The <system-layout> element

Parent elements: <defaults>, <print>

A system is a group of staves that are read and played simultaneously. The <system-layout> element includes left and right margins and the vertical distance from the previous system.

Sometimes the sum of measure widths in a system may not equal the system width specified by the layout elements due to roundoff or other errors. The behavior when reading MusicXML files in these cases is application-dependent. For instance, applications may find that the system layout data is more reliable than the sum of the measure widths, and adjust the measure widths accordingly.

When used in the <defaults> element, the <system-layout> element defines a default appearance for all systems in the score. If no <system-layout> element is present in the <defaults> element, default system layout values are chosen by the application.

When used in the <print> element, the <system-layout> element affects the appearance of the current system only. All other systems use the default values as determined by the <defaults> element. If any child elements are missing from the <system-layout> element in a <print> element, the values determined by the <defaults> element are used there as well. This type of <system-layout> element need only be read from or written to the first visible part in the score.


In this order




This element is used in the following examples:

<attributes>, <defaults>, <system-distance>, <system-dividers>, Tutorial: Après un rêve, Tutorial: Chopin Prelude, Tutorial: Chord Symbols, Tutorial: Percussion, Tutorial: Tablature