Working with a score and parts

Some tips on completing your score and separating the parts.



Mozart is frequently used to create a score for a piece and then separate the individual parts to print off for the musicians.   This article presents some tips on doing this.



Your score will be saved as a .mz file  as will each individual part derived from it.   It is convenient therefore to save each piece in its own directory (folder) as in the illustration on the right.

Advantages: at any one time you can concentrate on the parts from a single score, and later you can move the folders around to keep them filed tidily.  The illustration shows Big Band arrangements being kept together.


Completing the score

While you're working on a score you may be changing between concert pitch (where you can easily see the harmonies), and written pitch (where you can see the instrumental parts as the players will see them and more easily check the range of each part).     [Command: Score/Written pitch]

When you're ready to separate out the parts:

You now have a score from which part separation will be as easy as possible.


1) ghosts can be converted to rests en masse by selecting a block and using the pad bars with rests command (Shift+Ctrl+F12).  But be careful with parts consisting of more than one strand (like piano or classical guitar) as these may need to retain ghosts in places.

2) There is always a conflict between the requirements of a score presented to a conductor and the individual musicians' parts.   It may be that during the above process you may want to save a version of the score which looks different, for the benefit of the conductor.  In that case you may need to save a copy.  Do this as late as possible in the process, when all "musical" aspects are complete, and only "formatting" remains to be done.

Separating the parts

dialogue box

You are now ready to separate each part in turn.   [Command: File/Duplicate]

Start with one, and make sure it looks right before doing the others.  

The command brings up the dialogue shown on the right (for mozart 2005) when invoked from a typical big band score.   The Baritone Sax part has been selected ready to be extracted into a new music window.

The options you choose here are important.

Usually you'll want to "optimise spacing" on the extracted part to make it as readable as possible.  You probably will not want stave labels on the extracted parts.

Also the separated parts will usually need to be printed in a larger music font than the score.  To arrange this you can select a template for the printer parts from the drop-down list at the bottom.   When the separate part is created, some features are taken from the score, and some from the template.   The overall layout - font sizes, margins, stave widths are taken from the template. (Whereas, for example, the title font face will match that of the score.)

Templates for part separation have different requirements from those used to create the score initially (with the file/new command).   The supplied template defaultPart.mzt is designed for part extraction. 

Separate the first part with options essentially as above.  Examine it in its new window.  Do a test printing if this helps - it often does.   If the format is not quite what you need:

This will give the set of parts a "uniform look" as if they belong to the same set (as indeed they do).

Save each part in its own file in the same directory as the score.   It is helpful to name the files for the parts so that it is clear which is which.   For example here are parts for a Big Band arrangement:

Yellow Dog Blues parts

My convention here is that the score has the full name "YellowDogBlues.mz" and the parts are abbreviated with ydbAS1.mz being the first alto sax part and so on.  But you will no doubt be comfortable with your own naming system.  In this case, I have also exported a midi representation and saved a concert pitch version of the score "YellowDogBluesCP.mz"

Text substitution

Text is taken mainly from the score and transferred to the parts.   However considerable flexibility is introduced by using Mozart's text substitution fields.   (See Mozart's help system for a complete list.)   For example &p will give the page number of whatever page of whatever part is being printed; &f or &F will show the part's file name in short or in full.

The reference field text (to the left of the title) is taken from the template: this is so that you can enter &i there in the template and get the name of the extracted part (the strand label) from the score.

Tidying the parts

If you follow the above guidelines, you'll find that MOZART does as much as it can to make the separated parts easily readable leaving very little more to do.  However some tidying is usually desirable.  So look through each part and insert delete space where it makes things clearer: move line changes where they fall inappropriately (especially if you can arrange that a page break comes before or after a longish rest!)

Save each tidied part for printing.

Printing the parts

You can either open each part in MOZART and print it from the usual command [File/Print] or if you are confident that everything is just right:

The selected files will be printed.


This article was inspired by Bengt Johnsson - a long time MOZART user and real expert - who felt that it might be helpful.  He and I have independently arrived independently at this way of working.  Except printing all the parts in one go from Windows Explorer is all Bengt's idea: he is clearly far more intrepid than I am.  In recommending that I write this article, Bengt reported that he has just done an arrangement where he didn't have to do anything at the "tidying the parts" stage above.  This is good news.




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