The tuplets across barline workaround would look better if we could do these 2 things...

• Jul 29, 2015 - 12:40

First of all; a huge "thank you" to all the Musescore developers for all the really useful bug-fixes and improvements which appeared in v2.0.2 - it's very much appreciated and great stuff! By way of support, I've now bought Marc Sabatella's book, "Mastering Musescore", and my wife and I now both have very smart musescore T-shirts!

I do still have the following couple of niggles when using the workaround to display tuplets across barlines (just for reference, this is an extension of the discussion here:, though the central issues in that discussion are now fixed - thanks Marc!)

In the attached score, it would be great if the following were possible:

1. Allow mid-measure barlines to display a bar-number.

Even if it's not a "real" number from Musescore's internal point-of-view, it's obviously important for anyone actually reading the score or part to see correct, sequential bar numbers. In the example below, although the mid-measure barline can be accommodated in the overall bar-numbering by incrementing the following bar numbers by one, it doesn't seem possible (as of v2.0.2) to have a bar number appear over the mid-measure barline itself. This creates a very obvious inconsistency: a missing bar number in cases where all other barlines in the score are numbered.

2. Allow a centered, default style, whole-bar rest on either side of the mid-measure barline if nothing else is notated there.

It seems that whole-bar rests cannot be automatically centered in this situation (as they should be). Presumably this is because, as far as Musescore is concerned, they are really semibreve rests. I know these can be moved horizontally by hand, but this really isn't satisfactory at all because any attempt to centre them manually in the score almost certainly won't result in their appearing centered in the individual parts. Also, any subsequent score re-formatting will mess up the whole thing anyway. It would be great if we could "force" a default-style, centered, whole-bar rest wherever required in this situation.

Attachment Size
Mid-measure barline test.mscz 24.06 KB


Either should be possible, if instead of a mid-measure barline you just split the measure at that point and so create 2 (irregular) measures.
It just doesn't work here, because of the tuplets.

You can, however, nudge the rests so that they look centered and at a staff- or system text for that 'missing' measure number and also move that into place (and change to use the same style as the measure numbers

Attachment Size
Mid-measure barline test.mscz 21.94 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

@Jojo-Schmitz - Thanks for your response, but...

...the tuplets crossing the barline are essential and in fact are the only reason I need an 8/4 bar and a mid-measure barline here at all. Please understand that I'm only using this workaround because tuplets are not allowed to cross "real" barlines in Musescore.

As I said, I'm already aware that I can "nudge" the rests manually, but unfortunately I consider that an unsatisfactory solution because of the reasons I explained in my previous post. They can never appear consistently and reliably centred in both score and parts when nudged manually in this way.

Similarly IMO, adding a "pseudo" bar number with system or staff text is just a fudge in this situation for lots of reasons, e.g., that number won't be automatically updated along with the others if and when bars are inserted (or removed) later, positioning will be unreliable and subject to change with layout, matching font sizes will be fiddly, etc., etc.

In reply to by Xasman

Still, I think I'd rather find a way to support tuplets over a barline than provide special-casing for automatically-updating pseudo-measure numbers over mid-measure barlines and automatically-centered whole rests (the latter won't actually work right in time signatures other 4/4 anyhow).

Realistically, I suspect neither is likely to happen any time soon, so unfortunately I think the workarounds will have to do. Getting the formatting of the pseduo-measure-number to match should not actually be a big problem - just use the proper text style. And just save the measure numbering for the end. I suppose perhaps a plugin could automate the numbering process, if it had access to the right information (not sure if it does). But I recognize it's still not likely to be too fun if a piece does this a lot.

Your tuplets are unequal. In the second measure you have 3 notes in the second half of the measure; in the third measure you have 2.5 notes per half measure and in the fourth measure you have 2.666666... notes per half measure.

If you re-wrote it as three groups of 5-in-the-space-of-4 does it sound the way that you intend it to?

Attachment Size
Sax5.mscz 27.51 KB

In reply to by underquark


"If you re-wrote it as three groups of 5-in-the-space-of-4 does it sound the way that you intend it to?":

Absolutely not - that's not the same thing at all, and is quite definitely not what I want. What you've written here are quintuplet crotchets (5 subdivisions in the time of 4 crotchet beats). What I want is quadruplet crotchets (4 subdivisions in the time of 3 crotchet beats) - which is not the same thing at all. You can hear the difference quite clearly on playback too.
Basically, what I want here really is exactly what I wrote. There's just no readable alternative.

"Your tuplets are unequal":

With respect, no, they're not. The definition of a tuplet has nothing to do with how much of the tuplet fits into any given bar (or number of bars), but rather that it should be a group of notes which equally subdivide one or more unit beats. The four beats in each quadruplet here are equal subdivisions and fit exactly into the time of three crotchet beats; the fact that one of them crosses a barline is incidental but perfectly legitimate. This is how we hear music. Barlines are just an artificial construct of convenience in order to help us organise music on paper (or on screen) - we don't actually hear them. In my view we certainly shouldn't feel the need to attempt to re-write rhythmic structures of the music we hear when notating it just in order to visually fit in everything neatly between the barlines.

In reply to by Xasman

@ Marc
"Still, I think I'd rather find a way to support tuplets over a barline than provide special-casing for automatically-updating pseudo-measure numbers over mid-measure barlines and automatically-centered whole rests (the latter won't actually work right in time signatures other 4/4 anyhow)."

Totally agree. Having read through various posts on the forum about this, I'd given up on any hope of this though - hence my feature requests; but I agree they're a really just a fudge. IMO it would be preferable for the MS developers to acknowledge that people sometimes do have a genuine need to notate tuplets across barlines and then work on producing some reliable code to properly support the feature.

In any case, I do hope, as intended, that this is coming over as constructive criticism; I'm really enjoying working with Musescore 2 and would like to thank the developers for all the great work that's gone into its' development to date - it's greatly appreciated!

In reply to by Xasman

One more thing:

In fact I could have notated those quadruplets as dotted quavers, but chose not to...

For anyone interested, attached is a comparison of the 2 alternative ways to notate the sax parts (see below).

Unlike the quadruplet method, the second method (using dotted quavers) requires no workarounds, and on playback in musescore it sounds exactly the same as the first method, BUT I still prefer the quadruplets here because... me the dotted quavers are an inferior choice when considering which version to put in front of real musicians, mainly because IMO they are less easy to sight-read, but also because they seem to imply a subtly different intention:

Where the notes are written as dotted quavers instead of quadruplets, it's less obvious that the notes are grouped 4:3 (4 crotchets in the time of 3) - especially across the barline. It also seems to imply a syncopic intent (in the sense of "placement of rhythmic stresses or accents where they wouldn't normally occur.", see // ) - which is not really intended here. In fact, my intention is to create a sense of smooth, temporary concurrent 3/4 and 4/4 time signatures (without actually writing the score that way), and I feel that the quadruplets convey this intention more effectively, so it would be nice to be able to make that choice without being penalised by all the workarounds currently necessary in order to do it.

Of course, in other cases there may be no alternative to using a tuplet anyway (e.g. see "Crotchet triplets across barline.mscz" below).

On the subject of workarounds - yet another argument in favour of allowing tuplets to cross barlines is because mid-measure barlines do not automatically cancel accidentals in the same way that normal barlines do; this means that one must cancel any unwanted accidentals by hand after any mid-measure barline. This is in addition to all the other workarounds already mentioned in this thread.

So developers, please do consider supporting tuplets across barlines. Thank you.

In reply to by Xasman

FWIW, I have no doubts about the *usefulness* of this; just about the difficulty of implementing it. Which is why I suspect it won't be happening soon.

As long as we're discussing alternate notations, I should also mention you *could* simply change time signatures at that spot. Won't help if another part has different tuplets of course, and might not be ideal in other ways, but it *is* another option that can often be successful.

Another option sometimes is to use a tie to break the note that would cross the barline. Working out the math is easier in some cases than others (and may well be impossible in some). But in the triplet case is is quite straightforward, and you can then even hide the flags, ties, amnd extra brackets, and then nudge things around manually to make it look more or less right too. See attached.

Attachment Size
Tuplet_across_barline_workarounds.mscz 5.81 KB

In reply to by jotape1960

"Isn't there some basic rhythm rules, somewhere?"

Of course; rudimentary music theory explains them. In general though, I think it's a good idea to make choices which make the music easiest to read, and occasionally that means creating exceptions to the "rules". Many of these exceptions are accepted as common practice anyway (I'm thinking of hemiolas and such). However, when the music gets a little more complex there are sometimes multiple possible choices which can cause differences of opinion about which method may be "best".

"I mean, those triplets break the measures accent beat. Is that the idea?..."

I'm not sure I understand clearly what you mean by this, but if you're talking about not being able to see the (invisible) "half-bar" in 4/4 time (or even just beat one), then yes, it does, but then so do rhythmic hemiolas, and they're generally considered to be acceptable. BUT, in this case isn't it more important to be able to see that the whole phrase is a row of continuous triplets throughout? Whether you either agree or disagree with this I hope you will agree that there are genuine arguments both for and against. (I'm not actually categorically saying that using continuous crotchet triplets are clearly the best option, merely that it's an option one should be able to choose, should one wish).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

"I should also mention you *could* simply change time signatures at that spot."

Absolutely right - it's an option I could consider here. It's just that I wrote this arrangement years ago and was hoping to migrate it "verbatim" (as it were) into Musescore without spending any time re-writing it, but then again, maybe I should...

"Another option sometimes is to use a tie to break the note that would cross the barline".

Sure, and thanks for posting that example. Over the first barline, breaking the consistency of the crotchet triplets down to quaver triplets just in order to cross the bar line seems to me to make the music appear more complicated than necessary to the musician reading it, BUT, regarding your example over the second barline with the various hidden elements, well, that's definitely a very slick and clever solution - still a bit fiddly, but nonetheless I hadn't thought of doing that, so thank you very much!

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Another interesting trick I just learned about that could eventually be incorporated into some sort of workaround: instead of inserting a "visual only" barline in the middle of the big measure, actually move a *real* barline using the Inspector. This won't be viable until user offsets on barlines actually survive save / reload - see #75826: Offset settings of barlines are not saved, for which I just proposed a fix.

This method has its disadvantages just as any other does, but at least you can get normal measure numbering, including the appearance of the measure numbers themselves if you offset them by the same amount as the barline:


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