Setting the 1st measure without beats

• Jul 1, 2022 - 21:50

Hi again. Sorry for more questions, but ...

Here is a new piece of sheet music I just bought. Notice that its first measure is not set to 4/4 beats. There are no preceding rests. All it has are two sixteenth notes to begin the song. When played, there is no beat count. The song just begins with the B&C notes, leading to measure 2. In fact, this 1st measure is not even counted in # of measures in the song.


When I tried to recreate that first measure, I could not. I had to set the B & C notes to 4/4 timing, waiting through 14 silent beats before the notes rang.


Is there a way in MuseScore to ignore beats on the 1st measure and recreate example 1?


In reply to by fsgregs

Musescore truncates from the end. The last beats are lost. You can copy the notes with CTRL+C and paste them back with CTRL+V after adjusting the length of the measure, or just re-enter them.

Another way to go would be to select the rests you don't want - the first three and a half beats - and delete them with CTRL+Delete. That also truncates the measure but by removing the selected duration, whereas Delete without CTRL removes only the selected content.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Steve: Thanks for the advice. Weirdly, I have tried to cut out the first 3.5 beats in measure 1 and just leave the last two 16th notes, but when I do, the rest of my score changes key and a bunch of sharps appears in the score. If you look at my measure 1 in the above image, I can delete the quarter rest fine, but if I delete the half rest, my key changes in the score, even though that rest is not "attached" to the parent key of the score. I can change the half rest to 2 quarter rests and delete the 2nd one, but not both of them. Further, if I change the remaining 1/4 rest to an 1/8 or 1/16 rest, my score key changes. So weird. However, I can tolerate a 1/4 note rest before the last 2 16th notes play and begin the song.

I am so pleased that MuseScore has so many notation options. The guys who wrote it must be commended.

In reply to by fsgregs

Indeed, there's a known bug where deleting the first few beats of a measure can have this effect in certain specific cases. As far as I know, simply re-adding the key signature should fix it. Or, undo that deletion and just change the duration in Measure Properties. You can copy the existing pickup first and paste it back in afterwards.

If you continue to have trouble, just attach the score itself (we can't do anything from just pictures) and we can help you fix it.

The easiest way is to simply provide that information during the score setup in the wizard (pick-up/anacrusis).

To fix it after the fact:
1. Cut and paste your contents to the start of the measure
2. Select the remaining beats in the measure
3. Tools > Remove Selected Range (Ctrl/Cmd+Del)
4. Right-click (Mac: Ctrl-click) the measure and open the Measure Properties
5. Check "Exclude from Measure Count"

In reply to by jeetee

I tried it and it mostly worked. For some reason, when I "removed selected range" from the first half note rest (but let the key signature alone), all the rest of the score changed key and some of the notes became sharps. Have no idea why, but at least I got measure 1 down to just a 1/2 rest before it began playing the last two notes, and I removed it from being counted as a measure. Thanks for the tips.

In reply to by fsgregs

In some cases (the specifics are unknown to me) the removal of the very first beat indeed also removes key/clef/time/tempo markings.
In any case, if that happens, you can always just re-apply the key signature again to restore it.

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