Line shaped proportional notation

• Sep 29, 2022 - 14:08

How can achieve a line shaped (proportional) notation such as in some works by Earle Brown (see attachment) without having to manually move every single line in position and going mad at every staff change or having to redo everything when changing something already written?

Alternatively, I would also be very happy with an "automated" way to have lines following the notes with proportional lengths as in the following video.

Attachment Size
Screenshot from 2022-09-29 15-07-04.png 290.1 KB


Without knowing more about this notation, I'd say, create the notes or rests, attach the lines to those, and then make whatever you want invisible. Then the lines should stay relatively in position as the measures widths and overall layout changes.

If you need further assistance, please attach your actual score, and maybe piointers to documentation on the meaning of those symbols.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The notation seeks for proportional duration but with a degree of ambiguity (some details - and the score - here… )
Your suggestion is exactly what I am doing. I wanted more of a way to "automate" the position (and possibly thickness) of the lines. So far, I write a note, call a line, give it a thickness, position it in front of the note, resize it to the desired length and go on to the next note. I would love to know if there is a way to set a standard thickness for the line and to have it placed beside the notehead instead of above or below the staff. That would speed up the workflow a lot.

Also, is there a way to lock elements in place once they are in the desired position? Every change I make to the layout of the staff, many lines change length and/or place

In reply to by jeetee

Very good suggestion thanks!!! I would need to adjust the vertical alignment but at least the line length would be preserved relative to duration at layout changes!
Is there a way to create custom lines like these? I cannot figure it out from the style editor and dragging from the score to a palette adds the line but then it does nothing when I want to use it (at least in MU4)

In reply to by sberla

You can certain set the line properties you want as style settings (eg, via the "set as style" button in the Inspector or similar control in MU4 Properties). Or customize one line as you like, then add it to a custom palette.

not sure what you mean about locking. If you place a line next to a given note, surely you want it to stay with that note, not fixed to the physical place on the page even if the note moves?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I will look into a way for doing that. I am new to MU and still getting to know it. I was looking for a way to have custom lines but as far as I picture from your suggestion, I should first make one in the score and then make it available in the palette, is that correct? Coming from Sib, I was expecting the opposite, first customise and make it available and then use it on a score.

I was thinking more of a relative position locking (e.g. to another element in the score such as a note or so) rather than absolute. With your and jeetee's suggestions I should be able to speed up my workflow now. Thanks!

In reply to by sberla

Yes, in general, the way to do this is do first add a line of the desired type to your score, then customize its properties in the Innspector (Properties in MuseScore 4), then Ctrl+Shift+drag it to your palette for easy reuse. However, if you do choose to use the note-anchored line, that won't work, but they were not designed to be used from the palette. At least I don't see a way to add one to the score once you've added it to the palette.

But I'm not convinced you want a note-anchord line anyhow. Your picture shows the lines all horizontal, not connecting note to note. So it seems a normal line is better to me. They are horizontal by default, and they are more or less the right length already (extending from one note to the next). So assuming you select the appropriate range (one containing the note alone) before clicking the palette, all you need to do then is move the line vertically into position (an explicit Inspector offset is probably best way to get consistent/accurate results quickly) and then maybe a single Ctrl+Right on the end handle to shorten slightly

Everything about this process, BTW, is the same between MU3 and MU4. But MU4 does provide explicit style settings to achieve direct proportional spacing. That would require a workaround (invisible rests in another voice) in MU3.

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