split chord across staves

• May 11, 2016 - 02:43
P2 - Medium
S5 - Suggestion

This is an important convenience for two reasons:

  1. display:

    If a (> 4 note) chord is split into separate chords (> 2 note) across staves, first follow the workaround at: How to span a stem over two staves. Because the fixed point of the stem is the upper note of the lower chord, and you've dragged the previously lower end of the stem above the fixed end, the lower note of the lower chord is now stemless. Select the stem, and change the vertical offset to remedy this. It can be difficult to get the exact distance - otherwise, a notch from the extended stem may show.

  2. playback with arpeggiato (or other articulations):

    To arpeggiate across staves, write the entire chord in the upper staff. Mark the notes you intend to move to the lower staff as invisible (but keep them playable). Inscribe the lower split chord into the lower staff, and mark the notes as non-playing (but keep them visible). Arpeggiate the upper chord, then edit the arpeggiato symbol to extend across both staves.

So, clearly it would be greatly convenient to have natural support for split-staff chords.


Ideally, this would work just like cross-staff beaming, executed by the same command. The problem is that currently this is limited to moving an entire chord from one staff to another.

I strongly recommend that cross-staff split chords become supported. This is common keyboard music notation from at least early 19th century. The work-around outlined at https://musescore.org/en/node/25639 works as long as the inter staff distance is stable. But if for some reason the distance increases the stem of the lower staff note(s) does not reflect the increased distance. See as an example bar 53, piano accompaniment in the attached score. Try insert an inter staff staff spacer in bar 53 and see how the lower staff notes may get detached. This song (by a Danish composer) was first published 1853, see http://imslp.org/wiki/Romancer_med_Pianoforte-Accompagnement_(Fonseca,_…

Attachment Size
Den_elskende_Bondeknoes.mscz 45.49 KB

I agree - it is very common to write cross-staff split chords, especially in piano music. I would like this feature to be added in the future.

I agree, this is standard notation and especially in contemporary music is quite common. I've wasted many many hours dragging and connecting fake stems in Sibelius because this feature is not supported on it...

I want to add my voice in support of this feature. In harp music, arpeggiated cross-staff chords are everywhere.

In reply to by ge97aa

I would also like to see this implemented as well, but since it does not cause any type of crash, corruption or unexpected display, it's priority is normal. Actually, since you can produce these results with a little extra work, minor might be an appropriate status.