How do you denote a multi-bar repetition in one hand for piano in MuseScore 3?

The background is as follows. Imagine having a 4 bar pattern with your left hand, which repeats through your entire song and your right hand does whatever it wants in the meantime.

To make my music sheet easier to read, I naturally want to reduce the amount of notes written on it. Therefore I don't want to write these 4 bars over and over again but instead replace them with a 4 bar repetition symbol. Is that possible in MuseScore 3?

I've found a rather elaborate workaround for a single staff (see: https://musescore.org/en/node/103336), but when I try to adapt it for piano, it fails at the beginning, because it not only merges the bars of one staff, but both staffs alike. Does that mean, I have to perform the mentioned steps for the other staff as well? Besides, I think the whole thing would blow up anyway, as soon as I try to copy the 4 bar repetition.

Any easier suggestions?

Apropos, it's not my primary concern to keep the playback alive, although that would be a neat feature.

2 Answers 2


I think this is what you want?

enter image description here

Unfortunately, that was a picture of a Sibelius score. I don't think MuseScore 3 can do it. Sorry.

I can cobble together the LOOK of it. The symbol is a graphic exported from Sibelius, but I'm sure there are other places it could be found. (edit - another answer informs us that one of those places is in MuseScore's Master Palette, but lacking the '4'. This can be directly positioned in the score. You still have to cheat playback in a hidden voice though.) In order to place them over the barlines I found it necessary to create a long Text Frame to host them, they could then be dragged into position. (If you attach them to a bar, the barline moves when you try to position over it.) There's quite likely a better way, but I'm not an experienced MuseScore user, I'm making all this up as I go!

Now, looking at it, is it really easier to read than just writing the bass part out? I don't think so.

enter image description here

  • Thank you for your answer. That's exactly what I'm trying to do. Well, I think I'll wait another day or two before I "accept" your answer, maybe someone out there has a saving idea. Mar 3, 2019 at 13:52
  • First of all, thank you for your possible solution! Well, maybe they release some day an update or a plug-in or something like that, which enables this feature. Referring to your concerns regarding the readibility ... I think your example is rather simplistic in terms of the difficulty shown in the bass clef. As soon as there are more notes, things can get messy. Furthermore, to improve readability, I would set the lengths of the bars to an adjusted minimum value, so that they have all more or less the same length. But once again, thank you for your time and answer! Mar 5, 2019 at 16:00
  • 1
    It's generally accepted that fixed-length bars, fully proportional spacing, doesn't aid readability. In fact, quite the opposite!
    – Laurence
    Mar 5, 2019 at 16:04
  • Re recent edit: in the "Repeats & jumps" panel of MuseScore 4's "Master pallet" the symbol doesn't have the 4, but it does appear when you place it in the score. Feb 9, 2023 at 13:27

This isn't too hard with MuseScore 3.6

  1. Write out all the notes you want to see.
  2. Copy & Paste the notes you want to repeat,
    – select the duplicates, and make them invisible with the Inspector (found under View in the Menubar).
    Score with invisible duplicate notes
  3. Open the Master Palette (under View) and go down to Symbols, and search for "repeat",
    Master Pallet - Symbols, showing Repeat Last Four Bars symbol
    – place the Repeat Last Four Bars symbol onto the first note in the first duplicate bar.
    – deselect Automatic placement for this symbol (again with the Inspector), then drag it to where you want it to appear in the score. Score with invisible duplicate notes and Repeat Last Four Bars symbol
  4. Deselect Show Invisible (also under View) if you want them to be really invisible rather then just greyed out.

This will playback as expected, and is perfectly copy-paste-able (but you might have to reposition the symbol slightly).

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