At times you might find that you need to write a score with notes of different durations on the same stave – that is, two parts that are rhythmically independent. In notation software, writing two parts on one stave is referred to as “voices” or “layers”.
For a quick overview of how to use Voices in MuseScore, you can watch the video below. A video transcript appears below.
Hello, I’m Katie Wardrobe and this is a Quicktips video.
When notating scores, there are times when you’ll need to show two rhythmically independent parts on one stave – particularly in vocal, piano, guitar and drum kit scores. In score writing software, notating two parts on one stave is referred to as using Voices or Layers.
The first voice usually has stems pointing upward and the second voice usually has stems pointing downwards.
Here I have a piano score which uses 2 voices on each of its staves. If I click on the first measure played by the right hand, you can see that the part with stems pointing up is in voice 1 – which is blue. The part with stems pointing down is in voice 2 – which is green. I’ll recreate this example in the next measure so you can see the steps.
First, I’ll enter voice one which is the top part:
Select the measure, and press N for note entry to get started.
Next I’ll select the rhythmic value of the first note by pressing number 5.
I’ll enter the pitch – an F – by pressing the letter F on my computer keyboard. I’ll continue on and enter the remaining notes in the same way.
Now I’m ready to enter the voice 2 part.
I’ll select the first note in the measure to give MuseScore my starting point for voice 2.
Next I’ll press N for note entry, but because I want to enter notes into voice 2, I need to make sure that I click on the voice 2 button on the toolbar. If you don’t click on the voice 2 button you will overwrite your voice 1 part.
You should see the note entry cursor turn green to show you that you’re about to write into voice 2.
Then, I’ll enter the voice 2 notes in the same way – select the rhythmic value first – a half-note – and then enter the pitch by pressing the letter D and then a C.
Thanks for watching. You can find more tips like this one, plus a free MuseScore cheatsheet at musescoretips.com