Insert new measures before or after selected

• Dec 1, 2020 - 05:36

'Insert' always places measure before the selected, and 'append' at the very end of the score. I create scores with a lot of text and vertical frames, since they are mostly teaching texts and method books. If I want to add a song, or move (cut and paste) a song within the book I have to insert measures before the last measure of the previous song, recreate the last measure, double bars/ repeats, sections breaks, etc, and then delete the now extraneous measure, double bars, section breaks that are stranded on the other side of the new measures. It would be great if there was a function to insert measures before selected OR after selected measure. It seems like it might be a fairly easy function to add. I'm not sure how useful this might be to musescore users at large, but it would be for me!


Good points!

I'd like to see a unified and consolidated approach for adding measures and frames, fore and aft.

And a more careful use of terminology: Insert doesn't necessarily mean "prepend" to me, so that's odd. I think save to say that "insert" generally means to place something within or between.

Equally odd—and often awkward—that we can't "append" after the selected measure. As you said, in MuseScore an Appended measure goes after the last measure of the score. That's a case I rarely need to perform and when necessicary I'll gladly navigate to the last measure of the score to do so.

And why not?

I'd suggest having all the options in one place in an Insert Measure(s) or Add Measure(s) dialog, and dispense with Append as a singular command.

      Add measure Dialog for MuseScore.png

Clean, simple ... and well worth the trip to the dialog.

AND I'd like to see a parallel dialog for adding Frames, fore and aft.

Update: Another welcome addition to the proposed Dialog would be

Use the Meter of the
  • current measure (default)
   • preceding measure
   • following measure

Use the Key Signature of the
  • current measure (default)
   • preceding measure
   • following measure

And I'd recommend the option to open an instance of the Meter and Key Signature pickers so, in once place, measures can be added with any meter or signature already intact, rather than setting those properties after the fact.

Thanks for considering!


Hmm, I'm not really understanding why you need to do all that. Isn't as simple as selecting the first measure of the next song (or its title frame), then inserting before that? What am I missing? Perhaps if you attach a sample score and explain more detail, it would become clearer.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Somehow I'm still not seeing this. Maybe we have entirely different use case in mind. So again, seeing an actual sample score and a good description of exactly where the new measures would need to be added would help.

As it is, I understand we are talking about a typical songbook type of score - a song consisting of few systems of music ending in a section break, then a frame for the next title, then the next song, etc. To insert a whole new song between these two, click the frame, insert the appropriate measure. Section break is already exactly where it belongs - on the last measure of the previous song.

What am I missing? Again, best to illustrate with an actual example.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thinkvi(or vim) and the commands I (insert at beginning of line), i (insert before cursor), a (append after cursor) and A (append to end of line) as well as o (new line above) and O (new line below).
If I'm in a measure and want another one after that, it is of course possible to select the next measure (or frame, where it becomes pretty non-intuitive) and insert there, but it'd be easier and more 'mapping the line of thought' (AKA intuitive) to append to the current one.
But yes, I stumbled across this quite a lot when doing (short) songbooks.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I get how such a command could seem like a logical addition. But I am still having trouble seeing how the command would change a single thing regard section breaks etc. Still seems to me that in the actual case described, the section break is already exactly where you want it - not deleting or copy/paste of anything required at all. Or, if the break is not exactly where you want it, no amount of appending versus inserting is going to result in the break suddenly being where you want.

So again, an actual example might clarify what I am missing, if I am in fact missing anything.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc, I actually did not know that you could insert measures in front of a selected a frame; that is very useful for my purposes- thank you! I think I had tried to do that once by clicking on a text frame, but I was not careful or aware enough at the time of selecting text vs selecting the frame so it didn't work. The dialog you get from doing that is 'Please select a measure. No measure was selected' or something like that so I assumed only inserting before a measure could work.
This solves my problem, and I can see that if I wanted to add measures to the end of a piece I could just insert them above the next element in the score. The section break issue mentioned above is not really a concern - deleting one and adding another, if necessary, takes 2 seconds. While an added function of 'insert after element' might not actually allow you to do anything different that you could do now, it could add a slightly more intuitive option for adding on to the end of a song, or for adding measures to create a song after its title frame for example. But aside from this, with the additional information I agree that no new function is needed. Thanks for the help! Selecting frames to insert measures will save me a LOT of editing time.

In reply to by Stefni

You're welcome! I think there was a time when this command didn't work, or only worked via drag & drop but not by clicking the palette or by menu command or keyboard shortcut, or something like that. But I think we now have all cases like this working as they should.

Probably what happened in your case, though, is that you didn't actually select the frame but instead, some text within the frame. One way to be sure to get the frame if it's hard to find an area of frame not covered by text would be to Ctrl+click the same spot again - this selects what's underneath the currently-selected element, if anything. This too is a relatively new feature (last year or so).

Anyhow, all this said, I would still agree it seems odd not to have an append-measure-after-selection command, and have nothing against seeing it added. I just want to make sure people realize that whatever this command might have done, can already be done just as easily by inserting :-)

In reply to by jeetee

So, there is an existing section break on the last measure, followed by a frame for the next title.

How would appending a measure after the one with the break do anything different from inserting one before the frame? Either way, you have the old last measure with the break, then a new measure with no break, then the frame. What's the difference?

In reply to by jeetee

I don't think I would expect appending a measure to move anything at all; I'd expect it to simply append the measure. After all, this would be the needed behavior if you were in fact trying to add a new song between two existing songs, rather than merely extend the length of the current song.

FWIW, I could certainly see this as being useful - but neither more nor less so than having the same behavior upon inserting a measure in front of the next title frame in that same example.

It's more or less the same question that comes up with respect to inserting a measure before a clef, key, or time signature change: does the inserted measure get old or new state.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

> "It's more or less the same question that comes up with respect to inserting a measure before a clef, key, or time signature change: does the inserted measure get old or new state."

Understood, its a six of one, half a dozen of another situation that is always right and wrong. In that case, the less changes to existing items the more predictable the action will be. Agreed.

In reply to by jeetee

A generalized Add Measure dialog (like the one show below) could conveniently handle most situations:

Add Measures Dialog (MuseScore).png


    • adding or appending a single measure is a menu choice
    • adding or appending multiple measures leads to a dialog anyway

Why not consolidate the four options (before, after, single measure, multiple measures) into one dialog accessed by a single keystroke, thereby freeing up other keystrokes?



In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Jojo wrote > Yes. And make sure to keep the old defaults for all those.

Unless I'm overlooking something, I think my dialog recommendation does "keep the old defaults."

Whether one Inserts or Appends (either one or more measures) MuseScore applies the Key Signature, Time Signature, and Clef of the selected measure. And when there's a selected range of measures MuseScore applies the properties of the measure closest to the added measures.

Am I missing your point?


In reply to by scorster

@scorster I don't see any need for all these "Use key signature of", "Use meter of", ....

When you have measure A followed by measure B with different key, meter, ...
And you want new measures between A & B
If you want properties of A => use "insert after" from A
If you want properties of B => use "insert before" from B

[ measure A ] [ insertion after A ] [ key/meter change ] [ insertion before B ] [ measure B ]

In reply to by scorster

I think you are over complicating things. All that needs to be added is an option to "Insert after current" measure and all of the other options would become unnecessary. The other thing that needs fixed is that the current Insert measure (which it before) needs to move all of the system text (like rehearsal marks and tempos) to the new measure. This would easily allow for all of the options you give without the need of a dialog box to insert one measure.

In reply to by jeetee

I don't see that as a six of one/half a dozen at all.
For me it seems pretty obvious/intuitive/logical that when you start from:
measure A [change of key] measure B
"insert after" from measure A will add measure(s) between A & B WITH THE KEY OF A
"insert before" from measure B will add measure(s) between A & B WITH THE KEY OF B

In reply to by frfancha

I would agree this would provide good functionality, but I'd disagree that this seems obvious or intuitive. I might more naively expect both to use the key of A. Certainly, I'd consider that the far more common use case: wanting to passage the passage before a key change longer, not changing my mind about the first measure of the new key.

In reply to by frfancha

Not sure which program you are referring to or what sort of append to paragraph command it uses, but any text editng program I am familiar with most definitely does not work that way. There is a single cursor, you add characters by typing. The behavior does not depend in any way on how you got your cursor there, and there is no append/insert distinction.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I think it has long existed in some sort - maybe drag & drop from palette, or menu. But it's definitely been only in the past few years we've plugged all (well, most) of the little holes where some combination of trying to add something with a particular thing selected only works if you do it one way but not another.

Now, I have keyboard shortcuts defined for inserting the various frames, also section breaks, and I can fly through creating the kind of worksheets etc that use this stuff a lot.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Well, I'm trying to add a measure after the last measure of a section before the next section changes time signature, and I cannot do it without the new time signature moving to the measure I just added. I tried removing the time signature and adding it again in the next measure where it is supposed to be but then something weird happens where the measure I added becomes the measures I tried to remove before, I have been trying all kinds of combinations for the past half hour and I can't make it happen, making me go to the forum and researching, reading for a while. A choice of inserting the measure after instead of just before would have saved me all the trouble, I could have selected the last measure of the section where I want to add the measure. As it stands I still haven't managed to do it without running into trouble. I don't really understand the reluctance to give the choice but there must be something I am missing. I'll keep trying.

In reply to by oglissant

There's no reluctance, just a matter of none of the people wishing to see the feature having yet volunteer to implement it.

Meanwhile, inserting before the last measure then copying and posting content into it is the workaround, annoying yes, but takes only a few extra seconds, maybe that's why no one has bothered implementing this, because that would take far longer than a few seconds :-)

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

When you insert measures before a measure, the time signature moves before the inserted measures. Fixing this gets very tiring if you have to insert a whole bunch of measures in a different time signature. (For instance, I'm trying to insert 2 bars of 12/8 every 2 bars.) In order to not wreck the rest of your music when you do this, you have to repeat the time signature at the beginning of the measure immediately after what you're inserting, I made the mistake of doing this throughout the score before trying to insert measures, so now, instead of just inserting and adding in the new time signature, I also have to repeat the time signature AGAIN after I insert the measures but before I add the 12/8 in. Honestly, the best thing would be if I could insert the measures time signature included and automatically correct the time signature of the following measure to what it used to be. (In any case, the documentation says this feature has now already been implemented, but I can't find it in my version of Musescore. Maybe mine is out of date. It's 3.2.3+dfsg1-4build1 .)

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