Cross staff notation

• Aug 23, 2011 - 14:55

First, to clarify, this is not a question about Cross Staff Beaming (included in the Handbook), but a question about cross staff notation (not included in the Handbook as far as I can see).

This is the scenario for a piano piece with standard treble and bass clef notation:

1/ Right hand thumb to play E flat quaver below Middle C - E flat quaver to be notated in treble clef
2/ E flat is to be sustained - the note is not to be repeated - by being tied to a dotted crotchet which is held down by the left hand thumb "taking over" from right hand thumb while the right hand plays other notes - tied E flat dotted crotchet to be notated in Bass clef.

I can't find a way to do this. Is it possible? Can you help?
I've searched the Support and Bugs forum with "cross staff notation" but all I can find is issues re cross staff beaming - there is no beaming issue in my scenario.
Many thanks


So you're basically talking about tying a note from one staff to a note in another? Yeah, that something that one should be able to do, it seems. No idea if there are plans for that. Meanwhile, though, I'd try to fake it using a slur.

In reply to by JR

So you really want the graphic and the playback... Here it is :)

  • Use a slur for the graphics
  • Put a half note in the first staff in a voice you don't use
  • Make the half note invisible
  • Make the two E natural by using the up key
  • Make the two E silent with right click -> note properties -> velocity -> custom and 0
  • If you need the flat in the second staff, get it from the Z palette (Create -> Symbols)

See file attached.

Attachment Size
CrossStaffNotation.mscz 1.92 KB

In reply to by Nicolas

Thanks for the genius work-around. What if I want to add a real slur, not a tie?
In other words, I want the first note in the first staff to play, then also the second note in the second staff to play, and a curve connecting the two across staffs?

In my experience, often different hands are notated in the same staff using different stem directions and a fingering notation to change fingers. Then a slur to make more obvious that there is a hand change. You may not like this look, however.


In reply to by xavierjazz

No - the E flat is below Middle C - it has to be clearly "transferred" in the score to the left hand in the Bass clef for ease of reading the score because the right hand is crossing over the left hand at this point to play even lower notes and the right hand notation remains in the treble clef but with "8 vb_______" underneath to indicate these notes are to be played an octave lower. Left / right hand crossover like this often happens in piano keyboard music.

In reply to by Thomas

Sorry, this is no good because it would have to be joined to the second note - the tied dotted crotchet, which is held down and sustained by the left hand thumb - not joined to the first quaver which is played by the right hand thumb, and if it is joined to the second note (the tied dotted crotchet) then Musescore plays this again on playback i.e. it is not sustained as required in the score.

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