correct beaming UK

• Jul 31, 2022 - 03:38

Hi. This is confusing me. Why is my answer wrong when i make it on muse score and it has this solution. Weird.

Attachment Size
incorrect answer 3107.png 17.67 KB
musescore answer 3107.png 6.84 KB


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

cheers. I put the program to revert to factory settings and it's still creating wrong quavers per timing. The proofing doesn't right it either. As I said the quavers are not setting correctly. I have it on automatic. This has got to be a problem in the programme. Where do i report the issue?

In reply to by mpvick

That handbook page doesn't tell anything about reverting to factory settings
What exactly do you deem wrong? What about the handbook page about (changing) the beaming is it that you don't understand?
What issue do you see, I see none. But this here is the place to talk about a (potential) issue.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I thought reverting to factory settings would fix the error in my musescore quaver groupings. But it hasn't
Quaver groupings being controlled by beams. ';ll just accept that my program is in error with groupings versus time signature. thanks for your help. Handbook doesn't show either. it's a theory issue that musescore doesn't group correctly. cheers.

When I input those notes with default MuseScore settings I get this:


Which seems to confirm that Musescore, by default, achieves the expected result so I guess that your settings must be different. Maybe someone else knows what causes this difference and how to fix it.

Edit: There's a beam difference on the last note of the first measure. Which version is correct? Does music theory determine this or is it personal preference?

In reply to by yonah_ag

"Music theory" has nothing to do with notation, really - theory is about describing how the music sounds, not what it looks like on paper if you happen to write it down using standard Western music notation. But, as a separate matter, there are rules of music notation to govern things like this. Some are pretty absolute - like no respected published has violated them in centuries. Others are more subjective. The rule that says, don'r beam a group of three eighth notes together when followed (as opposed to preceded) by a rest is only probably 95% of publishers follow. Looks too much like a tripet otherwise. If the rest comes first, then a good number of publishers consider that to be enough to clue you in that it isn't a triplet, and will go ahead and beam them. Maybe more like 50/50 in that case.

This seems to be the setting that achieves the 'correct' result but why 1 particular result is correct and the other incorrect, I don't know.


There is no such thing as "UKL beaming", as mentioned. There are definitely multiple correct answers, but also multiple incorrect answers, no matter where in the world you are. In your first picture, the answer shown as "correct" is indeed what I personally would choose for that particular rhythm.

The image you show as coming from MuseScore is wrong on a couple of counts indeed, but it appears you actually entered the music incorrectly. Had you entered it correctly, you would have only needed to override one beam - MuseScore doesn't understand you shouldn't beam three eighths together at the beginning of a half-measure in 4/4, so you'd have to manually set the last eighth in bar 1 to no beam (or beam start) via Beam properties.

But it's not clear exactly what you did incorrectly from just a picture. It is apparent from your picture that you made some very non-standard changes to your settings. For example, look how small your clef and time signature are - looks like you artificially increased the line spacing of your staff, which is a feature meant only for experimental music. if the goal was to simply make the staff bigger,r don't the line spacing - change the actual staff size, in Format / Page Settings.

Hard to tell what other settings you might have altered that are causing the beaming or other problems. So, as always, best to attach your actual score, not just a picture of it. Then we can understand and assist better.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc
Thx. I did reset factory settings in case i had doen something. I put it on another sheet this morning and it's come out the same. it seems the new page has fixed the first beaming problem with the semiquavers and quavers. So that was my error in page lineation.
I thought with 4/4 timing that the last 4 quavers would have been okay beamed together. But it seems it has to break between the 3 and 4 count. I'll add the repair sheet here as well. I tried going into Beam properties and there's no place to make a different break in the quavers. it says ADD but nothing happened for me. probably a once only need to know. blah.

Attachment Size
repair.mscz 74.67 KB

In reply to by mpvick

Factory reset won't change anything about your actual scores, and the problems in your original were due to settings made within the score. So no surprise that didn't fix anything.

As I explained, you do indeed normally beam eighths in groups of four, but there is a special exception for cases where it is three eighths followed by a rest. Presuambly your teacher explained that also, otherwise they wouldn't be testing you on it. So you might want to review that lesson as well as my explanation.

So indeed, you do need to manually beak the beam into the last eighth of the first bar, by selecting it and clicking either No Beam or Start Beam in the palette.

For the second measure, MuseScore's default isn't wrong at all - it's actually quite common to beam beat 3& into beat 4 in this way, in the UK as well as in the rest of the world. But, as I said, different editors do this differently. If the teacher of the specific course you are taking it prefers to not beam this way, then do the same thing here - set the note on beat 4 to no Beam or Start Beam. The logic here is apparently, beaming two eighths together makes them look like a single beat, and they aren't. Many editors consider the presence of the leading rest on beat 3 be enough to make this clear, but some people obviously feel otherwise.

BTW, in case it isn't apparent, the difference between No Beam and Start Beam will become apparent if there is another note on beat 4&. Setting the note on beat 4 to "N beam" will break the beam into 4& also. That would be wrong, so I'd recommend using Start Beam instead when doing this "for real" as opposed to just a test. That way if you later edit the music and add another note, the beaming doesn't become wrong.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.