Today I finally decided to learn how to use MuseScore 2 by creating a marching band version of an electronic music track: Jackpot by TheFatRat. MuseScore 2 is a music score editing program, just like Finale or Sibelius, except it’s free. So how good is it?
I started by watching this very helpful series of tutorials, which covered pretty much everything I needed except a few useful shortcuts that I had to look up, such as Shift+S to toggle staccato.
The software itself is very easy to use, within a few minutes I was able to just “type” music. There were a few frustrating moments, but it was mostly my fault, since I have no experience with music editing software.
There is a very useful “Concert Pitch” button, which allows for “transposition-free” editing. I’m a pianist and trombonist, so I always read in C and it would be bothersome to have to transpose all the notes I hear.
With a little bit of fiddling with the page settings, the music sheet is very presentable. It kind of feels like using LaTeX, where everything just “falls into place” and looks beautiful.
MuseScore can accept inputs from a MIDI keyboard. Unfortunately I couldn’t test it with mine, but I will try that in the future. It should make inputting notes even easier.
Another AWESOME feature is the fact that I only had to write the full score and the software was able to export all the different parts in separate .pdf files. They were correctly formatted, which was great and saved me a lot of time.
MuseScore has a built-in MIDI sound player which allows you to listen to your music. The included sounds are pretty great and even take into account dynamics and articulations. This allowed me to record a playthrough of the sheet music (see video below).
All in all, this is a solid program and I highly recommend it for beginners like me who just need to create music scores for a small band. It’s free, easy to use and does the job, what more do you need?
You can download the sheet music I created here.