Future Update Suggestion: Measure Number Options

• Aug 21, 2021 - 19:13

Dear MuseScore staff,

I am working on a piece for orchestra and as per usual with orchestra scores, measure numbers, rehearsal marks, tempo markings, etc, all have to be on both the first staff and the first violins staff. My suggestion is that there could be an option easily to put elements like these on only certain staves. Right now, I have to put measure numbers on all the staves and then hide the ones I do not need. While this is tedious, it is not the main reason I suggest this change. When a measure gets moved onto another page, it resets the measure numbers I hide on the other staff and now they are all visible. This has put me in a near-endless loop of managing measure numbers. In addition, the measure numbers appear to ignore that all the changes I made to them after a certain number of staves have been hidden due to empty bars.

Thank you for your continued work on this amazing and accessible software.


Measure number options are rudimentary. I can have first bar of line, or every 'n' number of bars, but not both. I want bar numbers at the top of each 'instrumental family' [], but the top staff of the family changes, eg, horn, trumpet, tuba etc, but the appearance of the number is associated with a particular staff. Bar numbers and some notes / accidentals clash. I use bar numbers for compositional purposes, analysis and in final layout. I need more flexibility than exists in 3.6.
] While not a problem in the use of a conventional orchestra, I also need a way of 'defining' instrumental families, as I may have woodwinds, two or more brass choirs, and sub families within percussion / keyboard instruments, and heterogeneous families, such as two woodwind quintets.


In reply to by kevin.austin@v…

You can enable bar numbers for any measures you like individually in measure properties. or consider using rehearsal marks for that purpose if you aren't using them otherwise, and style them to appear as measure numbers.

Getting the measures numbers the top of staves other than the top can be done by enabling them on all staves, then making them invisible on the staves you don't want (eg, right-click one, Select / All Similar Elements in Save Staff, "V"). A pain indeed, band yes it will be nice to improve on this someday, but meanwhile, that's how to do it.

As for collisions, indeed, the autoplace mechanism doesn't work well with measure numbers because they are added too late in the process, so manual adjustment is often necessary. Realistically, that's likely to be the case even if autoplace did "something" to resolve the collision, as that something is unlikely to be exactly what you want.

If you attach a score you are having trouble with, we can advise further.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you Marc. Once again, I feel however that I have not made myself clear.
MuseScore has no intelligent concept of instrumental group. With a subset concept of 'instrumental family' which can inherit 'group' parameters, each time a page is reformatted – which is all the time, the program would decide what the 'top staff' of a group [or family is] on the page, and assign the bar numbers to that staff.
I know that this requires the reconceptualization of what a score is, which is a much higher level concept.

In my work, the staff does not remain 'static'. Unlike many traditional composers, I lay out a blank score before I start to put material into the score. Think [digital] 'painter', who doesn't start at the top left corner, and may not introduce material in contiguous areas.
I also have the very 'bad' habit of adding / inserting new staves while composing. The number of bars in my pieces increases while composing. I will move sections of the piece. I tried this with copy/paste with poor results. I should have used "insert". My bad.
All of these work habits would / do mean that I have to manually fix measure numbers over and over again.
The piece I am working on will be in the 400-600 measure range, and will use a variant of a quadruple or quintuple orchestra. Because it will end up as a 7 or 8 channel spatialized composition, the final form of the piece is not the score and parts.
Fortunately, in this piece, the 'orchestra' will have only one conductor / time line. But this is not a compositional invariant in my work.

In reply to by kevin.austin@v…

No, I understand there is room for improvement. I was just providing workarounds, since it wasn't clear you had discovered these.

I recommend not messing with the measure number adjustments I described until your composition is done, for the reasons you describe. Really there's no reason to need the addition numbers while it is still WIP.

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