Free length measures (Psalms, Doxology)

• Dec 5, 2016 - 10:34


First of all, thanks for creating Musescore :)

I'm using version 2.0.2 on Windows XP and Ubuntu

I'm not a professional musician, but I'll try to be as clear as possible: I would like to write the score for a Doxology, where basically some phrases have their own melody, and in others the priest will chant in a less "precise" way. Such scores are often found in books without a time signature, nor a clear or regular division of measures (see the attachment for an example of what I mean).

The question is: how can I write such a score with Musescore? In my poor attempt I tried joining the measures, then set the actual duration of the joined one and hiding unnecessary rests, but the result is not pleasant, and I had to change the duration of some notes in order to make the successive ones "fall" in the right places.

Is there an easier way to achieve this result?

Thanks everyone!

Attachment Size
dossologia.png 425.32 KB


The "wierd" thing there is that at the very start, there are 7 1/8th notes put against a whole (8/8ths). This is what causes your score to 'not align' as you expect.

One way to work this out is to first make sure there is a whole note/rest at that beat. Then make it a tuplet with a relation of 7/8 (gives us seven notes of the type of which 8 notes would normally fit into the selected note duration) and then set the number and hook display to 'none' using the inspector.
On the 2nd line, bass staff, I'd use an invisible rest (under glo-ria per).

The _ above the notes to hold (sto from Cri-sto / to from San-to / ria from glo-ria) are tenuto markings.
After adding the lyrics, change the text style (Style > Text) to have them show above staff and left aligned.
Finally, for the S(olo) and T(utti) indication I've used rehearsal marks and changed their style settings. Likely a stylized staff/system text would work equally well.

See attached example.

Attachment Size
149751_Dossologia.mscz 11.86 KB

In reply to by jeetee

Can you please be more detailed on how you get that result?
I understood the tips you gave on the lyrics, the tenuto marking and the S(olo) and T(utti) indications.

I also get the main idea behind the rest/tuplet (like when I need to put three 1/8 where there is a 1/4 rest), but I can't find in your file the "invisible" elements you should have hidden (like the number, or the hook).

In any case, thank you very much :)

In reply to by mikezasch

I'll try to elaborate.

For entering the first measure, I started with counting the beats of the first line of your image, counting the bass staff. This is 17 1/4ths long, so I opened up the measure properties (right-click on the measure) and changed the actual duration to match this.
Then I entered the following as the first line (treble staff, voice 1, using my computer keyboard):
N 4 G 7 B 4 A A G B 7 B 7 B 4 B A G A A
Then click on the 2nd note (the whole B) and go to Notes > Tuplet > Other…. Enter 7/8 as Relation and for format select Nothing both for the Number as for the Bracket setting.

As you notice, by having these tuplet settings, the number and the hook aren't visible in light-grey like other "invisible" elements. You can however still access them using the Inspector (F8):
Select one of the notes of the tuplet.
Scroll down to the bottom of the Inspector and press the Tuplet button under the Select heading.
You will now see the Tuplet settings appearing (Direction / Number type / Bracket type).

Another thing I forgot to mention in the previous post, is the hiding of the time signature. This is done for each staff. You have to right-click within the staff, then open up the properties and in the middle column of the top part of that window, you can uncheck Show time signature.

Feel free to ask away if there is anything else I haven't explained (clearly) yet.

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