Staff lines/staff properties

• Apr 7, 2018 - 02:44

I am noticing odd behaviour when I change the staff lines from 5 to 2. Behaves as expected if # lines is 1.

1) the notehead goes below the two lines, it creates the notehead with a small line thru it, as expected. If the notehead goes above the two lines, when it should have a small line thru it. But works correctly as it increases in pitch.

2) if you change the line distance, the lines correctly space, but the noteheads ignore the change when changing pitch. This occurs for any number of lines.


Can you attach your specific score so we can see what you mean? Two-line staves aren't directly supported in MuseScore, by which I mean, MuseScore doesn't have any built-in way to allow you to say which lines correspond to which notes. Nor is there any direct support for non-standard line distance - that feature is really just there to support tablature staves and three-line percussion staves.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

attached. I created two instruments, both crotales, set both to two lines under staff properties.
For crotales-1 only two lines was adjusted. For crotales-2 I also changed line distance to four.

1) the clef for crotales-2 is misplaced.
2) measure 1, the third stave appears below the note head. In single line staves this does not happen. For single line staves, they perform correctly, never seen a problem.

3) measure 2, the stave line through the note head is missing.

4) measure 3, similar to observation one, but the stave through the note head is correct as compared to measure 2.

5) measure 4 stems are distorted. As I go down the staves they get longer. I have seen this not happen, so it is intermittent.

6) measure 5, between the two lines, there appears to be a lot of other lines. I would think crotales-2 would behave the same as crotales-1: there would be only one intermediate pitch between the two staves. Also observe the third quarter note is incorrectly notated.


Heads up as to what & why I am tinkering with this. In my previous rare posts, I have been trying to figure out how to do dance notation using musescore. The problem is fairly complex, so I went upstream to musicXML and submitted a proposal to include tap dance symbols as a percussion instrument. It was finalized a few weeks ago, and will be part of a massive three-year rework of musicXML about to be released; a fairly impressive level of work to pull in all forms of music notation from around the world.

For the time being I have created a font with the symbols, and I notate dance in musescore that way with a single line. I have recently come across a flamenco notation system where they use two lines, for left/right foot. I am about to correspond with the dance professor in Spain about her system and wanted to be able demonstrate convertibility. She uses musescore, finale and sibelius. I could see where two lines could also be useful for hand actions, such as bells, waving, clapping, etc.

Attachment Size
two line stave.mscz 8.84 KB

In reply to by Matthew Dougherty

Ah, I see. Since your focus is more about long term direction, I would encourage you to check out the nightly build of the master branch, where much of this is rewritten and should, I think, be more in line with what you want. And if not, there would definitely be the opportunity to change it. Give it a shot and let us know!

Meanwhile, for 2.x, the best we can offer is workarounds.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks Marc, will give that a try. I discovered a partial work around: piano, with both clefs single line.

The primary limitation is the use of beams. With a two line instrument I should be able to link the notes with beams, and have less constraint on other grand staff instruments by not manipulating the general->page parameters.

For flamenco they use a lot beams as a way to group eighth notes, etc. I like their strategy, dedicated lines makes the visual more obvious. For single line I am using the stem-up for right, stem-down for left, which has some advantages.

I just came across a flamenco drummer's notation system. He is using five lines, but only puts notes into the spaces above and below the third line to indicate which hand he is using.

Being that a three line has percussion precedence, is more conventional, and currently supported; this seems to be the correct route to notate footwork rather than a two line method.

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