Staves without measure lines

• May 2, 2013 - 19:49

Is there any way to use MuseScore without measures and bar lines? I frequently have to transcribe music that has no regular meter and it would be easier to add bar lines where I want them than to have to constantly go into the measure attributes window to change the number of beats in each measure.


No way to have no measures at all. Your method is as good as any. Another approach would be to have one real measure per line of music, count how many beats you want to appear on that line, and set the actual time signature of that measure to that. Then if you want barlines to appear within the line, add them graphically (dragging the from the palette, or selecting a note then double clicking the barline palette icon).

2.0 will have additional features to help you assemble long measures, I gather.

Yeah, I was afraid there wasn't any way to do it more easily. The way I work around the problem now is to create a time signature that will accomodate the longest "measure" that I want to use, like 6/1 (24/4). Then I just leave rests at the end of the shorter measures. That way I can keep up a reasonable speed of transcription. Then at the end, I shorten up all the measures with rests at the end. I mean, it works, but it is kind of a pain in the you know what.

Thanks for the feed back. You have confirmed my fears.

The other thing I wish I could do is make line breaks in really, really long measures. In other words eliminate the barline at the end of the staff. Anyone have a work-around for that?


Hi Jake,

You may be interested to know that I am regularly using MuseScore to transcribe plainchant, and have become very used to dealing with it's little quirks.

I'm happy to report that MuseScore 2 (when it finally arrives) is far better for writing non-metrical music as there is a split/join measure function which saves having to constantly count beats and adjust the actual time signatures by hand.

In the meantime if you think I can help at all, don't hesitate ti get in touch.

Is there anything new on this topic now that MS 3.2 is the current version? I'm transcribing a barless movement by Jens Klimek. I tried a 60/4 single measure but when I try to enter notes beyond the end of the first line it does not wrap to the next line; the notes just go off into empty space. If there isn't any new feature to do this, I can always use the methods suggested in 2013, e.g. making barlines invisible.

In reply to by skaufman

There are a large number of changes in this in the last 6 years. Version 3.2.3 has several features to make this easier. See and for creating measures of various lengths. Please start a new thread rather than continuing a 6 year old thread if you have further questions.

If you just don't want to see bar lines see for info on how to not show barlines, but the measures will still default to following the tie signature.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.