Metric modulation notation

• Jan 23, 2016 - 16:39

How do I add metric modulation marks? Example: dotted quarter = quarter

I don't know if that's clear enough, so here's what I need to do. I'm changing from 3/4 to 2/4. A dotted quarter in 3/4 should have the same length as a quarter in the new time signature (2/4). I don't see how to add those marks.

OK, now that I have found the right terminology, and hence the right search term, I see it discussed here: . However, that seems to be concerned with playback. I just need to find out how to enter the notation in the score.


Click on the first note or rest in your new section. From the tempo palette, select dotted quarter=80 and double-click it to place it on the score. Double-click on the text that has been placed on the score, use the arrow keys to navigate to where you want the quarter note to be (just before the 80) then press F2 and double-click on a quarter-note symbol. Next, close the Special Characters box and delete the "80" but go into Inspector and adjust the speed for the tempo accordingly.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks. Ok.... Hm... that looks like a lot of work for just one triplet swing tempo mark.
Any chance that triplet tempo markings would be added as a panel element in the future? Like if it takes just one click to create normal tempo marking and that many steps to make a swing style marking. The effort is a bit disproportional. Thanks

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I mean if you make it as a graphic element only it will lack the needed functionality for such element. Like in a score you would have to place that swing mark on the score as well as on all parts, whereas if it was a text editible element, you could use it as a system text and add just one mark for the score and for all parts.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

It looks like it could be possible to add a pallet element with the same result visually, but as a text with special symbols. Basically how the "normal" tempo marks are mede. However it seems it would require adding also some custom special symbols to the master palette. Is that possible to do actually?

In reply to by antonjazzsax

If everything you write has swing, there are two things you can do to always turn it on.

  1. Turn it on in Format->Style and save the file to templates (see Then every score you make from that template will have swing turned on.

  2. Turn it on in Format->Style and use Format->Save Style... to save the style with this default turned on then in Edit->Preferences->Score enter this Style file and every score you create will have swing turned on.

You cannot automate entering the swing indication in the score.

In reply to by mike320

Thanks for the info. In this case actually I am less bothered about if it plays "swing", but for the good scoring and engraving workflow I always prefer having elements like tempo or metric modulation to appear as a system text, or as a dedicated tempo/metronome text, so that it shows up on all parts and with the consistent positioning.

Anyway in case someone is interested, I just created a palette element using system text and a special font to appear correctly for triplet tempo marking. The trick was to use the font that allows such positioning.

Attachment Size
IMG_20200924_143606.jpg 3.67 MB

In reply to by RexC

Just wondering—is all this hoop-jumping still required just to indicate swing eighths? In my 12-year-old version of Sibelius (LOL), you can click Create > Text > Other System Text > Metric Modulation, and this menu appears:


...which you can then click to add the indication, or any of the metric modulations shown. Seems much easier.

I think Sibelius interprets it in playback, too—which, obviously, MS wouldn't do if you were using a graphic image.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.