-apt-repository ppa:mscore-ubuntu/mscore3-stable
      Can’t try myself, but I think that should work for you ;)

      • I tried this on my Mint 19.2 laptop but got the message – unable to locate package musescore3. A previous terminal instruction stated that musescore3 could not be made available for versions of ubuntu previous to 18.04, however I understand that Mint 19.2 is based on that very version! I have now downloaded the latest AppImage and that seems to work fine.

        • I tried on a Mint 19.2 machine, and after adding the ppa, installation went fine.

          [email protected]:/home/kl# apt install musescore3
          Csomaglisták olvasása… Kész
          Függőségi fa építése
          Állapotinformációk olvasása… Kész
          A következő további csomagok lesznek telepítve:
          libpoppler-qt5-1 musescore3-common
          Az alábbi ÚJ csomagok lesznek telepítve:
          libpoppler-qt5-1 musescore3 musescore3-common
          0 frissített, 3 újonnan telepített, 0 eltávolítandó és 0 nem frissített.
          Letöltendő adatmennyiség: 11,3 MB.
          A művelet után 54,3 MB lemezterület kerül felhasználásra.
          Folytatni akarja? [I/n] i
          Letöltés:1 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic-updates/universe amd64 libpoppler-qt5-1 amd64 0.62.0-2ubuntu2.10 [140 kB]
          Letöltés:2 http://ppa.launchpad.net/mscore-ubuntu/mscore3-stable/ubuntu bionic/main amd64 musescore3-common all 3.2.3+dfsg1-4~ppa1804+1 [3.806 kB]
          Letöltés:3 http://ppa.launchpad.net/mscore-ubuntu/mscore3-stable/ubuntu bionic/main amd64 musescore3 amd64 3.2.3+dfsg1-4~ppa1804+1 [7.368 kB]
          Letöltve 11,3 MB 1mp alatt (10,5 MB/s)
          A korábban ki nem választott libpoppler-qt5-1:amd64 csomag kiválasztása.
          (Adatbázis olvasása … 738240 fájl és könyvtár van jelenleg telepítve.)
          Kibontás előkészítése: …/libpoppler-qt5-1_0.62.0-2ubuntu2.10_amd64.deb …
          Kibontás: libpoppler-qt5-1:amd64 (0.62.0-2ubuntu2.10) …
          A korábban ki nem választott musescore3-common csomag kiválasztása.
          Kibontás előkészítése: …/musescore3-common_3.2.3+dfsg1-4~ppa1804+1_all.deb …
          Kibontás: musescore3-common (3.2.3+dfsg1-4~ppa1804+1) …
          A korábban ki nem választott musescore3 csomag kiválasztása.
          Kibontás előkészítése: …/musescore3_3.2.3+dfsg1-4~ppa1804+1_amd64.deb …
          Kibontás: musescore3 (3.2.3+dfsg1-4~ppa1804+1) …
          Beállítás: libpoppler-qt5-1:amd64 (0.62.0-2ubuntu2.10) …
          Beállítás: musescore3-common (3.2.3+dfsg1-4~ppa1804+1) …
          Beállítás: musescore3 (3.2.3+dfsg1-4~ppa1804+1) …
          Aktiválók feldolgozása: doc-base (0.10.8) …
          Processing 1 added doc-base file…
          Registering documents with scrollkeeper…
          Aktiválók feldolgozása: man-db (2.8.3-2ubuntu0.1) …
          Aktiválók feldolgozása: shared-mime-info (1.9-2) …
          Aktiválók feldolgozása: hicolor-icon-theme (0.17-2) …
          Aktiválók feldolgozása: mime-support (3.60ubuntu1) …
          Aktiválók feldolgozása: desktop-file-utils (0.23+linuxmint6) …
          Aktiválók feldolgozása: libc-bin (2.27-3ubuntu1) …
          [email protected]:/home/kl# cat /etc/os-release
          NAME=”Linux Mint”
          VERSION=”19.2 (Tina)”
          PRETTY_NAME=”Linux Mint 19.2″
          [email protected]:/home/kl#