Tremolo placement

• Aug 10, 2017 - 10:03

MuseScore 2.1 Windows 7 Prof

I have been typesetting a work which includes many tremolo markings on individual notes, and I find MuseScore's default placement of the tremolo far from ideal. This is particularly true for up-stem notes, where the tremolo sits almost on top of the notehead. I have looked at Marc's "Mastering MuseScore" page 233 and Elaine Gould's "Behind Bars" pages 219-221. Elaine Gould's recommendations seem to be:

  • A tremolo of only one stroke intersects a stave line
  • Two or more strokes must be at least one stave-space clear of a notehead
  • A stem should extend beyond the outermost stroke
  • [The stem] will need to be extended to accommodate three (or more) strokes
  • When a tremolo note has a tail or beam, extend a stem if necessary so that the the tremolo strokes are clear of tails and beams
  • Where there are one or two strokes, it is clearest if they centre on stave lines
  • Tremolo strokes must stay within the stave so as not to be confused with, nor collide with, a ledger line

What isn't stated in either book but is suggested by the illustrations is that perhaps placement of a tremolo mark should be based on "distance from the beam or end of stem", rather than "distance from the notehead" (which I think is what MuseScore is using by default). I'm not sure on this point: any thoughts?

I have created a score with two examples: Ex.1 shows MuseScore's default tremolo placement, and Ex.2 shows what I think the placement should be. But other users with more experience of typesetting will surely wish to chip in with better suggestions?

Attachment Size
Tremolo_placement.mscz 26.6 KB


Agreed, our placement is not ideal. I welcome further discussion. I would point out, though, that for notes with neither flags nor beams, the position is more what you'd expect. It seems only flagged or beamed notes have this issue. I guess the intent was to avoid the flag and beam, but there are probably better ways.

One possible solution is to make it so you can move tremolos. I would settle for that, but better placement from initial entry is better.

In reply to by mike320

To be clear: text does not require a double click (same as Ctrl+E) in order to move, because that is how you actually edit the text itself. For pretty much all other elements, though - including ornaments as well as tremolo - double click or Ctrl+E is how you put them into Edit Mode in preparation for keyboard nudging, and double-click is also how you normally initiate a drag operation on most OS's.


First post, new to MuseScore but not notation.

Regarding Tremolo between notes, you'd have to alter the stem directions and reposition the tremolo to get it the way you want. This isn't stated in the documentation and I did not encounter a forum topic about this (but perhaps there is one).

It might be great to be able to control the angle of between-note tremolo. Perhaps even a "make flat" option.

Attachment Size
Tremolo Between Notes Example.mscz 10.27 KB

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