Fitting a chart onto 2 pages

• Mar 5, 2021 - 04:36

Hello! I'm a Sibelius user, and new to MuseScore. Can you please help me:
1)How can I "hide empty staves" from a two line staff? It's an intro and only need one line.
2) How can I reduce the size so it's on one page, not 4 pages with half of it blank page?

Vivian Homenagem à Velha Guarda- 2 lines.mscz


As mentioned on Facebook, to hide empty staves, go to Format / Style / General and enable that option. You may also want to disable the option that prevents this from applying to the first system. Although I would also note, the second staff is empty throughout, so instead of hiding it, you could simple remove it - that would be done in Edit / Instruments.

Either way, when you do that, the piece fits on two pages very comfortably. But to make it fit on only one page, you'd need to decide if want smaller staves, or more measures per system. Right now you've placed system breaks every few bars, meaning you have 15 systems. That's only going to fit on one page if you use an extremely small page size. You can go to Format / Page Settings and try reducing it - it's actually unusually large right now. You'll need to remove the page break too. If you replace the page break with a system break, you can get all 15 sisyems onto one page with a staff space size of 1.2 mm, but that's not very readable. If on the other hand you remove all breaks, now it's down to just 10 systems at the current staff size. You can get that to fit on one page very easily, a staff space of 1.8 mm will do it - and that's still slightly larger than average FWIW (default is 1.75).

Here's a version with those changes. You'd probably want to reduce chord symbol size a bit too, or at least manually adjust them to to space them out better, as the page is still quite crowded at this size.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

OK, I made some changes and that helps, thanks!

FYI, I'm using default settings. This is a file that was written in Finale, and the only way I can open it is in MuseScore. My goal is to have 2 (or 3) pages with one blank stave so that I can write a second part--in pencil--and play it, maybe type it into the score.

How can I reduce the chord symbol size?
How can I make the staves more equal size? Some of them are crowded, somearent'.
How can I get measures 1-34 onto one page?

Vivian Homenagem à Velha Guarda- 2 lines.mscz

In reply to by Shoichi

Thanks, Shoichi, but I tried all 3 suggestions and none worked.
1- There's no Format/Style/Text. It's Format/Style/chord Symbols. I don't see anywhere to change the size. I tried to reduce it there but nothing happens.
2- I think I found the palette and systems breaks, but there is no way to add it to measure 34. I wish this program were more intuitive.
3. I can't remove it, don't know how. I click on it then press delete, backspace, but nothing happens.

Thanks for trying to help!

In reply to by Piveet

It's important to realize "intuitive" is in the eyes of the beholder, and if you're already accustomed to how one program works, anything that works differently will seem not intuitive by comparison. That said, I think you are simply misunderstanding a couple of simpler things and you'll be on your way to success shortly:

1) It's Format / Style / Text Style where you set the actual text properties, then Chord Symbol within that. All the text-related properties are gathered in one place to emphasize the similar nature of those controls from one element type to another. But then any type-specific properties - thing that apply to chord symbols but not lyrics, for instance - are gathered into separate pages. Keeps the dialog simpler. But, easier still, use the Inspector. That's actually the way to do tons of things in MuseScore, which is especially nice because it's normally always open. So, change one chord, then hit the "set as style" button ("S" icon) next to it.

2) Adding breaks is dead simple and as intuitive as can be - just like in a word processor, hit Enter. But you can use the palette if you like, just select where you want the break then click the icon in the palette to add it to that location; This is how you add anything from the palette. You can also use drag & drop if you've got extra time to kill :-)

3) Removing a break is as simple as clicking the break itself and pressing Delete. Not sure what is going wrong for you - dust in the keyboard, perhaps? A can of compressed air might help. But it definitely works to remove that break. We're talking about the little icon above the barline. It was present in the original version of your file, but I already removed it in the version I posted. So there is nothing to remove there.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

1) Thanks, I found Text Style at the very bottom of the page. Got it!
2) Are you saying to click on the measure then press return and I'll get a new system? I've highlighted one measure, both measures, one bar line... doesn't work.
3) Nope, doesn't work. Brand new keyboard too. Also...the version you posted was only one line so I can't use it. I'll re-post my current version but will see if my son has time to help first

In reply to by Piveet

Yes, click a measure and press return adds a line break right after that measure. It's worked flawlessly for me probably a million times, and I can't imagine anything that could possibly prevent it from working. Same with deleting a break once added. It would help if you made a screencast video, maybe we'd be able to tell better what you are doing wrong.

The version I posted was only one line because you said you wanted to hide empty staves, so I hid empty staves like you asked. The second staff was completely empty, so indeed, it was hidden completely. As I said at the time, it wasn't really clear why you'd want to hide the empty line rather than delete it, nor is it clear now why you are wanting to keep it after all. It would help if you explained in more general terms what you are trying to do here. At one point I think you mentioned wanting the second staff for an intro, but there is nothing there, hence my confusion. If you mean, you want to add the intro, do that first, then hide empty staves.

In reply to by Piveet

When you ask about making staves equal "size", I guess you mean, a similar level of density of notes. They were pretty uneven in the original version because it had all sorts of manually-added system breaks. The version you posted here doens't have those, so it's definitely better with regard to consistency, but it's too dense overall for my taste Maybe that's what you are responding to? You can have MsueScore space things more loosely in Format / Style / Measure, jyst up the spacing. But, it's far better I think to choose for yourself where you want the lines to break, same as one would in Finale or Sibelius. Here's, there are some tough subjective calls because some measures are almost empty (a half note only) and others very full of sixteenths etc. Soy ou need to decide for yourself how to balance the systems to your personal liking. That's why editors make the big bucks :-). But the tool is simple enough - just click the measure where you want to add a break, hit Enter.

As mentioned, to get 1-34 on one page, simply delete the page break. it's the little icon you see with a picture of a page, just over and a little to the right of the barline at the end of measure 29. Click it, press Delete, it's gone. Also works to press Ctrl+Enter. Just like a word processor in that respect.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The icon on measure 29 is finally gone, but not by the fixes you mentioned. I dragged it to a different location then deleted it.

I don't know what you mean by "jyst up the spacing" in Format / Style / Measure, but I think I can fix it in "Add/Remove Systems breaks" then adjusting the system breaks to every 4 or 6 measures.

In reply to by Piveet

I mean, go to Format / Style / Measure, look at the spin box for "Spacing", and turn it up - increase the value. The default is 1.2 (which doens't actually "mean" anything, it's just a number that affects spacing). But yeah, I think you're better off having the tighth spacing by default and adding the break s manually, then you can choose for yourself where to place them. For example, I found it pleasing to go with 8 bars for the first full system after the intro, then 8 for the next, the 6 each for the next two. Your version looks nice too, and now that you've hidden the empty staff, there's room for more systems, which is good.

I see you've also manage to add content to the second staff and hide it when empty, so, good job there!

A couple of things I can see with my "editor's eye" (I used to do this for a living) -

  • The Bb(#5) chord 16 was entered incorrectly, it's staff text rather than a chord symbol, which is why the "b" didn't turn into a flat sign. Best to simply delete it then re-enter it correctly (Ctrl+K, not Ctrl+T).

  • In music like this, personally I'd recommend a larger font size fotr the chord symbols, and small for the measures numbers. Both can be set in Format / Style / Text Styles.

  • You probably don't really need the staff name for the flute part, or if you do, you only wnat it for the first entrance. To delete it completely, select and press Delete. To have it appear only when it first enters is a little tricky - that would happen by default only if you had it on the very first system. But you can do it by adding a Section Break from the Breaks & Spacers palette to replace the System Break at the end of the preceding system, Then select the break, and in the Inspector, turn off the option to start the new section with measure 1, and set the playbac pause to 0. You may also want to delete or edit the "Piano" label that will then appear. But then, you'll need to reconsider the first sytstem as well. A judgement call to be sure.

  • Where you have the Coda, instead of preceding it by an empty measure that is never hit, use a horizontal frame from the Frames & Measures palette. And/Even better, put a system break on the frame so the coda starts on the next line.

As for video tutorials, there are many out there, but I can certainly recommend my online course, which includes some useful free previews:

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