Beams

Updated 2 months ago

    Overview

    MuseScore beams notes according to the beaming setting assigned in the time signature symbol used by the note and the beaming property of the note. By default, notes do not have any specific beaming property. If a property is assigned to a note, it is always used.

    Changing the beaming setting inside a time signature

    See the main chapter Time signatures : Change beaming.

    1. Select the time signature object used by the note(s)
    2. Click Inspector : Time Signature : Properties button, to open the Time Signature Properties dialog
    3. Edit the Note Groups section

    or

    1. Right click the time signature object used by the note(s)
    2. Choose "Time Signature Properties", to open the Time Signature Properties dialog
    3. Edit the Note Groups section

    Changing the beaming property of individual notes

    Effects of items inside Beam Properties

    These items are inside the Beam Properties palette

    Beam Properties Palette (Advanced workspace)

    Beam property items:

    • Use feathered beam to indicate gradually slower tempo. This item is named "Feathered beam, slower":
      "Feathered beam, slower" icon
    • Use feathered beam to indicate gradually faster tempo. This item is named "Feathered beam, faster":
      "Feathered beam, faster" icon

    Note property items:

    Notes does not have specific beaming property by default, that default empty value is called AUTO. If a beaming property is assigned to a note, it is always used.

    This item removes the specific beaming property of a note. Notes without specific beaming property use the setting of time signatures, see overview:
    "Automatic mode" icon

    The following items assign rules. Dismissive rules override permissive rules.

    This item creates a dismissive rule on beam creation connecting the selected note and both of the two adjacent notes. It forces Musescore to use flags rather than beams.
    "No beam" icon

    These three items create dismissive rules on beam creation connecting the selected note and the previous note:

    • This item prevents Musescore from creating a beam to the previous note:
      "Start beam" icon
    • This item prevents Musescore from creating more than one beam to the previous note:
      "16th sub beam" icon
    • This item prevents Musescore from creating more than two beams to the previous note:
      "32nd sub beam" icon

    This item creates a permissive rule on beam creation connecting the selected note and both of the two adjacent notes:
    "Middle of beam" icon

    Applying an item from the Beam Properties palette

    Follow these steps to add an item from Beam Properties palette to the score, see Palettes chapter.

    • To apply the feathered-beam items, use either of the following methods:
      • Drag and drop a feathered-beam item from the palette beam(s) (but not the notes) ; or
      • Select beam(s) (but not the notes), then click on a feathered-beam item in the palette (double-click in versions prior to 3.4).
    • To apply other items, use one of the following methods:
      • Drag and drop an item from the palette onto note(s) or rest symbol(s) in the score; or
      • Select note(s) or rest symbol(s) and click an item in the palette (double-click in versions prior to 3.4).

    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 angle

    To adjust with the keyboard or mouse:

    1. Enter edit mode on the note beam—the right adjustment 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.

    To adjust with the Inspector:

    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

    To adjust with the keyboard or mouse:

    1. Enter edit mode on the note beam—the right adjustment handle is automatically selected.
    2. Press Shift+Tab or click the middle handle to select it (use the left handle prior to 3.4);
    3. Use the up/down arrows or drag the middle handle to change the height of the beam (use the left handle prior to 3.4);
    4. Press Esc to exit edit mode.

    To adjust with the Inspector:

    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 beam horizontal

    1. Select a note beam
    2. Tick the "Force Horizontal" box in the "Beam" section of the Inspector;

    Note: "Force Horizontal" in the "Beam" section of the Inspector can only be selected if "Custom position" has been deselected previously. This setting overrides the Custom Position values and automatically sets the horizontal bar to its original height.

    If you want all note beams in the score to be horizontal there is a "Flatten all beams" option in FormatStyle…Beams. If this option is not selected, automatically inclined beams will be set according to the pitch of the connected notes. This global setting can be overridden for individual beams according to the methods described above.

    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 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, Flip direction , in the toolbar.
      • 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 FormatReset Beams.

    See also

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