Automatic Beaming Over Rests

• Jul 18, 2021 - 19:25

My request is actually based on an experience I had a while ago with what was apparently a bug in an older version of MuseScore 3. The bug caused the "auto" beam option when used on rests to automatically beam over the rests.

My request is to have that exact feature be available as its own option. I've had pieces that have had specific syncopated rhythmic patterns that, for sight reading, would be aided immensely with extremely thorough beaming over rests. The issue is that, with how much beaming there is, it would waste probably an hour's worth of time to click each individual rest and to click a beaming option.

I put a screenshot below for an example. This is from a large ensemble piece I had been writing that had some polymetric ideas in different instruments against the primary quarter-note pulse in 5/4. The 5/4 I'm using I set to automatically beam only in quarter-note groups, so auto-beaming for a full measure of 16th notes would have 5 groups of 4 16th notes beamed together. I want a feature that can do this over rests as well. Since this was an accidental feature before, I would hope that it'd be possible to lift the code and reuse it as a separate beaming option, perhaps "auto-beam over rests" or something like that. If it helps, I know the version of MuseScore 3 that had this beaming feature was the version that was out around September 2019 since that's around the time I began writing this piece.

Attachment Size
Beam Example.png 26.08 KB


Instead of a picture, can you provide a MuseScore ,mscz file which shows an example of how you wish the 16th notes/rests auto-beamed over rests.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Here's a one-measure example, the first file ("Beam Example") is what I want, the second ("Broken Beam Example") is how MuseScore does auto-beaming since the update to auto-beaming some time in late 2019 I believe. The time signature properties has beams broken every quarter note, and as such, I'd ideally like that property applied to rests as well.

Attachment Size
Beam Example.mscz 6.57 KB
Broken Beam Example.mscz 6.32 KB

I agree that it would be good to be able to beam over rests automatically. but changing the behavior of the Auto icon on the palette to do something other than reset back to the defaults as defined in time signatures properties would be a bug, not an improvement. The way to get beams over rests by default would be to add that facility into the time signature properties in the first place, not to have Auto change the behavior away from what's defined to be the defualt.

Meanwhile, it's trivial to select all the rests in a range, then apply the beam middle. To select all rests in the range, just select the range, then right-click one rest, Select / All Similar Elements in Range Selection.

In reply to by sihplak

Indeed, but of course the exact same issue would apply if we re-introduced the old bug that caused "auto" to do something other than restore the default beaming.

Meanwhile, you can also Ctrl+click the rests on the beat to remove them from the selection before applying the beam middle. Or re-selected them after and returned to auto. You can use "Select / More / Same beat" to help with that.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thinking about it more, wouldn't the opposite have been the case before the update Jojo mentioned above? Select a range of notes, select only the notes, then click "auto", and it would beam them according to the automatic beaming rules, thereby excluding rests.

If anything, it seems like the "fix" ended up removing a convenience, when a simple handbook entry could've been made indicating that users would have to simply change their selection to only notes, which is also an automatic feature included in the inspector panel on the right.

So, in that regard, even reverting the change seems like it'd be the most intuitive option, as it allows people who wish for beaming across rests to be able to have that conveniently accessible, while also not substantially inconveniencing people who don't need that option.

In reply to by sihplak

The point of "auto" is supposed to be, reset all manual adjustments you might have made, and return everything back to the defaults as specified in the time signature properties. The fact that it broke rests - making them different from the default even if they hadn't been previously adjusted - was a bug, plain and simple. It's fixed and must remain fixed. Otherwise it becomes difficult for someone to revert manual adjustments - the whole point of this icon. It was never mean to be a beam-over-rest icon, it was meant to be a remove-manual-adjustments icon, and it needs to do that.

But as mentioned, indeed, it would be great to have a way to specify that the default for rests should be the beam over them. The right place for this, again, would be in time signature properties - same place you specify the default beaming for notes.

In the meantime to ease your workflow a bit, be aware that you can assign shortcuts to the different beaming actions. Thus making the process of adjusting them after the fact one of many right arrow key presses combined with whichever shortcut you assigned.

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