This is the fourth video in a 10-part MuseScore tutorial 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 tutorial 4: Note entry with a MIDI keyboard and playback of your score.
In the last tutorial we looked at the method for entering notes into your score using a mouse, and the speedier method of using your computer keyboard to select note values and pitches. Today we’ll look at a third method, which involves a MIDI keyboard. If you do happen to have a MIDI keyboard you may find this method the fastest of all, although it’s a good idea to be familiar with the computer keyboard method for the times you’re away from your MIDI keyboard.
Before we get started, here are a couple of setup tips:
- Before you launch MuseScore you should plug your MIDI keyboard into your computer and make sure that it’s switched on. Then you’re ready to launch MuseScore
- Next, take a look at the top of your screen and make sure that the Enable MIDI input and the Enable Sound While Editing buttons are pressed
Now we’re ready to enter notes.
Essentially the method is the same: we’ll start off by selecting the bar or rest where we want to start entering notes. Next, press the letter N to go into note entry mode. Then I’ll select a rhythmic value using the numbers on my computer keyboard. I need a dotted crotchet so I’ll select crotchet by pressing 5 and then I’ll press the dot.
Next, I need to select the pitch of the note but instead of using the letters on my computer keyboard, this time I’ll press the note D on my midi keyboard. I can continue in this way, selecting rhythmic values on my computer keyboard and playing the pitches on my midi keyboard until all the notes are entered. This method is fast because I can instantly choose the correct octave for the notes I’m entering.
If you’d like to play your MIDI keyboard to test something out, without writing notes into your score you can turn off MIDI input temporarily by de-selecting the Enable MIDI Input button at the top of the screen. Turn it on again when you’re ready to enter more notes into your score.
Next I’d like to hear my score so that I can check the notes I’ve entered. I’ll press the play button at the top of my screen so that MuseScore enters Play mode and my score starts playing from the beginning. I can click on the Pause button to pause playback at any time but I can also use the spacebar to start and pause playback without using the mouse.
If you want some more playback options you can go to Display > Play Panel. There are options here for adjusting the volume level of your score and increasing or decreasing the tempo. You can also alter the position of the playback line using this slider.