Change note duration after input?

• Oct 29, 2017 - 02:47

At most times I am not sure about the duration of the note until I put it on the sheet and actually hear it. Only then I decide what the duration will be. I tried pressing numpad numbers but they change the duration of the next note to be placed. How do I SIMPLY change duration after it's been placed on the paper? I know it can be done, but I don't need a one time solution.


"I tried pressing numpad numbers but they change the duration of the next note to be placed."
Because the cursor continues to advance in input mode.

Use Backspace key (the note will be removed -> select the wish note value -> retype a new note)

Or, if you use the keyboard, select the preferred note value, press the left arrow (the cursor is again over the note you want to change) and re-type this note, which will rewrite the initial note

By using the mouse, same idea, select the preferred note value, and rewrite the initial note.

Alternatively/In a complementary way, shortcuts Q/W can be used:
Q: Half duration of previous note
W: Double duration of previous note
Shift+Q: Decrease duration by a dot
Shift+W: Increase duration by a dot

In reply to by Vinella

"Are the shortcuts Shift+Q and Shift+W correct? For me it does not work. (Windows 7, MuseScore 2.1.0)"

Absolutely, they are correct and work here (Windows 7, too, 2.1 version) And Azerty keyboard configuration.
If they do not work, maybe you've customized shortcuts, causing conflicts. Check in Preferences -> Shortcuts

In reply to by Marko Cronnin

Changing the duration of a note will either shorten the note and place rests after it to fill the time, or cause the note to widen and overwrite part of the next note or rest. You have obviously figured this out from your original question. Unfortunately there is currently no insert mode that will move notes over when you adjust a notes length.

The way I work around this is to either use a temporary score where I put notes or I usually use an empty spot later in the score for the same purpose. I then select View->Documents stacked and open the same score in both windows. I move one to view the notes and the other to where I am entering the actual song. I use the notes from the one as a guide to entering notes where I actually want them. Not ideal, but better than having the notes I entered get clobbered when I change a duration.

One more thing. When using the keyboard, I don't think it is tedious to press the left arrow key after each new duration if you can simply change durations without ruing your notes, which I think would be rare.

In reply to by mike320

No, there are no next notes to be overwritten. Imagine you're writing a melody on a paper, you hear it in your head, sing or whistle, you hear the pitch of the next tone, then you go with your pencil to the appropriate line on the staff to start writing it down, and only then you think about the duration. At least I do it like that. And I can't see the way to use MuseScore like that.

In reply to by Marko Cronnin

Since a note without a duration is a rest, the notes you are talking about must have a duration of some sort in MuseScore. There is no notepad type idea in MuseScore, which is what you are requesting. The notes would still have a duration but the other notes would move back and forth as needed when durations change. There has been talk about implementing this, but I don't know if it will happen in version 3. In the mean time, my method is the only one I can think of that allows you to see the notes and enter a rhythm based upon those note.

In reply to by mike320

No, no. I don't have a problem with a note that must have a duration. I have a problem with the fact that once you enter the note, focus automatically jumps to the next note. If you then change the duration on the numpad, it will only affect the next note.

What I am proposing is to insert one step. When you enter a note, focus should not jump to the next note, but stay on the current. So then, if you change the duration of the note, it will affect the current note. Then you can press a keyboard button (for example purpose: F) and it will jump forward.

It should be a simple toggle called something like - auto focus/manual focus shift - and it should be pretty easy to implement in code. That would enable people to input pitch/duration in the order they like. If you're a rhythm person you can use 'auto focus mode', and if you're a pitch person you can switch to 'manual focus shift'.

In reply to by mike320

So it doesn't exist :) You have to interrupt input, to go back, to delete previous with entering new. It's far away from pausing the software focus.

Anyway, 'q' and 'w' are good enough for now. I think I'll be using that for the future time. Who knows I might even like it better than my suggestion, once I get used to it :) Thanks everyone.

In reply to by Marko Cronnin

As mentioned Q and W do this. But why not wait to enter the note until you know the duration? Seems you are Just making it harder for yourself by writing a note before you know what it is. Even with a whole set of new commands to alter previous duration (in addition to the existing commands), it would still be more work than just waiting until you know both pitch and duration.

FWIW, instead of composing a melody one note at a time like this, you will probably find you do better thinking in terms of a a whole phease at a time, working out other pitches and rhythms before attempting to enrer any of it into MuseScore.

In reply to by Marko Cronnin

In normal it use it wod be fairly unusual to need to change duration a free already entering a note - normally you know duration already. So the input method is optimized for this. Q/W are available for the cases for whatever reason you change your mind or make a mistale. Or you can change durations later while not in note input mode any more.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Sadly but I don't the duration. I know there are good musicians who can get it all in their mind, but I have to do it separately, step by step, and pitch is the first thing I incline to resolve.

Changing duration afterward is just too tedious. Almost unusable. You'd have to stop and correct every bar, to squeeze all the tones right.

In reply to by Marko Cronnin

I am looking for the same option. Sibelius has both input ways and you can switch back and forth. "Pitch and then duration" or "duration and then pitch" While I am a Sibelius user, I want to take MuseScore to teach my students some music writing during these quarantine days. I am very well impressed with MuseScore and wish someone come with adding this simple option.

In reply to by dnino4

It's not totally clear which option you mean, there are a few different things being discussed here. Can you explain exactly - step by step - how you would do what you are proposing in Sibelius? MuseScore certainly has the ability to change duration after entering a pitch, in any of several different ways, some of which didn't exist back in 2017 when this thread was started. If we understand exactly what you are trying to do, we can advise better.

I have the same need. Professionals maybe able to write the duration as the compose, but I can't. At least at this point in time.

In reply to by COhio

What are you composing?
A melody from scratch?
A melody you already have in your head?

For example:
If you are thinking of a single note melody and are having trouble 'finding' the correct timing (perhaps it's a heavily syncopated tune), you can simply write out a single measure a few times, each with different timings and delete the 'bad' ones, until you reach the way you want it to sound.

Another (fairly new) feature is the 'Insert' input mode where you can insert and delete notes and rests within measures, automatically shifting subsequent music forwards or backwards. (This can affect the measure duration as well.)

In reply to by COhio

I confess. MuseScore is just so a hell when you don't know upfront your entire rhythm pattern.
I'm using GuitarPro for doing this, where the edition of scores is far more intuitive than in MuseScore. Then a copy/past to Musescore for the final rendering.

Yes this is madness. I am a professional, and when using the computer keyboard for inputting, I press the the pitch, then the note value. This is a serious flaw in Musescore and needs to be fixed. A preference for "Pitch before duration" needs to be added! Can't work like this, and I so want to kick Sibelius to the curb....

In reply to by funkygh

The Q & W commands allow you to change duration after entering the pitch. But FWIW, I would guess that you would be perfectly capable of adjusting to a different way of entering if you give it a shot. For me, it was about 3 weeks of using only MuseScore, by the end of that I had forgotten I ever knew a different method :-).

I think I have it solved.
(For reference, I'm using Windows 10 (latest) and Musescore 3.6.2)

What is do is, I press the spacebar to go into playback mode. This changes how the notes are viewed, and with some association, selected. Play back the song (use the arrow keys to go forward/backward through the song if needed), then pause approximately where you want to edit the note, and use arrow keys to navigate to the specific one, as needed.
You can also press Esc when in note view, then select a measure, and use the arrows after that.
Once that's done, use the hotkeys for note duration, and there's that result we want! This works with the entire voice, as far as I know - left/right to change notes, 1-9 to edit, etc. The only thing is, Ctrl + <#> uses the selected note instead of the space ahead of it. Unless you're at the beginning of the next measure already, you'll need to press the right arrow once to properly set a tuplet in place.

Hope this helps!

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