Modifying durations of beamed figures - asymmetry

• Dec 13, 2018 - 15:47

When editing scores, I find I frequently need to modify straight eighth notes into dotted 8th/16th pairs and vice versa. I'm pretty new at MuseScore and perhaps haven't found some options, but I've found some of these conversions are really quick and easy, but others are much more fiddly.


easy conversions:
8th + 8th --> dotted 8th + 16th
16th + dotted 8th --> 8th + 8th

(for these, I just select the first note and click the dot button; the duration and starting point of the following note are both automatically adjusted)

the inverse of both these operations is trickier:
dotted 8th + 16th --> 8th + 8th
8th + 8th --> 16th + dotted 8th

for these, if you select the first note and shorten its duration, the starting point and duration of the following note are NOT adjusted, leaving an unwanted rest. To make matters worse, I can't find a way to swap this unwanted rest with the following note (using left arrow key doesn't seem to work when the rest and the note have different durations).

Am I missing something that would make this easier?


There really isn't a way to make this easier. There is no simple way to apply a rhythm to existing notes. The conversions that are easy are a benefit of the way MuseScore works. That is, if you extend the duration of a note, it will reduce the duration of following notes if they are not completely replace by the extended note.

In reply to by benjamincaryl1

Well... I apparently hadn't tried to move notes past rests of the same duration before. It's easier to just reenter the notes, but you can (not in note input mode) select the first note, press 3, right arrow twice (to select the next note) and press 3, then press N for note input, shift+left arrow then w, shift+w to lengthen the note to an eighth then a dotted eighth. Like I said, it's easier to just reenter the notes.

A new mode in MuseScore, in which notes would extend to the left instead of to the right would make your trickier cases as easy as the easy ones.
To go from dotted 8th + 16th => 8th + 8th you would just need to change the 16th to 8th in the "extend to the left" mode.

In reply to by frfancha

I considered that as a possible way to address in future, it addresses the asymmetry but not sure that it would be particularly intuitive for users.

In any case, adjusting rhythms in these ways is something that I do quite frequently, and I find it frustrating that for half the cases it's quick and trivial in MuseScore, but for the other half it's quite cumbersome.

In reply to by benjamincaryl1

I find the easiest way to make the rhythm a lot is to copy and paste (or R), then use repitch to change the notes, but that's only useful if you have the rhythm repeated several times in a row.

In the end, the easiest way to make the rhythm is to do it right the first time.

The "Expand the note to the left" mode proposed would likely require so much new code and as said, not be at all intuitive I don't see it happening.

In reply to by mike320

If I knew what "the right way" was the first time this would be much less of an issue :) This may work well for more experienced musicians/composers/arrangers who can "hear" entire scores in their heads, but I don't always know until I hear it, and I often like to play around with it after initial entry.

(I'm primarily using MuseScore to notate and rearrange vocal scores for my community choir, and for preparing practice tracks for those who can't read music as well)

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