Endecagram (11 lines staff)

• Apr 1, 2014 - 03:54

I'm sorry I don't know if it has got a name in English. In Italian it's called endecagramma (11 lines staff), opposed to pentagramma (5 lines staff).

As a matter of fact, an endecagram just has two 5 lines staves, like in a normal piano staff, but there are three differences:
1) central C is always drawn in the middle of the space between the two staves (where there would be an 11th imaginary line, hence the name);
2) there's a single voice running through it (i.e. no pauses on one 5-lines staff even if all the notes are on the other 5-lines staff; no use of ledger lines between the two staves except for the central C because the melody can go on both staves as needed);
3) usually there's just a C clef on the central imaginary line, but you can also find the C clef together with treble and bass clefs or just the treble and bass clefs as in a normal piano score.

You can see some examples here:

Note that on MuseScore you can't simulate an endecagram with a piano score, even if you are ok with having just the treble and bass clefs, for two reasons:
1) you can't get the central C drawn in the middle of the space between the two staves (at least unless reducing the space)
2) you would have to switch between right hand and left hand continuously while inserting notes, then to make all the pauses invisible (and the first step can be very time-consuming and frustrating :) )

Endecagrams are widely used at least in Italian classical solfège courses. As a teacher, I've already been in the case of needing it. :)

Maybe it could be added as a new "solfège" instrument?


Unless I'm missing something, you *can* do this already, just by setting the distance between staves appropriately, then making use of the cross-staff beaming facility.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes, you can do it, at least most of it. As the OP pointed out, there is a lot of work involved though (mainly to hide all the rests in the 'other' staff).

What are not possible -- unless there is some trick I'm not aware of -- are the clefs: as the OP said, the 'proper' 11-line staff just has a C clef on the middle (not drawn) line.

If you simulate it with a treble and a bass staff with reduced distance, you get a treble and a bass clef, which is kind of tolerated -- possibly since the inception of computer aided music notation -- but it is not the 'real' thing.

Incidentally, in addition to teaching and training contexts, such a staff was used in early Baroque keyboard scores.

Now, I would not qualify it as high priority, but...



In reply to by Miwarre

I think what she wants to do is , a non standard staff, (it may be possible in the nighlies)
with 11 line, with a little C middle clef on the middle, one line (the c middle clef line) invisible
and above all (that is why i'm tolking about a non standard staff) no rest to be made mannually invisible... on a piano staff you have rests to be made invisible......

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I didn't know about the cross-staff beaming facility. :)
I tried to copy the first two lines of this:

I tried following your tips and you can see in the attachments that the result is not anything usable (maybe I did something wrong?).

I did it with 2.0.0 Rev 8917b06.

1) this way the spacing between the two 5-lines staves is not appropriate (I can't train pupils on wrongly spaced endecagrams of course);
2) I can't "right click -> make invisible" the pauses as I was used to in stable version (there's not such an option... maybe it has been moved anywhere else?);
3) I can't select more than one note and move them on the lower staff with Ctrl + Shift + down arrow, it has to be done note by note.

Of course this is not a high-priority feature. :)

BTW, has this 11-lines thing got any name in English?

Attachment Size
msendecagramma.png 79.84 KB
endecagramma.mscz 2.05 KB

In reply to by ciacnorris

I have no idea if there is an English name for it. I've never seen or heard of it before (I"m in the US), but I don't specialize in solfege training.

The option to mark things invisible has been changed to a simple "V" shortcut. Or use the Inspector, which replaces mot of what used to be in right click menus or the dialogs they accessed. It should be a simple matter to right click one rest, Select / All Similar Elements in Same Staff, then press V, to hide all rests for one staff at once. Then use the cross-staff beaming facility to enter the notes on the other staff. Regarding clefs, you can hide clefs or move them, also place them as graphics. Should be perfectly possible to get what want.

There may, of course, be bugs in the layout of the stems and beams - your pictures seem to suggest this. If you can get a simple case with specific step-by-step instructions to reproduce the problem in a recent nightly build, you should submit it to the Issue Tracker (after first searching to see if there is already an existing issue, although I realize it's often hard to know what terms to use). This *should* work, so if it doesn't, it needs to be fixed. Ability to move multiple notes at once would indeed be nice; there is already an official feature request in the tracker for that. Maybe some day.

I don't understand what you mean about the spacing being wrong. The examples you posted had different spacings, but the most common as to have what appeared to be exactly enough room for the ledger line between the staves. You can get this by setting "Grand Staff Distance" to 2sp (or perhaps a tiny bit more to account for line width; not sure).

In reply to by ciacnorris

I have now succcedded in creating a 11 line staff on a flute part

on the nightly build
1. create a partition with a sigle staff instrument
2. go to style -> staff type,
3. create new staff with just 11 lines
4. go to first mesure, right click -> staff properties
5. change type to your created type

If you change the clef it is up and not centered

still; I don't succedded : in making invisible the centered line (and only the centered one ), and putting the C middle clef on the middle of the staff

In reply to by Zynette

As far as I know, this is not possible in MuseScore. In particular:

1) Individual staff lines cannot be hidden (I don't think each can even be separately selected, which is required to work on it).

2) Clefs have specific positions:

  • G clef can be placed on only two lines (the first (=bottomest) or the second on a standard 5-line staff);
  • C clef can be placed on each of the 5 lines of a standard staff, but not on any other line
  • F clef can be put on the 3rd, 4th and 5th line of a standard 5-line staff

I have no idea if, when the staff number of lines is incremented, additional lines are added below or above it, but in either case, the additional lines would be outside the applicability range of a C clef.

Also, to comment upon Marc's post above: I don't think it is possible to move / hide or in any way alter the clefs which the programme generates at the beginning of a staff; perhaps, it is possible with the initial clef (or with clefs manually placed for a clef change), but not for the clefs in following staves, as they are automatically generated by MuseScore.

So, the best approximation I can think of is, as described above:

  1. use a piano grand staff, tolerating the presence of both treble and bass clefs, instead of a single centred C clef
  2. set the staff distance for grand staff (menu "Style | General... | Page") to 2 sp
  3. choose one of the staves as principal and enter all notes in it, moving them to the other staff with cross-staffing when needed
  4. select and hide all the rests in the 'other' staff, which can be done with just 2 commands ("select all similar elements in same staff" and then "hide")

If you are really picky about clefs, there is an alternative, but it is rather cumbersome:

  1. do everything as above, then
  2. change the standard staff style to be clef-less ("Style | Staff types...", then select "Standard" staff type and uncheck "Show clefs"): all staves will lack any clef
  3. once the whole piece has been entered (so that musical elements will not move around any longer), select the first visible element of each system (usually the first note or rest, but for the first system, it will be the time or key signature) and add, say, 3 sp of leading space to its segment ("Inspector" (F8) - "Segment" - "Leading")
  4. from the Master palette (F9), drag a C clef symbol to the first system note or rest
  5. drag the symbol in the required position (or position it via the Inspector with a horiz. offset of,say, -5 sp and a vert. offset of 5 sp)
  6. repeat 4 - 5 for each system

The final result should be something like:

It is up to the user to evaluate if the result is worth the effort!

Important: with the second procedure, clef symbols are attached to notes or rests; if they move around, for instance because more notes are entered before them, the symbols will move with them and will no longer be at the beginning of the system; this is why it is important to add the symbols only when the piece has reached a definitive content and layout.

Hoping it helps,


Attachment Size
test_endecagramma.png 6.16 KB

There is no easy way to do it at present. I managed a cunning by still very laborious workaround. Create THREE staves - Treble, Alto and Bass. Make the Alto stave one line only. Enter all you notes making sure that the Middle Cs - and only the Middle Cs - are entered on the Alto clef. Once you have finished writing, make the Alto stave invisible and tidy up the rests that you want visible or invisible. One failing, though - the Middle C is without a line (but do you absolutely need lines since it is the only one here?).

I tried mucking about by writing a script to modify the raw XML file - basically adding ' move 2 /move ' etc. depending upon the pitch of the note (which affects cross-staff beaming and placing of notes) but gave up as it seemed even more difficult than the manual way.

Attachment Size
Temp_Endecagram.mscz 2.16 KB

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