Force music to fit a certain number of pages

• Jan 24, 2020 - 23:48

I'm pretty familiar with Musescore's various layout features, but there's one more thing that would help. When I arrange or transcribe a piece, I usually just stick all the notes in place and do my final editing later. Once all the notes are in, I usually have a rough idea for how many pages the piece can fit into. What would be really nice is a way to tell Musescore that I want the score to fit to a certain number of pages, and then see where the spacing falls and make more edits after that. In the sample score I posted, it would be nice to see how this lays out on 6, 7, or 8 pages for example. I don't even know if something like this is possible with Musescore, it was just a thought I had. I realize that music layout is an art in and of itself, and this won't be a fix-all solution. It would just be a nice additional feature if it's possible (or maybe it already exists?).

Attachment Size
Russian Sailor's Dance Handbells.mscz 37.05 KB


Well, it's not really possible, because while sure it's possible to get that piece to fit on fewer pages, there are many different ways to do it, and MuseScore can't know which you'd want. For instance, you could decrease page margins, staff size, staff distance, system distance, measure spacing, or any combination of those things. So MuseScore can't show you how your piece will look on 6 pages until you tell which of those approaches you want it to use. And the way to do that is to, well, do that.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I guess I was envisioning a way to sort of anchor the last measure of the piece to the bottom corner of the last page, similar to how the first measure is anchored in position (unless I have that completely wrong). Then Musescore could fill in the pages based on the parameters I've given it (page margins, staff size, etc.). It's probably far more complicated to implement than it seems in my head, I'll admit I know very little about programming, and I'm not sure I'm explaining it very well.

In reply to by AvenueQ

Well, it already does fill in the page based on the parameters you've given it. The point is, what if the parameters you've given don't actually allow the music to fit on the number of pages you've said you want it to fit on? MuseScore would need to override some of those parameters to make it fit - but which? That's something only you can decide.

Now, if you mean, don't try to tell MuseScore it has to be exactly five pages, but let it decide how many pages, you just want it to fill those pages more evenly, so you aren't left with 5 systems on the three pages but only 2 on the last page, that's certainly reasonable. Even so, there is the question of how to best fill the space - by enlarging the staff stave, by widening the measure space, by increasing staff distance, or increasing system distance? Again, that's really a choice only you can make.

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