Drag bass clef higher or lower position

• Sep 10, 2020 - 14:07

In Sibelius, I can drag the bass clef (with a mouse) so it is closer to the treble clef. Is there a similar feature in MuseScore?


In version 3 you can't drag the clef closer but there is a setting for minimum distance between staves of a grand staff (which is what this is often called) in Format->Styles... under page. This will change the minimum distance between the staves but may be greater if autoplacement needs the room.

To ignore auto placement there is a spacer in the breaks and spacers palette that resembles the capital letter i rather than having an arrow on it. You can add this to the treble clef, double click it and drag the bottom box up or down to adjust the fixed distance between the staves.

In reply to by bhs67

MuseScore should automatically adjust the staff distance when lyrics are involved. So set a good minimal distance in the style settings and when lyrics are entered, MuseScore will accommodate the vertical space for them per system.

In reply to by bhs67

You could drag a staff in version 2 but when they improved the program and called it version 3 they eliminated this option (sorry for the sarcasm). The reason for this is that with auto placement, you probably don't want the extra space on every system so they added the fixed distance spacer (whose name I couldn't remember before) so you could set the distance for a single system. There is no option for setting the spacing for a single system besides the spacer. We'll see how this works in version 4.

As jeetee said, if you have proper settings for Page and Lyrics, you shouldn't need the spacers since MuseScore does a good job (most of the time) of adjusting the space between staves in vocal scores with several verses and a chorus/refrain.

In reply to by bhs67

To be clear, though - this is not what you want. That affects the spacing on all systems. That's one reason the drag feature was removed - people were misunderstanding and thus misusing it. This setting isn't meant for ordinary small adjustments, but only for adding extra space between sections of a large score during the initial setup, and doing it score-wide. In such cases, precision usually is what is called for, and that's what numbers give you, same as with the settings for staff distance and system distance. It's almost impossible to get consistent spacing by eyeballing things, numeric settings are far better for that purpose. So, numeric settings for things meant to be applied consistently, dragging is OK (if it were ever implemented) for individual overrides.

In reply to by bhs67

Dragging in MuseScore used to affect the staff over the complete score, so not only on the systems that would need those exceptions (although for the mentioned items, MuseScore's autoplace should handle those by default quite well).

For resolving conflicts with spacing related to a specific measure, MuseScore uses spacers, which if you so like can be dragged to set their spacing (or given exact values using the inspector, which is likely easier for consistency between several places)

In reply to by bhs67

Right, so this is nothing like the old MuseScore 2 feature, which was often misunderstood and misused. Instead, this is what a fixed spacer is for. I am of the opinion that if we ever did bring back a drag gesture for the staff itself, that's what it should do - basically add a fixed spacer and start dragging that, so it affects only the current system, which is what people want 90% of the time.

Returning to the original question - why are you wanting to do this? Normally you set the minimum distance you want as "Grand staff distance" and let MuseScore automatically increase the spacing as necessary. It should virtually never be necessary to artificially set one grand staff to be less than the default distance you have set. Can you post the score in which you are seeing a need to do this, so we can understand and assist better?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

There have been exceptions to spacing. I don't recall the details, but it did occur with one line of chorus / multiple verses, verses when "one section" of the verses was repeated in every verse, when adding guitar chord symbols, codas, when the treble clef had a low note that that could interfere with a bass high note or interfere with the lyrics text, etc. Sometimes a note to the guitar musicians, bass musician, etc.

Changing the spacing (overriding the default) allowed us to tweak the spacing so the music would fit on two sheets (instead of three sheets) - so it fits on a music stand, and saves photocopy costs.

We could also drag the treble clef to be closer to the title, copyright, dates created / modified - for the reasons listed in the previous paragraph.

Sibelius allowed us to drag the clef staffs up or down - it affected only one line. It did not affect the other lines. Sometimes, when we removed a "next line" marker, the modified staff reverted to the original setting (we had to reset the clef staff spacing).

Sibelius was flexible. It was easy to use and tweak.

In reply to by bhs67

Indeed, flexible and easy to use/tweak are good goals :-). You will find ours are the same, and there are some areas where we provide easier & more flexible ways of doing things than Sibelius or other programs, and vice versa. Often it's just a way of getting used to a different -not necessarily better or worse - way of doing things. But where it's possible to incorporate the best features of other programs without compromising ones own use model, there is no shame in that. And I do think the idea of being able to drag staves to adjust the spacing on that system - basically, automatically adding a spacer - is a good one, and something we are strongly considering.

ANyhow, I'd still like to see the score you are having trouble with in order to understand if simply adjusting your style settings wouldn't give you the results you want automatically, without resorting to dragging things around and trying to eyeball everything. While flexibility to adjust things manually is a good goal, an even more important one is to make it easy to get the results you want automatically, and that's actually one of the major things we're working on right now.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Not having any problems, thanks!

One other aspect I liked with Sibelius, is the "optional" display of a ruler - Ruler.jpg .

I could easily tweak the spacing to match previous lines. Maybe MuseScore already has a ruler.

I don't recall, but perhaps I could change the number 22.8 to 22.9, and Sibelius would make the staff position change (it's been a few years since I used Sibelius). This is just a minor point, very low priority.

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