side-by-side notes not placed as expected

• Mar 16, 2016 - 21:34
S4 - Minor
by design

I think I'll explain this better with two screenshots (seen on 2.0.3 today nightly).

This is what I want to insert:

This is what I get:
No matter what voice I fill first or anything.

I noticed that the issue arises when the chord has notes from D and lower; if adding E or higher notes, everything is fine.


I am away from home right now and can't check to be sure, but I am 99% confident that this is in fact correct according to standard engraving practice and as set forth by Elaine Gould in "Behind Bars", the definitive reference for such matter. The rules are quite complex and there are lots of special cases to deal with, but as far as I know we pretty much nail them. See for examle The case in question is one where there voices overlap - the upstem chord has notes that are below the downstem chord - and the noteheads cannot be stagged or shared. The downstem chord is supposed to go to the left in such cases, I believe. I will check Gould when I get home, but if you have some other source that makes a different recommendation, I'd be curious to see it.

Nothing to say against current standards then :)

If I may, I'd like to add that the current layout just looks odd, in part due to the accidental that comes before.

I don't know if this is related, but I just encountered another situation that looks a little "offsetted" (but this is readable) - the expected picture comes from a published score.


I can't tell if the half note isn't "centered" because is smaller or what (I tried all the three available fonts, but all show the same behavior).

Status (old) needs info by design

I checked, and we are definitely doing it right. it might happen to look odd with respect to accidentals in this case, but the opposite arrangement would be just as odd if the accidentals were different. This is one of the cases where subjectively some editors might indeed reverse the usual arrangement just for the sake of the accidental. The same can apply to dots and ties - ccasionally one might subejctively decide to reverse the usual arrangement if the configuration of dots and ties is improved by it.

Centering of different sized notes is something done differenty by different publishers. Actually most publishers *don't* do it, so you found one of the exceptions. We generally *do*, but the reason you aren't seeing it here is that you made only the *note* smaller rather than the *chord*. By which I mean, there are two different "Small" checkboxes in the Inspector, one in the "Note" section and one in the "Chord" section. It appeas you checked the former when it shoudl have been the latter.

I see and I understand that a lot of work has been done. I should have added that in the original score, the quarter notes (there are more) are "linked" with a slur, so actually the current layout would be... well a bit ugly :)
But as I said, I recognize that a lot of work has been put on this.
I was thinking, though, about something like the feature to flip note stems: would make sense to add a feature request for a functionality that lets "swap" the layout of these two chords?

About the mis-aligned notes in the chord (second part): no, I didn't check any "small" checkbox, all those notes are at full size. Do you think this is a bug? Should I file a different issue?

I'm not sure how it would look, but sure, a simple setting to swap the positions of the chords would be nice, I agree.

In the second example, if the two notes are both in upstem voices (eg, voices 1 & 3) then this would be correct layout. Centering would happen only if it's onw up stem (eg, voice 1) and one down (eg, voice 2), which of course would be the normal arrangement of voices for this. If something still doesn't seem right, feel free to post the score in question to the Support forum so we can look, but I have to assume it's not a bug, just something you aren't doing correctly to get the results you expect.

Thank you, I'll do that.

Just one last question: after you comment, I've added a note on each voice (they've all their stem upward):
It seems to me that whole notes are slightly bigger than half, quarter and eighth notes: is it by design?

Yes. That much is pretty universally true. Half notes are often (but maybe not always) slightly larger than quarter notes, whole notes are virtually always significantly larger than either. Most engravers will left-align these different-sized notes when stems are in opposite directions, but as we've noted, MuseScore instead centers the noteheads, which is a valid but relatively uncommon approach. In cases where the stems are in the same direction, there really isn't any choice - you need to align them on the stem side.

BTW, whole notes don't have stems obviously, but they *act* like they do for alignment purposes. So flipping the stem on a whole note will change how it is treated in a multi-voice setting - whether it is grouped with the upstem notes or the downstem notes.