Mastering MuseScore

Posted by on Jan 15, 2018 in Education, Slider

Creating Jazz/Rock Charts with MuseScore

The World’s Most Popular (Free!) Notation Software


A Two-Day Workshop

Saturdays, February 17 & 24 :: 1:00 – 5:00 pm


Instructor: Marc Sabatella, MuseScore Director of Education

Denver School of the Arts :: 7111 Montview Blvd., Denver, CO 80220


Course Summary

Students will learn how to use the free and open source music notation software MuseScore on their own laptops to create professional-quality charts for jazz and rock bands.  This is an intensive hands-on workshop that will feature demonstrations, structured exercises, and real-world projects for students to complete with help and feedback from the instructor.  Copies of the comprehensive guide Mastering MuseScore will be available at a discount.

MuseScore is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, and it can downloaded from beforehand if desired.  Assistance with installation is also provided on location for those needing it.

This workshop is presented in two half-day sessions.  The first session focuses on the basics of using MuseScore, with the goal of producing a lead sheet.  The second session continues on to more advanced topics, with the goal of producing a combo arrangement.

Session 1:

  • Installation
  • Overview
  • Score setup
  • Note input and editing – notes, rests, tuplets, navigation, selection, copy/paste, etc.
  • Other score elements – clefs, key & time signatures, repeats, dynamics, text, etc.
  • Writing for jazz / rock basics: chord symbols, lyrics, etc.
  • Playback and audio basics
  • Page layout basics – page and staff size, line breaks, measure stretch, etc.
  • Printing and graphics
  • Sharing online
  • Project: lead sheet with melody, chord symbols, and lyrics

Session 2:

  • Staves and instruments
  • Transposition
  • MIDI input
  • Writing for jazz / rock horns – articulations, Re-Pitch mode, explode/implode, etc.
  • Writing for jazz / rock rhythm section – slash notation, drum notation, guitar notation, etc.
  • Playback and audio advanced
  • Page layout advanced – frames, spacers, style settings, staff/measure properties, etc.
  • Manual adjustments
  • Working with linked parts
  • Customizations – palettes, shortcuts, templates, etc.
  • Project: arrangement for combo with horns & rhythm section


Marc Sabatella sml

Marc Sabatella is the Director of Education for MuseScore, the world’s most popular music notation software. Marc is one of the co-developers of the program and the author of the comprehensive guide Mastering MuseScore.
Marc is recognized worldwide as a pioneering music educator. He is the author of the classic free online reference A Jazz Improvisation Primer and other resources presented on his site Outside Shore Music, dating back to the very early days of the Web. Marc has also earned a place in jazz history as a transcriber and editor for the acclaimed Real Book series of fakebooks from Hal Leonard.
Based in Denver, Marc is a respected jazz pianist and composer, known for his groundbreaking work with string quartet and other creative ensembles. In addition to his long run as the house pianist and bandleader at the historic jazz club El Chapultepec, Marc has headlined at Dazzle and virtually all other area jazz clubs over the years. He has worked with the area’s top players as well as famous jazz greats such as Bobby Shew, John Fedchock, Charles MacPherson, and many others. Marc has released a number of recordings as a leader in addition to appearing as a sideman with Keith Oxman, Fred Hess, and Hugh Ragin.
Marc holds a master’s degree in composition from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, where he taught jazz theory and improvisation for over ten years. Marc also teaches privately, at Regis University, and for the Colorado Jazz Workshop.