Shifting a range by an odd number of quavers

• Dec 9, 2021 - 14:40

I need some MIDI files of Verdi's requiem for practice and thankfully found some here and here. My problem with this one is that it begins with a senza misura measure, which has been rendered as a fraction of measures, and thus what the composer wrote as beat 1 of bar 2 is beat 1½ of bar 3 in the file, and the rest of bars the whole piece begin an eighth too soon.

I could combine most of bars 1 and 2 by creating a new bar of actual duration 19/8 and moving the notes there. But Musescore only moves the notes of the whole staffs, not the ♪s of bar 3, beat 1. Instead, it sets the last ♪ of the senza misura bar on beat 1 of measure 2, inserts a 𝄾 in the place where it should go, and each bar of the rest of the piece likewise begins half a beat too soon. So, to correct this, I would need to move the rest of the whole piece by just one ♪. Is there any way to do that? If I select one of the ♪s or 𝄾s and remove selected range, or split the measure, it changes (as already explained in one of the handbook pages) the bar duration to 7/8, which means that all following bars remain shifted.

Of course, I would be very happy for a solution that fixed the problem with the original file without any of the steps described in the preceding paragraph, but that's probably too specific.

(For future reference: After the shift, it probably will be necessary to join the tied notes; this has been discussed in this topic.)


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thank you for your reply. You mean, for the remainder of the piece? I tried that before, and it only moved the notes, leaving such things as tempo changes in their original bars.

I now tried that again, hoping to find maybe some option to include more than just the notes. But this time, I can't even select a range starting from somewhere in bar 3 to the end of the piece. It always expands the selection to whole bars. What am I doing wrong?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Great, the versions there are even nicer in other ways, too. Download is only free after signing up at least for the trial. But I feel grateful for what I received so far (in particular the help from you, Jojo, on various occasions), so I signed up for the ☧mas special of 40$ a year.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Thank you again for your help. When I open the exported MIDI file in step 4, it still displays the first bar with 7/8 and marks it with a superscript minus sign. Thus, the rest of the piece is still off by a quaver.

But don't worry about it: As far as I'm concerned, my problem is solved. I will use the files from Musescore PRO that Jojo pointed to. (I just used the old file for one last time to try out your suggestion because I was curious and because I wanted to answer your question.)

In reply to by Sebaudia

When I tried, after deleting there was a short bar at the start but then after exporting as midi and re importing I had a full 4/4 bar. I am writing this on my phone and so can't experiment further just now. I will try again on my PC tomorrow.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Hmm, that's strange since there seem to be no settings for the export that might explain the different behavior.

I just tried if by chance I used a different key combination, but there is none that I can think of. Simple Delete replaces the notes with rests; that's obviously not what I did since the MIDI file starts with the bar after the senza misura. I tried a few other key combinations, but none seems to do anything different. Anything else that might be different between our situations? I'm on Windows 10 Pro, if that helps solve the mystery.

In reply to by SteveBlower

I see no MIDI import options, other than those in the Import tab under MuseScore preferences, but there's only one: Shortest note.

Are you maybe using something other than File → Open? I'm not aware of any specific Import function like File → Import PDF, but for MIDI.

I should have provided my MuseScore version – here it is:
OS: Windows 10 (10.0), Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit):, revision: 3224f34

In reply to by SteveBlower

I see. There is a “Recognize pickup measure” option in the “All” row, which was checked.

When I uncheck that and then hit Apply, the meter signature changes to 14/16 and the superscript minus sign disappears, but the consecutive bars still begin with the previous bar's last ♪ – see attached screen shot.

Attachment Size
pickup unchecked.png 145.08 KB

In reply to by Sebaudia

As I said, I can't experiment myself until tomorrow, but the idea is to ctrl+ delete everything before the first note of what you want to be the first 4/bar. This should leave you with the first bar having too few beats and looking like a pick up measure. Then export to midi and then import with detect pick up measure off so that the start of what was that short measure is interpreted as the start of a 4/4 bar

I will try it myself ... tomorrow.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Please don't worry about it. I'm happy with the files provided by the MuseScore collection, and it's unlikely that I will ever need a solution for this problem again. If I knew how, I would close this. Thank you for your readiness to help.

In reply to by Sebaudia

Sorry, I missed a few steps in my previous description and I would hate to leave this unresolved. This rather involved process seems to work.

  1. Open midi in MuseScore
  2. CTRL+DELETE everything before the 1st note of the desired start.
  3. Export as midi 71-liber-after-del.mid
  4. Open the midi just exported
  5. Untick "recognise anacrusis" and click [Apply] in midi import panel - Result: Initial bar has time signature 14/16. second bar has 4/4. 71-liber-after-del-import.mscz
  6. Delete the 4/4 time signature in bar 2
  7. Replace 14/16 time signature in first bar with 4/4. - Result: score is now starting on correct beat throughout 71-liber-after-del-adj-time-sig.mscz
  8. Use Tools>Regroup rhythms to tidy up. Result: 71-liber-after-del-adj-time-sig-regroup.mscz

In reply to by SteveBlower

I can relate to your desire to not leave this unresolved, so let's see if we can figure this out. As you can see from my previous post and screen shot, I don't have an option called "recognise anacrusis", but I understand you mean the ‘Recognize pickup measure’ option. (Thanks, btw, for introducing me to this term, which was new to me.)

So, I can follow your first five steps, but then the problems begin:

In step 6, when I try to delete the time signature, nothing happens, as far as I can see.

I ignored that and proceeded to step 7 anyway, but I'm not sure what exactly you mean by “replace”. I tried 3 ways:
a) ‘Edit element’ (from the signature's context menu): I tried this twice. Once nothing seemed to happen, the other time I got an error message titled ‘Invalid Command’.
b) ‘Time Signature Properties ’ (also from the signature's context menu): All choices in the ‘Values’ group box are disabled; only the ones in the ‘Appearance’ group box are enabled. That seemed like a dead end, too.
c) Grab the ‘4⁄4’ time signature from the Master Palette and drag it over the existing ‘14⁄16’ time signature. That does replace the signature, but the remaining bars still start on the wrong beat. See screenshot.

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after_del_adj_time_sig.png 145.29 KB

In reply to by Sebaudia

I think "Pick up measure" is used instead of "anacrusis" in US localisation - I am using GB localisation. It is sometimes difficult to predict how US and GB usage differs.

Step 6 is crucial. So, breaking it down:

6a. Click on 4/4 time signature at the start of measure 2 (bar 2 for GB EN readers) to select it - it should appear highlighted in blue.
6b Press Delete on your PC keyboard

This should result in this score 71-liber-after-del-import_after 6b.mscz

Breaking step 7 down:
7a click on the 14/16 Time signature at the start of the score that results from step 6b
7b click on the 4/4 time signature in the time signature pallet (no need to go to the master pallet - a 4/4 time signature should be present in the standard pallets by default).

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yes, anacrusis/Pick up measure is in the glossary, but it isn't identified as a BE/AE localised term. I just thought they were alternative names and was surprised to hear they were localised in the midi import panel.

[Edit] It would be useful to have all the BE/AE localisations identified in the Glossary. I assume there is a comprehensive list somewhere.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Not all needed maybe, but surely all the BE/AE terms that are used in the UI. The glossary only identifies anacrusis/pick up measure as alternative terms. A BE user (me) seeing "anacrusis" in the BE Midi import UI is not aware that the term is different in a AE UI. I just thought "pick up" was a less formal way of referring to an anacrusis and assumed that the more formal term would be used in the AE UI (never assume!). Anyway, this discussion should continue if necessary in its own thread. I am sorry this one has become hijacked.

In reply to by SteveBlower

6a and 6b are exactly what I did. I have to slightly amend my report, though: Instead of ‘nothing happens’, I should say 'All that happens is that the time signature gets unselected'. But that shouldn't matter. The important fact is that nothing happens to the file; there is no asterisk added to the file name, and I can simply close it without being asked to save any changes.

Similarly, I would be very surprised if it mattered which pallet I took the 4⁄4 time signature from ∴ I don't think I have to redo step 7 just because of that.

So here is a suggestion how to continue your sleuthing quest: Save the files in uncompressed .mscx format and find the diff. That might give us a clue why you get a difference, while I don't. If you want to compare your result with mine you can use the attached file.

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71-liber-after-del-import.mscx 901.58 KB

In reply to by Sebaudia

I think I understand what is happening. I think you are trying to delete the courtesy 4/4 time signature that MuseScore adds when the TS change occurs immediately after a page or system break. That is not possible; courtesy time signatures can be not shown as an option (from Format>Style>Page or from right click on actual, not courtesy, TS) but can not be deleted. And indeed, selecting a courtesy TS and pressing delete just deselects it.


Regarding which pallet to use, indeed it doesn't matter which source you use; I was just pointing out that the usage envisioned in the UI design is to add items to the score from the sidebar pallets (which are dockable and can be customised) rather than from the master pallet. The master pallet is the "repository of everything" and is more useful in being a source of items that are used only infrequently or a source of things other than default itemst that can be added to a sidebar pallet if a user has a frequent need for them. But if the master pallet works for you, you can even turn off the display of the sidebar pallets.

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