Seeting uniforn distance between sytems

• May 28, 2022 - 20:30


Help! I am trying to make the distance between the systems uniform on the attached harmonica score. There is a gap between the first two systems that I don't know how to adjust. Nor can I determine how to set the page for uniform distance between all the systems. Neither the controls on Format>Style>Systems in the software and the instructions in manual are clear to me on this point. So can anyone explain it me?
Also as a general observation, I find Musescore 3 crashes a lot. Hopefully this is being addressed.

Thanks in advance,
Glenn Weiser

Attachment Size
Tarbolton Lodge.mscz 19.07 KB


I don't know harmonica notation, but do the 5, g and f have to be arranged like that? If so, move the g and f upwards by changing their Y values in Inspector.

In reply to by glennw1

In Format / Style / Lyrics there are settings for the verse line height/spacing.

But something is definitely odd if you aren't seeing three lines of lyrics like we are. Probably your special font is displaying some not-quite-invisible characters that you simply need to delete.

As for any crashing, in order for us to investigate, we'd need you to attach the score with the problem and give precise steps to reproduce the crash.

In reply to by glennw1

You seem to have closed the portion of the Inspector where it would be - click where it says "Element" at the top to reopen that section.

I suspect, though, that the problem is not related to this and is some sort of unusual attribute about the particular font you are using. Because your score doesn't look anything like that on my system.

The "Y" setting in the Style dialog, isn't for changing individual verses, it's just to set the position of the first verse. Subsequent verses are controlled by the "Line height" setting. The default of 100% uses the built-in spacing specified by the font itself. Could be your font has a very large spacing specified. On my system, that font isn't available, and the font that gets substituted instead has normal spacing.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

jim6string fixed it for me (see Tarbolton Lodge 2.(2) but without explaining how he did so. But that at least seems to rule out any problem with the font. I don't believe there is one, based on his result. I opened the Element panel in Tarbolton Lodge (original) and was able to move the lower lyric lines with the Y control, but that did not close the gap. So what am I missing here?

Attachment Size
Tarbolton Lodge.mscz 19.32 KB
Tarbolton Lodge2(2).mscz 18.75 KB

In reply to by glennw1

As I posted earlier, the only difference is that the fixed version has the two apparently bogus syllables in verses 2 & 3 deleted. So I assume he simply clicked those two syllables and pressed Delete.

And it’s precisely the fact that deleting those two syllables makes a big difference on your system but not on mine that tells me the font you are using must have a very large line height, and that’s where all the extra space between verses is coming from. So, if you use this font and wish to use multiple verses, you’ll need to set a small line height in Format / Style / Lyrics.

In reply to by glennw1

As I said, simply deleted the bogus verse 2 & verse 3 lyrics. That is quite literally the only difference - I verified this using the Score Comparison Tool. Your original and and the one posted by Jm6string are 100% identical other than the fact the new has those two bogus lyrics delete. Select them, press delete, that is all that is needed.

To be clear, I am talking about the two lyrics that show up as "f" and "g" below the very first note in your original version:

Screenshot 2022-05-29 12.01.18 PM.png

Those two syllables are not present in Jm6stringer's eversion. Everything else is absiolutely identical. I gather that in your font, those symbols look sdifferent or might not be visibile at all. But their presence - and the fac thtat apparently your font havs an extremely large default line heigh is what is causing the problem. You can solve the prloblem by deleting those two syllables - which is what Jm6stringer did - or you can solve it by reducing the line height by whatever amounbt if needed to get reasdonable results with your particular font - might be 10% or less, we can't know without the font to test with.

The new version you posted above has worse problems, it seems that you've moved these lyrics from verses 2 and 3 to verse 4, with verses 2 & 3 empty, thus causing an additional gap between verses.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Looking at this, how can tell I where the bogus verse lines are? I tied entering the bogus verses and then deleting them, as well as reduction the element setting to 50%, as low as it will go. This still did not achieve the desired end.
Also, is there an option have only only lyric line as the page setting/default so this problem can be avoided entirely?

Attachment Size
Tarbolton Lodge.mscz 18.75 KB

In reply to by glennw1

Changing font is definitely one good way. But another might be, simply delete everything in verse 2. To do that, enter something deliberately, then right-click it, Select / More / Save verse, then Delete. Then repeat for verse 3 or any other verse that has garbage in it that you can't see.

Still, switching to a font that actually shows you the garbage characters would be a good first step.

In the version of the file posted here, there are only two bad lyrics, both attached to the very first note. So it's easy enough to delete those even if you can't see them. Just select that first measure, hit Delete to remove everything - notes, lyrics, and all - then re-enter the note and the one lyric you want.

There isn't an option to prevent you from entering lyrics in other verses, but normally that would never happen unless you actually go out of your to do so so, by hitting Enter or Down while typing a lyric to go to the next line, then typing something there. Maybe your cat walked across the keyboard and did this while you weren't looking? Aside from that, I can't think of another case where anyone has accidentally done exactly those steps, so I wouldn't assume it's something you need to work to prevent in the future,


When I opened your (first) Tarbolton Lodge.mscz file I saw the same as Jojo and underquark. That is, I saw the 'g' and 'f' along with many *'s, $'s, ^'s, %'s, etc. (Same as underquark's image posted earlier.)
You then posted a screenshot of what you saw: that is, a gap where the 'g' and 'f' should be, along with circled digits instead of weird glyphs.
To me it looked like a font problem. Your harmonica Tab used a special font, and/or you may have used some plug-in to create the harmonica Tab.

Since you could not see the 'g' and 'f' on your score, I figured it was not important to you, and so I deleted them on my score, thereby closing the gap between the first 2 systems.. Then I saved the score, and attached it to my post to see if it works for you.
I have no idea why your first screenshot did not show the 'g' and 'f' nor why you entered '6' and '8' in your PS2.png and tb3.png images.

In reply to by Jm6stringer


The numbers are the harmonica font, which provide the tab for the music. I have attached the font in a zip file.
If you are anyone else would be so kind to install the font and try it with that font I'd be much obliged.
When I reopened the Tarbolton 2.2 file you had worked on, It displayed both with the harmonica tab font and the even spacing you had achieved by deleting the letters on the lower verse lines. I am thinking that if the problem had been the font, then the even spacing wouldn't have been seen when I reopened it.
Another question, and probably easier, is how do I make the top system as long as the others, so they are all the same length, that is, without the indentation in the top system?


Attachment Size
Tarbolton Lodge.mscz 18.75 KB
Tarbolton Lodge2(2).mscz 18.75 KB 9.65 KB

In reply to by glennw1

You wrote:
I am thinking that if the problem had been the font, then the even spacing wouldn't have been seen when I reopened it.

The problem was that I did not have the same font as you, so I did see the 'f' and 'g' (which show as blanks in your Richter font, yet still take up space, producing that excess gap). I did not see circled numbers at all.

I use a US QWERTY keyboard which has a number row above the letters. I realize that your harmonica tab shows circled/uncircled numbers to distinguish drawing/blowing. I can enter uncircled numbers with no problem and they display correctly. However, where your score showed a circled 5, it displayed to me as a %, which is the symbol produced by pressing shift+5 on my keyboard. The fact that my font did not show the circled number does not mean that I can't erase the % (i.e., shift+5). Then If you opened my score, what I erased would no longer show for you, too - however different it looked with your Richter font (i.e., a circled 5).
Conversely, without having your font, I could create harmonica tabs created by typing shift + number which will display on my system as the (number) uppercase symbols #, $, %, etc. but will show as circled numbers on your system (with the Richter Tab font).

Whatever caused the excess gap in your original score appeared as 'g' and 'f' to me, so I deleted them, and the excess vanished. When you opened my score, you said it was fixed. That's because whatever caused the excess gap was gone, regardless of how your font previously displayed it (actually as blank lyrics).

I tried your Richter tab font and it allows me to enter circled numbers by using shift+number, and they display correctly. The "gap" danger seems to arise when entering text (e.g., alphabetic letters like 'f' and 'g').
To see what I'm talking about, open your most recent attached score "Tarbolton Lodge.mscz" and do the following:
1. Click on the '5' under the first note (turns blue)..
2. Pess Alt + right arrow and you will see "Lyrics: g" displayed in the Status Bar. Press delete to eliminate the 'g'..
3. Repeta steps 1 and 2 to get rid of the 'f'. You will immediately see the first system gap decrease.
It will look like your attachment "Tarbolton Lodge2(2).mscz".

Alternatively, you could change the lyrics font from Richter to a more "normal" font to see the 'f' and 'g' directly, delete them, and return to Richter.

Use the View menu to enable the Status Bar:

In reply to by glennw1

I tried the font, and it's definitely the problem. I can see that the garbage characters in question do nor appear when using this font. So, simply change the lyrics to another font temporarily as recommended elsewhere, then you can see and delete the problematic lyrics.

Aside from the fact that your score has lyrics you can't see and apparently never intended to add, the spacing of lines in this font is extremely wide. So if you ever do need to use multiple lyric "verses", you'll almost certainly want a much smaller line height. I see you've set it to 50%, but that's still pretty wide. Unfortunately it's the lowest setting MuseScore allows - I guess it wasn't designed with fonts with enormous line heights like this in mind.

If you're still doubting that the font line spacing is an issue in itself, try using this font in a word processor anything else other than lyrics. You'll see exactly the same effect - huge spaces between each line of text.

I'm not saying it makes the font unusable, but it does mean, you will need to take care if you try using it for anything that involves multiple lines, as it does seem to have been designed for that.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

If you tried the font and determined that it was the problem after all then I'll take your word for that.
I took Tarbolton 2.2, fixed by Jim6string, and made a copy for use as a template. That will eliminate the need for
the font change workaround every time I create a new harmonica score.
My one suggestion here is that if there no option in the settings to have just one lyric line vs 4 or more, you may want to create one for the next version of the program. I greatly appreciate the help you and the other resident experts have so generously provided, but I think this fix was rendered quite difficult by the apparent lack of such a setting, and I've been using this program frequently since 2015.
Glenn Weiser

In reply to by glennw1

You shouldn't need any sort of workaround or special template or new feature. As you say, you've been using MuseScore for years. Preusmably you've never accidentally entered random invisible characters into new lyrics verses before. And you're unlikely to ever to do that again. Lyrics don't enter themselves - it must have been a finger slip, or a cat, or a faulty keyboard sending spurious signals, or some other completely fluke. It's not something you normally should ever have to worry about. You should have no problems whatsoever going forward now that the problem with this particular score has been fixed.

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