Formatting and Settings for US 10x13 Inches?

• Mar 13, 2024 - 01:01


I am creating a score and parts for an American orchestra, and they have asked for 10x13" format. Am using Gould's Behind Bars as a reference, but this is my first time doing this in MU. I'm also on a crazy tight deadline so am hoping for experienced input rather than going down the rabbit hole of tutorials and videos.

--Does anyone have a score/template I can look at to get formatting settings, or Style and Page Format settings you've used to create a score and parts, at 10x13", that meet professional US orchestral standards that a conductor and players will appreciate...and maybe!

  • There is a printing issue with some fonts (Leland, for example) on M1 Macs, so am using Bravura font mostly.

  • There are 10 staves total, and I'm hoping to get two systems on a page. (4-5 bars per system, is that realistic?) Most instruments are playing most of the time, so hiding empty staves won't have too much affect.

  • I'm not used to formatting for engraving myself, but there isn't budget with this to use outside pros. I've attempted it, but the results aren't good(!) and the deadline's quickly approaching.

Help and guidance would be supremely appreciated, and hopefully I have some skills to reciprocate somehow.

Thank you.


10 x 13 inches is pretty generous but needs a special printer. Do you have any example scores or even extracts from them?. With 10 staves, you're looking at quite small notes if you want two systems per page. 4-5 bars is doable depending upon how many notes there are.

Bottom line is - do most of the work up to your limit of capability and then post the score here and ask for help. Help is usually forthcoming when someone has already put in an effort and tried their best.

In reply to by underquark


The orchestra will do the printing, but I do not have any examples from them.

Attached is the limit of my capability, and it does not look professional to me, especially the last page. I got a ruler and made the score on the screen an actual 10x13" to see what it looks like, and it looks too small to me.

I usually post on the forum as a last resort after trying on my own, but with the deadline coming up thought I could reach out in this case. Have been playing with this a bit for a few days in between writing the music.

But having one system per page looks too big to me.

Thank you for the help.

In reply to by RogerRabbit95

Regarding the sizes. Elain Gould's recommendation in Behind Bars for the minimum height of a 5 line stave in a full score is 3.7 mm . In Musescore that would be achieved by setting the Staff Space to 3.7/4 = 0.925 mm (you divide by 4 as there are 4 spaces between 5 lines).

Scores can use significantly smaller sizes than individual parts as a conductor is not reading the pitch of every note "on the fly" as a player would. If the conductor needs to see a particular pitch they can stop and peer more closely.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Hello Steve!

Thanks to your other post that score is at 0.925mm, but it looked maybe too small when I made it actual 10x13 on the screen. Then again, I'm not a conductor (usually work with non-classical/jazz folks) and am not sure what they're used to. The study scores I have at home are smaller than 10x13".

Also, I didn't realize formatting was the last step. Other software I've used is different, so getting used to working this way.

Being outside the classical world it's tough to gauge reaction. Taking music to studio musicians - they don't care much about format, as long as they can read the notes. And I'm usually there to talk through any questions. This project is intimidating.

And then when I try to allow for convenient page turns, etc. everything gets thrown out of whack and is frustrating. I know it's me and my lack of MU formatting experience, this software is insanely fantastic.

Trying to get one of the songs formatted in a great way, and then make a template for the others. Have played with stretching measures, system breaks - it's not intuitive to me, yet. After this, though, I'll be more confident.


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