Beams

    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.

    Controlling which notes are beamed

    Changing the beaming setting inside a time signature

    See the main chapter Time signatures

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

    Changing the beaming for selected notes

    These items are in the Beam Properties palette, see Using the palettes chapter.

    Beam properties palette

    Note property items:

    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 note property items

    • Select note(s) and/or rest(s) and click an item in the Beam Properties palette; or
    • Select note(s) and/or rest(s) and click an item under "Beam types" (Beam tab of the Properties panel); or
    • Drag and drop an item from the Beam Properties palette onto a note or rest in the score.

    Controlling the appearance of beams

    These items are in the Beam Properties palette, see Using the palettes chapter.

    Beam properties palette

    Beam property items:

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

    Creating a feathered beam

    To create feathered beams use one of the following methods:

    • Select one or more beams, notes or rests in the score and click the desired symbol in the Beam Properties palette.
    • Select one or more beams, notes or rests in the score and click on a symbol under "Beam types" (Beam tab of the Properties panel).
    • Drag and drop a beam symbol from the Beam Properties palette onto a beam in the score.

    Please note that only beams with two or more components (i.e. 16th notes or shorter) can become feathered.
    See the table above for a description of the beam symbol effects.

    Changing the angle of a selected beam

    1. Click on the beam you wish to adjust;
    2. Click on the left/right adjustment handle and adjust the height using one of the following methods:
      • Drag the handle.
      • Move the handle using /.
      • In the Beam section of the Properties panel, adjust the "Beam height" properties.
    3. Use the center adjustment handle to set the overall height of the beam.

    Beam properties

    Properties specific to beams can be edited from the Beam tab of the Note section in the Properties panel:

    Beam types: Alter the beaming pattern at selected notes.
    Feather beams: Ditto.
    Force horizontal: Make beams of selected notes horizontal.
    Beam height: Adjust height and angle of beams.

    Editing of these properties is covered in the sections above.

    Beam style

    A few global properties of beams can be set from Format→Style→Beams:

    Beam distance: The vertical distance from one beam to the next.
    Beam thickness
    Broken beam minimum length
    Flatten all beams: Check to make all note beams horizontal, regardless of context.

    See also