I need help with Grace Notes (duration)

• Feb 21, 2015 - 07:11

I am using the latest Beta 2.0 release of Musescore and I need help with Grace Notes.
When I add a grace note to the measure the duration of the note is much longer than it should be. Is there a way to adjust the duration of the Grace Notes? I've tried all of them 64th, 32nd, 16th, and 8th note grace notes and they all play way too long.


Be advised that there has been additional work on grace note playback since the beta release; however, for starters - are you using short grace notes (acciaccatura) - those with a stroke through the stem?

Also, more information can be found here:
which basically states that improvements in grace note play back have been made, so you may wish to try a nightly version.
For nightly versions see:


To be clear:

The grace notes with slashes through the stem are called "acciccaturas", and they are played short (both in MuseScore and in real life).

The grace notes without slashes are called "appoggiaturas" and they are played long (both in MuseScore and in rea life). Literally half the value of the main note.

In practice, some people use these interchangeably - writing appoggiaturas when they really mean acciaccaturs, and most human performers will probably figure out which you meant (many probably are not even aware there is a difference). But if you want the playback in MuseScore to reflect your intent, you need to use the proper type of grace note.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella


i figured out that (in 2.0beta) the appoggiaturas are played to short if the main note is a dotted.
In practice, if the main note is a dotted half, the appoggiatura is played as half and the main note played as quarter. Here, in Musescore both notes are played equally long (in the example two dotted quarters).
CU, Pentatonus

In reply to by Pentatonus

This is my understanding of common practice as well. It should be an easy change to make, so unless people with more expertise than I object, I'm happy to make the change. Would you mind filing this as an issue in the Issue teacker (use "Help / Report a Bug" from within MuseScore).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I don't know if you changed this or not for shorter grace notes (I'm using build 8dad37f but holding off on newer builds until 2.0 comes out for linux) but one piece I recent transcribed has three grace sixteenth-notes leading up to two tied semibrieves and they play very slowly where I am sure that they are meant to be just a quick run into a trill.

In reply to by underquark

I changed playback of acciaccaturas a couple of months ago (January 17, according to commit log), not sure when your build is from. If you created those as acciaccaturas (with the slash through stem, which would only appear on the first of the group), they should play back very quickly (65 milliseconds each). If you created them as appoggiaturas, then they would indeed play back slowly - total length of the three would be half the value of the main note.

Human musicians can use intuition, common sense, etc to help them decide is a slash-less grace note is meant to be played fast or slow - thus allowing you to freely use one symbol even when the other is meant. MuseScore has not much choice in the matter - it has to interpret these literally.

I guess we could maybe add a special case there so that even if you create appoggiaturas, we could treat them as acciccaturas if there are more than one. Not sure if there is much use case for true appoggiaturas in groups?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I always believed that acciccaturas should last as its figure, taking that time from the main note. E.g., an 8th note acciccatura on a half note should last as an 8th, and the half note should last as a dotted quarter.
At least this is the way I have listened to be played e.g. the Menuet in G.

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