Adding time signature changes adds bars and removes breaks

• Mar 3, 2023 - 14:05

I'm currently compiling my ceilidh band's tunes into MuseScore 4, as most of it is a fifth generation photocopy and practically unreadable, and I'm creating two scores; one for the dance sets, and one for the tune sets (that we play while people are resting from their energetic Stripping The Willows and suchlike).

For a transcription project like this, where I'm compiling multiple sets into one score and I know exactly how many sets I'm working with, I prefer to do the layout formatting first and then add notes, bars, key signatures, time signatures etc. to each set, as it is much quicker for me to work with, rather than getting bogged down in the minutae of how the score looks as I input the notes. Not to mention, I might want to add a new set in the middle of the score, or start work on set 7 before set 2, for example. In the attached file, you'll see the layout that I've done already, plus the first set completed.

I am running into a very irritating issue when I attempt to add time signature changes. I have four empty bars ready to work with for each set, and page and section breaks on the fourth bar, to keep the sets on their own pages and for visual clarity while I'm working. When I add a time signature change to the empty measures, bars are added after and the following page and system breaks are removed. Section breaks seem to be unaffected, but don't function as they should.

I'm at a loss as to why any of this is a feature; I would expect empty measures to adjust to the time signature without adding bars to compensate, and I put those layout breaks there for a reason, so I don't want MuseScore to remove them.

Is this a bug, or a feature? If it's a feature, can I turn it off somehow? Perhaps these irritations of mine are useful to others, but it's significantly impacting on my ability to work, and I would at least like to be able to opt out of them.

I'm grateful for any advice and insight!
Thanks in advance.

Attachment Size
Ceilidh Book A.mscz 17.64 KB


Yes, that is normal and by design. Whenever you change a time sig to something that is not mathmatically identical, you'd potentially have more or less measures per system, and the barline which had the system break attached no longer exists either

I prefer to do the layout formatting first and then add notes, bars, key signatures, time signatures etc.

Please, save yourself a lot of heartbreak and drop that habit.
As Jojo-Schmitz explained, inserting a change of time signature has a fundamental effect i.e. a different number of beats per measure, barlines shifting around, number of measures increasing or decreasing. So layout makes no sense at all until the time signature changes have been entered throughout the piece.

The ideal workflow for your purposes would be:
1. Insert all the time signatures.
2. Insert your preferred system breaks and page breaks.
3. Insert all key signatures.
4. Enter the notes, perhaps reducing the Scaling if some systems overflow your layout:
Format > Page Settings... > Scaling > Stave space

As above, but if you have already laid out a lot of scores and want to save some time (some time, not a lot of time), consider entering the Time Signatures starting near the end of the book and working backwards. You'll still need to delete some measures and maybe add a few in when it comes to inputting the notes but most of the Breaks should still be in place to keep the overall structure amenable to copying over from paper.

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