Adjustng number of bars per line

• Aug 15, 2015 - 15:47

Having written my score,I would like to adjust the number of bars per line to reduce the number pages. Also the bars are to big. I'm familier with the line break tool, but it doesn't work. i,e, If I set it against every 5th bar nothing happens except the following bar invariable goes to occupying a whole line . What am I doing wrong?


Nothing wrong. You need to make the music smaller or the notes closer. You can change the size of the music in Layout > Page settings > Space or compress the space between notes in Style > General > Measure > Spacing.

The line break tool adds line breaks, so it can make *fewer* bars per systems, but the only way to get *more* per system is to make something smaller, as suggested above (it's up to you which method to choose).

"Having written my score,I would like to adjust the number of bars per line"... In previous editions
(I have 2.1 run in windows 10) there was an easy tool for adjusting number of bars per line. I cannot find it in the latest version. Anyone? (It really troubles me..

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thank you SO much I was searching frantically for this tool ... there was a plug in on the earlier 1.3 version. But it disappeared in the 2.0 version. I can't work with the tiny scrunched up measures. I don't understand why MuseScore insists on that format as its default.

In reply to by Nikki Ty

By default, MuseScore puts as many measures per line as can fit given the current music size and spacing settings. Just as a word processor puts as many words per lone as can fit. This is exactly as would be desired most of the time, which is why it is the default. It's really only special case exceptions where someone would deliberately want fewer measures per line than actually fit, and of course MuseScore has no way of guessing when you might want fewer measures than can fit, or how many measures you would like instead.

And just as a word processor lets you change font size or spacing settings so that fewer words will fit per line by default, so does MuseScore. See "Layout / Page Settings / Staff space" to make music bigger overall, or Style / General / Measure / Spacing to have more space between notes by default. But the defaults march pretty wrll how actual published music tends to be engraved.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Any way you slice it, it's awful. I sign on and see a nice clean sheet of single staves Then I fill in the Title Composer etc. and move on to select my score format. There's a lovely selection of formats including choral and orchestra. All samples shown as full pages. Very nice

I choose the Grand Staff. Which is shown thumbnail with 6 lives of four measures each. Perfect.

Then I fill in the key and time signatures. Am pleased with the option for a pick-up measure. All is well.

THEN I click finish and .. disaster.

The lovely basic score page is gone and there are only two lines with 32 measures jammed onto them. Sure I can enter notes ... but they are a nightmare as I struggle to position the notes over the rests cramming them into an unnecessarily small space if I'm using a mouse. If I'm using a keyboard then it's a little easier. But not much. Yes the measures DO expand. Great .... now I have the visual distraction of measures bouncing and throbbing all over my screen as I enter the notes.

I can't understand this being default. The default should be a simple single score sheet. Just like what is shown in the thumbnail on the "create a score" page. No I don't want a bigger image. No I don't want more space between notes. I want a simple score instead of 32 bars crammed into two lines which will dance the watutsi when I start to fill in my notes. Mercifully there is still the option in "tools" of giving me an acceptable work space. Without that tool. I would simply not have the patience to work with this otherwise exceptionally good program.

Four measures per line covers most score requirements. I'm quite sure that no composition has ever been written which uses 16 measures per line. That would be a fast watutsi. :)

In reply to by Nikki Ty

Again, the music spaces itself automatically as you enter notes. Empty measures in real published scores don't take much room either. Check any published scores; what MuseScore does for empty measures is pretty much exactly what most editors do. You just aren't used to seeing scores published that are nothing but empty measures, so it looks strange at first of course. But as you enter notes, everything is exactly as it should be.

I guess you are trying to enter notes using the mouse? That's never going to be particularly efficient no matter what. The keyboard is much faster. But, yes, if you do wish to enter notes with the mouse for whatever reason, it might make sense to add line breaks before beginning note entry, then remove them later so the automatic spacing can do what it is designed to do.

Anyhow, four measures per line is *not* how most music is published. Some fakebooks publish lead sheets that way, sure, but the vast majority of published music has varying numbers of measures per line, according to how full the measures are. If the measures have just a single note/rest, or maybe just a couple, most published music will fit *much* more than four measures. MuseScore handles this for you if you don't override it and force it to only put four measures even though more would have fit.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks so much for your patience .

You are quite correct of course, that printed scores do indeed allow much less space for empty measures. Your point is well made. I write in the classical style but even when I just checked my Mozart and Beethoven Sonatas, there are wildly different bar sizes. Cadenza passages commandeer entire lines.

But you have been so generous with your time and patience and so insistent regarding this issue, I told myself I must be missing a crucial point here. And I WAS. I've been writing classical music for early stage pianists and pretty well adhering to a two to four page format with even measures. The last page occasionally has empty space at the bottom which I fill with a nice graphic. So I lost touch with the fact that there is a huge discrepancy between an empty bar and one crammed with 16th notes.

But you offered a perfect solution to any style of music I might write. A wonderful option I knew nothing about.

You wrote .... "It might make sense to add line breaks before beginning note entry and then remove them later so automatic spacing can do what it is designed to do."

BINGO! That's it. I just tried it and am absolutely delighted/ The automatic adjustment swung into action and my score was beautifully proportioned, This is the answer right here. I get the benefit of an easy input system as well as the benefits of that automatic spacing.

Thank you SO very much. For your patience and persistence. I am fascinated by this "combo" and will probably be up all night trying it out. It's beautiful.

In reply to by Nikki Ty

Cool, glad that helps! It occurs to me there is something MuseScore could do to improve the situation further, though.

Right now, the basic issue is this: MuseScore is choosing how to layout your score based on how it should actually look when pruinted, and empty measures are *supposed* to be narrow. However, it is true that *while entering notes*, you normally don't care much about how it is going to look when printed - you would rather MuseScore layout your score in a way that facilitates note entry, even if it wouldn't make sense to print your score looking like that.

MuseScore 2.0 has a featured called "Continuous View" that is meant to address this in part - see the drop down menu in the main toolbar (the default is "Page View"). This eliminates the line breaks and presents you music as a single horizontal row. However, empty measures are still narrow. It might be nice if we made empty measures wider in Continuous View.

On the other hand, it normally shouldn't be a problem that a measure is narrow even when entering notes. Clicking anywhere in the measure enters a note onto beat one, so it's not like it is difficult to enter the first note into a narrow measure even by mouse. And once the first note is entered, the measure is no longer empty, so is gets considerably wider - more than wide enough to faciliate entering more notes.

Still, making emtpy measures a bit wider in Continuous View seems like decent idea, although I guess others might complain it would mean fewer measures could fit on screen at once.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Actually I'm VERY pleased with the "work-arounds" you've pointed out. I can only suggest that they be combined into a simple option on the "create new score" page ... which would facilitate note entry and then allow the default to adjust the measures accordingly.

Now if the option were given to download a plain template like the one originally shown on the "Create New Score" page as Grand Staff ( which looks great until you click "finish" and get a surprising two lines of scrunched up measures) ... maybe call it "Grand Staff Classic" and allow it to download as a full page of 24 bars ... then we could input all those wild notes much more comfortably. And then add your miracle feature to remove those calibrated staff lines when the writing is done. Make it easy and intuitive.

The small bars are mainly a problem for classical piano music, which is much more complex than pop music, and which cannot be contained comfortably in a small space, even if it expands in terror as more notes are put in. Imagine a bar in 4/4 time with 16 notes, chords and trills .... not an impossibility by any means. Add triplets and more ornaments and that's a LOT of notation. I do not think the Continuous View will be welcomed by classical composers. For a single voice line it would work better.

The solution is already right here. It works wonderfully. But I would never have found that easy solution by myself. Adding and removing measures is FAR too important to be buried in an Edit menu under "tools". It should be right out there. And by offering a classic choice with that option clearly visible. you'd have a stellar way around the problem.

Meanwhile as I say .. I am completely happy with the solution you've offered to me. It works like a charm. But I know the engineers of this remarkable resource are constantly tweaking and improving ... so I offer the viewpoint of a classical piano composer. :)

In reply to by Nikki Ty

The only reaosn ther templates look the way they do is that they have line breaks in them, just as you are now adding yourself. The line breaks are not used when creating a new score from template. I suppose we could add an option to the Create New Score Wizard to add line breaks every X measures. Feel free to submit an official feature request via the "Issue tracker" (see link in menu at right).

Regarding the spacing when entering complex piano music, I can only guess you are still referring to the process of *entering* the notes, not to the finished product. If you think the finished scores is too crowded, that's easy enough to sovle without line breaks - just change the Spacing setting in Style / General / Measure. But the default is chosen to produce very good results in most situations - including classical piano music (in fact, the layout algorithms tend to be optimized specifically for that case, because it is so common). So I'm guessing you are still talking about the process of entering notes by mouse. I'd encourage you to use the keyboard instead - it's *much* more efficient. But if you do keep using the mouse for whatever reason, then I guess maybe your workaround might help.

BTW, Continuous View *is* welcomed by classical composers, btw, although it does result in wasted space when using it with only a single instrument. The main advantage that causes many to like it is the lack of the "word wrap" that can cause a measure to jump down to the next system while working on. Personally I am not bothered by that so I generally work in Page View.

In reply to by Nikki Ty

I am a relative newbie to MuseScore, but find it a most excellent product. I have just been working on choral SATB score with piano. Found that using Continuous view absolutely fab for entering all systems. If you increase the size to 150% or 200% it is just so ease to enter notes either with mouse or the computer keyboard. I enter single line first on k/b changing note value (3,4,5,6 dot etc) as I go and just enter the main melody note G, B, C etc). Go back later and enter the harmony if splitting. Copy and paste to other 'instruments' and adjust as necessary. Use of voices very handy.

My only wish is to be able to select a few bars to force say three bars per system where MS applies its algorythm too wide (in some cases). Should be an option on a Tools menu.

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