Musescore 3. How to disable automatic System Breaks

• Feb 22, 2019 - 21:35

I have just started trying to use Musescore.3 and it's driving me crazy. So far I have wasted 4 hours grappling with this problem, with no solution in sight.
I wanted to create a new score. After somehow escaping from the New Score Wizard whose score categories ("templates"?) on offer did not fit my simple need to create a basic Lead Sheet (for use in an Accordion Orchestra, playing RH only), I set up a 4/4 score full of empty Bars (whole-Bar Rests) with varying numbers of Bars per System. For this I employed the Insert Key to create additional Bars and split the Systems with "Enter Key" where I wanted to. I did not alter any of the settings under the Format menu.
On my first two System lines I had 5 Bars. I then started trying to enter Notes, but as soon as I enter any Note or Rest into Bar 1, Musescore suddenly creates a System Break after Bar 2, giving me just two (very wide) Bars in the first System, and three more in the next ("new") System. How can I prevent this from happening? I require my chosen score (Systems) layout to remain fixed, because I am transcribing manually from an existing score on paper and it is going to be difficult to do if I don't see the same structure on screen as I have on paper. I tried turning off Automatic Placement in the Inspector, but as soon as I enter anything it comes on again. How can I suppress the automatic generation of System Breaks? I cannot find a way to delete these breaks, they are not displayed in the same way as the breaks which I have entered manually via "Enter".
I have read the Forums/General Discussion items "Automatic distribution of Bars by line" (April 2016) and the reply from Marc Sabatella; I also read "Preventing a Line Break" (Oct 2009) but I am afraid I am none the wiser. I think these discussions related to an earlier version of Musescore and I can't see where or how to apply the recommended workarounds in Musescore.3
My ultimate goal is to export a MusicXML file for the piece, which I want to post-process in other ways. However I would like to use Musescore for writing music at some stage, it seems basically quite a nice program, if I could only just get started in a reasonable way.
If I can't get a reasonable solution over this issue I shall have to abandon Musescore for ABC which will do what I want to do, but really, I would like to get to know Musescore.


The process for generating and preventing system breaks has not changed since 2.0.3 and probably long before that. You are obviously doing something very wrong from what you are describing.

Create a new score and use select instruments rather than an existing template, enter notes and let MuseScore do it's thing, at least for a few systems. After that you should start getting an idea of how wide your systems will be. You can then start adjusting items in the page settings (Format->Page settings...) such as the paper size or scaling or a combination so your score starts getting formatted the way you like. There is a preview in the dialog box, so you can tell when the settings are to your liking. At this point you should have systems with the proper number of measures or more on them. If not, lower the scaling some more. You can then use system breaks (press return) to set the number of measures on each system. As you go along, if you discover a system won't fit, you can adjust down the scaling a little more. That's my method when transcribing an existing score.

In reply to by mike320

Hi mike320, many thanks for taking the time to reply to my query.
Recap: I had created a new 4/4 Score of several Systems (default Page Layout) populated with full-bar Rests, and I used "Enter" to create System Breaks such that I had just 5 Bars in each of the first two Systems. When I started to enter notes into Bar1, Musescore immediately split that first System to give me just 2 (very wide) Bars, and 3 Bars in the next System. Both the first and second Systems thus created stretched across the full page width.
Meanwhile I discovered that after putting some notes into Bars 1-5 I could correct the effect thus:
- I selected Bars 1 to 5 (Bar 5 included my "Enter" System Break)
- I then applied Format/Stretch/Reset Layout Stretch
this removed the split in the first System such that it was restored to 5 Bars.
I don't know if this is the intended use of Format/Stretch/Reset Layout Stretch but at least it worked.
Since then I saved my file, stopped Musescore and restarted it. I then attempted to reproduce the problem on a completely new Score, but am unable to do so which is highly frustrating!
Now referring to your suggestions of adjusting parameters on Format/Page Settings, I can't quite see what you mean, as this dialog seems to relate only to characteristics like page size and margins. "Scaling" here refers only to the vertical spacing of the note-lines within each System, as I understand it.
Anyway, I am able to continue, and I thank you again very much for your help. Perhaps my Post should be deleted; it does not seem very useful to general users as I am unable to re-create the problem. I don't know whether I can delete it, or it should be deleted by a Musescore Forum Admin (are you one of those?).

In reply to by JoeWheee

It sounds like your first score was made from a template I'm not familiar with or did something by accident. The second score has the results I expect. The stretch tool is exactly for what you used it for but is limited in how much it can shrink the width of a measure. The scaling in the Page settings changes the scaling of everything in the score. If reducing the stretch for the occasional system that is too wide does not allow for enough measures to fit on the system, then reducing the scaling factor is the most effective way to fix this. There are other more complicated ways, but adjusting the scaling factor keeps everything in the same proportions. The space between notes decreased along with the size of the notes as well as the size of the text on the staves, so your dynamics don't look huge compared to the rest of the score.

Your post should not be deleted because someone might figure out what you did wrong on the first score and those of us who try to help others can learn from that. If we can reproduce it, perhaps a programmer can prevent it in the future.

To be clear, though - MuseScore offers several good options for lead sheets in the New Score Wizard. One is to choose the Lead Sheet template in the Jazz category, which sets up a typical jazz-style lead sheet with larger chord symbols, a handwritten look, and other tweaks. Or you could simply select the "Treble" template to have a single staff. Another would be to select the "Choose Instruments" item and actually select Accordion from the list. All of these give you good options for lead sheets.

Anyhow, without seeing your score it's hard to guess at what went wrong, but if you encounter this or any other problem in the future, please attach your score so we can understand and assist better. As it is, my best guess is you simply had too many notes in the measures to fit more than two or three on a system. MuseScore won't allow more notes than can actually fit any more than a word processor will allow more words on a line than fit - you would need to make the music smaller or the page bigger in order to make it fit.

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