How to get the lead sheet look

• Jun 13, 2024 - 21:01

Hey, I'm trying to make one of my lead sheets more like what they normally do, style and everything. I got all the font and music to look okay but I'm not sure how to get the title to look the same. I.e. overlapping bars with the title. Picture with what I want down below.

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First, you'll need a blank measure that fills the entire width of the page. I'm sure there are better ways to do this, but what I did was to set the measure's Measure Properties (apparently in the UK version it's labeled Bar Properties?) to 8/4. Then added eighth notes to fill the bar. Then set everything in that first measure (clef, time signature, and notes) to invisible and to not Play. Put a Section Break in that measure.

You'll need to experiment with the following two values to get it arranged to your liking:

Format / Style / Page / Music top margin

Highlight the title frame, then go to Properties / Appearance / Offset

That said, this is a bad idea. The reason why hand-written lead sheets looked this way was not because it was desirable, but out of necessity. A printed sheet of staff paper, of necessity, doesn't have a space at the top for a title. Personally, I suspect that many of those early jazzers--who had no choice but to write a lead sheet looking like this--gritted their teeth when they did so, wishing there was a way to make it look better.

I wasn't there, so I can't say for sure, but I would make a small bet that the desire to et rid of this appearance but still have a quick way to document and communicate a lead line was one reason (of many!) for the development of notation software.

It's also a bad idea because playback will always have a measure (however, long) of silence at the beginning. Unless you never use the Rewind button, but always click on the "actual" first measure. Obviously, if you don't care about playback, this is not an issue for you.

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