Sharing note stems for two voices on a staff

• Jul 14, 2015 - 10:30

Good morning.

For MuseScore 2.0.1, it looks like when there are two voices on a staff, then voice 1 displays with stems up and voice 2 with stems down. Individual note stems can be flipped with the "X" key, but that doesn't work well with quavers etc.

Can you please advise whether there is a way to automatically display the notes from both voices on a single stem when the note value is the same? In other words, as if both notes had been entered as a chord on a single voice?



Welcome, I do not understand the reason, but maybe you could try to use Inspector to make them invisible (or click and press V)

In reply to by Shoichi

My apologies if I am not being clear. I am attaching an example, I want to display the music as per the first measure even when the top notes are in voice 1 and the bottom notes in voice 2. The MuseScore default is like the second measure.


Attachment Size
example.JPG 12.67 KB

In reply to by GPT

Why would you want to do this? What is the musical sense in it? How would the person reading Voice 2 know to play/sing notes that seem to be in Voice 1?

That is why it isn't available in a notation programme. The point of a notation programme is that it knows the rules!

In reply to by cwhysall

Today I had the same question and can answer the musical sense in it. Piano music with many notes being played at the same time. Without the ability to do this piano music looks messy and is hard to read.

Hiding things seems to be the way to go.

In reply to by GPT

Two options:

1. Use [X], as you said—not sure what you mean "but that doesn't work well with quavers etc."
2. If you want them to look like chords, enter them as chords! Then in voice 2, enter rests and the last two eighth notes, and then either delete the rests in voice 2 or make them invisible with [V].

In reply to by GPT

To create the first measure, you need the notes to be in the same voice. You can, if you like, enter them in voice 2, then move them to voice 1 by selecting the measure and running Edit / Tools / Implode, which will combuine vocies where possible. Or, you could select the measure and press the voice 1 button, and then delete the rests left behind and clean up the unison.

What instrument are you writing for? Could you post a bit more of the score to get an idea of the context of the bar?

In reply to by geetar

Hi, many hymns are written for dual purpose - SATB and a keyboard. The keyboard players are used to the single stem, but sometimes it is necessary to extract the parts for choir members to practise - I then prepare mp3's with their part louder than the other three. I suppose I could always just keep two versions of each hymn but it does seem a bit unnecessary.

As a change request for a future release, would it be possible to consider adding an option for each voice on a staff to display up or down or combined?

Don't you think it would also be convenient to be able name each voice in the piece, then move the named voices freely between staves instead of naming each staff? It would probably much easier for copying / comparing voices.

I will try the implode for now, thanks

In reply to by GPT

Yes, I've run into this issue for the last couple years too. Look at most modern hymnals and you'll see what the OP is talking about. It would be nice if you could force multiple voices to share the same stem with an easy click. Then you could still have voices separated (very important for MIDI purposes or for when you need to show a clear choral division) but the engraving would look more traditional for hymn singing.

I do this sometimes - i.e. enter as two Voices but flip direction and hide the beam/tail of quavers. I might want a piano piece to appear as written but have the option of separating it into parts for playing on different instruments. An automated way of creating this appearance, would, therefore, be used by some people but I can't say that it is a high priority as it is not too difficult to do using flip and hide.

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