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Topic: What's a system? (Read 14757 times) previous topic - next topic

What's a system?

Often you will run across the word "system" in the forums or help menus in Noteworthy.  I thought it might be useful to explain what it is.

Simply put, the expression is the same as staff.

A system is a staff. 

If you have a piano score, the left hand part is one system, and the right hand part is a another system. 

In a score written for a 15 piece band, you will have 16 systems if the group includes a piano.

(Eric, please delete this if I'm wrong)

Re: What's a system?

Reply #1
This graphic shows two systems in NWC Print Preview.

Re: What's a system?

Reply #2
Looks as if I was wrong. 

Is a system only present in print and print preview, then?  If so, does it mean one "wrap" of a group of staffs?

Re: What's a system?

Reply #3
In the context of NWC...

You might say that the editor is a single system view into a file.

In the printed view, a system is kind of like a paragraph of notation. It is the collection of staves at that point in the music, extending to the right margin of the page.

See also:

FAQ - Is there a line break command?

Re: What's a system?

Reply #4
It's quite simple. IMO, Noteworthy has the right definition of "system break".
Think of what a "Force System Break" does, in print. It means: no more bars on the right, start at the left side of the page again.
Choral music can have 3 or 4 systems per page (or more, or less, but 3 or 4 is quite common). The musical director might say "start at the second system, third bar" if the bar numbering is not present or not consistent. So the system applies to all singers + accompaniment.


Re: What's a system?

Reply #5
This is consistent with Alfred's Essential Dictionary of Musical Notation, pg 308:
Two or more staves grouped together (with a systemic barline) form a system. The first system of music is usually indented about ½ inch.

Added 2007Sep20: By implication, I take this to mean that one staff cannot be a system and should not have a systemic barline, no matter how many layers were used to produce it.
Registered user since 1996

Re: What's a system?

Reply #6
Phew. I was actually right, that time.