PlayScore For Windows Help

PlayScore For Windows Help2024-04-14T17:19:02+00:00

PlayScore Professional

PlayScore is designed to play and export a wide range of score types. However there are types not supported at this time. Please see Excluded score types below for more details.

If you experience any kind of problem with PlayScore feel free to email us for support on  We provide a quick support service and normally reply the same day.

With any problem to do with scanning results please attach the PlayScore document.  From the Play screen choose Save and email to us.

DO NOT send us screenshots, MusicXML, MIDI PDF scores or images. A PlayScore document contains all these and more besides.

In PlayScore you work with PlayScore Documents.  Whenever you open a PDF or an image, PlayScore creates a PlayScore document.  A PlayScore document is like a PDF, but specialised for music, and playable.  You can share a PlayScore document with others who will be able to play it using the free PlayScore player.  They can do this under Windows as well as on iOS and Android phones and tablets.

There are two Documents screens: Samples and Recents. When you first open PlayScore you will see the screen below showing a collection of example scores.  This is the Samples screen.  The Recents screen shows recently opened documents.  You can change between Samples and the Recents screen by clicking the commands on the left.   Documents screens allow you to view documents, search and sort.   The Documents screen is also where you open documents and where you create new ones.

On the Documents screen each document is represented by a thumbnail showing the first page, together with other information such as size, title and composer.

As you work with a score, all your choices and settings are kept together in the document.  When everything is as you want it you can lock the document to prevent accidental modification.  You can export documents to others who can open them using the free PlayScore player from Windows as well as on iOS and Android phones and tablets.

NB All Documents are stored on disk.  The icons in Recents are shortcuts.  If you delete the shortcut you remove it from the Recents screen but the document itself is not deleted.  You can’t delete the document file itself from within PlayScore.  This must be done using Windows File Explorer.  To see the location of the file itself, hover the mouse over the shortcut, or view Document info.

Tip: It can be useful to let documents accumulate in Recent because it makes scores easy to find by sorting on title or composer.  You remove individual document shortcuts from Recent by right-clicking the shortcut and choosing Remove from recent, or you can remove all Recents with the Clear command.

The View dropdown upper right lets you set the size of the document thumbnails.  You can also sort on the title, composer or path.

When you click on a document it will open in the Play Screen.

The Play Screen

The play screen shows the music, and all the controls you need to work with the document.  Notice the commands on the left and the play panel along the bottom.  Also notice the red line marking the beginning of the first measure of music.

The Play screen shows your music, whether from a PDF score or from a series of images.  Just like a plain PDF, you can scroll through the document.  The view controls upper centre provide a range of viewing options.  You can zoom in and out, and fit the music to the window width.  By making the window taller than it is wide you can play while viewing several pages at a time.

To play, tap Play or tap a measure to play from that point.  You can change the tempo using the long slider at the bottom of the screen, adjust the volume Volume or turn on the metronome/count-in .

Tip: to stop playing double click anywhere on the music.

By default playback uses the piano sound font.  Other instruments are available from the Staff settings screen.  You can set instruments and volume staff-by-staff and experiment with different orchestrations.

To lock a document click the lock symbol Lock.  When a document is locked, settings can’t be changed by accident.  In the free PlayScore player all documents are locked.  Only PlayScore Professional can unlock a document.

A locked document can always be played.  You can change the tempo, set a count-in and create loops.  But a locked document can’t be changed otherwise.  You won’t be able to add more pages, control parts, instruments or transposition without unlocking.

To create a new document you can

  • Click New document on the left of the Documents screen.  From the Open dialog navigate to your PDF, select it and click Open, or
  • Right-click over any PDF score and choose Open-with, and then PlayScore

Either way, PlayScore shows you all the pages of your PDF in a scrollable thumbnail view.  This is called the Page selector You can select any continuous page range.

Select PDF

  • Click just above a page thumbnail to make it the first page
  • Click just below the page you want to be the last

PlayScore selects the first 10 pages by default, so if the score is short just click done.

Once you click Done PlayScore opens the Play screen and the music is ready to play.


You can go back to the Page selector any time by choosing Select pages

Tip: it is best to select one song or movement at a time rather than a whole book of songs or a whole work – see Page ranges

Tip: You can include title pages in your selection.  If you do this the title page will show in the document thumbnail.  Playback will simply skip non-music content.


PlayScore can follow changes of time, clef and key.  It can follow the change from one song of movement to another.  However PlayScore uses context information to improve accuracy and playback.  In some cases, results can be better if you create separate documents for each song or movement.  Another good reason for doing this is that the MusicXML standard makes no provision for changes of movement within a single MusicXML file.

Just as it is better to keep separate movements separate, it is also best to scan the whole of a movement.  PlayScore can play from a single page in the middle of a piece; it can work out the time signature if missing from the image.  But PlayScore works from the whole information rather than measure by measure or page by page.  If you find results disappointing with a page on its own, you will probably find the accuracy improves when PlayScore can see the whole movement.

To create a new document based on images you can

  • Click New document on the left of the Documents screen.  From the Open dialog navigate to your music.  The image you select will be the first page of your score.  Or
  • Right-click on a JPG, PNG or BMP image file and choose open-with, and then PlayScore

In either case PlayScore shows the music in the Play screen.

To add more pages, choose Add Page on the Play screen.

Tip: you can used right-click context menus for actions like Insert page, Delete page, Rotate page.

PlayScore supports image types JPG, PNG and BMP.

Reorder Pages

If you make a mistake adding pages from images, or you get them out of order, either

  • Use the right-click context menu Insert page, or
  • Tap  to open the Reorder pages screen.  From here you can drag pages to the desired position

Once you have created a document, whether from a PDF score or from separate images, use Save to store it in your file system.

All PlayScore documents have the extension .playscore.

Documents you save are added to Recent.

To export a score in the MusicXML format choose Export and then Export as MusicXML.

MusicXML is better than MIDI for most purposes.  If you have been used to using MIDI files in the past consider MusicXML.  Always use MusicXML to open scores in notation programs such as Dorico, MuseScore, Sibelius and Finale.

For practice tracks see Creating practice tracks below.

We recommend that you don’t use MIDI files for practice tracks – see Creating practice tracks below..

MIDI files are not suitable for score writers like Dorico, MuseScore, Sibelius or Finale.  For these use MusicXML instead.

To export a score in the MIDI format choose Export and then MIDI.

Use Staff settings to control how the music sounds in playback.  The changes you make on the Staff settings screen also control how an exported MIDI file sounds when you play it using the Windows Media Player and other MIDI players.

Midi Settings

Staff settings affect only playback and MIDI.  They have no effect on MusicXML exports.  To change how MusicXML sounds when exported to a notation editor like Dorico, MuseScore Sibelius of Finale, adjust the settings there.

On Staff settings, you will find a group of controls for each staff.  The number of groups depends on the number of staves in the music.

Instruments: Choose from one of 19 instruments

Note that selecting an instrument does not imply a transposition, even if the selected instrument is a transposing instrument.  Instrument selection affects the timbre only.  The advantage of separating instrument sound from transposition is that you can change the instrument sound freely.  For example you might want to see what a string quartet sounds like when played on wind instruments.

For transposing instruments see Transposition below.

Volume: Adjust volume for that staff.  You can mute a staff by moving the control all the way to the left.  To adjust the volume of parts written two-to-a-staff see Split staves under Document settings below.

Transposition: Using the [+] and [-] buttons you can change the pitch through two octaves in either direction.

Tip: Don’t use these transposition controls to accommodate a transposing instrument playing with piano or other instruments.  To do this turn on Auto transpose under Document settings.

The only time you should set a transposition on the Staff settings screen for a transposing instrument is where

  • The music is single-staff, that is just your part on its own without accompaniment
  • You want to transpose a whole setting, for example to accommodate your vocal range

Choose Document details to edit the name of the document and the composer.

PlayScore will initially set a document name based on the name of the original PDF or image.  The composer field will remain blank until you fill it in.  The name and composer make it easier to find a document in Recents.

Document settings are accessible from the Play screen and apply to the current document only.  Any settings you adjust here travel with the document and do not affect other documents.

Document settings

Dynamic range

Dynamic range applies to playback in the app and MIDI export. It does not affect MusicXML export.

Adjust Dynamic range to control how lightly or heavily dynamics such as f and p sound.  Move the slider all the way to the left to suppress dynamics altogether. At the right end the dynamics are fully applied.

Play repeats

Play repeats applies to playback in the app only and controls whether or not repeats in the music are observed.

Turn this setting off to suppress all repeats.  The music will be played as if the repeats were not there.

Auto transposition

Auto transposition applies to both playback and export.

Turn Auto transposition on if any parts in the score are written for transposing instruments such as the clarinet. Set Auto transposition if any staff in the score has a key signature different from the other staves.  If the score calls for transposing brass you may also need to turn on Lyrics and text – see Transposition below.

Split staves

Split staves applies to playback in the app and MIDI export. It does not affect MusicXML export.

Set Split staves if you need to separate voices written two-to-a-staff.  See Separating parts below


Swing applies to playback in the app and MIDI export. It does not affect MusicXML export.

Turn on swing for scores intended to be played in the swing idiom.

Swing can also be used to give music by such composers as Hotteter the inégale style.

Lyrics and text

Lyrics and text applies to MusicXML export.  It is also required for playback features that require the recognition of text.  These are multi-measure rests and some scores with transposing instruments – see Transposition below

Turn on Lyrics and text if you want text in the score to be exported in MusicXML along with the music.  This includes lyrics, chord symbols and directions such as Allegro.  Dynamics such as mf and hairpins do not require the Lyrics and text setting.

Because PlayScore allows you to adjust the volume of each part in the music independently it is ideal for creating practice tracks.  Because you can adjust volumes freely you can play your part on its own, or standing out from the others.

Music with one part per staff

From the Play screen choose Staff settings from the left-hand panel.  On the Play and MIDI settings you will see a group of controls for each staff (staff 1 is the top staff).  Use the volume controls to adjust relative volumes to bring out your part as you want it.

Tip: another good way to make a part stand out is to give it to an instrument other than the piano.  The clarinet or oboe work well for voice parts.

Music with two parts per staff

Some multi-part vocal music, and some orchestral parts are written with two parts to each staff. This is common in barbershop quartets but can also occur in hymns and in musical theatre.

  • From the Play screen, tap Document settings and turn on the Split staves option
  • In Staff settings, adjust the upstem and downstem volumes as desired

Sometimes two-per-staff music is printed with the two parts corresponding to upper and lower heads on the same stem.  In this case the volume controls apply to the upper and lower heads respectively.

Tip: You might find you need a little time to get ready after you click Play to start the music.  To have PlayScore count you in click on and set the number of measures using the [+] button.

A Music-minus-one score is a PlayScore 2 document with one part (usually the solo part) muted. Music-minus-one lets you practice your solo part to an accompaniment.

From the Play Screen choose Staff settings.  To mute the solo part move the corresponding staff volume control all the way to the left.

Tip: You might find you need a little time to pick up your instrument after you click Play to start the music.  To have PlayScore count you in click on and set the number of measures using the [+] button.

PlayScore is designed to allow the musical director of a choir or ensemble to create practice resources for singers and players.  Play-my-part and Music-minus-one arrangements can be shared with others free.  The director needs a subscription to make the practice scores, but the singers/players can play and interact with them free using the free PlayScore player.

  • Once you have scanned the music, save it as a PlayScore document four times (or more) giving each document a filename reflecting the voice part
  • Now open each document in turn (or in separate PlayScore windows) and adjust part volumes for each voice as appropriate (see Play-My-Part)
  • When everything is as you want it, lock each document (click lock symbol), save it, and email the .playscore files to the musicians

Your ensemble members should first download the PlayScore player free on their Windows, iOS or Android device.  When they receive your email the attachment will open in PlayScore. The score will play with the part volumes and instruments you set.

The procedure for opening a PlayScore document is slightly different depending on the device (Windows, iOS or Android).  In each case it follows the normal conventions for that device.  You will find more detailed instructions for non-Windows devices in the help on this site for the device concerned.

Creating MIDI tracks

PlayScore 2 documents are best way to create practice tracks for any device.  But if for some reason a MIDI file is required, simply follow the instructions in Exporting MIDI above.  Your part settings will be saved to each MIDI file just as it is in a PlayScore document.

On most devices the recipient can play the MIDI just by tapping or clicking with the mouse.

There are several sorts of transposition.  It is important to understand the type of transposition you want.

You might need to apply a transposition for several reasons:

  • You want to make the music sound higher or lower
  • You want to accommodate a score that contains transposing instruments with differing key signatures
  • You want to change the written key of your music

Each of these situations is different:

Making music sound higher or lower

Suppose you want to make the music play in a different key, so that it will suit your voice better, or to make a piano part sound right when you read a solo part on a transposing instrument like the clarinet.  To do that, use the Staff Settings screen to transpose all the staves up or down by the same interval.

You would also use this method to make a solo clarinet part to sound at the same pitch as the clarinet.

  • From the Play screen click the Staff Settings command on the left panel
  • Use the Transpose control to move ALL the staffs up or down by the same amount and return to the Play screen

As an example, suppose you have a song with piano accompaniment written for a non-transposing instrument (eg voice), and you want PlayScore to accompany you on your Bb clarinet.  Because every note on the Bb clarinet sounds a tone lower than written, you should transpose the music down by two semitones,  then the piano, played by PlayScore will accompany your clarinet in the same key.  Note that the music still looks the same.  PlayScore 2 just plays it lower to match your Bb clarinet. You might also want to mute the solo part so that PlayScore plays the accompaniment and you play the solo.

The score has transposing instruments (with different key signatures)

Normally PlayScore 2 assumes that all staves have the same key signature.  This assumption helps PlayScore 2 read poor quality scores, but it doesn’t work when there are transposing instruments.  To handle scores with transposing instruments correctly:

  • From the Play screen go to Document settings
  • Set the Auto transposition switch to on

Note that when you set Auto transposition, the transposition controls on the Staff settings screen are greyed.  These two sorts of transposition are for different situations.  They are not used together.

Tip: when you turn on Auto transposition it is a good idea also to turn on Lyrics and text.  This helps PlayScore to determine transposition keys for instruments written without a key signature.  Horns and trumpets traditionally play from music written without key signature, and their parts often appear in scores the same way.

Changing the written key

This is different from either of the situations above.  In this case the aim is to transpose the notation for the music, for a human to play.  The best way to do this is to export the music as it stands as MusicXML, and use a notation editor like Dorico, MuseScore, Sibelius or Finale to transpose the music.

  • Create a PlayScore document of the music you wish to render in a new key
  • Go to Export and Export as MusicXML
  • Open the MusicXML in a notation editor such as Dorico or MuseScore
  • Apply the desired transposition.  In MuseScore this can be done simply by selecting the music and dragging it to the new key

Instruments that transpose at the octave

By convention, several instruments play an octave higher or lower than the written notation.  The guitar for example plays an octave lower as does the double bass.  The piccolo plays an octave higher.

If Lyrics and text is turned on and the instruments are labelled, PlayScore will apply the octave transposittions.

To change the instrument sound for a staff go to Staff Settings and select the instrument you want from the dropdown,

Note that selecting an instrument does not imply a transposition, even if the selected instrument is a transposing instrument.  Instrument selection affects the timbre only.  The advantage of separating instrument sound from transposition is that you can change the instrument sound freely.  For example you might want to see what a string quartet sounds like when played on wind instruments.

For transposing instruments see Transposition below.

PlayScore will recognise multi-measure rests, but only if Lyrics and text is turned on in Document settings.

Some scores, especially vocal and orchestral scores are written in compact format.  In compact format, only the instruments or voices involved in a particular part of the music are represented in the score.  For example, if a passage is written for woodwind only, the staves for the strings and brass may be omitted for one or more systems.  This makes the score easier to read; when the other instruments come back, their staves come back too.

PlayScore supports compact scores as long as there is at least one system somewhere in the score in which all instruments are represented.  Normally but not always this is the first system.

With a compact score, what you will see on the Staff settings screen is a set of staff controls reflecting this ‘comprehensive’ system, wherever it is in the piece.

Tip: to scan a compact score it is vital that the whole movement (especially the first system) is included.

Tip: in compact scores PlayScore uses many factors to work out which staves marry up over systems.  To help PlayScore in this complex task it helps to have Lyrics and text turned on in Document settings. If there are transposing instruments Auto-transposition must be turned on.

The Document details screen allows you to set title and composer for the document.  You can use these fields to search Recents.

When you save a document PlayScore creates a Windows filename by concatenating the title and composer.

Tip: PlayScore always creates a default document name based on the original PDF or image name, so setting a title and composer in Document details is optional.

PlayScore is regularly updated, and most updates include improvements to the app’s Optical Recognition engine.

When PlayScore updates itself, it does not normally reprocess your existing scores.  That means you will only see improvements in documents you create after the update, not in those created before.


You can easily reprocess an existing document.  Just open the document and choose Reprocess.  After that, playback will reflect the latest updates.

PlayScore is designed to play and export a wide range of score types.  However there are types not supported at this time.  Please see Excluded score types below for more details.

Many problem can be overcome by adjusting the three controls in the Advanced section at the end of the Settings screen

Error correction – As it scans a piece, PlayScore looks for likely misreads and errors and attempts to correct them.  Sometimes something that is actually correct can get ‘corrected’.  If you try turning off this setting and it turns out it was not the problem, be sure to turn it back on.

Sampling (PDF only) – move this slider right to look at the score in extra detail.  The centre setting is automatic and usually best, but this control is worth trying if you are getting poor results.  Especially in dense scores or scores with a lot of staves on a page, such as an orchestral score.

Image (PDF only) – This darkens (left) or lightens the image. If you are working with a faint photocopy it may help to move the slider to the left.  It may also help with some modern computer score layouts which can have very thin lines and stems.  Again the centre setting is automatic and usually best.

Common problems

The following are some common problems and their solutions.

ProblemUsual reasonSolution
Skipping in playbackScore is faint or patchyIn Document settings, move the Image slider to the left.  If possible obtain a better image of the score
Staves play separately when they should play togetherThe system barline (the vertical line on the left joining the staves) is broken or faint(1) If possible obtain a better image or blacken in the connecting system line

(2) in Document settings, move the Image slider to the left to darken the image

Staves or systems play together where they should play separatelyPlayScore thinks they are joined: the left hand side of the score is dark or in shadow or systems lie very close together(1) Obtain a lighter image

(2) use the masking facility to mask out anything that could be joining the staves.

(3) move the Image control to the right to lighten the image

Missed notes in dense parts of the scoreClosely written music is denseMove the Sampling slider to the right
The last page contains a single system and is otherwise blank and does not play correctlyTry cropping the parts of the page not containing music Crop
The same note name appears on the same beat twice with different accidentals (false relation) but one of the accidentals is missed (e.g. C and C# on the same beat)PlayScore is misscorrecting the musicTurn off Error correction
Generally inaccurate playThe image may be low resolution, or printed in a novelty font intended to look handwrittenTry moving Sampling to the right.

Images smaller than about 1.5Mb may be in low resolution

Transposing instruments with different key signatures are not being correctly transposedAuto-transpose is offTurn Auto-transpose on

If that doesn’t help turn on Lyrics and text too

Lyrics and chord symbols not exportedturn on Lyrics and text
Dynamics are too extremeAdjust dynamic range setting
Multi-measure rests are not recognisedMulti-measure rests require text recognitionIn Document settings, turn on Lyrics and text
Playback does not observe repeat symbolThe repeat dots are insufficiently clearTry moving Sampling to the right.  If the image is very faint or very black try the Image control

With optical music recognition the quality of the image is vitally important.

This section will help you capture or obtain scores likely to give good results in PlayScore.  PlayScore is generally accurate.  When it is not the reason almost always something to do with the image.


A good quality camera is essential.  Only top-end phones have cameras good enough for close-up pictures of music.  Budget and some mid-range phones are not good enough for this purpose.  Cameras often quote megapixel numbers.  These numbers are little guide to camera quality.

  • Sharp focus is essential.  Zoom in to the image.  The edges of objects should look sharp
  • Photographs should be taken with the camera lens opposite the centre of the page.  If it is not the image will be distorted and produce poor results
  • It is easier to get a good photo of music which is standing up, rather than lying on a horizontal surface.  When the music is horizontal it is difficult to avoid the device casting a shadow.  This can often only be avoided by moving the lens away from the centre of the page. This distorts the image
  • Close-up photos of music (compared with scans) suffer from distortions arising from the radial nature of the capture. In the image, the upper staves will bow upwards and the lower downwards.  PlayScore is designed to cope with this but the straighter the image the better the chance of a perfect result

The straighter the image the better.  Staff lines horizontal and bar lines vertical.


If the music you are scanning is a JPG, PNG or BMP image, beware of low resolution.  This is the most common source of poor results.

Look at the file size of the image,  As a rule of thumb, an image much smaller than 1.5Mb is probably low resolution.  For comparison iPhone photos are between 3 and 5 Mb and a 300DPI scan a similar size.


Scans should normally be at 300 DPI.  600DPI is always too much, but for dense orchestral scores 400 DPI may give better results.

PDF scores

Any modern published PDF score will normally be a high resolution scan or a vector PDF.  Results should be good.

PDF scores from free online sites like IMSLP vary from very good to very poor.  Where there is more than one download for the same music be sure to choose the best one.

  • Zoom in to the notes.  A good score will have sharp clean edges
  • Broken up objects – look at staff lines, stems and accidentals.  PlayScore is generally tolerant but a score where many stems are broken or end in mid-air should be avoided if possible
  • Over exposed images – it is best to avoid blotchy images where heads are excessively blobby

Tip: problems arising from poor images can sometimes be overcome.  See Troubleshooting.

It is very quick to build a few pages of a PDF score in PlayScore so trial and error is practical.  It should be obvious quickly what is a good score and what isn’t.

PlayScore understands most types of score published within the last 150 years, and we are constantly widening PlayScore’s coverage.   Types currently not supported are:

  • Handwritten music and printed music designed to look handwritten,  This includes jazz fonts such as those found in Real Books
  • Shape notes, color notes and other novelty music formats
  • Some types of hymnal.  Hymns are sometimes found in special styles not otherwise found in music, and some publications may not scan well. Fortunately a wide range of hymns in modern editions are readily available from online sources, many of them free.  See Finding hymn sheet music below

A wide range of music no longer in copyright is available for free download online.  Most of this is available as PDF scores, and is easy to open and play in PlayScore.  Music composed recently and therefore subject to copyright is not generally available free.

A huge range of out-of-copyright chamber, orchestral and choral music can be found at

IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download

Barbershop music can be found at

Barbershop Harmony Society

Hymns are available at many sites, including these

Free Sacred Sheet Music | 6000+ Free Arrangements

The Church Pianist

Center for Church Music – Songs and Hymns

The Open Hymnal Project – Freely Distributable Christian Hymnody for Today’s World

Lyrics and text is turned off by default

PlayScore on iOS and Windows can recognise text such as

  • Lyrics and other text in the score (for MusicXML export)
  • Multi-measure rests
  • D.S, D.C, Coda, fine etc (iOS only)

For all these features PlayScore needs Optical Character Recognition (OCR), the ability to read words and numbers.  When you first install PlayScore OCR is turned off.  To turn OCR on, tap the cogwheel and enable Lyrics and text.

Lyrics and text is a subscription-only feature and not available yet on Android.

Auto-transpose is turned off by default

If your score contains a mixture of transposing instruments, or a mixture of transposing instruments and non-transposing you should turn on Auto-transpose in Settings.

The Document details screen allows you to set title and composer for the document.  You can use these fields to search Recents.

When you save a document PlayScore creates a Windows filename by concatenating the title and composer.

Tip: PlayScore always creates a default document name based on the original PDF or image name, so setting a title and composer in Document details is optional.

PlayScore 2 recognises the following.  It observes all symbols when playing back the score and when exporting to MIDI and MusicXML.

Bars, notes, rests, accidentals including double accidentals, cancelling accidentals and cautionary accidentals

Multi-measure rests (turn on Lyrics and text)

Tuplets: triplets, duplets, quintuplets, septuplets etc (both marked and implied)

Staff bracketing: grand staff braces, grouped staff brackets etc

Compact score format

Transposing instruments

Drum notation using the neutral clef

Measures: bar lines, double bar lines, repeats, 1st and 2nd ending, bars spanning systems and pages

Anacruses, compliment anacruses

Dynamics: f, ff, fff, fz, fp, mf, p, pp etc

Hairpins (crescendos and diminuendos)

Articulation (>, ^, . –, portato etc)

Ornaments trills, turns, mordents, shakes, spread chords etc

Tremolo: note strikethrough, alternating, beamed alternating white notes etc

Special symbols: fermata, repeat-bar, Ottava 8ve, bar-repeat etc

Fingering for piano, violin etc

Slurs and ties

Clefs (system and inline): neutral treble, bass, tenor, alto, soprano, C2 etc including octave shift variants

Key changes: system, inline, cancelling and cautionary

Time signatures: system, inline, cautionary and implied

Lyrics, text and chord names, instrument names, directions etc. NB to enable text recognition turn on Lyrics and text from the Document settings screen.

Subject to some exceptions, in most countries it is against the law to make copies of music that is in copyright.  This could apply to some uses of PlayScore, just as it would if you photocopied an in-copyright piece.  Music copyright law is complex and varies between jurisdictions.

PlayScore 2 is created in partnership by Organum Ltd and Dolphin Computing.

The Optical Music Recognition library ReadScoreLib at the heart of PlayScore is created by Anthony Wilkes at Organum Ltd.  For details of the ReadScoreLib SDK and licensing, see our Developer page.

Organum Ltd is a UK company based in Oxford specialising in printed and handwritten optical music recognition.  Anthony also created the handwritten music recognition engine in the popular NotateMe app, and the PhotoScore application from Neuratron Ltd.  As a musician Anthony studied cello with Christopher Hogwood, Caroline Bosanquet and Rohan de Saram, and plays in several ensembles.  You can also see Anthony’s composer’s page on the IMSLP free music site.

The user interface for PlayScore 2 is designed and created by James Sutton at Dolphin Computing, a UK company based in Cambridge.  James also plays the violin and cuts down trees.  Dolphin publish the popular music notation rendering system SeeScore SDK and the SeeScore 2 app.  You can see licensing information at

The Windows version of PlayScore 2 was created by software engineer extraordinaire Stefano Lanza

Important: Capturing copyrighted music without the copyright holder’s permission is illegal.


Subscriptions on iOS, Android and Windows2024-02-27T18:53:43+00:00

PlayScore subscriptions are sold separately by Google, Apple and Microsoft.  Each applies to that platform only as these companies do not recognise each others’ subscriptions.

However, any PlayScore document you create with a subscription can be played on any device using the free PlayScore download, without a subscription.  You won’t be able to create new documents without a subscription, but you will be able to play the music, adjust tempo, create loops and use the count-in/metronome (iOS and Windows only).

For example you can have a subscription on your phone or tablet where you create new documents.  Then you can email those documents to your Windows computer where you can play the music taking advantage of better audio and a bigger screen.

Technical support – Solutions to many problems can be found in the Troubleshooting section above. You are also welcome to contact us by email on

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