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FeaturesMuseScore 1.xMuseScore 2.x (trunk)
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General
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Who's it for?Songwriters, adult learners, church musicians, amateur composers/arrangers, instrumental teachers, ... anyone
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What's it for?Composing, arranging, creating lead sheets, simple exercises + tablature
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Types of musicScore and parts, unlimited number of staves
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No. of computers you can install a single copy onUnlimited
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User guideOnline manual, PDF (50 pages)
MuseScore in 10 steps video tutorials
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Technical helpExcellent community support at http://musescore.org/en/forum
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ImportMuseScore, MusicXML, MIDI, Kar, Band in a Box, Bagpipe Player, Overture, Capella, ABC plugin
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ExportMuseScore, MusicXML, MIDI, wav, flac, ogg, pdf, png, ps, svg, ly + mp3
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SourceOpen Source (GPLv2)
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Available forWindows XP/Vista/7/Portable, Mac OS 10.4+, Linux
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Languages45 and countingEnglish only
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Notations
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AccidentalsNormal, double, quarter-tones, bracketed
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ArticulationsFull set
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Bar numbersRange of formats
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Barline typesSingle, double, repeat, dotted, winged
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Bars, irregularYes
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Beams, cross-staff (in keyboard music)Yes
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Beam/rest groupingsCustomizable
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Brackets & bracesCustomizable
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Change transposition of tranposing instrumentsYes
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Chord symbols (appearance and MIDI/text input)Customizable, text input
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Cue (small) notesYes
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Dotted notesSingle, Double
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Figured BassNoYes
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Guitar chord diagramsNoYes
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Guitar scale diagramsNo
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Guitar tabNoFull
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InstrumentsFull customizable range
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Jazz articulationsNofalls, doits
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Lines, customYes
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Multi-arc slurs2 arcs
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Multirests (required in parts)Yes
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Note values64th to "long" (double breve)
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Noteheads, customYes
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Ossia stavesNo
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Page numbersCustomizable
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Repeat bars
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SlursDefault appearance, 4 control points customization
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Special symbolsYes
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Split multirest in parts
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StavesUnlimited number
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Stemlets (half-stems) and ‘feathered’ beamsNofeathered' beams
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TupletsAny, nested tuplet
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Playback
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Edit MIDI dataLimited (velocity, noteon, noteoff)
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Built-in soundsGM soundfont, customizable
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MetronomeNoYes
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Live Tempo (conduct playback by tapping)No
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Playback markings on specified repeatsNo
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Playback of hairpins, rits & accelNoYes
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Playback of fermatasNoYes
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Words which affect playback (e.g. legato)Limited (arco, mute)
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ReWire (sync with your sequencer/DAW)Jack support
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Supports VST/AU virtual instrumentsVia Jack
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Supports VST/AU effectsVia Jack
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Supports HyperControl for M-Audio keyboardsNo
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Utilities
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Arrange - automatic arranging & orchestrationNo
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Auto page breaksNo?
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Comments (‘sticky’ notes)No
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Copy and paste to Word and other programsNoYes
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Display timecodeNo
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Display duration of scoreYes
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Dynamic partsNoYes
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Edit word menusNo?
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Export a log of changes to a scoreNo
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Export lyrics as text fileNo
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Export to previous versionNo
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Explode & reduceNot directly but possible
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Filters (for editing similar objects)Yes
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FindYes measure number
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Focus on stavesNo
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Graphics export (for e.g. creating worksheets)Yes, PNG export or Snippet pluginYes
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Hide markingsYes
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Highlight musicNo?
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Ideas HubNo
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Join scores togetherNo
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Import MusicXML filesYes
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Instrument changesYes, for a part onlyYes, anywhere in a score
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Keyboard shortcutsCustomizable
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Lyric verses allowedUnlimited
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Lyrics from text fileYes
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MenusFixed, except plugins
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MIDI file exportType 1 GM only
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Note input options (various)Customizable
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Panorama (scroll view)No
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Paper & desk texturesshipped with 4, illimited
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Part extractionYes
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Paste As CueNo
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Plug-ins (over 130 of them)Yes, a dozen
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Properties window (to edit individual objects)Yes
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Rehearsal marks Fully customizable
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Reinput pitches of existing notesNoYes
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Repeat structures
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