How to shorten score?

• Dec 3, 2015 - 03:26

I'm extremely new to Musescore, and I've been arranging a piece for a rather large orchestra (9 parts). However, the score has ended up to be nearly 50 pages long with some pages consisting of the whole staff and some with just a measure. How can I make the staff shorter/less long (both horizontally and vertically) so it fits within a reasonable page count?

Thanks for all help in advance!


In addition to Shoichi's advice, I often use these four methods:
(These assume you're using MuseScore 2.02 on a Windows computer)

1. From the menu at the top of the program, Layout->Page Settings, and in the "Scaling" box downclick once (or twice). This reduces the size of notes, and in turn everything that depends on the size of notes.
2. From the menu, Style->General->Score, and click "Hide empty staves".
3. From the menu, Style->General->Page, and reduce the Min. & Max. system distances, and any of the margins that work for you while still keeping the score easy to read.
4. Press CONTROL+A on your keyboard to select the entire score, then either the "{" key or from the menu, Layout->Decrease stretch to kind of shrink the empty spaces between notes.

I hope this helps,

In reply to by marty strasinger

From my personal experience, I agree with all Shoichi and martin suggestions: all these methods were useful in creating my own scores.

I would like to add that:

1. "Layout | Page Settings" dialogue box - "Scaling" value and "Style | General | Page" dlg box - "Min. & Max. system distance" values are the more effective to attempt to fit more systems in a page; particularly for a largish orchestral score, where it is unlikely that anybody will play from the score, the score being aimed primarily at conducting or studying and then might be relatively dense.

2. Select All and then Decrease Stretch seems to me kind of a "big gun"; Decrease Stretch is better suited for specific points where, for instance, you would like to fit one or two additional measures in a page, before a page turning or a structural ending point (a repeat, for instance).

3. In the "Style | General" dialogue box - "Measure" tab, there are a number of values which may allow to reclaim a fair amount of space, particularly on a long score like yours; namely: "Barline to note distance", "Note to barline distance", the various "Xxxx left margin". The default values are reasonable, but it may make sense to reduce them slightly, again especially if peoples are not expected to play directly from the score. Go by rather small changes in value, as they may have a big impact on the "denseness" of the score.

4. In the same dialogue box, the "Spacing" value also might be useful. But this is another "big gun" and the default value (1.2) is more on the small side than other. If anything else fails (or is not enough), try reducing it to 1.1 or at very minimum to 1.0.

Hoping it is useful,


In reply to by The Phantom Sh…

One last method- If you have an instrument that seems relatively unimportant, you can make that entire line disappear from the score (but not be deleted, and it still sounds on playback) from the Instruments dialogue by un-checking its "Visible" box. Press "I" on your keyboard, or menu->Edit->Instruments to bring it up.

Hi there any ideas how one could reduce this song to 2 pages if possible maybe 3. Would also appreciate an explanation how you did that. I was thinking to maybe repaste it on new documents separate for solo and rest of choir on grand staff instead of SATB. Basiccaly its for brass band with preferably two pages on stand. Thanks in advance

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