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FLOSS Friday: MuseScore

March 8th, 2010

Today we look at a software tool for a more specialized audience: MuseScore.  For those who need to create musical scores for distribution, education, or simply composition, you know that the world of score editing software offers many expensive solutions.  For you, I present MuseScore.

MuseScore is cross platform, and has installers/executables for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.  I’m not a musician, and can’t read music, but based on the screen shots the software looks feature rich and capable of producing nicely formatted output.

Here, for instance, is the main screen:

Muse Score Main Window

Simply having screen output is not sufficient, so you’ll want to have many options for the printed output.  Here are the print settings:

Muse Score Page Settings

And, to make creating new scores easy, there’s a handy wizard interface.  Below is just one step of those available in the wizard:

Muse Score New Score Wizard

With FLOSS, it’s important to have a community that can provide help with problems, whether installing, using, or configuring the software.  MuseScore has an active forum section, as well as a respectable end user document in both HTML and Adobe Acrobat (aka PDF) formats.

As is pretty much a requirement for software these days, MuseScore allows for plugins.  The plugin library is not extensive, but what’s there seems really useful.


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