How to hide staff lines for a fraction of a measure (used in ossias)?

• Jun 16, 2021 - 00:50

Dear all,
I have searched around 20 forum topics, and still cannot find a solution. I was closely following this tutorial on ossial:
The problem is, it is possible to make only entire measures either visible or invisible (in terms of staff lines). However, very often, in classical music, ossias are written only for a part of a measure, which means, the staff lines have to be hidden for 3/4 of that measure and visible only for the part where there are notes. A good example would be Godowsky’s Études or Liszt’s cadenzas in the Peters edition (see below).
In Sibelius, one would simply change the instrument mid-bar to ‘No Instrument — Hidden’ and then, drag the point demarking the desired beginning of ossia. This way, the staff lines can begin at any point of the measure.
In Musescore, the only solution I have found so far that would be viable is literally putting a white rectangular image on top of the region of the empty lines I want to hide (shown with red boxes in the image).
This is the best I could achieve:
Is there a way to hide the staff lines for a part of the measure using the ‘Ossia with another staff’ approach, i.e. switch to an instrument with invisible staff mid-bar?

And another question: once the ossia has been added, how does one connect the ossia bar end and the main bar end with a dotted line, as seen in the example? I have been trying to do ‘Mensurstrich’ or to play around with ‘Span to next stave’, but it becomes all dotted. How to make it dotted between the staves and solid in each staff?

Yours sincerely,

OS: Arch Linux, Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit): 3.6.2, revision: github-musescore-musescore-


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Dear Joachim,
Thank you for the prompt response! However, seems that the solution that you suggested introduces a new problems: if there is a long note spanning throughout that bar, it gets broken into tied shorter ones. I tried fixing my score with the ‘Split bar before selected note’ tool, and it also split all longer notes. This operation is applied not to the ossia, but to the entire system. You can see the consequences below.
Maybe I have been splitting the bar in a wrong way?

I would say if you want to deal with partial measures, and are going to consider fiddling with images anyhow, maybe simpler to just use an image for the ossia itself.

To set the barline dotted for just one staff, add it fro the palette while holding Ctrl.

I don't see mensurstrich in your images, so maybe you are talking about a different score? Best to start a new thread on that, and be sure to attach the actual score, not (just) pictures.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you for your prompt replies, Marc and Joachim. I shall be using images, then, as this is seems to be the most flexible way to achieve an ossia. I shall see where the line breaks are, and maybe optimise the score slightly to reduce their count.
Now for the last part—this question would be still relevant here since it is related to the ossia-with-another-stave issue. I tried dragging the bar line from the palette the Ctrl + drag as you suggested, but it makes the ossia bar dotted, and no bar between the measures. When I extend it (same as ticking the ‘Span to next stave’ option), it becomes dotted on the ossia and between the staves. The effect I am trying to achieve is on this screenshot in red, as well as the Liszt and Godowsky scores in the first post: solid bar line in one stave, dotted bar line between the staves, and a solid bar line in the second stave.


Is it possible to achieve via the means of the bar line properties, or is the better way to achieve it to literally draw a vertical line between the two points with the desired dash pattern?

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