spacing between systems

• Mar 2, 2022 - 05:11

in the current version of Musescore 3, the system spacing on my second pages is way too spaced out. This is a chronic problem. my attached score is a dramatic example of this.

Attachment Size
Bells_of_Norwich_SATB_DM.mscz 24.27 KB


The reason there is more space on the second page is that there are fewer systems. The solution is normally to simply add a page break somewhere to balance it better. It looks bad to have it unbalanced, whether you spread the extra space out like MuseScore or bunch it up at the top or bottom as you presumably are trying to do. In your case here, because the first page has the title frame, it should get the three systems, with the second page four. Then, maybe add space below the title frame and first system. The goal here is to get consistent spacing without resorting to ragged bottom margins unless it absolutely cannot be avoided.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for that, & after poking around I found an even easier fix.
"Disable vertical justification of staves" is a choice at
format / style / page
apparently in Musescore 3 that adjustment has to be made for every new score created. Seems like a bug of #3, but once you FIND it, it's an easy fix.

In reply to by lindasue

It's "sort of" a fix, but it gives you the ragged bottom margin that is really not good either. And, it comes at a pretty heavy price, especially for music with more than just one or two staves per system - it means MuseScore won't be able justify that bottom margin by spreading staves between system, only by spreading space within systems. So you'll have pages where the bottom margin is good there is too little space within systems and too much between, and also pages with uneven bottom margins that could have been made even but weren't.

So think of that more as a last resort only good for one-line or occasionally two-line scores. Still your first line of defense should always be balancing your pages if you want the results to actually look good. You shouldn't apply that hack to all scores - only to the ones you for whatever reason cannot find a way to balance, and for which you are OK with ragged bottom margins and less optimum spacing on pages other than the last.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Cool. Just so you can see what I'm talking about here's how I would have done it, leaving the justification on but adding a page break and increasing the size of the gap below the title frame. Because there is still quite a bit of empty space, I also increased the page margins. This maintains the nice even bottom margin and also has nice space within and between systems. If we were considering this for inclusion in the various songbooks I have edited, this is more or less how it would appear.

Attachment Size
Bells_of_Norwich_SATB_DM_2.mscz 21.58 KB

Having read all of this, and being consistently frustrated by Musescore's inflexibility with regard to system spacing, I see that the question is not really answered because the program can't do the one thing it needs to do: allow the user to manually increase the space between any given systems (either globally or individually.)

While in theory, I understand your aesthetic objection to this, in practice we need to do it. See Finale for example: I can easily move individual systems. Why can't Musescore allow that? It makes no sense.

In reply to by saltp

Not sure what objection you mean. MuseScore provides both individual control via spacers and global control via style settings. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to use these features, just start a new thread, attach your score, and describe in more detail what you’re trying to do. Then we can understand and assist better.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Sorry, but I don't see it. The spacers, from what I can tell, allow manual adjustment between individual staves within a system. Are you saying that they also allow adjustments between individual systems? I'm thinking specifically in the case of Grand Staff systems for piano.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Figured it out. Part of the problem was terminology. The spacer you need to (the I-beam-looking thing) says "staff spacer fixed down" for the tooltip. To me, anyway, that's confusing. I see now that by putting it in the lower staff of a system I can increase/decrease the distance between systems. I also see that you answered the question above, but I misunderstood that. Anyway, solved. Thanks.

In reply to by saltp

It's important to realize that while FInale may have had limitations that made adjusting systems one by one make sense, MuseScore works differently, and there are usually better ways. MuseSocre in general does lots of things automatically (collision avoidance etc.) that Finale does not. So instead of assuming that adjusting everything manually like you are accustomed is the way to do things in MsueScore, I encourage you to attach your score and describe in more detail what specifically you are trying to do. Chances are excellent there are faster ways of doing it than manually adjusting things one at a time.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks, Marc. And yes, I have noticed that difference in MuseScore vs. Finale. It's one of the reasons I'm slowly migrating over here after about 28 years on Finale. A lot of these things SHOULD be handled automatically, and quite frankly, the kinds of things the Finale doesn't do automatically (simple stuff like adjusting spacing on the fly) is one of the reasons I've grown tired of that app. But I do understand that some of my frustrations with MuseScore relate to being used to certain workflows in Finale.

It's not one specific score, but I will share some examples next week. Thank you all for taking the time to set me straight!

In reply to by saltp

I'm someone who also used Finale for many years, but switched over to MuseScore in late 2021. I did it initially because I was moving from Windows to Linux Mint (zero regrets!) and Finale isn't available for Linux users. MuseScore really surprised me with how much I like the way it does certain things; I'm quite happy with it. I have a huge new appreciation for open source software. Can't get enough!
- Rob

In reply to by RobHunter123

My overall impression here is that Finale is far better at note entry and advanced customization features; while Musescore excels at automatically formatting the page (which Finale is terrible at.) What I'm finding more and more is that I'll do my composing in Finale because it's much more fluid in getting notes down quickly. I may even do most of the dynamics and articulations in Finale, but with piano music in particular, I'll finish it off in Musescore because it's got the best system for entering fingering of any notation software BY FAR. It's absolutely brilliant for that and the automated features.

In reply to by saltp

Can you explain what you find more "fluid" about note input in Finale? To me, the two processes, while different in details, are pretty much exactly equivalent in efficiency. Whichever any given person is more accustomed to might seem easier to them subjectively speaking, but the number of keystrokes/clicks should be identical either way. Unless you are talking about real-time MIDI input specifically, in which case, MuseScore's isn't as nice as Finale's indeed. Finale will definitely win in adding dynamics and other markings that require the palette in MuseScore, but MuseScore will be about the same in most articulations since those have shortcuts. MuseScore does great with automatic layout - and MuseScore 4 will be even better 0 but you're definitely right about Finale providing more advanced customization features too.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, I'm thinking particularly of tuplets: Musescore, with Musescore, as far as I can tell, you can't enter a stream of tuplets without going through some weird machinations. In Finale, if you press the caps lock key, option-3, and 4 for 8ths notes, you can enter a stream of 8th note triplets without entering the keystroke again. Granted, I do almost all of my composing from a keyboard (and MIDI-enabled piano.)

Real-time midi input is a mixed bag in any case. I'm mostly concerned with fluid step time input. I do ALL of my composing on the computer, and it needs to be a smooth process. Finale isn't perfect, but of all the notations programs I've tried (including Notion and Noteflight) it's still the most fluid for step-time MIDI input, particularly with regard to advanced rhythms.

I hope that Musescore 4 at least addresses the cumbersome method for entering tuplets. Until then, I'll be moving my scores back and forth between the apps via musicxml. It's not a terrible solution, but of course, I'd prefer to stay in one application.

In reply to by saltp

Yes, that's one special case where it does an keystroke per triplet. Not really "weird machinations". Definitely room for improvement, but unless your music is unusually dominated by successive triplets, it's not a significant difference in practice.

In reply to by saltp

Sure, indeed, any type of tuplet. I agree that specific case is less efficient. It's just that for most music, tuplets are probably less than 5% of all notes. So I was confused by your original statement about Finale being better "far better" and "much more fluid" - made it seem like maybe there was you were missing about MuseScore not note, since objectively speaking, again, they are virtually identical in efficiency. But indeed. if your music in particular uses triplets a lot more than average, those extra keystrokes could add up.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I'm not sure where you get that the "tuplets are probably less than 5% of notes." Maybe in modern pop (where they generally don't use more than four chords) but not the case in most music. Even in the classical period: can you imagine composing Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata in Musescore? All triplets. Technically, he could have written it in 12/8, but he clearly didn't because of the dotted 8th, 16th figures in the melody and bass.

Or how about Appassionata with its stream of quintuplets?

For something more modern, I'm sharing a piece of mine that I composed in Finale and finished (well not quite finished which is why it's unlisted) in Musescore. Doing this in Musescore would have been...problematic.…

In reply to by saltp

Obviously 5% is a made up number. But yeah, for a small number pieces like Moonlight or your "math" piece, the tuplets might predominate. Still, that's a tiny subset of all pieces. And for cases like that, the workaround of prefilling with rests does work well.

Anyhow, you definitely have a point that this one particular notation does take slightly longer in MuseScore, so if you tend to write a lot of pieces like that, it will seem like a bigger deal than it does for most.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Fair enough, Marc. Fair enough. Yes, that work around is OK, but it’s just that: a workaround.

Now of course I’m wondering just what percentage of music does have tuplets.🤣

In the meantime, I’m staying with my workflow of Finale—>MuseScore. And sometimes back to Finale.

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