Staff spacing adjustment ...

• Apr 18, 2010 - 20:19

I have a recurring problem when generating lead sheets that a single line will be pushed onto a 2nd page. I most cases, I would like to adjust the spacing between staffs just a little to allow the score to collapse to a single page.

I have searched the forums, tried every possible combination of option in the Page Settings and Edit Style dialog boxes, but cannot reliably modify this spacing.

How can I adjust the spacing between staves so that I can force one additional staff on a page. I do not want to reduce the overall size of the staff, lyrics or chord names, just the various spacings so that I can get ONE MORE staff on a page.


Ken Parrish
aka: EulerOperator


There is a way.

Go to>style>general style>page.

There you will see "System distance".

Diminish the number to a suitable amount.


In reply to by xavierjazz

I tried your suggestion. If I lower the System Distance way down, the first page will eventually collapse to less that one page. BUT the one staff on the second page will still not become part of the first page. Instead, there is a blank space at the bottom of the first page. Odd result.

I checked to insure that I had not inserted a page break. That's not the problem.

I tried saving to a MusicXML file and reloading. Problem is that the file needs to have 'stretch' removed after loading, so after doing that, I have the same result.

Maybe the question should be framed as to how to remove all staff spacing and paging information so that it can be 're-stretched' and re-paginated.



In reply to by EulerOperator

"If I lower the System Distance way down, the first page will eventually collapse to less that one page. BUT the one staff on the second page will still not become part of the first page. Instead, there is a blank space at the bottom of the first page. Odd result."

The first page collapse because it takes up less room than the page threshold that you specified. (For more information about the "page threshold" see )

The staff on the second page does not become part of the first page because you still haven't made enough room for it.

I want this to get back up because I always have this problem, and I am going crazy!

Only one system on the last page.
I modified the Page fill threshold as suggested, played with Edit Style ->Staff distance, Music upper Margin, System distance, Music lower margin for the past hour with NO success!
Layout -> Page Settings -> Bottom margin until the first page collapsed!!!!!!!!!!!

This thing is way too complicated. Why don't they simply make you move by dragging the systems like on Finale?

I love a lot this Software, but damn every single freaking time the same problem and NO way on earth to get a simple result!!!

Please...PLEASE, if you have the answer give it to me.

In reply to by Shoichi


thank you. I tried that earlier but, as you see, the measures with the double barline are not at the end of the system as they should. Therefore, when I try to modify that I cannot do it because you can add a Line Break, but then you cannot move the bar with the double line up to the system above.

How to do so?

In reply to by irenejazz

You can place line breaks anywhere you like, see Break or spacer . That allows you to reduce the number of lines per measure, anyhow - to increase, reduce stretch and/or the overall scaling.

In general, I think you'd do well to check out my lead sheet tutorials:

Part 1:
Part 2:

There's quite a number of things that can be done to improve the layout of this chart that are covered in the tutorial. but first thing I'd suggest is, start from the Jazz Lead Sheet template and customize if necessary from there, as that template is already pretty well optimized in terms of the various scaling, spacing, and other settings to work well for lead sheets.

In reply to by irenejazz

Musescore has a bunch of ways to modify the layout of a score. Here's another suggestion. (See attachment.)
I took a look at your score (by the way - you should post the score with the file extension .mscz and not the one ending in a comma as this is an older, backup copy).

Here's what I did:
1. Since there are 2 staves on the second page, reduce *scaling* to fit more on a page: the menu item is Layout / Page Settings. This is a powerful setting, as it even changes text sizes. (Also, your chords/ lyrics/ repeat lines seemed crowded).

2. Change 'page fill treshold' to fill page: Menu item is Style / Edit General Style / Page

Attachment Size
You_And_The_Night_And_The_Music 1.mscz 5.77 KB

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Actually, 2.0mm is a very common size for lead sheets, and is the default for the Jazz Lead Sheet template (although that template doesn't appear to have been used here). I suppose the slightly-larger-than-average* size is in part a nod to the days of doing these things by hand, but it's also significantly easier on the eyes when sight-reading a tune in a dark smoky bar.

That said, sure, cutting down on the size a bit is the simplest way to fit more music on a page. In this case, though, there are a number of other settings I'd also recommend tweaking. Or simply start from the Jazz Lead Sheet template, which is already pretty well optimized.

*Since the default is actually 1.764, I calculate that 2.0 is only 13% larger.

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