Simple Questions - I've Tried Everything?

• Mar 24, 2015 - 16:31

I admit I'm a newbie, but I try for a long long time to figure things out for myself before asking questions. I'm writing a 4-part a cappella barbershop arrangement, but can't figure out what I thought would be simple issues? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

1. How to increase distance between the key signature (or time signature) and the first note in the measure? My key signature is so close to the first note, it almost looks like an accidental for those notes?

2. Its a piece in 3/4 with a quartet note pick-up to start. I can't get any less stretch in my pick-up measure? The pick-up note is "hugging" the time signature, and leaving a big space before the first full measure. I've tried less stretch, adjusting the pick-up measure properties, I'm stumped?

3. Again, I'm in 3/4 time, but when a measure has only one note (a dotted half) the note is against the left margin of the measure? Is there any way to "center" a note to the middle of the measure?

Thanks so much. I hope someone can help?


1. Shouldn't the time signature be between the key signature and the first note? Be that as it may, from the Style menu, choose General, and in the Measure section of the window increase the value for "Clef/Key right margin."

2. Just keep adding less stretch. Select the pickup measure and use the shortcut "{" until it gets there.

3. This is by design, and standard practice in sheet music. Suppose you had more than one part, and in a certain measure one part has a longer note, and the other has shorter notes. In order for the beginning of the notes to line up in this situation, a long note simply always starts at the beginning of the measure. However, if you really want to, you can manually adjust the position of the note and stem individually, in MuseScore 2 via the Inspector (increase "Horizontal offset") and in earlier versions by double clicking the element to enter edit mode and using the right arrow key.

By the way, welcome aboard!

By trying various things it is highly likely that you have got all sorts of stretch and other attributes that you don't want in your score. Either reset stretch and reset positions (Layout -> Reset Stretch followed by clicking anywhere on the score and typing [Ctrl]-ar ought to do it) and try again a bit at a time or post the score here so someone can look at it and maybe give you a few tips.

AWESOME advice from BOTH of you!!!

As a chorus Director I know how it feels to help someone with something that's easy-peasy to me, but totally baffling to them. I thank you both for making that same difference for me! Everything you guys mentioned worked, and made sense! I didn't quite grasp the "inspector" thing, but you were right anyway about whole notes being "Left Justified". (Dah... )

The reason the key signature was too close to notes in the measure is because the "Time Signature" only appears on the first line. I haven't figured that one out yet, but I will!
This is like learning a new language, but I'll help someone in the future too if I can?

Thanks Guys!

In reply to by tomroe1

It's normal for the time signature to only appear on the first system.

The default amount of space between the key signature and a first note with accidental is pretty generous - more space than some would recommend. It's possible you've somehow reduced this in your playing around. If you find that even after resrtting stretch, you have some case where there does not seem to be enough space, feel free to post the score as an attachment. And as mention, you can always increase that setting. But it should not normally be necessary. Here is an example produced with all default settings:


In reply to by tomroe1

You say you "didn't quite grasp the 'inspector' thing". Is it possible that you just started using MuseScore hours before MuseScore 2.0 was released (this morning)? If so, I'm sorry to tell you you have to download a new version already, but go download MuseScore 2.0 from the home page! You'll get to have all sorts of features that aren't in 1.3, including the highly useful Inspector.

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