Stems and flags

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    Stem direction

    Default stem direction

    MuseScore aligns the stems of voice 1 notes according to the conventions of music theory. By contrast, voice 2 and voice 4 stems point downwards by default, while voice 3 stems point upwards. Voice 1 stems automatically flip upwards in the presence of voice 2 or 4 notes.

    Flipping stem direction

    1. Select either the notehead, stem or attached beam (if any)
    2. Use any of the following methods:
      • Press X
      • Click on the "Flip direction" icon in the Note input toolbar
      • Select a stem direction from the Stem tab in the Properties panel

    This action will flip any attached beam as well.

    Changing stem length

    1. Select the stem
    2. Use one of the following methods:
      • Press / to extend or shorten the stem
      • Change Length in the Properties panel

    Creating stemless notes

    To hide the stems of individual notes:

    1. Select one or more noteheads
    2. Go to the Properties panel
    3. Select the Stem tab
    4. Select the checkbox next to Stemless

    To hide all stems in an instrument part:

    1. Right-click on the staff and select Staff/Part properties
    2. Click on Advanced style properties
    3. Select the checkbox next to Stemless

    Stem and flag properties

    Properties specific to stems and flags can be edited from the Stem tab in the Note section of the Properties panel:

    • Stemless removes the stem (and associated beams) from the selected note(s)
    • Stem direction:
      • Auto determines the direction of the stem according to the voice of the selected note(s)
      • Up and Down override the default stem direction
    • Flag style sets the appearance of flags for the entire score to either traditional (default) or straight
    • Thickness determines the stem's width
    • Length determines the stem's length
    • Stem offset can be used to move the stem in a horizontal and/or vertical direction

    Stem and flag style

    Global settings for Stem thickness and Flag style may also be set in Format→Style→Notes.

    See also