Bars per line (or US version) measures per system

• Nov 14, 2021 - 15:23

I'm having trouble finding how to get my individual instrument scores to have eg 4 bars per line. I've looked in: and there didn't seem to be an answer. Is there somewhere else I should be looking?
To be clear, I'm happy with the the full score, it's just the formatting of the instruments I'd like to change.

Thank you.


Speaking for myself but also for probably most keyboardists "of a certain age", I'd much rather keep the size at the default and wouldn't bat an eye if that meant only three bars per system for passages like this. Keeping to four bars per system is nice when it happens to work out, but actual readability is far more important.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I've sent the kbd player 2 versions. The 3 bars per line and the neater 4 bars per line. He can choose.
However I learned a valuable lesson last night. Having reformatted all the parts last night so that they looked 'uniform' with bars per line, rehearsal marks in the same place etc etc. I decided to do the same with my master score.
You're all ahead of me aren't you. Yes, it ruined all the formatting of the parts. I'm guessing that I should have got the full score absolutely hunky dory before formatting the parts. Lesson learnt!

In reply to by onscuba

Hmm, actually I’m not really understanding - no formatting changes to the score should affect the parts - only content changes. So for instance, play with the position of a rehearsal mark all you like in the score and your part should be unchanged. But add, edit or remove one in the score, and it certainly should and does affect the parts - wouldn’t be very useful otherwise!

But again, having the same bars per line in all parts is not necessarily helpful for readability. Some parts may have sixteenths while others have whole notes; some may have multi measure rests, etc. normally in published music each part’s formatting is optimized separately.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,
I did check for any bars containing lots of semibreves etc.. I then tried to get each sections parts to look very similar to each other. From an American bandleader/composer/arranger's video he suggested (amongst other things) making rehearsal marks at the start of lines. This I did. I also followed several of his other suggestions.
Only then did I decided to make "my" score look a little better. Which I did but then I found it screwed up all the efforts I had gone to in reformatting the parts. That's why I thought that in future I'd not format the parts until I was fairly sure "my" score was as I'd like it to look.
Thank you for replying.

OS: Windows 10 (10.0), Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit):, revision: 3224f34

In reply to by onscuba

Yes, in certain cases, rehearsal marks at the starts of system can look good and be worth aiming for. But considering that some parts may be tacet from the entirety of letters B, C, and D, you don't then put each on a separate system unless you have tons of space to fill - all three can go on a single system. And if one part has whole notes for letter B, it might start C on the very next system, but another part may require two systems for letter B while another still might require 3. So even saying that you want rehearsal marks to occur at the starts of systems for the most part still doesn't mean all the break are the same.

FWIW, though, for those the unusual special cases where all parts have essentially the same rhythms and thus can use exactly the same layout, there is a plugin to apply breaks to all parts. This could be the case when the parts are actually in unison (eg, music for children).

But again, no formatting changes to your score should affect the parts. If you have a score where you believe something happened that shouldn't have, please attach it and give us steps to reproduce the problem so we can investigate.

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