Any way to do cross-staff beaming for an unpitched percussion grand staff?

• Jan 6, 2022 - 21:50

Right now I'm working on a solo multi-percussion piece where, for notational clarity, I'm using a grand staff. For certain rhythmic ideas, I'd like to sue cross-staff beaming (example linked below of what I want to be using cross-staff beaming).

If I were to just notate everything on a piano grand staff I could notationally get it to work how I want visually (second screenshot below), but ideally I'd like to be able to streamline the process by keeping the notation in a project using unpitched percussion sounds so that I can save time by having my score with playback be the same one I use for printing, etc.

Is there any solution for this or is this something MuseScore doesn't currently support?


I don't think this is supported because for cross-staff beaming the notes need to belong to the same instrument and there is no possibility to define the same pitch twice within a single unpitched percussion instrument.

In reply to by jeetee

Hmm, I'm not really able to tell from the image what the pitches are trying to represent, so I'm not sure it is a case of the same pitch being defined twice? But in any case, it does seems cross-staff notation just isn't supported for percussion.

That said - and I hesitate to recommend this because for all I know it's a bug not a feature and might go away in the future or break something else in your score - it does seem that whatever code we have to disallow cross-staff notation for percussion, only checks the original instrument for staff, not the currently-in-effect instrument.

So, create the music as a piano grand staff, then add an instrument change right at the beginning to drumset. It seems it's glitchy with the drawing of the stems if you do the instrument change it literally on the first beat, but any time thereafter works.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

That actually works! It also should be easy enough to use frames and whatnot to adjust notationally; I can just have the first measure not be counted for measure numbering, have the second beat indicate a change to percussion, and then use frames and page breaks to move all the pages over, then use page formatting to make the first two pages count as page -1 and page 0. Thanks for the workaround -- even if it's technically a temporary bug it does help with working on this piece!

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Addendum to my reply; I think you also saw my other thread regarding changing unpitched percussion noteheads, and now there's an additional issue.

When using either workaround for these cases you mentioned independently -- using piano at first then switching to percussion for cross-beaming, and editing the drumset to create different noteheads then using invisible notes to get playback -- there is now a new issue: the instrument cannot register a given percussion pitch on a line or staff as being able to have more than one type of notehead assigned to it. For example, the middle line, even if two different percussion sounds with different noteheads are assigned to it, will only register one type of notehead in the drumset (which seems to be based on the highest MIDI number value).

Not sure if there's any way to work around this given how specific of a problem it is. Screenshot attached. The normal noteheads should be X's, the X notehead above the staff is the only space which doesn't use a different notehead.

In reply to by sihplak

I'm not following this, sorry. The picture seems to show a piano staff, not percussion, as it shows sccidentals. But also, I don't get what you mean by "only register one type of notehead in the drumset". You can certainly have two different pitches both assigned to the same line but with different heads; the standard drumset definition does this for example with snare & side stick.

We can understand better if you attach the actual score in the state it is before the perceived problem, then describe exactly what you are trying to do, how you are trying to do it, and what goes wrong when you try.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I actually managed to figure out the problem -- apparently there was simply a bug with registering the drumset when changing the instrument so I had to go back and click on the right notehead type for each sound. Apologies for the confusion there -- had presumed that the problem stemmed from having the piano instrument first then using the change-instrument text.

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