Centered Measure Numbers

• May 19, 2017 - 18:20
P2 - Medium
S5 - Suggestion

This is a minor request, but I feel like it's important enough to put here.
Take a look at the preview score below. - Gordon Goodwin's arrangement of On Green Dolphin Street

Notice how the measure numbers are centered and below the measures? I feel like this should be an option in MuseScore to make the scores look more professional. I've never seen a published score have the measure numbers anywhere else, so making this an option would be very helpful for those composers that want to make their scores look more professional and publishing-ready (even if they aren't going to publish it).


I agree such an option would be nice, but for the record, measure numbers centered is not standard at all. The publisher of that Gordon Goodwin score might do it consistently, so if your only experience is with scores from that particular publisher, you might get the sense that this is more common than it actually is. Check out scores from almost any other publisher, however, and you'll see that centered over the barline is the standard, also as recommended by pretty much every standard reference on engraving (eg, Elaine Gould's "Behind Bars").

So if your main concern is having more "professional" scores, I wouldn't be concerned with this. But again, I would agree there is a certain practical value in this non-standard style, and I wouldn't mind seeing support for it be made available.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Reported version 2.2  
Regression No
Workaround No

Hey Marc, please forgive my rummaging. It seems that this is still not supported?

This is a case where there IS a significant "professional" milieu where "publishing" of the scores themselves is the exception rather than the rule: scoring for film/TV. Having large bar numbers centered in the bar is thought to speed rehearsal. Whether it actually does or not, LA musicians expect it and LA teachers teach it. The fact that standard reference works say otherwise probably says more about art vs. entertainment turf wars than about the utility of the practice. And I don't know that it prevails to this extent anywhere outside of Southern California; probably not. But there are A LOT of musicians in Southern California. Speaking personally, I decided I rather like it and had adopted it for my larger (and decidedly NOT commercial) scores back when I was still using Sibelius. I'd love to see it supported in MuseScore.

I don't have hard examples at hand that are not my own Sibelius scores. I work for an entertainment franchise you've heard of, and all the work they commission has large bar numbers centered in each and every bar. Ditto for the occasional other sessions I've played for. I know where to find a file cabinet full of examples, but of course the content is proprietary, so we're not allowed to post stuff like that on the internet; you'll have to take my word for it.

Priority P2 - Medium

I agree, worth supporting for sure.

As it turns out, the underlying framework is already present. Try adding a coda or other repeat text to your score then setting the alignment to centered and you'll see what I mean. So I guess meanwhile that's a not-very-friendly workaround. What we really need is a way to make measure numbers use that layout strategy. And probably to make another text type available for it, so you can do things like put counts for repeated measures centered over the repeat measure sign.