Extracting the melody from a piano score using the soprano voice in Musescore

Usually, but not always, the melody for a piano piece is in the soprano voice, which tends to be the highest notes on the treble staff. With most music being condensed into piano scores, It may be hard to find a miniature score for a violin solo.  Though you could try reading off a piano score, the clutter tends to overwhelm beginners and slow the learning process.

This post covers the process for converting a piano score into a melody for use in the violin. The process could be generalized to extract the various voices from a piano score, but that is not my aim.

First, download musescore and import the sheet. Ideally, it should be in musescore’s native format, if you downloaded from musescore, or in MusicXML, if you are importing from a different note editor, like Finale.

Then check if your notes are linked or not.

UnlinkedNotes
Unlinked notes
LinkedNotes
Linked notes

If they are unlinked, you could easily extract the voices with the selection filter.

Linked notes

First, select all the notes in the Treble Staff. Click on the spaces between the notes for the first measure, and press shift, then click the last measure of the treble staff. For big sheets, using the navigator helps. It can be found at Edit > Navigator or by tapping F12.

SelectedLinkedNotesTrebleStaff
Selected Treble Staff
Navigator
The Navigator

 

Create a new staff for the instrument you want. If you want to split it up into multiple voices, you would need to create a staff for each voice.

Go to Edit > Instruments or just tap “I”, to open the instrument panel. Select your instrument from the categories; in our case, it would be, Strings > Violin. This should create an empty treble staff under the piano’s grand staff.

Click Ok and copy your selected treble staff and paste it in the first measure of the violin’s empty treble staff.

While the measures are still selected, go to Edit > Tools > Explode. This will split upper soprano notes from the lower alto ones. By default, the upper note is saved and the lower one is shifted to the next empty staff. Since we have only one staff for the violin, the lower notes would be discarded, leaving the soprano notes as the melody.

Go back to Edit > Instruments or just tap “I”, to open the instrument panel. Click on the piano, and click remove, This should leave only the violin’s treble staff, which you can easily practice with.

Unlinked notes

For unlinked notes, go to View > Selection Filter or tap F6. This should open the selection filter at the lower left hand of your window. Uncheck the other voices, leaving voice 1 – which corresponds to the soprano voice.

Selection Filter
Selection Filter

Now select everything using CTRL + A, and copy. That should only select and copy the soprano voice. Go back to Edit > Instruments or just tap “I“, to open the instrument panel. Select your instrument from the categories; in our case, it would be, Strings > Violin. This should create an empty treble staff under the piano’s grand staff.

Click Ok and paste the copied notes into the first measure of the violin’s empty staff.

Go back to Edit > Instruments or just tap “I”, to open the instrument panel. Click on the piano, and click remove, This should leave only the violin’s treble staff, which you can easily practice with.

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