Getting bar lines and notes to line up vertically over multiple staves

• Mar 4, 2016 - 11:06


I'm having trouble with vertical alignment of content over multiple lines of score.

I have set 8 bars (grand stave) with 4 bars to a line over, for example, two lines. I'm currently achieving this with a line break after bar 4. On the second line (bars 5-8) the notes and barlines are not in the same position as in bars 1-4 (see attached image).

I've tried adding the time sig back in and making it invisible so the content of the lines are identical; this has not helped. I don't want to manually change the horizontal alignment for every note and bar as I'll have hundreds of these to do!

Does anyone have any advice?

Many thanks,


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If you are only concerned with the appearance of a generated PDF rather than creating a MuseScore score or MuiscXML file, then, for simple pieces, you can do this in 2.x by adding the time signature and making it invisible (as you have already done) but also by adding notes in Voice 3 on the left hand that you then flip (so they get out of your way) and hide (so they don't print).

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In reply to by underquark

Great idea! I've used this approahc on occasional as well. You can also use the "stretch" feature (see Layout menu, shortcuts "{" and "}") to increwase or decrease the size of individual measures.

I'm not opposed to adding an automatic measure-equalizing function back. It didn't actually work all that well in 1.3 - the widths didn't necessarily account for key or time signatures or clefs well, and it allowed you to easily shoot yourself in the foot by creating layouts where you couldn't actually fit as many notes in the measure as you were trying to, leading to crazy layouts with notes spilling over barlines. I'm not convinced these problems can't be solved, though, and I'm also not totally opposed to people going around with bullet holes in their feet if they want :-)

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I know this post is very old, but I would love to see this functionality restored. I have just downloaded MuseScore as a way to make master copies of folk songs for my Kodaly Collection. All the measures are supposed to align with one another exactly, and as I've got 100+ of these songs to do over the next year, I'd love to see that functionality return. Thanks!

In reply to by Chara Lynn Wad…

I'f I'm understanding the need, I think the best workaround for now is to enter invisible rests into voice 2 (a steady stream of eighth rests, for example) which will force more linear spacing for measures.

But to be clear: can you define what you mean but "supposed to align"? Standard rules of engraving call for measures to not align - it's considered an important aid to readability, reducing potential for getting lost. Is there a pub;isher you are working for who has a style guideline that you are trying to follow here? Can you explain further?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Let's see if we can revive this old thread yet again.

I too am trying to do something very simple with Musescore. Musescore is likely way overkill for this - Perhaps I should be using a simpler program or just doing them by hand.

Anyway, a lot of folk/pop is fairly repetitive and has patterns that fit well in even number groups. Example below is 4 measures per line/phrase. I trying to do just a simple chord chart where the goal is to easily see the structure of the song.

While fixed width measures would be nice, I could live with a switch to turn off automatic measure width changes. Still being able to use stretch manually would be nice. But I'd take no measure width changes at all over the automatic stuff. In the example below, if I add a lyric and push it to the left the measure gets huge and no amount of stretch decrease/increase can fix it. Even if it did, the other measures in the line start shifting around and it's hugely time consuming.

Maybe there's another way for me to add text for the lyrics manually that's not associated with the measure and won't cause it to resize?

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The_Letter_-_The_Box_Tops.pdf 25.98 KB

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi, Marc - it makes perfect sense for standard engraving rules; however, when collecting short folk tunes in a systematized way for analysis and thus easy retrieval, being able to align measures and rhythms vertically is imperative. It is also very helpful when young learners are analyzing form as well. Chara and are I both Kodaly inspired teachers and that approach requires we do this as we share tunes with one another - again in a systematized way.

I'm curious what it would take to get this functionality back - I'm willing to do the work arounds but I'd also be willing to pay for the old functions!

In reply to by bjorklundj

Mostly it would take convincing someone with the necessary programming skills and the available time that it is worth doing. I'm two out of three there, unfortunately the available time is the limiter.

Meanwhile, the workaround isn't too bad - a "minimum width" setting of 20sp or whatever (depending on your staff and page size) more or less does the trick right there.

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