Re-arrange instrument staff order midway through score

• Aug 16, 2019 - 14:36

In piano/vocal & pop music, the voice staves go above the piano part. In orchestral scores the voices are directly above the strings, with piano above the voices.
Occasionally (see attached) a score will have elements of both, so in MS one must choose which layout to use, and therefore be formatted incorrectly in some places. If there was a way to mark a point in the score where the staves could be re-ordered, that would correct the problem.
Ideas for various work-arounds are obvious, but all such are clumsy, and I'm not requesting a work-around here.
On an unrelated matter- thanks so much to Marc Sabatella, Mike320, Ziya Mete Demircan, Jo-Jo Schmitz, Shoichi, BSG, jm6stringer, and numerous others who dedicate so much of their time to MuseScore. I know that's it's not always easy, and I marvel at how a person who asks for help can often berate the helper or try to define the way in which that help is provided, or demean a free product. Again, thanks!

Attachment Size
Song.mscz 50.56 KB


In reply to by mike320

Mike320, thanks for responding. But there being no good solution is precisely why I entered this in the Feature Request part of the forum instead of Support/Bug Report. I am not asking for help in making changes to a score, and I am not looking for a work-around. I am requesting that a new feature be added to to MuseScore, so that going forward a better solution is available.

In reply to by marty strasinger

I was concurring with what Jojo said about there being no other easy way to do this that would work for you. This is the discussion forum and where such comments should be expected. As Jojo said, I don't see an easy way to do this that would be possible without making new score unable to be opened in a previous version 3.x program. This is an important factor in implementing new features. People already complain that version 2 can't open a version 3 score.

In reply to by mike320

I concur with your concur! (Though I have little sympathy for those who demand both forward-and-backward compatibility in something that they didn't have to pay for, it's still a concern.) Another compatibility issue might be with exporting/importing other music electronic formats that probably would not have this feature.

So, getting to work-arounds (the only likely option)- I'm not familiar with the options/features available in parts extraction, but if one works with Jo-Jo's idea of extracting both lines into the same part, will that not change the staves in the main part of the score?
If that's the case, the work-around might be to have 3 staves for the affected instrument(s): One "primary" staff that has all the notes & is the one imported into Parts, one incomplete staff for the voice/piano section of the score, and one for the orchestral section. Am I thinking this through correctly?
Gentlemen, thanks so much for your time on this.

In reply to by marty strasinger

When you generate a part that has two staves, use the New button and enter the name you want to use in the part title field. Next, click each part from the box in the lower left that you want included and select OK.

This will give you a parts tab with both instruments in it. You can then open Format->Style and use Hide Empty staves while viewing the part. This will only affect the part. You may need to adjust the system breaks so all multi measure rests are seen exactly once. You may find some are missing all together and others cause multiple staves to be seen.

You do also have the option of using a third staff that is made invisible in the main score but used for the part. This makes maintenance of the extra staff difficult.

In reply to by mike320

Thank you for the clarification.
But it occurs to me that maybe all this is not necessary. I've been assuming that in the context described, one should re-arrange the staves to match the convention. Maybe this is not correct? Perhaps there is an "authority" (Gould et. al.) that speaks to the situation, and recommends that there be an exception to the norm in this case such that it is allowable to have an incorrect order of the staves in some sections of the score?

In reply to by marty strasinger

The instruments are basically in a set order.

Plucked (includes piano and celeste)

Within each of the categories, they are separated by subfamilies which are the order they are in the instruments list.

Within these subfamilies they are listed from highest pitch to lowest. This is also how the instruments are intended to be listed in MuseScore.

Most problems arise when a non-standard instrument is used like an Bassethorn. Where do you put that? This is less clear. I often see it where the alto clarinet goes, but not always. Another common problem is that percussion are listed as


However, by definition, unpitched percussion have no pitch to use in a standard order by pitch and the pitched percussion have orders that vary from one composition to another with little consistency even for one publisher and sometimes even in the same score for both of these categories.

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