How do I change distance between staves in grand staff?

• May 29, 2018 - 17:35

Hi, I'm trying to increase the distance between staves so that the stems do not clash together in the separate voices of a piano score. How do I increase distance? Also, I wanted to try putting the middle voice in a separate treble clef on the grand staff so that there are three staves. I think this will provide further clarity. Anyone know how to do this?

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In reply to by mjbartemusica1

This technique should no longer be necessary in the vast majority of cases, BTW. It was only used to creating uneven spacing within systems, like to separate the woodwinds from the brass and the brass in an orchestra score - it was never a way to simply prevent stems from colliding. Now, stems avoid each other automatically, and space is also added between woodwinds and brass (and similar cases) automatically.

If this music is meant to be played on the piano, I would highly recommend against three staves - that particular device is kind of a last resort for things that would otherwise be completely unreadable, and nothing about the excerpt I see comes close to that.

But for the record, to add a third staff, Edit / Instruments, and then after adding notes to the passages where you want them, Style / General / Hide empty staves.

I would, however, recommend using "Cross staff notation" (see to allow the middle voice to wander between staves as appropriate).

Just want to chime in here with something odd.

Just having problems with a piano grand stave that, when I add an arpeggio across the two staves, is fine, but as soon as I "save" the stave grows rather large. Annoying as the arp is only across three notes octaves apart, but it's meant to be played as a ripple. Any suggestions?


EDIT cannot delete post but the solution was to use two arp lines and extend them to "almost" have them touching

In reply to by [DELETED] 37205164

The better solution is to add a single arpeggio to the top staff, then use Shift+down to extend it to the bottom. This does the right thing and continues to work even if the distance between staves changes for whatever reason in the future.

The reason dragging didn't work is that MuseScore assumes elements on one staff shouldn't collide with another staff - normally a good thing to prevent. but here, you want the collision, so you also could have simply turned off autoplace by pressing "=" or using the Inspector. But, any such adjustment you make this way will be wrong if the distance between staves does change for any reason in the future. The Shift+Down method is the way to go.

Hello friends! I am not able to fix this, see attached. I added 2 more staves, then the distance increased between some staves on the last page as you can see. I was trying Format-Style-Page but can't find how to adjust the last page to look the same as the other.

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test.mscz 82.52 KB

In reply to by stefantrumpet1

The main source of difference in spacing is the dynamics - they require more space, simply as that. Your page doesn't have enough room, so you'll need bigger paper or smaller staves. Attempting to force the spacing the same without making those changes will just result in collisions - dynamics below one staff overlapping notes on the staff below (or indeed, possibly the staff itself.

Once you make the page big enough or music small enough or the second page to fit, the first page may space itself out accordingly as well - if you go to Format / Style / Page and re-enable vertical justification of staves. That's a new feature of 3.6 that's pretty crucial to leave enables on scores like this, in fact that is its whole point - to make the pages more even.

Also, I note the fact that for some reason you have flipped some dynamic markings above the staff, and this creates potentially collisions with the staff above, thus requiring more space than it should. You've also flipped some stems into unorthodox positions that cause them to extend further above.below the staff than they should when following normal rules of notation. Or maybe this came from MusicXML import and the importing program had specified these stem directions and MuseScore is simply honoring them? Anyhow, simple fix - Ctrl+A to select all, then Ctrl+R to reset those adjustments. Instantly the second page fits much better. But, you'll still want to consider some additional manual adjustment to avoid the need for so much extra space in cases like where there are dynamics below low tuba notes. And probably also reduce staff size a bit as well, especially since chances are other pages will require more room still.

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