ADD: Multiple divisi, temporary staff, ossia

• May 10, 2016 - 14:20

A feature request:
Ability to temporary add any number of divisi, temporary staff and ossia.
The software engine should automatically do 'hiding staff' in the score and parts without assistance of the user.
This is particularly important for 1900+ scores, which utilise numerous divis variants.
Simply, the command should be:
-Add X vertical measures above/below of selected measures (or beats).
-Barline option (through, ...)
-Braces/Bracket option (...)
-Vertically respace (Y/N)

The command to remove these extra "vertical measures" should be by clicking on them and "remove vertical measures".

Now, a score that has numerous doubled instruments in winds and percussion (another feature request), and complex divisi variants is extremely difficult to execute in MuseScore. Not impossible, but tedious.

This would give another very important aspect of MuseScore with advanced options for orchestration (so far no many examples out there!).


In reply to by edizioneo

Specifically, there is a new "Hide when empty" option you can set to Auto (the default), Never (like the current ""Never hide" option), or "Always" (to make this into a temporary staff even without enabling "Hide empty staves" score-wide. There is also a new "Cutaway" option which can be used to create ossias and similar effects - it makes empty measures invisible even on the systems where the staff has content in other measures.

Jojo-Schmitz and Marc S, here is my suggestion.

Ability to temporary add any number of divisi, temporary system-staff and ossia.

This is particularly important for orchestral scores, which utilise numerous divis variants.

Divisi and temporary system-staff and ossia are very similar. Here I will describe it all at once, as Divisi.


Instead of using “add staff” (which would create one full staff across the score) there should be “add vertical measure”. This command adds one or more measures above or below selected measure(s).
“Add vertical measure” would therefore add measure just at the given point. It will not affect the rest of the score in any way. ONLY the vertical space needed to create “the vertical measure” would be added; and definitely ONLY in that system.


1. User selects one measure and click at the command “Add vertical measure”.
2. Popup menu offers alternatives:
    a. Add: above or below
    b. Add: X number of measures
        (number 1 would add one measure above, therefore creating divisi a 2;
        number 2 would add two measures above, therefore creating divisi a 3)
    c. Barline: through, invisible, etc…
    d. Clef: choose clef, and, Make clef: invisible / visible / cautionary
    e. Create Bracket or Brace: at the system start / always / never
3. User can select: partial measure, one measure, several measures to execute the command. Ability to create partial meausres and creating a partial measure above is very common with ossias.
4. Ctrl+click on the “divisied measure” would bring up the current settings and ability to add more measures if needed, or edit any other setting.
5. The command to remove these extra "vertical measures" should be by clicking on them and "remove vertical measures”.

(I have tested MS3 and unfortunately I get empty staves across the whole document which are blanked out. This is not the correct way. The user should not see any difference in the rest of the score. The user should be able to see only added divisi/ossia at the given point).

This option would give another very important aspect to MuseScore with advanced options for orchestration.

In reply to by edizioneo

addon: "add vertical measure" actually adds one staff, makes it invisible, and than just visible at the given point. This command also re-space the vertical distance so that at the given point where user adds a measure, the vertical space is created; consequently in the whole document it is kept intact.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

OK. I have it tried now again, and it works as you described.
The way I propose is the new way of thinking. Simply said, the notation program should do all things automatically. Here it looks similarly as Finale. It is fine, but give me a scenario.

With very complex scores (I will give you one classical composition Boulez "Notations" for orchestra, or some Takemitsu orchestral scores, or some classic XX-century operas) the engraver must go through whole score first to know exactly what number of divisi was used. Then the score is set up with numerous staves which doesn't have function at the particular moment.
For me your way looks as the sequencer: you add as many tracks as you need in the whole piece, and even one whole empty track is created even if you will use one second kick sound in the whole track. However, in a sequencer (most of them) you can group numerous tracks and bounce them into one track without loosing the information.

My proposal is more free and more close to real engraving and real composing: you add divisi or ossia at the point when you need. You simply don't need to care about hiding staffs or setting up additional staves at all.
This is very important with long documents, such as operas, where you really can'tcalculate all from the start.

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