Beaming is all screwed up in new version.

• Feb 9, 2020 - 22:05

Just downloaded new version. Beaming is totally bizarre when cutting and pasting. Beams keep wanting to connect across measure barlines, and when I use beam properties to correct the first note in a new measure, Musescore removes all beams from all eighth (or 16th) notes in that measure. I finally corrected it, but frankly couldn't recreate the correction, because I basically stumbled across it while trying all sorts of beaming property combinations.

Musescore never behaved like this before. That, combined with the inability to easily deselect groups of notes (apparently it's a feature to force me to use the key to do this now) makes me wonder what the programmers were drinking while working on this new version.


Indeed, nothing has changed regarding beaming in quite a long time, and everything I have tried works perfectly. My guess is there is something unique about your particular score that is triggering some sort of bug, but we would need you to attach the score and give precise steps to reproduce the problem you are seeing.

Meanwhile, my best guess is that you have tried selecting entire ranges of music then setting everything to beam middle. That will indeed beam across barlines, because the beam middle property on the first measure is exactly how you activate that feature. That's by design, and it's been that way for years. Also, it's been a known limitation for many years that you cannot beam across barlines for measures on different systems.

Also not sure what you mean about not being able to easily deselect. Pressing Esc works perfectly for me, so does clicking an empty area of the score (although I have heard a small handful of Mac users are experiencing occasional problems with the latter).

Beaming is certainly not very intuitive in MS4.

This I found out when recently I needed to do some beaming adjustment, viz., to join four consecutive quavers. I expected to simply select them and press one of the Beam Properties options. e.g., the one that looks like 'join to both sides', but which, I am told by one of our experts, means 'join to the left', and is called, on the interface help, 'join beams', but in the MU4 Manual is described as 'join to both sides of the note' (see section named 'Controlling which notes are beamed').

In fact, this concept of a one-off beam change is not used by MS4.

The beam may extend to the previous bar, and/or or to the succeeding bar, depending on what the last note of the preceding bar is, and what the first note of the succeeding bar is, and whether or not the succeeding bar was copied from somewhere else.

Furthermore, the system has a memory of this operation, which it stores in the note properties. So that, for example, if we assign this 'join beams' property to a minim, being the first note of a bar, and the minim is later changed to a beamed note, the newly-formed beamed note may then beam across (strangely!) to the last note of the previous bar.

DO OTHER PEOPLE THINK this needs to be made more intuitive?

Note that all this in not a big issue for me, as I know now to select only notes 2 and 3 of my four-quaver group, and apply 'join beams'. This will give me my four-note beamed group, with presumably few obscure repercussions. However I do believe the current system, being non-intuitive, detracts a little from the quality of the program.

In reply to by griffin25

Palettes aren't "commands", they apply elements or properties. And the Properties panel also of course applies properties. So since you want these four notes to have different properties - the first note you don't want a beam into, the others you do - it indeed doesn't make sense to apply the same property to all of them.

But, instead of having a palette, and in addition to the properties - it could make sense to have a "beam these notes" command that automatically applied the correct properties to the notes.

BTW, this hasn't changed a bit since the original release of these features many years ago. Well, the names of the icons have been tweaked for clarity. So it's nothing about any "new version". And in any event, the "new version" referred to in this thread was one from almost four years, ago, and the issue discussed here seemed to have been a simple misunderstanding that is completely unrelated to what you are discussing.

if you have ideas for how a new command could work, I recommend starting a new thread and explain exactly how you see it working and how it would solve the problems that currently only using properties can.

In reply to by griffin25

BTW, not sure what time signature you are in, but normally 4-note beaming is the default and you don't need anything to achieve it. But if you want four note groupings in a time signature where it isn't the default, you shouldn't be messing with beam properties at all - instead, simply change the defaults in time signature properties. or, if you want the change for one group only, if the goal is to join the beam between notes 2 & 3, then only note 3 needs to be selected. You are only trying to join one beam, so only one note needs to be selected.

Also, sounds like perhaps there is a typo in the Handbook if it says the join beam button affects the behavior to the right. That certainly is not the case nor has it ever been nor would it make sense.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Regarding the note 3 comment, I am trying that, and it is unpredictable. It worked once, and then afterwards I tried selecting note 3 and pressing every option, no effect.

I have tried changing the time signature (namely 3/4) property of my score. This had very unpredictable effects on the existing score. I suggest someone do a thorough test of this feature.

By the way, I already set the Beam property of all notes to AUTO before the above tests.

The 'Reset' button had no effect. When I closed the score and opened it again, it started to have effect, but not in a way that I would expect. For example, 6 separate quavers would become 6 joined quavers. Then I would try again and they would become three groups of 2.

Also, where is the 'default' beaming defined?

Again, can someone find out what's going on with this reset operation?

  • Also, the MS3 Manual has a much better entry on Beaming than the MS4 Manual. The MS3 Manual is much better laid out and is easier to read than the MS4 Manual. —I don't know what happened there ... It's handicapping the whole program, not having a good manual any more.

** I tried to upload screenshot examples of the Manuals here but 'Choose a file' had no effect.

By the way it would be nice if the Note Properties tab did not always revert to 'Head'.

In reply to by griffin25

Setting beam properties on a single note works as expected for every score of mine and on all the automated tests. If you believe you have a score in which some specific note is not responding to its beam property correctly, please start a new thread on the Support forum and attach that score along with steps to reproduce the problem. Then we can investigate.

I don't understand your question about the default beaming. Do you mean, how does MuseScore decide on how to beam notes that are set to Auto? As the Handbook explains, this is controlled by the time signature properties.

The note properties tab should stay on the selected tab as long as you don't clear the selection. Normally, beam properties would be very rarely used - once you've set the defaults you desired in the time signature properties, it should be pretty rare to need to override it per note. But when you do, just keep selecting notes and the properties panel stays focused on the beam tab. So if you do have several in a row you need to override the defaults for, just do them all consecutively. or if it's

As for the organization of the Handbook, I'm not sure what you mean. The MU4 Handbook is far better organized than any previous version - that is actually one of its great strengths. But if you have suggestions for how it could be improved even further, feel free to start a new discussion with your specific proposals on the Documentation forum.

But I'm also confused by your statement about the beaming section in particular - it's virtually word for word identical. Are you sure you are comparing the correct pages?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

OK I will do some tests and provide evidence, or not if I am wrong 🙂

Re 'default beaming'. I mention this as being what 'Reset' means in the Time Signature Properties dialog. —Doesn't 'reset' imply some default setting?

Example: If we look at Format / Style / Score / 'Stave line thickness', we have the little curved arrow icon, called 'Reset to default'. —Which by the way I love, because I can experiment, and indeed see the immediate result behind the dialog window. MS is really good in this department.

The same does not go for Time Signature Properties. (1) No immediate feedback in the score. (Would be nice.) (2) Currently I cannot get any meaningful result from this dialog. I will provide a bug report.

Re 'Note properties tab'. Yes true, normally it is a rarely used feature. It is only currently that I am hitting this property because of testing the feature. Point taken.

Re the Handbook. I guess I have been put off by the choice of a tiny font-size.

Next, MS4 Handbook has 641 top-level sections. For example we have

37 Menu bar
38 Home tab
38.1 My account
38.2 Scores
38.3 Plugins
38.4 Learn
39 Score tab
40 Publish tab

Everything seems to be flattened out.

Normally a Handbook follows a top-down structure reflecting the structure of the system.

Also, the Section Numbers are not proliferated to the content. This goes against all that I know of technical writing.

Regarding the text treating Beaming. I have printed this out for both manuals. MS3 [Handbook] is far easier to read.
- In MS4, lists seems to have lost their dots (•) and numbers. Dreadful.
- In MS4, there is a bizarre use of font-size ranging from too small to tiny. I am sure there is no consistency here.

In MS3, we have the section title: "Change default beaming"
In MS4 we have:
"Controlling which notes are beamed"
and under that, a sort of alternate Section name,
"Setting the default beaming for a time signature".

There is no such thing in technical writing as a double heading.

I understand that not everybody on the team is a technical writer, and they are doing their best. But there appears to have been a need for an experienced technical writer to act as an editor, to oversee everything. No software framework seems to have been used used to encourage consistency of formatting.

By the way, MS3 includes the text, "The 'reset' button cancels any changes made in that session." Aha! Now I have the answer to my question. The same text may indeed be buried in MS4, but I can't see it.

I guess my conclusion is that I will continue to use the strong community forums as my reference (thank goodness we have that), and the MS3 Handbook as a backup.

In reply to by griffin25

As I suspect, you are not looking at the actual MU4 handbook. The screen shot you show is from a flattened by-product of the actual Handbook - generated by a script from the real Handbook for the specific purpose of simplifying printing. The actual Handbook doesn't use numbered headings at all - it is organized in a more web-first format. It has two additional levels of structure above and beyond what you see in the artificially flattened derivative you are looking at. For instance, those headings are all on a page called "The user interface", which is part of a chapter called "Viewing and navigation". The MU3 Handbook didn't even have chapters - just a scrambled mess of top-level pages. And indeed, the script that generates the flattened copy from the actual Handbook can lose some formatting - it's not perfect.

Anyhow, again, this thread is most definitely not the place to discuss the Handbook. After actually studying the structure of the Handbook and reading up the supporting documentation about how it is structured and how contributions are made, if you have suggestions for further improvement, please make them in the Documentation forum.

And for the record, there are experienced technical writers overseeing the Handbook. If you also have experience and wish to join the effort, your contributions would be very welcome. but again, please make the effort the study the current structure and the supporting documentation explaining it and the processes.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Aha!! So that explains everything!!

I have up till now been ignoring the on-page Handbook since it always makes sense to work from a PDF.
- It will be searchable
- Navigation is facilitated by having a clickable table of contents.
- Plus all the viewing features provided by Acrobat or similar.

Why bother with the on-page version if the PDF is available? —Silly me!

I am very pleased to see that the MU4 handbook as it exists on-page is indeed beautifully formatted and very readable.

Perhaps "Download the handbook and create a PDF" is a bit misleading. Why on earth would I need a PDF of an unformatted document with fonts mangled and the lists unreadable ?? I suggest:

"Download a machine-generated PDF of the handbook. Note that some formatting has been lost in the process" at the very least.

I mean, there is a perfectly good MU3 handbook in PDF form. One would assume that the same would apply to MU4.

Sorry to cast aspersions on the Handbook team but I really have been assuming all along that this machine-generated thing was the sum result of their work.

In reply to by griffin25

> Sorry to cast aspersions on the Handbook team
AFAIK there's no handbook team appointed by the Musescore company, except the few volunteers who take responsibility in deciding the topic names and structure, one of them is Mr Sabatella. ...Any logged in user can edit and improve the pages of the handbook... Online encyclopedia is one of the few communism that actually works in the human history. Mr Sabatella also contribute to excellent new ms4 pages such as those under

You're right on the double heading problem, I think rewording them could avoid confusion. I'd like to but not sure how, please feel free to edit it. Don't wait for someone else to do it. What is the chance of a musician who knows proper beaming, and knows computer, and reads the handbook rather than ignores that particular engraving problem?

> experienced technical writer to act as an editor, to oversee everything.
Agree. Also in need of proofreaders who know new (and old) features well, to go thru and rate each page, correct and rewrite misinformation, or at least tag them out. The main problem is that so few are editing the handbook right now. By the way, one efficient way to get to know ms4 is to pay for quality 3rd-party resource, such as video tutorials on

> "Download the handbook and create a PDF" is a bit misleading.
> I mean, there is a perfectly good MU3 handbook in PDF form. One would assume that the same would apply to MU4.
Yes it seems only the musescore 3 handbook pdf got reviewed by a professional publishing editor somehow. "PDF" and "handbook" always make me think of a digitalized, real world, well-edited book, but frankly how many people know what an editor WAS these days? I feel musescore 4 handbook reads fine without the PDF download button, hardcopy readers are often disappointed by it anyway.

In reply to by msfp

Actually, two Muse Group employees were instrument in organizing and setting up the MU4 Handbook - Bradley Kunda (who is now the product owner for the whole MuseScore project), and long-time contributor Peter Jonas. I was also heavily involved as you mention, and thanks for the plug, and for your continued work on the Handbook!

I'm not sure I understand the "double heading problem", but again, if people want to discuss specific suggestions for further improvement, please make them in the proper place - the Documentation forum. Discussing the organization of the MuseScore 4 Handbook in a thread devoted to an issue someone had with a particular feature in MuseScore 3 is hardly conducive to good organization :-)

In reply to by griffin25

The PDF is nice to have but problematic indeed. It would be great to be able to generate a better version, but resources for that have been limited. Efforts on improving the delivery of the Handbook have been held back a bit by the framework on which the site is built. The framework made sense to use given the team and the state of the technology that existed 15 years ago, but unfortunately it's difficult for people to work with today. So we've focused on the content and hope someday to improve the delivery as well.

Anyhow, as mentioned, it's all open source, so feel free to contribute!

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