Note spacing + beam direction

• Jan 31, 2016 - 01:08

Two issues with the notes in the attachments:

1. Spacing:
I want these notes evenly spaced. In the Spacing2 example, no adjustments have been made; Spacing has been left alone. Musescore has not evenly spaced the notes--the sixteenths are closer to the eighth note following than the one preceding. In the Spacing1 example, Style | General | Measure | Spacing has been increased. Musescore spaces the notes further apart but still refuses to space them evenly. And if the sixteenths must be closer to one eighth note than another, I'd rather they were closer to the preceding than the following notes. That's what makes the most rhythmic sense to me, anyway. Is there a way to make these sixteenths behave?

2. Beam direction:
The sixteenth beams face different directions. I'd rather have them both facing backward (pointing toward the beginning of the measure rather than the end). The Beams palette doesn't seem to offer a relevant option. Can this be done?

Attachment Size
Spacing1.mscz 3.82 KB
Spacing2.mscz 3.44 KB


I'm not quite understanding what you mean by "evenly" here. You literally want the sixteenths to take as much space as the eighths? That would be highly non-standard. The space to the right of a note is supposed to be proportion to its duration, and that is what MuseScore and most other software and professional engravers normally do. So, it is correct for a sixteenth to be closer to the eighth note following that the one preceeding.

But you can certainly manually position the notes that way if you have some unusual special reason for this, for example using the "Horizontal offset" in the "Chord" section of the Inspector.

As for the beaming, this is done according to standard rules of engraving as well, and currently there is no way to force non-standard direction except by playing with the beam properties in non-obvious ways. The first sixteenth is supposed to point right because it is part of the beat 1& whereas the second sixteenth is supposed to point right because it is part of beat 2. You can force the first sixteenth to point the wrong way if you want by setting the beam property on the note after it to "Beam 16th sub". This tells MuseScore to allow a first beam but not a second between the second and third notes, and this forces the partial beam to point backwards.

In reply to by TupperCoLLC

If my explanation above does not resolve the issue, then it seems maybe you are talking about something different? In order to be of much help, we would need you to attach the score you are having trouble with and explain the problem in more detail. Again, as explained above, the default spacing and beaming in MuseScore should be correct in almost every situation. You should virtually never need to mess with spacing and only occasionally with beaming.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

wow thanks! I was not expecting such a quick response. I have it included now. The spacing is just bugging me, especially in the first line and others. The score is actually one I downloaded from here but took out all but one part to make it easier to read for performance. My closest guess is that the notes were spaced to match the other parts, but is there a way to revert that?

Attachment Size
Lucky_-_Jason_Mraz.mscz 30.95 KB

In reply to by TupperCoLLC

There are four instruments in the score. Three of them are invisible but have notes in them. If you want to look at only the viola part then use the menu File->Parts and extract only the viola part and the spacing will not be affected by the invisible staves. What you are currently seeing are the results of what I explained in my other post.

In reply to by TupperCoLLC

Not really from a different part...
Looking at your attachment, somehow it got displaced/dragged from measure 41. It's actually a whole measure rest. Select the rest and press Ctrl+R and it will reset to its default location - i.e. measure 41.
For whatever reason (probably a mistake), the original transcriber entered that single melody note (B3) of the measure into voice 2. That's why the rest can't be deleted - it's in voice 1, and voice 1 rests can only be made invisible.
Entering the melody note properly into voice 1 (or exchanging voice 1&2) will get rid of that rest, leaving a rest in voice 2, which can be deleted..

BTW: Measures 49-50 and measures 86-90 of the cello part should have voice 1&2 exchanged too, so that all those unnecessary rests can also be deleted.


In reply to by TupperCoLLC

If you have more than one staff, the spacing between 1/4 notes will be adjusted to accommodate shorter notes in other staves in the same measure. See example:

note spacing.png

The effect can be seen in the first measure on the bottom staff. There is extra space after the 1/2 note to allow room for the 1/4 note in the other staff. In the second measure on the first and third beats the extra spacing can be seen in the first staff to accommodate 1/8 and 1/16 notes. With 1/4 and longer notes there is nothing that can be done about this except to manually adjust their locations. You can get equal spacing on notes that are beamed by using local relayout in the inspector when you select a beam or beams. This is not standard notation and would likely confuse a piano player if you were to use this option. A live conductor would also find this confusing in a multiple instrument score.

Thanks all! Sorry to bump a two year old thread but I can see the topic is quite active now so yeah. Heading out to rehearsal soon. Thanks again!

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