How do I create this exact measure?

• Feb 14, 2024 - 03:47

Is there a way I can create this exact measure without adding or losing beats? This is digital sheet music that I need to reproduce for voice lessons because it is missing the lyrics and the PDF importer does not read the music correctly. Is this even possible to do in this time signature? There is at least one other rhythmic mistake in this sheet music so I wouldn't be that surprised if this was another mistake. If it is, can you suggest an alternative way to create this measure so it reads as this is written?

I need to try to have this done by Thursday (2/15) for my voice lesson on Friday. This is the only measure I've stumbled upon that I can't figure out how to input.


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If you first ignore the 32th-notes you will see that there is one quarter note and one dotted quarter note. Together they make up the value of five eighth-notes, just like the time signature says (5/8). The 32th-notes are just grace notes. and the strange diagonal lines through the beams I think indicates they are Acciaccaturas. Here is the handbook page for how to do grace notes:

I don't know if it is possible to do cross staff notation on grace notes, but here is the chapter on that:
I guess it should work.

Yes, the "32nd notes" with a slash at the beginning are acciaccaturas; and yes, they can be created cross-staff (at least in 3.6.2): Input them all on the top staff, then shift the ones you want to the lower one.
You will still have to have a rest/rests in the lower stave, but they can be rendered invisible ("v").

Probably best done in stages. Place the two main notes, add the 32nd grace notes, then set the pitches, then cross-staff beam. Check the accidentals, add in the slash (click on the note, open Master Palette >Symbols and find one that suits).

Alternatively, you can increase the measure duration and use ordinary notes but make the "grace" notes cue-sized but this will not play back "correctly". Mind you, playback isn't perfect anyway since MS doesn't let you apply the 8va to grace notes; at least with "real" notes you can use 8va and you could always do the math and adjust the timings but I think this sort of measure is pretty likely to be rubato unless the tempo is very slow.

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In reply to by Lyrikal_Allie

As a pianist, I would find your second example near impossible to read. The first is very clear as to what the composer intended.

To create the first example in Musescore, you will need to use at least five different voices: voices 1, 2 and 3 on the top staff, with cross system notation on v. 2; and voices 2 and 4 on the bottom. Any resulting rests in the lower staff (voice1) can be rendered invisible, as they can't be deleted.

Read up on Voices in the handbook, if you haven't already.

In reply to by bobjp

Except that’s not the rhythm that’s being expressed at all. The passage is in 2/4, with running equal 1/32 th note figuration; the up-stemmed notes in the top stave, and down-stemmed ones in the bottom, indicated that the notes are not immediately released, but are held until the next chord change.

In reply to by wfazekas1

Yeah, my bad.
It is interesting to me that publishing companies have seldom been bound by the rules of notation. I get that this notation reflects the intent of the composer. And that the performer will understand it. I get that the notation is a means to an end, and not the end itself. The problem is that if I wanted to write something like this for playback. It is doable, but so complicated as to be not worth it. Or use way too many pedal marks. In software, notation is the end. The computer has to be able to play it. A real player is free to do what they feel is needed. The computer can not. But that's another topic.

In reply to by wfazekas1

If it's in 2/4, I'm reading this as a 7-tuplet on eighth notes. I don't think that MuseScore can put that triple bar down the center line, but I was able to get the attached by using a 7-tuplet. I included a pedal symbol, which makes the notes continue to play until the end. (I only made the first measure, but you could easily stretch the pedal to make more notes continue to ring out.)

Google doesn't know anything about "sticky fingered piano", so if this notation is "standard" for such performance, I would have to say that "sticky fingered piano" is fairly non-standard. * shrug *

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In reply to by TheHutch

Well, "sticky-fingered" is my own coinage, but the technique is pretty standard. I'm proud to think that I created a novel term for it.

7-tuplets on eighth notes--Whaaa!?! You're really overthinking things--this isn't Elliott Carter! What's going on is this: a series of running, equal 32nd notes, divided between the hands. Expect that the first 32nd note in the r.h. isn't immediately released, but held for four 32nd notes, the second note in r.h. held for three 32nd notes (until those fingers have to strike again); in the left hand, the same thing, except--and here where the "correct" notation breaks down--two of those 32nd notes will technically sound into the next measure.

Unlike many people here, I use Musescore primarily as an engraving tool, to notate music to be played, optimally, by human musicians. For me, "realistic" playback is a minor consideration. With the exception of my cell-phone ring-tone.

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