How to space and distribute systems consistently among all pages

• Dec 12, 2019 - 03:44

Hello, friends.

Using MS 2, I have noticed that MS does a good job of spacing out the systems, but unfortunately it tends to keep the first page tighter than the others. In other words, when spreading out thirteen systems, it might put nine on the first page, and four on the second page, instead of distributing them more evenly, such as with seven on the first page and six on the second. It is not a big problem, of course, but just unpleasant to the eye.

Of course, I understand that by "stretching," I can eventually get a balance, but the trade-off is that it stretches my measures within each system far too much sometimes. So, if I tighten the measures, I end up with many systems on one page, and few on the next page (assuming two pages for example). What I mean to ask is how to keep my measures nice and tight, so to speak, and still get even distribution on all pages, when I want it? (other than just by side-stepping the issue by using page-breaks to increase the number of systems and the odds of getting better visual distribution that way).

To make an analogy with typography, It is like having text single-spaced on one page of a novel, and then double-spaced on the following pages, instead of distributing the leading (line spacing) evenly throughout the whole book.

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MuseScore 2 is pretty old, but it uses the same basic scheme as modern versions: a minimum and maximum system spacing you can set. It fits as many systems on a page as it can while obeying the minimum, then once it has decided how many systems to include, it then spreads them out more evenly across the page, up to the maximum. So by customizing the values for minimum and maximum (also for the page and music margins), you can get pretty much any layout you want.

If you know you have thirteen systems and prefer 7 and six rather than none and four, just add a page break. This doesn't increase the number of systems, it just allows you to force fewer systems on the first than actually fit. Or, you could reduce the maximum system distance, so the second page might still have fewer systems but they don't spread out as far. MuseScore gives you the tools to make either choice.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, Shoichi and Marc, for your help.

Yes, I was aware of the page settings and other things that you both mentioned (or sent me links to), but I had just suspected that there would be a built-in feature for achieving precisely what I wanted a little more automatically.

I think that the suggestion of throwing in a page-break at the half-way point, however, seems to be the best solution, now that I try it, as this does seem to spread the systems out much more evenly on both pages, as opposed to without the break. That was what I was looking for. Thank you again.

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