Formatting Parts for Marching Band

• Mar 22, 2023 - 13:41


I am working on a score for marching band. The parts should be able to fit on one 5" x "7 page each. I'm struggling with adjust the layout settings on the parts to make this happen. I adjusted the page size to 7" wide and 5" high, then reduced the stretch and scaled until all of the measures fit. The problem with that is it didn't really reduce the vertical spacing between lines and I haven't found a way to do that. When I adjust the settings in Format-Style-Page-Disable Vertical Justification it doesn't seem to change anything no matter how small I make the vertical distance. Any suggestions? I also need to be able to scale the text but haven't found how to do that yet.

Many thanks,


In reply to by SteveBlower

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your reply. I had been using the Staff Space setting but it wasn't really reducing the space between the staves, only making the staves smaller and putting more measures on a line. I tried reducing the minimum vertical spacing, but that had no effect. I had to reduce the MAXIMUM spacing before it changed anything. Once I found that was working I was able to tweek combinations to make things fit well. The text has a setting in properties that you can choose for it to adjust the text to the size of the staff and that worked well. I still need to play more but this seems the be the best way forward so far, I am open to suggestions, though. I make sure to click Apply to All Parts. when I change settings. Hopefully I don't need to do too much individual work on each part.

Thanks again!

In reply to by SteveBlower

File is attached. I have finished some of the parts - I needed to remember to reduce stretching. Is that something that can be automated across parts? I also adjust the title for the middle section. Flute- Alto Sax 2 should be done already. Thanks in advance. Final goal is music that can fit on a roughly 5"x7" sheet in a marching folio on a lyre. I print on 8.5' x 11" then cut down.

Attachment Size
My_Country_Tis_of_Thee.mscz 249.92 KB

In reply to by ericwiener

Try these adjustments

In Format Page Settings:
- Reduce the size of the margins, 0.39 or 0.34 inch looks OK to me.

In Format>Style>Score:
- Enable vertical justification of staves
- Reduce the minimum system distance. 5 or 6 sp looks ok to me
- Reduce the vertical frame top and bottom margins. 3 sp looks ok to me

In Format>Style>Measure (or Bar for GB localisation):
- Reduce the spacing ratio (this has the same effect as reducing stretch). 1.2 looks ok to me
- Reduce the minimum note distance - 0.3 sp is probably as far as you would want to go.
- Reduce the clef to key signature and key signature to first note. These are probably best set to the same as the minimum note distance.

In Format>Style>Text styles>
- Reduce the size of the Title text and Frame text (used for the 2nd title)

I also note that you have two rests in the pick up bar for Star Spangled Banner - unless you intend it to segue from My Country 'Tis of Thee and need to count those rests you could save space by dispensing with them . CTRL+DELETE them in the score (deleting them in a part may not propagate correctly to other parts and the score).

In reply to by SteveBlower

Thanks again for all of your help. There are a few nit-picky things I’m struggling with on the score:
1-I put in the section break to create the 2nd song and used a text frame attached the the first measure of the new section. I could not figure out how to get the text to go to the top of the page of the score. It is on the bottom of the previous page (p4-5)
2-You gave me a good way to create the pickup measure into the next section. Is there a way to indent the beginning of the new section?
3-Layers/voices - in the percussion part the crash cymbal is in voice 3. It is extremely finicky to get it go there. I’ve tried various entry methods. Even when voice three is clearly selected it tries to overwrite voice one. I eventually gave up and will hand write the cymbal part in. Any thoughts?

In reply to by bobjp

bobjp - you're right on all counts. I chose drum set style to limit the number of individual parts to print for percussion. Our percussionists are used to concert band style where bass and snare are on the same staff. Having the cymbal part there as well is handy for times when we are in rehearsal and have a single drummer playing drum set. There are also times when I have to adapt marching percussion for drum set so the practice helps. It is a bit awkward and frustrating dealing with voice 3. Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.