Audacity Tip: Previewing a Cut

Audacity is a fantastic free audio editing tool which allows you to carrying out editing tasks quickly and easily.

If you ever need to chop out a verse or other section of a song, you can do it easily in Audacity by highlighting the relevant section (drag the mouse across the blue wave) and pressing delete.  The section disappears and you can check your handy-work by playing back the song.

But what if you’d like to listen to a preview of the cut before you press delete?  Try these steps:

  1. Select the part of the song you’d like to cut out.  You can click-drag your mouse over the relevant section to select it.
  2. Fine-tune your selection if necessary by hovering your mouse at either end of the selected area.  You mouse pointer will turn into a hand and you can click and drag to adjust the size of the grey area. 

    Fine-tune your selection

  3. To listen to a preview of the cut you’re about to make, press the letter C.  Audacity will play 1 second of the song before the cut, and 1 second after the cut – as if the selected area is not there.
  4. If you like what you hear, press Delete.  The selected area will disappear and the two remaining sections will join up automatically.

Give Your (Muse)Scores A Social Life

In keeping with current web2.0 trends for sharing and collaboration, the hard-working people behind free, open-source notation program MuseScore have been working on a new website which allows you to upload and share your MuseScore creations with the world.

The popularity of MuseScore is steadily increasing and downloads of the program reached a record level of more than 40,000 for the month of June in 2010.  The new site – – is currently in an beta stage, but there are big things ahead.

Signing up for the site allows you to create a personal profile and then upload your own scores or browse the scores of other MuseScore users from around the world.  You can filter the uploaded scores by genre, instruments used or language.

Clicking on a score title takes you to takes you to the score page where you can view, playback or download the music.  You can also see detailed information including the instrumental parts, the duration of the piece, the number of pages in the printed score, key and number of bars.

Users can upload scores in two ways: from inside MuseScore itself (File > Save Online) or by going straight to and clicking the Upload button.  Composers and arrangers are also able to assign a Creative Commons license to their work if desired, allowing viewers to use or “remix” their work.

One of the best features of is that scores can be downloaded in a variety of formats, including MuseScore files, pdf, MusicXML (to allow import into other notation programs like Sibelius or Finale) and even MIDI.

The site has some great implications for educators: students can upload their scores and share them with classmates for feedback or collaboration.  You can also opt to keep your scores private which makes the site a good choice for online backup or storage of your work.

Although the site is in beta stage, the MuseScore people have been kind enough to allow readers of this blog a sneak peak at what’s in store.  Visit and use the invitation code MIDNIGHTMUSIC

But be quick – this invitation code will expire in a couple of days.

If you would like to download MuseScore, visit

Musescore in 10 Easy Steps Part 3: Note Entry Basics

In the 3rd installment of this 10-part tutorial series about Musescore, we take a look at basic note entry methods.  Musescore is a free notation program which can be downloaded here.  If you’d like catch up on the first two tutorials you can see part 1 (score setup) here and part 2 (navigation/the screen) here.