Which do I use : split staff, change of clef, something else?

• Oct 30, 2020 - 00:28

Before I dive in to my issue, let me say that MuseScore is AWESOME! I am retired from a career in IT and electronics, and am taking piano lessons. I find MuseScore to be invaluable to me for reproducing my music and allowing me to experiment with it.

I am trying to reproduce the attached 3 measures from some old sheet music I have. The two bass clefs, I am told, are for the right and left hand.

I have tried changing the treble clef to a bass clef which allows me to put the notes in as shown, with beams, but the beat handling is thrown off. Each bass clef 4 getting beats total rather than the two staff lines sharing the beat count.

If I split the bass clef, I have been unable to get the beam to connect.

I realize this is probably picky on my part, but I love the challenge of getting it right.

Any advise is very much appreciated.

Attachment Size
Measures in question.png 129.14 KB


This is called cross-staff notation and MuseScore supports it quite easily. See https://musescore.org/en/handbook/cross-staff-notation for instructions. In this case I would enter all notes involved in cross-staff in the left hand staff and make the extra rests in the right hand invisible by selecting them and pressing v. There are other ways to do it, but this is the easiest in my opinion.

In reply to by mike320

One not-so-obvious thing you must with cross-staff gladly (or not) bear, as it were, is that it only works between staves of the same instrument, e.g., the grand-staff of a piano, organ, harp, etc. I have wanted more than once that it could span any two adjacent staves in a score, but it can't (I can see the problems which rule it out). For instance, you might want to make two independent staves with different "instruments" of, say, organ sounds, instead of a grand staff. Then no more cross-staff.

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