Questions about staff size and margins

• Apr 10, 2024 - 02:43

Moving to the next level of engraving:

1) Does the staff size setting account for line thicknesses? What are the (default) staff line thicknesses, exactly? In other words, Is a five-line staff with a staff space of 1.75mm (the default) equal to 7mm (4x1.75), or to (4x1.75)+5n, where n=the staff line thickness?

2) Does the left hand margin begin at the brace/system bracket, or at the start of the staff (at least in solo music where there are no instrumental part labels)?

Are the answers for these different for 3.6.2 (in which most of my existing scores are set) and 4.2?


"Does the left hand margin begin at the brace/system bracket, or at the start of the staff"

If you select View > Show >Show page margins, you can see exactly where the page margins fall. By default the page margins are not shown.

Stave line thickness is set in Style > Score, and defaults to 0.11sp, where sp is a stave space. So, for a stave space of 1.75mm, the stave line is 0.1925mm thick.

The stave space is the distance from the vertical centre of each stave line to the next. So, technically, the 'absolute' height of a stave, measuring from the top edge of the top line to the bottom of the bottom line, is (size-of-stave-space * number-of-spaces) + (size-of-stave-space * stave-line-thickness), or 7.1925mm for a default 5-line stave. This is the same in 3.x and 4.x.

Since MuseScore 4.0, brackets and braces now extend into the left margin space (when there are no instrument labels), i.e. the start of the stave itself aligns with the margin. In MuseScore 3.x, brackets and braces would start at the margin. As mentioned, this can be seen by turning on View > Show > Show page margins.

In reply to by oktophonie

Thanx! Since making this post, I explored by enlarging a staff (of 1.75mm), oh, about 5000%, and using a ruler to measure on the computer screen. I got a line thickness of .2mm, and also noticed that the stave space was measured center-line to center-line; but I wouldn't have realized that the line was proportional to the stave size.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.