Note Spacing

• Dec 26, 2018 - 01:50

How do I get the note spacing to equal the note values?


It depends on what you mean. The spacing is already based upon the length of the note. Explain better and someone can tell you what you need to do.

In reply to by mike320

Spacing is based on the length of the note? Really? How do you explain this?
The half-notes take the same space as the quarter-notes, and the quarter-notes take the same space as the eighth-notes, which means that half-notes also take the same space as eight-notes! Not only is this unattractive, it's hard to read too.

Using Musescore 3.2.3 on mac.

Attachment Size
Screen Shot 2019-08-17 at 4.05.18 PM.png 29.76 KB

In reply to by smb13

The spacing in the code includes a logarithm in it that makes the spacing look like old fashioned typesetters used to make it look. This means that it's not a table of constants to determines the spacing but rather the locations of all the notes on that beat in every staff.

In reply to by smb13

Which measures with whole notes are you seeing as curiously large? Again, the defaults should produce spacing that is correct according to modern engraving standards, where a whole note takes a little more room than a half note but not as much as two of them, unless you have put in line breaks to force measures to be much wider than their defaults, in which case they might seen very similar in width, which si again correct.

Basically, in order to understand what you have a question about, we'd need you to attach the actual score.

All of that said, it would probably not be too much work to add more controls to the spacing algorithm. The current formula is a complicated mathematical mess I don't really understand, but I could imagine there being parameters that could be passed in, or radio buttons to select between the standard algorithm and other (like one to produce equal spacing of measures, a fairly common request).

In reply to by smb13

It's not the same space, it's proportional in a sort of logarithmic way, which is correct according standard rules of notation. That is, half notes aren't supposed to take twice as much room as quarter notes, but more like 1.4 times, or twice the amount of space as eighth notes (as opposed to four times). And this is the approach correctly taken by MuseScore. Your example shows spacing on the relatively tight side, but add some line breaks or otherwise increase the overall spacing factor (eg, Format / Style / Measure / Spacing) and the differences will be more obvious. Youll see half notes really are taking twice as much space as eighth notes.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes, you're absolutely right about the "logarithmic" spacing, which is what sheet music publishers have been doing for centuries. The term "twice" is really short-hand.

I've been peppering my scores with line breaks to make it look better. But it's a pain to go through and do each part separately!

In reply to by smb13

Realistically, there is no substitute for that anyhow, as you should be putting in breaks based on the actual musical phrasing, optimizing where page turns happen, etc. But if you just want overall "more space", that's easy enough to make happen by increasing the spacing setting in Format / Style / Measure.

When someone is playing the piano for example, it is helpful to the player if the printed score spacing reflects the timing of the notes. with most other software other than musescore this is naturally the case. In musescore when you first insert the notes of a single instrument including piano this does indeed happen. But start getting more complicated like putting in text (lyrics) for example, and the note spacing goes all over the place (a total mess), and I cannot find a way of getting back to the preferred arrangement of the space following a half note being twice the space following a quarter note, and so on. Sorry it is now a long request, but I don't think I can put it any clearer.

In reply to by Geoffrey Higges

When you play piano, you normally don't see the entire score, but rather only the piano part. Creating parts would take care of this irregular spacing problem you have. If you see a score with a piano and one part (like violin or voice), the other part is normally smaller so the spacing issue should also be minimized. You can make a staff small in staff properties. Right click the other staff and you will see Staff Properties in the menu.

Thank you very much for your comments. Keeping the piano part separate from the choir parts is a possibility I could try. (The comment about overlapping words could probably be overcome by having bigger spacing all round - although I have tried that.)
I have also tried several things with Staff Properties to no avail. (Perhaps if I had used your ideas from scratch, it may have worked out alright, by now I have the problem of correcting a mess, and nothing seems to reassign appropriate spaces to my piano part.)

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.