ledger lines between clefs

• Dec 4, 2021 - 03:25

Hi there,

I'm new to musescore, and I'm wanting to know how to play in chords that will have their voices separated on either the treble or bass clef, instead of ledger lines being generated between the clefs. For example if I play a C major with the C in the bass (C2) and the rest of the notes above middle C - instead of seeing the C on the bass clef, there are ledger lines generated between the clefs and the C ends up there.

How do I change this function?

Hope that makes sense.

Many thanks for your help.



Hello, and welcome! I think it would be clearer if you attached your score, but in general, simply enter the C on the bass clef staff and the other notes on the treble clef staff, no other special steps required. No ledger lines should be required or generated.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks Marc, really appreciate your response. I think the problem is that I'm using my midi controller to input notes, and it doesn't seem to distinguish where the notes should be on the clefs so it just generates ledger lines. Whereas if I input it via my mouse I can accurately place it where I want on the bass clef.

In reply to by jgsepallister

Correct, MIDI does not communicate anything about which staff you want to place a note on, so you need to tell MuseScore that. Either select the correct staff before you start entering notes via MIDI, or don't use MIDI - the computer keyboard is usually more efficient in the long run. Mouse entry is the least efficient.

Marc is correct: the usual method of notating this would be to enter C2 in the bass clef stave and to enter E4 G4 C5 in the treble clef stave: see example 1 below.

You seem to be suggesting the notation in example 2 below? This involves the use of 8 ledger lines, and many musicians would find it really difficult to read and identify the bottom note at first glance.

Are you unfamiliar with reading in the bass clef? If so, you might find the Note Names plugin useful - perhaps running the plugin for the bass clef only:

Chord notation and Note Name plugin.png

Attachment Size
Chord_notation.mscz 7.54 KB

In reply to by DanielR

Thanks Daniel I really appreciate your help. I know how to read both treble and bass clef fairly well. I think I understand where I'm going wrong. I'm playing the notes in via my midi controller and I'm assuming musescore can't distinguish what clefs I want them in when playing it in from my controller. Whereas if I use my mouse or keyboard I can pinpoint it to exactly where I want. Is my assumption correct?

In reply to by jgsepallister

I don't generally use a MIDI keyboard for input and I don't have access to a MIDI keyboard right now, so I can't test this. But I seem to remember that MIDI input is best done one staff at a time, as you would do if entering notes through the computer keyboard. Then there is no doubt about which staff (treble clef or bass clef) the note should be placed in.

If, like in your example, there is a clear pitch separation between the notes that should go on the treble and the bass staves, then you can just enter them all onto a treble staff.
After note entry, right-click the staff (Ctrl+click on Mac) and choose "Split staff..." which'll allow you to set a split point.

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