Using quarter / half and whole notes in the same staff.

• May 31, 2011 - 04:10

When I am using a mix of half and quarter notes, it wants me to use either quarter or half notes, not a mix within one chord.
One work-around I do is to first create the first chord, than the second. If in the second chord there are notes that should continue, instead of being played twice, I right click the quarter note in the first chord and change the S to a half note, then I delete the quarter note in the second chord, but then it forces a rest on me, so then I right click the rest key and make it "hidden".

It works for now, but of course the midi file plays it wrong.

Please let me know who else has had an issue with this.


If I understand correctly, the solution is to use multiple voices in the same stave; details can be found in the Voices handbook page . Multiple voices in the same stave are played back correctly.

A few suggestions:

1) Entering voices can be tricky, follow the instructions with care step by step, until you get 'fluent' with them.

2) As for voice 1 (the one you have used so far), also voices 2, 3 and 4 need 'full measures' (full of pause, if nothing else), so if you need, say, a note in the third beat of voice 2, you will have to enter pauses for this voice in beat 1 and 2, before being able to enter the required note in beat 3 (seems convoluted in writing, but should be relatively obvious while doing). Unneeded pauses can then be made invisible.

3) Be aware that voice selection only work in note enter mode ([N] key or big 'N' toolbar button): selecting a voice and then switching to enter mode will revert to voice 1 selection and you will need to select the intended voice again.

4) Each voice is not limited to single notes, but can have chords of its own (of course entirely made of notes of equal value).

Hoping it will be useful,


In reply to by Miwarre

And just to be clear, this isn't some odd quirk of MuseScore; it's how music notation always works. One would not normally have a quarter note and a half note on the same stem. Virtually all printed music uses multiple voices with opposing stems when notes of different lengths are sounded at once.

In reply to by Miwarre

@Peterm: Miwarre is right; the only way to accomplish this is by using the "voicing" tool. It can be infuriating to use at times, but your midi file will play correctly. However, as far as I can tell, there is no way to "solo" each individual voice on a single stave, and this, too, can be irritating with contrapuntal reductions, when it might be nice to do so. Perhaps there is a "cheat" for this, but if so, I have not found it yet.

And while I'm at it...

Do you know if it's possible to cut and paste from two staves in one piece, into two separate voices in a single stave within a second piece (for instance, when reducing something from open score onto a grand staff)? I was trying to do this over the weekend and was getting nowhere. Just thought you might be able to advise with this as well.


In reply to by j dee

Should be as simple as putting the lower into voice 2 (using Edit->Voices->Exchange Voice 1-2) then copying the other part directly on top of it. That's kind of the key to the workflow Miwarre mentioned - enter parts on separate staves first, then use this method to combine them.

As for soloing voices, interesting suggestion! I don't know of a way to do that currently. I suppose you could kind of do it by selecting all notes in the other voices (right click a note, Select->More and check the "same voice" option) and muting them (right click, Note Properties, set Velocity to 0). Then of course you'd have to set them back when done. I could imagine a plug-in might be able to automate that process.

In reply to by Miwarre

Thank you so very much Miwarre and Marc! I am in the interesting position of learning to compose and learning to use musecore at the same time! The only thing I have going for me is I come from a musical family, so I am very familiar with how to compose music in general. Still the whole business is quite a challenge, and sometimes I have no idea how to achieve what I'm trying to do.

Marc, I want to thank you for musescore! I could not possibly be doing what I am doing now without your program!
Miwarre, you are an excellent teacher! I developed courses for new software for 20 years; then went on to teach college English for another ten years. And, you rank up there with the best professors and course developers that I ever worked with.

I am also having an issue because i want a whole note chord and in the duration quarter notes playing on the same staff. but i have to write the chord in 4 times as quarter notes (and leave ) sounds like a whole note but it dont look very good though.

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