Is there a way to change a 15/8 score to alternating measures of 4/4 and 7/8?

• Jan 13, 2019 - 00:47

A friend has a 55 measure score with 20 instrumental lines that is in 15/8 but wants to change it to alternating measures of 4/4 and 7/8? (The conductor for an upcoming performance apparently can't handle 15/8! Don't ask!).

It's in Finale but we exported to xml and I could read it in Musescore, but could not find a way to easily make this change across the entire score. As a proof of concept I could only laboriously and carefully copy partial measures from the original into a new score that I had laboriously and carefully created with alternating measures of 4/4 and 7/8. (I did that for one instrument for 6 measures! It took about 20 minutes.)

Grateful for any advice! Thanks!


There is no easy way to make it happen. Imagine the most possible work necessary to make this happen and that's what you will have to do.

In reply to by rockacello

Sorry. If I could think of anything to make it go faster I would tell you. Honestly the best route is to start at the end of the score, split the last measure, insert the time signatures starting at the end and continue to work your way forward. Working from the start will likely cause unwanted ties.

Here's what I would try:

  1. Assign a keyboard shortcut to "Split measure before selected note".
  2. Add a new instrument staff to a copy of the original score. Any instrument will do, it's only temporary.
  3. In the first measure of the new staff, enter a whole note followed by a double-dotted half note. Any pitch will do, it's only temporary. Then copy this measure (select it and press 'R') 54 times to fill the new staff.
  4. Now you can go back to measure 1, step through the new notes with the right-arrow key, and split each bar (using your shortcut from step 1) whenever you reach a double-dotted half note.
  5. Now you have the correct bar lengths. Add time signatures to match.
  6. Finally, delete the extra staff from step 2; it has served its purpose. Inevitably you'll have things to clean up...

Good luck!

In reply to by mike320

Mike320 and PaulSC - your solution to my problem worked like a charm. Thank you!! Especially clever about the extra line with the whole + dbl dotted halfs; my score was full of 16ths and tied values all over the place, so this saved me a lot of time. And working back to front made no sense until I started working front to back and could see that assigning a 7/8, for ex, flowed to the end of the score; so working back to front avoided that problem.
Again, very very helpful and clever solution to what otherwise seemed difficult/impossible to do.

If either or both of you are in the Seattle metro area, I will arrange comp tickets to our performance on Saturday, Feb 2 or Sunday Feb 3: and Stellar musicians playing an indian/jazz fusion, along with some other modern (De Falla) classical stuff. If so, let me know here, and we'll exchange person contact info.

Yay Musescore forum!

In reply to by rockacello

@rockacello, Glad you got the results you needed. And I think I might just take you up on the ticket offer. I'm not near Seattle, but my brother and his wife live in the immediate area and would love to see the show.

I'll contact you through the messaging system to figure out the details...

In reply to by PaulSC

Hi again rockacello, I've sent a couple of messages through the contact form. They should arrive in your email in-box, and I guess there is no notification system here in the forum. If you could have a quick look for an email with subject, "Deep Energy Orchestra at SMCO", I guess it could have landed in your spam folder. Sorry to be a nuisance...

Save your score under a new name.
Delete all the notes (leaving the instrument names).
Add in more measures to get to 54 (or whatever)
No quick way, here, but drag 4/4 to the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th etc. measures and 7/8 to the others.
Open your original score again.
Now (bit easier) you can copy from the 15/8 score and paste into the blank 4/4-7/8 score that you have just created.

In reply to by mike320

Ah, yes. I meant alternate between 4/4 and 7/8 but didn't express myself correctly. But, yes, you could literally drag all the 7/8s across to alternate measures followed by the 4/4s as you say. The main point is that you can then Copy/Paste the notes in a oner.

I'm sure the ablility to Copy/Paste measures including Time Signatures has been requested before. This would make jobs such as this easier.

In reply to by underquark

I figured you knew the procedure and you would have figured out what you had to do, I just wanted to clarify for any noob that happened across this thread. I've seen so much discussion about copying system items there must be a request, perhaps one day it will become a reality.

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