Page layout

• Mar 9, 2015 - 19:19

4 staff choral score, no piano reduction.

Musescore is only putting one system on Page 1. I can't see why - it's only a 4 staff score with some lyrics, and it looks like there's lots of room on the page for a second system. I did use the "Title" and "Copyright" blocks

I was looking for a "Number of systems per page" but didn't find it under "Layout" "Page Settings".

While I was there, I went to "Style / Edit Style / System / Fix number of measures per system", chose "4", clicked Apply, then Close, and... nothing happened. ** This really surprised me. bug?**

I also couldn't find an entry in Help covering this.

I realize it's two issues but both are related to Layout of a fairly simple score. I've used other scoring software ("f*" and "s*") (neither of which was I thrilled with, which is why I'm having fun with MuseScore)

(Sometimes I wish my handwriting were better - it would be faster (maybe.) )

TIA - Roger.


In reply to by xavierjazz

I try to avoid adding hard breaks - in part because the software seems to handle breaks really well and in part because it can be really hard to remember where you put them and how to remove them.

but I recognize there a standards. For example, Page 1 has the Title, which takes up space at the top. The two systems below space the individual staves and the "space between systems" very nicely.

Page two (and subsequent) doesn't have that, so systems don't line up across a Page 1,2 spread. Hard to read. On Page 2,3 the systems line up pretty well, although the staves are not lined up exactly. (Do I really care - probably not, but it would look better if they did...)

I almost don't know why I'm posting this - it looks really good, and I did it quite simply and quickly. OTOH, having got this far, and having some idea how excellent it can be, I'd like it to be spectacular.

as an experiment, I'm going to save it as a .pdf and email it to the guy to did the arrangement. I'm sure he'll be really pleased with it but I'm hoping that by the time he has proof-read it and sent back the corrections, I'll have figured out how to tweak the layout.

May I say how much I appreciate the support I"ve received from the community. Programmes like MuseScore are incredibly daunting, especially for the beginner who knows that everything s/he wants is there but isn't sure how to find it, or to use it once found. So, many thanks to all.

In reply to by Roger Priddle

BTW, line breaks shouldn't be hard to see or remove - the icon is plainly visible at the end of the system, and it is removed by simply clickings and deleting. Or via Edit / Tools / Add/Remove Line Breaks.

Anyhow, if you'd like help with the layout, please post the score you are having problems with and describe as specifically as possible what you'd like to see different. Chances are, it can done easily enough if you know how.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Question - are "soft" line breaks supposed to show too? or just "hard" breaks? I haven't used any hard breaks, and don't see any indications in the score...

Question 2 - is there a way to "force" a measure back to the preceding system (and, I guess) forward to the next system?

If I scale the who thing down, will it adjust by itself?

The reason for the two preceding questions is that I have 2 pages, plus 4 measures. And the reason I'm asking is that it's easier for me if "you" who know this so well just tell me rather than my experimenting . {"lazy so-n-so..."}

Question 3 - in the hand-written original, the composer uses 2 tied quarter notes on the 2nd and 3rd beats of a 4/4 measure. I, being lazier, would have used a half note. Is there a standard? Or is it a matter of preference?


In reply to by Roger Priddle

1) only hard breaks show, because only those are "permanent" - well, permanent until you delete them, and only hard breaks can be deleted. "Soft" breaks are managed automatically much the same as word wrap in a text editor, and are not something you can see.

2) To force a measure onto the next system, well, that's exactly what a (hard) line break does. Add a break before hte measure you to move down, and it moves down. Again, just like a word processor - to force a word onto the next system, add a break before it like


To move a measure up, again, just like a word processor, if there a (hard) break before the bnmeasure remove it. It there is no break, then the fact that it is on the line it is on means it wouldn't have fit on the previous line. So just like a word processor, you need to change something - font size, character spacing, etc - to get it to fit, and then yes, everthing reflows automatically. In MuseScore, "font size" for music is Layout / Page Settings / Staff space (literally the size of the space between staff lines), and the "character spacing" is the stretch factor (also in Layout menu, or keyboard shortcuts "{" and "}".

3) two tied quarter notes on beats 2 & 3 would not be standard in 4/4 time. I suppose I might do that if it looked more consistent with other measures - like a whole bunch of measures that had a quarter note on two, either by itself or tied to an eighth, and I wanted this to look similar. Or maybe (but doubtful) if beat 1 or 4 had something complicated enough that I worried the time position of the half note wouldn't be clear.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

(Am I just really slow - has always done a horizontal scroll? If so, man! I wish I'd learned that about 20 years ago!) (Ah well - better late than never.) (Old dogs - new tricks...)

(And if it's a new effect with MuseScore, congratulations - it's brilliant!)

Ok, more questions.

Top system, Page 2 - somehow I added a bit more space between the Alto notes and the Alto text below the notes. MuseScore brilliantly spaced things out, but... the extra space is the reason the staves (and hence the systems) of Page 2 don't line up with the staves on Page 3. I looked at it again and have decided that there is enough room to either a) move the text on Page 2 up, or b) move the Alto staff on Page 3 down by the same amount.

I tried to select the lyrics on the first one and got a surprise - lyrics didn't work. (This would be a nice touch...) (I thought that, if I selected them as a block, when I nudged them up they would move as a block.)

Ok, so I moved them individually. SHOCK - as I adjusted them, the music adjusted too! You guys are amazing.

However, I still have a bigger space between the AT than the others and the lyrics are no longer in the way. Is there a trick that will allow me to slide a staff up/down within a system? Am i going to find that by saving and re-opening it fixed it for me? (Why am I asking instead of just trying it?)

Ok, I tried, and it still hasn't shifted vertically.

I haven't found where to use the mouse or keyboard to manually shift a staff up or down. Given your track record, I now have to assume it exists and I'm too slow to find it. Help would be appreciated.

I'm about to try making a piano reduction of the 4 lines - let you know later how that works for me...

In reply to by Roger Priddle

Glad to hear you're figuring things out. Just a couple of notes:

- With a block of lyrics - any multiple selection - the Inspector works to mvoe everything together. And yes, the systems adjust to compensate (lyrics are special in this).

- Manually shifting staves with a system: shift+drag

- It's still the case that it's a lot easier to help if you post the score and describe precisely what you are trying to do.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc - I understand and appreciate that posting it is clearer for you. and undoubtedly more efficient use of your time. However, I'm old and retired - i.e., I have the time and I need the cognitive challenge. (And yes, when I was younger, I taught math and computers to "seniors" (read "old farts").

so it's my time to get even with those trying to teach me. i will try not to be too tedious, or repetitive, or to say the same thing over and over and over and..... .

(It's also worth mentioning that I've never posted a file to a site like this - so that that's going to be it's own learning experience...)

The other reason I hesitate is that I want to do it! When I was younger, I didn't understand this but it really isn't the same to have you do it and explain, even though we both know that it's far more efficient and effective. (if you notice the above, here's the old guy trying to remember html tags...)

And now I'll go the systems to see that work. many thanks for your patience.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for the hint on attaching files - I found the link but I'm still resisting The other half of my intransigence is that I accept the fact that you're busy and will not always get back to me immediately. Fair's fair.

The other factor for me is that, as a newbie with time I can document, not the bugs but the simple things like "the way you use a word is not the same as the way I hear it." Flagged, it can note some things for "Index" entries : "For X see Y". (Whoever's doing documentation is going to hate this idea...) (But I remember from the project I was involved in that documentation took as much time as development, coding, and testing combined. It just wasn't nearly so much fun .)

Ok, still trying to adjust staves in a system. F* or S* (don't remember which) had "handles" on systems that one dragged adjust the spacing. I can't find the equivalent in MuseScore. I tried selecting a measure in a systemthen < shift> - nothing. I tried selecting the staff for the whole length of the system - nothing.

I went to the "View" menu looking for someway to display "handles" - tried any entries that I thought might be it, but no.

Tried , , , (and down) - nothing showed up - but I assume that is for inserting. (Probably also displays if the spacer exists already.)

So I have not "intuited" the way to nudge a system prior to printiing.

This afternoon will be spent chopping the ice in my driveway (a little) but mostly trying to create a piano reduction along the bottom of the choral score.

In reply to by Roger Priddle

OK, created a piano staff along the bottom. Copied S to treble of piano staff. Exchange v1 for v2. Copied A to treble of piano staff. Works fine - both sets of notes are there. Even handles unisons nicely.

But ... Also copied lyrics, and where they had been adjusted in one voice, they did not overlay nicely. Looked for an option to copy "notes only" (i.e not lyrics) but didn't find it.

suspect the problem is that selecting S takes notes and lyrics - same with A. Question is how to "de-select" lyrics. I might be able to do it by selecting notes one at a time - thereby ignoring lyics - but that seems really "inelegant" (and time-consuming and irritating, and too easy to screw up!)

(From previous message - 3rd last paragraph. "Tried , , , (and down) - ..."

The ", , , " was originally "staff spacer up" command.

I repeat my earlier aphorism - "It's impossible to make something foolproof - fools are much too inventive!" and I'm the fool. sorry.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Interesting - I was complaining that wouldn't adjust staves. Turns out I was looking at page 1, and I was right. However, it IS changing the spacing on page 2, and 3.

Since my original question, I added two staves for a piano reduction - don't know if that had any impact... Wouldn't think so, but...

In reply to by Roger Priddle

Well, the Shift+drag only affects staves within a system, not systems as a whole. So yes, that's probably what you are seeing. To adjust space *between* as opposed to *within* systems, you don't drag, you use the min & max system distance settings in Style / General, and/or spacers.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Ok, here's another. The Bass vocal line is assigned to cello. I played it back and it was fine (ok, sounds a little weird but I only really care about pitches at this point...) until it got to a Bb above the staff. Key is D, line is rising from (accidental) F natural to (accidental) Bb above bass clef.

And the sound drops out for the two notes. Shouldn't be out of range for the cello...

I love reporting on things - probably my fault but maybe not... Oh, and it is the lowest pitch in the chord at that point - no crossing with tenor or anything...

I've attached the file - yea me!

Attachment Size
St._Mark's_Lamb_of_God.mscz 22.77 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Agreed, about the accents and the setting. at one point I researched it - at it's core it's a very old chant. Sounded to me like something modified by the "folk process" - ie someone didn't quite remember the original...

I'd love to see someone try to put their version of "One Misty Moisty Morning" into Musescore. I once tried to notate all the cross-rhythms - didn't even get close! I could sing it if the band was in another room... it's a constant off-set but...

"Hey, they're not 'real' musicians - they're just folkies." Yeah, right.

So if you're going to be in Ontario, Canada in the first week of July, let me know - we'll get you a ticket!

In reply to by schepers

No, it's actually a beautiful town, right on Georgian Bay, with about 400 years of post-contact history (which is unusual for this part of Canada). But there only about 15,000 people and we just barely have a new theatre with great acoustics that holds about 250. We haven't in the past had "significant" groups, which I absolutely consider Steeleye to be.

I'm waaay too excited about them coming up here and if I'm not careful I'll sell the theatre out with just my friends and acquaintances.

We have friends who are driving up from Toronto to see them, then we're all driving back to TO to see them again the next night.

Sorry for the "off-topic" digression...

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Jojo - that's great. Thanks so much for sending me a copy.

Do you mind if I play with it so that V1 plays, CH plays twice, V2 plays, CH plays twice, etc.? I have no idea if the software will let me, but it would be fun to try. If it worked, it could play as an accompaniment for singers.

(BTW - reading about the team reminds me (again) of the project I was involved in but in 1985, everything ran in DOS3.0 and the compiled program had to fit on a 5 1/2" floppy. We did design it so the library saved onto another floppy but, at the time, many machines only had the 1, and no HDD. not issues your team has to deal with... OTOH, we didn't have to deal with all the graphic stuff - just text.)

congratulations - you have created an amazing software package that is a marvellous contribution to people who do what we love. I hope you're finding some way to make money from it without selling the whole thing to one of your competitors... (I really don't want to see the "Avid" logo on the next release!)

(PS - should I wonder how you know I live in Midland? I know - someone checked to see if I could be actually useful in the project at some time. Hey - until 2 years ago, I had only 28.8 dialup access.)

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