Finale-style Speedy Entry

• Nov 3, 2020 - 22:21

I know I know - it's MuseScore, not Finale! Hear me out...I'd love to be able to use the following workflow:

  • Press and hold a note on the MIDI keyboard.
  • Press a key on the NumPad to enter that rhythmic value.

It's like the reverse of Step-Input. Or it's like Real-Time (Manual) without the extra step of pressing a button to advance. In MuseScore terms: each key of the NumPad is bound to Rhythmic value + Real-Time Advance.

It's still the fastest way to enter notes that I've used, in any program.


I think this would be very useful for entering percussion parts. Some pitched instruments have sections where this would be useful as well.

Have you tried Rhythm mode? A couple other people have mentioned this Finale method recently, and if Rhythm mode pays attention to the MIDI keyboard, that would do virtually the same in MuseScore. If it doesn't currently, it would probably be pretty easy to get it to do so.

For percussion, this already works very well, since every time you press a duration key it repeats the previous pitch, so you easily enter a single drum left to right with just the duration keys.

In reply to by andrebeller

I'd love a speedy like input mode as well, and quite liked the idea of adding midi input to rhythm mode, allthough it might be confusing.

I haven't personally tested this with a midi keyboard yet (will do when I have the chance), but I think andrebeller is right - pressing a midi key will add a note of the "last used" duration, like in step-input. That's also what happens when pressing one of the note name keys. To me, this slightly confuses the idea of rhythm input.

Having a simple and straight forward rhythm input mode I think is very useful - but I would suggest removing the possibillity of inputing notes using midi keys or note name shortcuts - and rather use those as a "note toggle" of sorts, so that you might choose yourself which note you would like to use for input (and change it as you go, of course). Then it would be only the duration keys that would input notes while rhythm mode is selected.

Then I'd suggest making an alternative rhythm mode input - let's call it speedy mode for now - adding functionality like Marc Sabatella suggested, making it read midi input AND note name shortcuts.

In reply to by Marius Munthe-Kaas

Hmm, I wonder if people actually rely on this behavior of rhythm mode - I agree it seems wrong that a letter key adds a note, it basically is like step time in that sense then. What if actually both computer keyboard and MIDI keyboard did the same thing, which would be, don't enter a note but instead set the pitch for the next note, overriding the current default which is "same as previous pitch"? Note until recently, the default was always "middle line" which was pretty useless really, so I tweaked it to look at the last pitch. That to me does seem useful, so we'd want to be careful not to mess that up. Like, it should sue the previous pitch unless you override it.

In reply to by miguelnavarromusica

[my original post, but thought about it some more...]

I agree, I like the ability to quickly “audition” notes before committing them to the score without having to change mode. Or perhaps there’s an alternative to this, or maybe everyone else know what notes they want to write before they write them? Perhaps I need to work on my music theory! 😭

I completely agree, and am still hoping that this could become an option. Essentially choose between "commit note by pitch" or "commit note by duration". I hate the program, but Sibelius does have this option.

For me, I usually don't know what I'm doing, so "auditioning" my notes on my piano keyboard then, when I'm happy I know what I want, hold the not down and then press the note length button on the PC keyboard. I can sort of simulate this by pressing the "midi disable" button on my piano, or exit note entry, but those workarounds don't seem as elegant as the "Finale style" note entry.

To me it's also more intuitive this way around, it's like you've got an old school piano and manuscript paper and you're playing around on the keys and when you're happy, commit the notes to paper with a pencil - playing the piano doesn't automatically commit notes to the manuscript paper.

I could also see a "VST-like" key switch approach, where you could assign part of your piano keyboard to map to the number keys on the PC keyboard. That way most note entry could be completed on the piano keyboard alone.

However, I can see how setting a note length and then pressing a bunch of notes on a piano keyboard for long phrases of identical length notes can be very convenient though.

In reply to by miguelnavarromusica

No, MuseScore’s default is more similar to Simple Entry as I recall it working, and the. There are other options like Rhythm and Re-pitch, but nothing exactly like Speedy - at least on my recollection of how that worked in Finale. The “Rhythm” mode is kind of similar though - it’s improved a lot since the days of this older thread.

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