Independent Staff with System

• Nov 7, 2019 - 01:58

Hi Everyone,

I've read through the manual and other posts but can't seem to figure this out.

Problem: I have a system with staves for various instruments. I want to add a separate staff for another instrument that is independent of the system and its staves both visually and performance-wise. In other words, the new staff should not be connected by an initial bar line or other bar lines and I should be able to enter a different key and time signature, etc. into it while not affecting the other instruments.

No example yet since I'm just working this out. It seems there's a way to do this but I can't seem to find the solution online.

Thanks for any suggestions, as always.



When you add an instrument by default it is not connected to the other instruments with barlines unless it is in between other connected staves. To disconnect an instrument, double click any barline on the top instrument and drag to bottom grab box up to the top staff, all other barlines will follow when you press escape.

For independent key signature, press ctrl while you apply the key signature to that staff. It works no matter how you apply the key signature to that staff. Time signature is another story. You can apply it the same way as key signature, but this creates a local time signature. I suggest that you read and feel free to ask questions since it's quite complicated.

Is this some experimental notation you are inventing, or is there an existing score you could show an image from to help us understand the actual goal?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc and Mike,

Using the "Ctrl" key with the drag-and-drop operation seems to have worked for both the time and key signatures allowing me to make the top staff independent of the other staves. Also, dragging the lines allowed me to connect together the lower set of staves. So all that works.

Can the initial bar line for the system, the one connecting all the staves together, be reset as well? In other words, the top stave is not connected to the other staves with bar lines. I don't want it to be connected with the system bar line either, if that's possible. Sorry, no examples yet.

Thanks very much for your suggestions.


In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

Yes, that might be the solution but I haven't found a way to do this. Attached is a picture of template for a dummy score. I'd like the top line (Sop. Solo) not to share the same system bar line as the other voices. I might want to separate the percussion line as well. Also, is there a way of adding a bracket to the left of the system for the vocal quartet after the staves are separated?

As you can see, I've been able to change the key and time signatures for the top line. I've also connected the bar lines for the vocal quartet.



Attachment Size
Independent Staff Example.JPG 99.08 KB

In reply to by notescribe

Did you try using Staff POroperties as I mentioned? It definitely allwos you to hide the system barline. But I'm still having trouble understanding your goal is here. The system barline is normally how the person reading the score understands that these staves are being played simultaneously. If they are not played simultaneously, then as I said, they should be the same system - you should use "Hide empty staves" so you have alternating systems of solos then ensembles etc. If they are played simultaneously, what is the point of misleading the people reading the score?

If you don't like the bracket that si there now, you can double-click to edit it, or delete it and add a new one more to liking. It's still not clear what you are actually trying to do here, so it's difficult to say more.

Seeing an actual image of what you want the finished score to look like - and an explanation of how you expect musicians to read and understand it - is really what we would need in order to assist better.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

The top staff is independent of the other staves, so I will work with the staff properties as you suggested. The idea is to have parts of the composition on the same page which belong together conceptually but will be performed sequentially as well as independently of each other.

So this is more a matter of function following form in order to conceptualize the piece. That's why I don't have more to go on right now. I want to build a template first and then piece together the music. I think it will be a matter of using workarounds until I figure out the overall plan.

Thanks very much for your suggestions, as always.


In reply to by notescribe

will be performed sequentially as well as independently of each other.

This musically means that they shouldn't belong to the same system then; which suddenly makes your task very easy. You can now use a section break to end a system and make use of the "hide empty staves" option to control which instruments show up on which systems..

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