Copy/Paste selected...

• Aug 16, 2020 - 02:32

MuseScore 3.5; Windows 10

Sometimes I want to go back to an older piece written in hymn style (chords on two staves) and rewrite/alter it for multiple parts. The obvious way to do that would be to select all the notes of one voice, copy them, and paste them onto a new staff. Not possible. Even though Copy/Paste are "permitted" (not grayed out) in the dialogs, it doesn't work; nothing gets pasted. Likewise with Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V. I hope this functionality can be added in the upcoming v4.

Once they're all selected I can cut (Ctrl-X) or delete (Del) them; why not copy/paste? Or maybe copy works but paste just doesn't. But then why is it apparently permitted in the dialogs? Copy/Paste only apparently works if I select a contiguous range of notes. But if I select those same notes individually it doesn't.

I can understand why it might not work if I were to select disparate and non-contiguous items and try to paste those (though it seems even that should be possible if I were so stupid), but isn't a "range" of individually selected contiguous items the same for pasting purposes as an actual range selected only by first and last?

If it can't (or shouldn't) be made to work in this way, how about another approach? In More... within the Select dialog how about an option to select all similarly-placed notes of a chord? (Meaning, all the top notes, all the middle notes, all the bottom notes, etc.) You'll say, select all the notes in a single voice. Yes, if it was written that way. But if it was written as chords in a single voice that doesn't create the desired selection.

But even there, that sort of selection is a mass selection of individual notes, not a range selection, and copy/paste doesn't currently work for that either.


I believe the secret to your problem is that you select all of the notes either by clicking the notes button in the inspector or right clicking a note and using select all similar elements. This make a non continuous selection (even though it seems to you there is nothing between the notes.

You need to click the first note or measure so it's selected then shift + click the last note or measure you want to copy. You can then copy and paste selections.

In reply to by mike320

You're partly right; I've done the latter but not the former. Rather, I've used Ctrl-click to make individual selections across a contiguous range.

The problem with your suggested approach is that there is no way to select just a single voice or a single set of notes from a chord across a range like that. Range selection selects everything in the range. That's the problem for which I seek a useful solution. Barring that only one workaround exists. Copy the whole staff, then, in the copy, select and delete everything not wanted there.

If the source material were written in separate voices and there were a function to copy a single voice (like there is a function to change/exchange voices), that would be useful. That still doesn't address selecting notes out of a chord written in a single voice. One could, I suppose, make the selections individually with Ctrl-click or en masse in the Select dialog as I suggested earlier (if it were supported) and then switch them to a different voice for further "massaging" after that. But support would still be needed to copy the voice. And then, if one didn't want the original altered, that modified voice would have to be reverted (or the copy made to a new piece so the original could be closed without saving). So I continue to wish for a better solution.

In reply to by Gerald Reynolds

ctrl+click does the same thing my other ideas do. It makes no continuous selections.

The selection filter (press F6 [fn F6 on Mac?] to see it) allows you to copy by voice and exclude most non-note items selectively. One thing it doesn't do is allow you to copy only the top or bottom notes of chords. If that would help, I can give you some not too terrible workarounds to make that easier. Middle notes in chords get difficult because one chord might have 2 notes and another 5 notes. By the time you ctrl+click each selected note, it's probably just as easy to reenter the individual notes.

Generally speaking, what you are describing is completely automated using the Tools / Explode, no need to mess with copy and paste at all. Or some combination of that plus use of the Select Filter.

If you continue to have trouble, feel free to attach a sample score and describe how you want it to look, and we can show you the easiest way to get it done.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

There is situations, though, where it would be very handy to be able to select single notes from a part (within chords), and then copy (or cut) and paste to somewhere else. As an example, you may not want to explode a full chord, but select some inner voices from a piano part, and double it in an instrument part. Seems like a handy tool to me, and one I've actually looked for myself. Of course, there are workarounds, but I like this idea for workflow reasons.

The explode and implode tools need some work anyway, imho. I'd love to get a dialog box with options for selecting which instrument goes to which part. Sibelius has very good tools for this, I think. Even if the GUI is messy, the functionality is great! It also very much needs to be able to handle selections (e.g. single notes) rather than full measures, I think.

And as a side note - I didn't find the explode function before reading your last comment, as the explode plugin is the first hit on google, and I use the norwegian translation... I don't know if there's anything to do about that, though, but for some reason I just imagined it to be a plugin only, since that was the first search result...

In reply to by Marius Munthe-Kaas

To be clear: you can copy and paste individual notes from a chord one at a time. What you cannot do is copy *discontiguous selection of multiple notes", because it would be entirely unclear what the expected would even be in many cases (selecting one note from one chord in one measure, another note from a different chord in a different measure, a different note on a different staff entirely, etc). It's possible we could figure out ways of handling some particular special cases where the expected behavior might be more obvious.

The reason Explode doesn't currently work on partial measures is there is no guarantee there would be room in the destination measure to receive the exploded notes individually - there might be content on a previous beat that extended into this beat, etc. We could conceivably allow it only for empty destination measures, or disallow it only when there is overlap like we do for moving notes between voices.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Having never tried Explode/Implode, I just did. The result was perhaps amusing but hardly helpful, though the score I tested it on may be to blame.

The score I used was an organ score with separate bass staves for keyboard and pedalboard. The keyboard staff contained the alto and tenor parts, written mostly as chords in Voice 1, using Voice 2 only where necessary. The pedalboard staff part was written entirely in Voice 1. I selected the entire keyboard staff and Exploded it. It copied Voice 2 to the pedalboard staff as Voice 2 there. Then I Imploded it. It copied the entire pedalboard staff as altered by Explode into the keyboard staff as Voices 2 and 3, so the original pedalboard part became Voice 2 in the keyboard staff, and the Exploded Voice 2 from the keyboard staff became Voice 3.

I infer from the experience two things. 1) I need a blank staff in the same clef to Explode into. 2) The staff I will Explode must have its parts written in separate voices else Explode will do nothing.

That could be helpful if the score to be split into parts is completely written in separate voices, but it will not serve if it is written as chords in a single voice, which is the scenario I was largely addressing originally.

In reply to by Gerald Reynolds

If you attach a sample score you are having trouble with we can help better. But, there are some things I think you are misunderstanding. First, most definitely explode works for chords written ion a single voice, that is its main purpose. It also works for multiple voices. But results can potentially be surprising if you mix these, because it cannot really your mind about what you might want.

Clefs don't matter at all, explode will happily explode onto whatever staff you give it.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I just tried it with a set of two-note chords in one voice, and a blank staff above and below it. Explode moved (not copied) the lower notes of the chords to the staff below, leaving only the upper notes on the original staff. The staff above was not touched. Then I used Implode on that result. It copied (not moved) the notes in the bottom staff to Voice 2 in the middle staff, leaving them also in the bottom staff, and the empty top staff untouched. I'll have to experiment with it some more but it looks like it could be useful, not only to separate parts out of chords but to mass change (separate) the voice of notes in chords written in a single voice.

In reply to by Gerald Reynolds

Yes, as documented, explode uses the top selected staff as the source staff, and explodes onto staves below that. The idea is you would have say, four trumpet staves, write you part as four-note chords on the trumpet 1 staff, and then explode onto 1-4. Implode does the reverse, but by user request the first run actually uses multiple voices on the top staff rather than chords. Running it a second time on just that staff then combines the voices into chords.

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