My first impressions of MuseScore - Pasting across staves limitation

• Mar 11, 2018 - 08:58

Hello all,
For the purposes of a) my own curiosity re. whether I am missing something with MuseScore's functionality, b) to feedback to any developers who might be reading, and c) to generate discussion, I feel compelled to give my first impressions of MuseScore.

Firstly, I have to confess this technically isn't my first impression. I first used the software many years ago as a student and had dismissed it as too limiting (perhaps ignorantly in hindsight), but recently (now as a music teacher, with students trying to convince me to give the software a go) I have been experimenting. I have to say there has been extraordinary improvement to the software, so congratulations to the developer.

However, something that is really hindering me using MS long term is some hiccups with editing over staves. I am amazed that I am unable to not easily c+p across multiple staves or perform operations such as a change the rhythms. I have done a few searches here and found that this is just how the software works. I have seen some proposed workarounds eg: using the 'Explode' function, but really shouldn't this be default operation? I have seen a quite a number of users express similar frustration and I just wanted to throw my hat into the ring re. this too.



What issue are you having with copy and paste (assume c+p means just that) across multiple staves?
And how comes 'Explode' in the picture there?
Changing rhythm indeed is an issue, in MuseScore you really should get the rhythm right first, then care about the pitches

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Copy a bar, select all bars below and paste, only the top stave gets pasted into. Same applies to copying dynamics/articulations/lines etc. across many staves. Elsewhere, 'Explode' has been recommended as a work around for this.

"Changing rhythm indeed is an issue, in MuseScore you really should get the rhythm right first, then care about the pitches"
Indeed, but this seems like a fundamental issue in editing.

In reply to by therestisnoise

If you want to paste 3 bars, you need to copy 3 bars first or copy one bar and paste 3 times, seems quite natural to me. This is music, not a (MS Excel) speadsheet. And 'explode' won't do this either (I think), it would distribute the voices of one staff across several other staves.

And the rhythm thing is a just the MuseScore workflow. However, some 'scratchpad' mode has been requested and discussed quite often

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

If I copy 3 staves, to 3 staves, yes. If I copy 1 stave to 1 stave, yes. But it seems logical to me that if I copy 1 stave and paste to several, then I want the content I had originally selected to be duplicated across the several staves. You can say this is music and not a spreadsheet, but we all know repetition happens all the time in music, both horizontally and vertically. If I have a motif in the Violins, with many different rhythms, articulation, dynamics etc etc etc, and I want this to be duplicated to the rest of the strings, to then perhaps repitch or whatever, then I need to be able to easily 1 instance of some content across a section/the whole orchestra easily. This is the default behaviour in Sibelius, for example.

In reply to by therestisnoise

Copy and paste has a very specific definition that is pretty much uniform across all applications, and paste always means a single instance is pasted, not multiple ones. So there is good reason for MuseScore to not break with user expectation of standard behavior here. Kind of surprised Sibelius would break this.

However, the functionality you mention is useful, and that's why we provide it - just by a different name: Explode. As far as I can tell It does exactly what you want, and more besides. It's not a "workaround" but the actual solution to what is a different problem than normal copy and paste.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

As I mentioned previously, I think it's perfectly intuitive, straightforward and expected that copying one single stave and pasting to multiple would expect those staves to be filled. Clearly Sibelius does this as normal behaviour for these reasons.

The Explode feature is a workaround in this context as though it does go some way to achieving what I need, but only works for staves immediately below the selected (eg: I can't 'Explode' the Flute 1 stave to the Clarinets and Bassoons without filling in those in between). It also wouldn't work if I had multiple voice parts (keyboard, divisi parts etc.).

I'll file an issue tracker as suggested.

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