Beams

    Note beams are set automatically, based on the time signature. To adjust the default beaming, right-click on a time signature and select "Time Signature Properties." See Change default beaming for details.

    However, if you want to adjust note beaming manually, on a case-by-case basis, use the beam symbols found in the Beam Properties palette in the "Basic" or "Advanced" workspaces:

    Beam Properties Palette (Advanced workspace)

    Beam symbols

    The following is a list of beam symbols and their effects:

    • "Start beam" icon Start a beam at this note (or rest).
    • "Middle of beam" icon Do not end a beam at this note (or rest).
    • "No beam" icon Do not beam this note.
    • "16th sub beam" icon Start a second level beam at this note.
    • "32nd sub beam" icon Start a third level beam at this note.
    • "Automatic mode" icon (back to) Automatic mode: the mode MuseScore chooses on note input, dependent on current time signature and its beam settings.
    • "Feathered beam, slower" icon Start feathered beam (slower) at this note.
    • "Feathered beam, faster" icon Start feathered beam (faster) at this note.

    Change note beaming

    To change one or more note beams (except feathered beams, below), use either of the following methods:

    • Drag and drop a beam symbol from a workspace onto a note in the score.

    • Select one or more notes in the score and double click the desired workspace beam symbol.

    To apply feathered note beams, use either of the following methods:

    • Drag and drop a feathered-beam symbol from a workspace onto a note beam in the score.

    • Select one or more note beams in the score, then double click on a feathered-beam symbol in the workspace.

    Notes: (1) Feathered beams may use 2 or 3 lines depending on the tempo and the desired rate of the change; (2) To create a 2-line feathered beam, you need to start with a continuous run of beamed sixteenth notes; (3) To create a 3-line feathered beam, you need to start with continuous run of beamed thirty-second notes; (4) Playback of feathered beams is not supported.

    Adjust beam with the keyboard/mouse

    Adjust beam angle

    1. Double-click on a note beam to put it into edit mode—the right end handle is automatically selected.
    2. Use the up/down arrows or drag the right end handle to change the angle of the beam.
    3. Press Esc to exit edit mode.

    Adjust beam height

    1. Double-click on a note beam to put it into edit mode—the right end handle is automatically selected.
    2. Press Shift+Tab or click the left handle to select it
    3. Use the up/down arrows or drag the left end handle to change the height of the beam.
    4. Press Esc to exit edit mode.

    Adjust beam with the inspector

    Alternatively, you can use the Inspector for all of these operations:

    Adjust beam angle

    1. Click on a note beam.
    2. Tick the "User position" box in the "Beam" section of the Inspector.
    3. Set the "Position" values to get the desired beam angle.

    Adjust beam height

    1. Click on a note beam.
    2. Tick the "User position" box in the "Beam" section of the Inspector.
    3. Set the "Position" values as desired.

    Make the beam horizontal

    1. Select a note beam
    2. Tick the "Horizontal" box in the "Beam" section of the inspector.
    3. If desired, adjust the beam height with the keyboard/mouse: see above.

    If you want all note beams in the score to be horizontal there is a "Flatten all beams" option in StyleGeneralBeams.

    Adjust feathered beams

    To adjust feathered beams:

    1. Select a note beam.
    2. Adjust the values in the "Grow left" and "Grow right" boxes in the "Beam" section of the Inspector.

    Local relayout

    MuseScore (following accepted music engraving practice) spaces notes according to their time values, allowing for accidentals, lyrics etc. In systems where there is more than one staff, this may result in irregular note spacing, as in the following example:

    Normal layout

    Local relayout is a tickbox option in the Inspector allowing you to specify those passages in the score where you want the note spacing to be independent of other staves in the system. Applying "Local relayout" to the note beams in the top staff of the previous example results in a more even distribution of notes:

    After applying "Local relayout"

    To do a local relayout:

    1. Select one or more note beams.
    2. Tick the option Local relayout in the "Beam" section of the Inspector.

    Flip note beam

    To flip a beam from above to below the notes, or vice-versa:

    1. Select one or more note beams.
    2. Use any of the following options:
      • Press the X key;
      • Press the "Flip direction" icon in the bottom right of the toolbar area.
      • Select a "Direction" option (Auto, Up or Down) in the "Beam" section of the Inspector.

    Reset Beam Mode

    To restore beams to the mode defined in the local time signatures:

    1. Select the section of the score you want to reset. If nothing is selected, the operation will apply to the whole score;
    2. Select LayoutReset Beam Mode.

    See also