Clef/key right margin

• Aug 24, 2020 - 20:26

No matter which value I put there, nothing happens after clicking OK, neither in the first measure of the first system nor in the first measure of subsequent systems.

OS: Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS, Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit): 3.5.0, revision: 43c5553


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I'm not sure. In my case, I haven't checked the "Key to time barline distance" (did the person mean "Key to time signature distance"?), since I haven't needed it. Instead, I find the space between the clef/key and the first note of every system too big, which is even more notorious when the first note of every system has an accidental. After reading this:

"Clef/key right margin
Sets the distance between the material at the beginning of each line (such as the clef and key signature) and the first note or rest of the first measure on the line. (Note that, although not named in the option, if a time signature is present, it is the element from which the spacing begins.)"; I would have expected that changing the default value to something else like 0, 2, 5, or whatever, would help, but no matter what I change that value to, nothing moves.

That's not the right setting for what you are trying to do. The area shown in your video is the "header", you need one of the two header distance settings (one setting for headers with time signatures, another for headers without).

If you want to see the effect of "clef/key right margin", try inserting one of those mid-measure.

In reply to by DanielR

Thanks for this! I couldn't understand why MS left so much space before each system's first note or rest (see 1st screenshot). This fixed it.
Unfortunately, there's still a lot of outdated MS handbook material online. For example, at, it says:

> Clef/key right margin: Sets the distance between the material at the beginning of each line (such as the clef and key signature) and the first note or rest of the first measure on the line.

I tried that, but it had no effect. Then I realized that, in the current handbook, the same setting's described differently (my emphasis):

> Clef/key right margin: Sets the distance between a mid-staff clef or key signature and the following note or rest.

Now could someone explain to me why MS leaves such unusual spaces BETWEEN notes as well? (See 2nd screenshot.) Must those all be hand-adjusted, or is there a way to fix that globally?

Attachment Size
MS_spacing_00.png 11.77 KB
MS_spacing_01.png 13.37 KB

In reply to by Andy Fielding

Normally the default should be pretty standard - we follow the guidelines in Elaine Gould's "Behind Bars" pretty faithfully for the most part, except where evidence is that something 8else* is actually more common in published music, or a very few cases where some technical complication forces us to choose a compromise.

If you believe the distance in your score are different from those recommended by Gould or other engraving experts, best to attach your actual score rather than just picture - then we can understand and assist better. Your first image looks to have been customized somehow as it looks like a litte more space than I expect, but it could be due to the ledger lines, and without the score, it's hard to say for sure what is going on. The second image shows a known glitch that specifically affects space after a chord with a unison second in it - see for instance #323925: Shared unison noteheads and separate unison noteheads: spacing anomalies with dotted notes. For now, best to adjust manually. These kind of issues are being looked at for MuseScore 4.

In reply to by Andy Fielding

BTW, that link appears to be to a very old version of the Handbook. There hasn't been a "Style" menu for years, and quite a few others things seems like they apply to MuseScore 2 only. Be sure o be looking at the correct version of the Handbook - eg, what you see from Help / Online Handbook from within MuseScore, or the Support menu here on Random weeb searches may indeed lead to outdated info, but that's kind of out of our control.

In reply to by Andy Fielding

For what it's worth, here (attached) is how I think I'd space this measure. (This is accordion music, BTW—hope that doesn't damage my reputation!)
I've also made a few spots wider as well as narrower, and changed a couple of beam heights and accidentals' placements.
MS actually wouldn't let me move these notes closer together. Is there no way to do that? (I even tried changing Format > Style > Measure > "Minimum note distance" to "0.00sp", but they wouldn't budge.) So I had to cheat: I took a screenshot, changed the spacing in a graphics app, and redrew the beams manually. 😄
Every bar of music is different, and I realize it's hard for notation software to consider every possibility when it seeks to balance spacing. It's something of an art form, I guess... Maybe the machines won't be replacing us quite as soon as we thought!

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respacing.png 17.7 KB

In reply to by Andy Fielding

If you attach your actual score instead of just a picture, we can usually assist better. If I'm guessing correctly, disabling autoplace for the accidentals in the problem spot would produce the spacing you are looking for. The default won't allow them to tuck over/under preceding notes - something we're working on improving.

But also, as mentioned, leading space adjustments are possible via the Inspector.

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