This is the third video in a 10-part series which takes you through the steps of setting up a new score. Each video focuses on one part of the score-creation process: navigation around the MuseScore screen, note entry methods, inserting repeat bars and creating codas and more. These videos are a great place to start if you’re a new user looking for MuseScore help.
Welcome to Part 3 of Musescore in 10 Easy steps: note entry basics.
In the first tutorial we set up the basic elements of our score using the New Score Wizard. Today we’ll look at a couple of different ways you can enter notes into your score.
Before we do anything, we need to tell Musescore where we want to start entering notes. I’ll select bar one and press the letter N – this tells Musescore to go into Note Entry mode and a cursor appears, just like the cursor in a word processing document.
You can confirm that you’re in note entry mode by taking a look at the bottom right-hand corner of screen.
Next, we need to select the rhythm using the buttons across the top here. My first note is a dotted crotchet (or quarter note) so I’ll select crotchet and then the dot. To create the note I’ll click with the mouse on the correct line or space on the stave. You can probably tell that this method is going to be very slow so let’s look at the better way to enter notes:
Each rhythmic note value up here is represented by the numbers 1-9. If I was to press the number 4 on my computer keyboard the quaver is selected. Number 5 selects the crotchet. Number 6 selects the minim and so on.
You can either use the numbers that appear above the letters on your computer keyboard, or better still, you can use the numeric keypad to the right of your keyboard. The next note I want in my piece is a crotchet (or quarter note), so I’ll press the number 5, and now all I need to do is type the letter name of the note I want using the letters on my computer keyboard.
I need an F sharp, but I only need to type the letter F, because the sharp is in the key signature.
Next I’ll change to a quaver by pressing number 4 and type the letter E. And then back to crotchet F sharp and quaver G. I can continue to enter notes using the touch-typing method which is much quicker than picking up the mouse.
The rhythmic value you choose remains selected until you alter it, so to enter this passage of quavers here, I only need to select quaver once at the beginning of the phrase.
If I make a mistake there are a few things I can do:
- First of all, I could simply undo my last action by using the universal shortcut Ctrl+Z (or Command+Z on a Mac) and then I can re-enter the note.
- Alternatively, if I just entered the wrong pitch, I can move the note up or down using the arrow keys on my computer keyboard until I get to the correct note.
In the next bar, I want to enter an A above middle C. You’ll notice that Musescore automatically places the A below the staff, because that is the A that is closest to the previous note I typed. Rather than use my arrow key to move the A up an octave step-by-step, I can jump up the octave all in one go by pressing Control and the up arrow (or Command and up arrow on a Mac). Then I can finish off the phrase as before.
So let’s recap the steps to enter notes:
- Click on the bar (or rest) where you’d like to start inputting notes
- Press N (to enter “note entry” mode)
- Select the rhythmic value of the note you need using the numbers on your computer keyboard
- Type the letter name of the note using the letters on your computer keyboard