improved multi voice and cross staff beaming notation + 1 other request

• Oct 26, 2016 - 00:38

when working with musescore, 9 times out of 10 i have to use multiple voices, but whenever i want to implement it, i always have to create a note on the first beat instead of any old beat, which adds unecessary rest clutter. like for example, lets say i was composing a piece in 3/4 time and i needed to add a quarter note in the second voice on the 3rd beat because the first voice is obviously already used up. in order for me to do that i would have to either:

a. make a note in voice 2 on the first beat, delete it, and then finally be able to put the note where i actually want it.
b. use a note from voice 1 that happens to be on the same beat as the note i wish to implement into the 2nd voice and make it a 2nd voice note, revert it back to the first voice and then finally put the note i need on the beat.

method a results in a lot of rest clutter. method b is just tedious, and sometimes results in rest clutter. both are generally tedious and impractical to be honest. itd be a lot easier if you could just add a note into a different voice on any beat instead of being forced to start from beat 1 and then apply one of the two methods i mentioned above.

not just that, but another problem with those methods is that they require precision. if you mess up while applying either method your score is gonna look really bad. so itd be nice if this was improved upon.

as for improved cross staff beaming, using ctrl+shift+ the up or down arrow can get really annoying if you're like me and use musescore a lot. i cant begin to express how many times ive had to use cross staff beaming before whether im transcribing someone else's composition or writing my own. it kind of wears your hand out doing it so much. i think it would be much better to be able to cross beam notes just by maybe like, using the keyboard command to bring down the rest into the staff you want to cross beam into and then go from there.

hopefully smart layout in musescore 3 touches and improves this aspect so that you can write the notes you need without musescore adding it to the staff you are trying to cross beam into as a completely different note, but just in case id like to present this idea anyway.

also the ability to use all 3 pedals in piano music would be nice. like the una corda and sostenuto pedals. i know this is a biggie, but you cant sugarcoat the fact that a lot of pieces use those pedals, and even i use those pedals in my own pieces, so itd be nice.


In most cases, it is musically correct to show all beats in all voices, including rests. In particular, the example you mention absolutely requires the leading rests be shown - to not do so is incorrect notation. So it is generally good that note entry goes left to right, to keep people from making the error of not showing these necessary rests.

There are however a small number of exceptions where something about the specific context makes it acceptable to not show the rests. If you are familiar enough with the rules of notation to be completely confident you are dealing with one of those exception cases where the rests don't need to be shown, that's fine, simply press "V" after entering the rest to hide it. Don't delete it - that creates a "hole" in the notation that then makes it difficult to do further editing.

But since the majority of rests *do* need to be shown, it's generally most efficient to enter notes left to right and hide those few rests that the rules allow for, as opposed to constantly moving back and forth between entering notes and telling MuseScore where you are trying to enter them. It would be like if a word processor forced you to click where you wanted to enter every word rather than simply allowing you to press the space bar.

Not sure what you mean about the cross staff beaming. You can move as many notes at once as you want, no need to do it one note at time. But if you mean you don't like the specific shortcut used by default, simply customize it via Edit / Preferences / Shortcuts.

As for pedals, you can add any pedal marking you like as well, just add a standard pedal marking and then edit the text by right clicking.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

i am aware of this and yes this is one of those exceptions where i dont need to show a rest. the metaphor you used to compare ms with a word processor is actually exactly my problem with the current voice leading system. i feel like its telling me exactly where i need to add the note instead of just letting me put it on the beat i know it has to be.

i am aware the cross staff beaming allows you to move multiple notes, but obviously if your trying to cross beam from the treble to the bass staff its not that simple. you have to move the notes down some octaves to get it right or write the notes out at the same pitch they will be in the bass clef, move them into the staff using the shortcut, and then bring the octave down so it fits. that gets tedious.

and for the pedals, is there really a sost. and una corda pedal? im pretty sure it wouldnt be as simple as using any old pedal symbol because all the pedals have different effects.

In reply to by izzychns

Well the way you described your example, the rests *are* required in that case. But indeed, in a minority of other cases, they aren't. For those few cases, the two keystrokes it takes to enter a hidden rest is still almost guaranteed to be less work than whatever scheme might be decided you force you to reach for the mouse and attempt to specify a new position. Just like in my example hitting space bar is less work than any other scheme to move to the next word. Feel free to propose something concrete though, and then we can go through some real world cases to see.

As for cross staff notation, I don't understand what you mean about octaves. Sure, the first note you enter might require an octave shift, but subsequent notes you enter would automatically go to the same octave, which is normally what you'd want. Maybe I'm not understanding but maybe also you are not doing something optimally. Feel free to show a real example.

As for pedal lines, as I said, you can change the text to say "sost" or whatever you like. If you mean, playback, keep in mind that isn't the primary purpose of MuseScore. You can however get the una corda effect using manual adjustment in the Inspector.

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