Maintain layout changes in parts

• May 15, 2020 - 23:25

When I make changes in the full score, as change the stems or slurs direction, then these changes are not maintained in the individual parts. And when I have twenty instruments, I need to change more than two hundred slurs or stems, just to make it looks similar in the parts. Is there a way to overcome this? Thank you very much! (I attached a example of changes made it in the score and then how it looks in the parts.)

Attachment Size
example_part.png 5.74 KB
example_score.png 18.46 KB


Layout properties are not synchronized between score and parts, as layout between them is often quite different. Thus modifications in a part often don't make sense in the master score and vice versa. (You don't have to avoid that other instrument in the part for example).

What you could do is only generating the parts at the end. Many layout properties are copied at part creation, I'm not sure whether slur direction is one of those.

In reply to by jeetee

The only things that does not copy are stems direction, slurs direction and beams changes (if you reduce or expand the distance between the notehead and the beam). Also, dynamics, pedals and hairpins positions. It would be good if there is an option to copy the layout in the parts generation window. So, if you want to maintain the same (link all the layout between the score and parts) or if you want a clear one (different layouts), as other music notation programs do. For me, and I think for other people will save half of the time.

In reply to by [DELETED] 164193

I have just tested this out in 3.4.2
slur direction, stem direction and stem length are copied over into the part upon part creation.

As said before, as those are layout things, they aren't synchronized afterwards anymore. So your workaround indeed is to only generate the parts after doing those changes to the master score.

There is an intention to make it possible to link/unlink some of these properties at user request, but no work has been done on that front currently.

In general, manual adjustments to things like slurs don't make to copy between score and parts. Consider that most such adjustments in the score are due to avoiding collisions with elements that may well be on other staves, and are also entirely dependent on the length of the slur, which in turn depends on measure widths and where the system breaks occur, all of which differ between score and parts.

So normally, there should be relatively little manual adjustment you'd do in the score that would need to be duplicated in the part. And as mentioned, most of those cases are duplicated, either always, or at least when you first generate the part.

If you have some specific score and some specific type of operation you find yourself doing often that you feel should be linked but sin;t, please attach the score and describe what you are trying to accomplish in more detail. Could be that whatever you are doing manually is done better by a style setting, etc.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

In the attached score, I adjusted, for example, the shapes of the slurs in the score fl 1 MM53-54 of the trio to avoid going through the natural sign, eliminate reverse curves, etc. Adjusting them and making them consistent with one another, even for just those two bars, is quite a lot of trouble. I would like the same adjustments in the parts. When I copy the adjusted measures from the score to the part, the adjustments appear in the part but disappear from the score, presumably because MS reenters the notes in the score, whereupon everything reverts to default. If I copy elsewhere and then copy and paste to the score and part, the same problem occurs, naturally. Similarly with beam adjustments. Is there a way to get the same adjustments in score and parts without having to make them all over again? Waiting until the very end to create the parts is not a practical option, even if I had the patience, because I want to share the score and parts with a colleague for advice and for her to play over.

Attachment Size
Haydn Sy13 v6.mscz 182.25 KB

In reply to by jwpratt

As I said, in general it doesn't make sense for literally the same slur adjustments to apply to both score and parts, because the circumstances are usually quite different. For instance, the width of the measure is likely different, meaning the shape is different even to start with. So even if the same adjustment were made, it would produce different results. But there's much more to it than that. For slurs extending across several measures, they might all be on the same system in the part but be on separate pages in the score. A sure might be adjusted to avoid a collision with a marking on the staff above it in the score, but that staff doesn't even appear in the part. And so on.

So, what I'm describing isn't just some arbitrary limitation of MuseScore that could be solved - realistically, it's just impossible for manual adjustments made in scores to automatically produce correct results in parts. A program might apply some sort of AI algorithm to attempt to mimic the "intended result" of your edit, but it would of course be much simpelr and much better to just improve the defaults so manual adjustments aren't needed so often.

And that's exactly what MuseScore 4 does. The slur on beat 2 of 53, for instance, already avoids the natural sign by default, no adjustment needed to score or to part. Although FWIW, slurs occasionally crossing accideentals in cases like this is normally considered acceptable and better than the alternative in some cases. So that's also easy to accomplish, by just disabling autoplace. And you'd want to do that independently for score & part because the measures widhts will different and this will definitely affect the dtermination of how much overlap with the accidental occurs and what the best way to dealw ith that will be.

All that said, as of this week, the nightly builds for what will become MuseScore 4.2 provide some new controls over the linking of information between score and parts. It's still a work in progress, but feel free to check it out. Note some others things are known to be broken; that's normnal for nightly builds of a project still months away from release. But you can get a sense of what will be possible. Breaking the laws of physics won't be, though. Again, it's often just flat-out impossible for an adjustment made in a score to produce meaningful results in a part or vice versa.

In reply to by jwpratt

Same story for beam adjsutments. The specific reasons for wanting to adjust a beam in the score might not exist in the part, and given different measure widths, the same adjustment won't necessarily produce the same result. And in any case, the improvements to the default beaming are so much dramatically better, manual adjustments will seldom be needed anymore. The improvements to the default beaming are among the most significant changes between MU3 and MU4.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks. I understand that you wouldn't want to always link, but the adjustments I mentioned I knew I wanted in both score and part and it would have saved me a lot of time if I could have linked them on an ad hoc basis. I can't believe that the new defaults will be so much better I will never want to override them. Anyway, my experience with backward incompatibility is such that I would not even think of putting a 3.6 score I have edited into 4.anything. I love that I can get such nice scores from whichever version I am using, but I'm afraid I am to old and slow to want to try nightly builds. The closest I have come to such adventures is the courtesy app. I wish I could make that a default and that it wouldn't override me.

In reply to by jwpratt

Like I said, it's just plain physically impossible for the exact same slur adjustment to make sense if the measure widths are different. Try doing the math and you'll see (it involves Bezier curves). It's not a question of whether you "want" it - it's a question of whether it is mathematically possibly to produce the same shape on two different shapes using the same adjustment. But, also I encourage you experiment with the nightly builds as mentioned. They don't require youth or speed - just a couple of extra minutes out of your day.

I also strongly encourage you to use MuseScore 4. You obviously care about the appearance of your scores or you wouldn't be spending so much time manually adjusting things. You owe it to yourself and to your players to have your scores looking their best. MuseScore 4's defaults are so much better,r they will save you hours of manual adjustment - and they look better in ways you probably aren't even adjusting for now because it would be too much work (like spacing between notes, which is often hideously wrong in MU3). If for some reason you are worried about backward compatibility, just be sure to make copies of work for use in MU4.

In any case,e no fixes are going to be made to MU3, so if you're interested in seeing better-looking scores with much less effort, MU4 is already the answer. And then discussions of further improvements can be made from there.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for the info & advice. In your honor I downloaded MU4 and opened my MU3 score in MU4. It was much better than I expected, but both before and after Ctrl-r there were far too many big problems, and presumably also less obvious ones, for me to consider switching to MU4 for this score--systems no longer fitting on one line, beams across barlines, slurs in the stratosphere, poor beam angles whose adjustments were lost, etc. Btw, that includes nearly horizontal beams I had forced horizontal; I thought I had seen a setting for that, but I can't find it, so perhaps it was in a different program.

I certainly plan to use MU4 for future scores. I think I have been moving to new editions with due deliberate speed, but I will speed up my deliberation. Nightly builds--well if there is something in particular I want. Like courtesy accidentals always on, but I think/hope I just enabled that.

In reply to by jwpratt

It's certainly the case that for existing scores, manual adjustments made to work around bugs and limitations in MU3 will need to be revisited. So indeed, resetting those adjustments and starting over with that process would often be necessary. This is done automatically for some adjustments that are known to be most obviously inappropriate to preserve, like those made to overcome the enormous deficiencies in the MU3 beam angles. Other adjustments have a better chance of maybe still being applicable and are left alone.

But sorting through all that may not be worth it for existing scores; it might be more prudent to just accept the less-than-optimal spacing in MU3 rather than spend additional time on those scores in MU4. It's new scores where the benefits of MU4 will really pay off - far less time will need to be spent on such adjustments, (and the spacing will be far better.

But you certainly should not be seeing "slurs in the stratosphere" or "poor beam angles" after the reset. If you are, that would indicate a bug, and it will be important to report this. Can you give precise steps to reproduce the problem?

You can force beams horizontal individually in the Properties panel, or score-wide in Format / Style / Beams.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I opened the Haydn Sy 13 MU3 file I sent earlier (which I have since modified) in MU4, getting v6 MU4 attached. I selected all and reset, getting v6 MU4Ctrlr, also attached, with parts. A few things (not a comprehensive search):

-The reset moves a system from p1 of the score to p2, and so on to a single system on p7.
-Both move one bar of the first system of the trio to the next line, creating another one-system page.
-Ctrlr creates beams crossing barlines just before the repeat in the trio (MM54-55 and 56-57) and in the last system of the trio (MM81-83).
-MU4 creates stratospheric slurs in MM33-39 (p15) of the last mvt (which I had flipped and perhaps further adjusted). MU4Ctrlr flips them back, but when I flip them again, they go stratospheric again.
-MU4 moves two slurs I had flipped to the basement in MM92 and 93 of the last mvt and unflips several more. Ctrlr unflips them all. Possibly I was misguided, but I would like the program to indulge me.
-Both move the very last bar to a new page.
-Ctrlr fl 1 part moves mvt 1 M19 to a new line and two systems to a new page. In the trio, many beams cross barlines. In the finale, there are slurs in the basement (MM92-94) and stratosphere (MM127 and 129) and almost touching notes (MM 128, 131, 133), unlike the MU3 fl 1 part.
-Poor beam angles: Ctrlr score, M 10 23-25 and similar, 16th-note beams should be steeper (and relate as the notes do, but that's perhaps too much to ask).

What I meant about horizontal beams was that I thought I had seen a global option to set, say, all beam angles < 5 degrees to either 0 or 5, although I can see that that might be exciting as measure widths change.

I have to say that, in the Forum, MU4 sounds a little less ready for the unadventurous like me than I thought from your enthusiasm. Still, by the time I am working on a new score, I hope it will be ready enough.

Attachment Size
Haydn Sy13 v6 MU4Ctrlr.mscz 243.44 KB
Haydn Sy13 v6 MU4.mscz 252.07 KB

In reply to by jwpratt

As I said, it's normal that resetting manual adjustments might require some subset of them to be revisited. That's true if you try a reset in MU3 also of course. But also, some of the problems you are seeing are due to improper use of MU3 to begin with; others are simply misunderstandings.

The reset caused a system to move to the next page because you had misused staff text for the "score in concert pitch" marking. That should have been frame text added directly to the frame instead of staff text added to a specific note and then dragged out of position. So just delete that and add it correctly.

The fact that certainly measures do or don't fit on a system by default is not a bug; it's just a result of the layout calculations doing their jb. You had tried to hack around this in MU3 by reducing leading space adjustments, which is slow and painful and unreliable. MU4 gives you a much simpler way to force measures onto a system - the "Keep measures on the same system" element in the Layout palette. So indeed, you'll want to reset any existing leading space adjustments that you made to work around that.

The poorly shaped slurs on p. 15 do appear to a bug in this unusual case - some sort of strange interaction with multiple voices, backwards slurs, and ties. This bug is already fixed 4.2, but meanwhile, those few unusual cases will indeed need to be manually adjusted if you want to keep them backwards. Better to just flip them below where they belong, though. In any case, even with this bug, only a much smaller number of slurs would need adjustment than MU3.

The beams that cross barlines do so because you apparently asked them to. Check the Properties panel for the first note of the measure and you'll see the beam was set to connect to the previous. A bug in MU3 caused that to not work corretly, but it's fixed in Mu4, so your request is now being honored. if you've changed your mind about wanting that beam to cross the barline, simply reset it to auto.

The beam angles in measure 10 and 23-25 are correct in MU4. MU3 created "wedges" which are to be avoided. In general, MU3 creates beams that are too steep, violating basic rules of engraving, but MU4 are much better as they are here.

There is a global option to make all beams horizontal as I said - in Format / Style / Beams.

MU4 is most definitely very ready for professional use, producing far better engraving than MU3 could ever hope to. It's true that some long-time users are missing a few obscure features that haven't been ported over yet and are holding willing to give up the tons of new features and major improvements. But unless you're in the tiny minority who needs, for example, the piano roll editor, MU4 is absolutely positively the way forward.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks. I hope I remember to look for 'add > frame text' when I need it. But this MU4 repositioning of an imported MU3 score strengthens my decision not to import.

I love that I will be able to 'keep measures on the same system' in future.

I think there were a lot of 8ths beamed in pairs that I want beamed by measure and I tried beaming them all at once rather than fixing them pair by pair. I seem to remember then breaking the beams at the barlines. If a bug did it for me, I would have been happy.

The beam angles in MU3 were more often too shallow than too steep. I also like successive ones to follow the notes if possible (which I imagine would be very hard to build into an algorithm). I would never want to make them all horizontal globally, though I might want to do so in a bar or three.

Yes, I will use MU4 going forward. But not going backward. Thanks again.

In reply to by jwpratt

Indeed, that's a good bottom line - unless you have some time to spend to correct the old incorrect manual adjustments made in MU3 for a given score, it's better to just keep using MU3 for that score and live with the worse spacing.

As for beam angles, MU3's problems went in both directions - sometimes too steep, sometimes too shallow. Also often creating wedges. And worst, wildly inconsistent in terms of stem length - cases where a repeated note would have different stem lengths depending on whether it was beamed in a group of 2 vs 4, etc. But both 3 & 4 do try to follow the direction of the melodic line.

For the notes you wanted beamed per measure, what you should be doing is selecting all but the first note then clicking the button to join the beams. By including the first note in the selection, you were saying you wanted it also to be joined to the previous note.

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