Problems with positioning of rests and notes in time

• Dec 19, 2014 - 18:11

This is in ref to the 2.0 Beta. I am clearly missing something very simple and obvious. However, at this point I have been through the tutorials, the handbooks, and searched on line, and come up empty. The basic question is, how does one change the duration and position of a note in time. Simple example of what I've encountered. Picture the case where I have two quarter notes (I think your tutorial the crotchets) at the end. I decide that I might like it better if it were a dotted quarter followed by an 1/8th note.

When I change the second quarter note to an 1/8th it is automatically rendered on the beat, with an 1/8th rest. It seems intuitively obvious that I ought to be able to reposition the eighth note accordingly, leaving me now with a quarter note, an eighth rest, and the eighth note.

I have tried every conceivable way I can come up with. I always wind up with a mish mash of 1/8th rests, notes running over into the next measure. Once that starts, every attempt to correct it just makes it worse. I have not been able to find a way to simply delete a rest, other than to drag them off
the screen. But that's just a side observation. The basic problem I haven't been able to solve is that I appear to be stuck with a quarter note resolution, and can't reposition the notes horizontally in the measure. There is something in one of the discussions on 2.0 that makes reference to a "snap to grid" and an "Inspector" that sounds like they might apply. But doing a text search on both the site and the Handbook I didn't find any information on them.

Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
Clearly I'm missing something that is blatantly obvious.




Changing duration is accomplished by clicking the note, and pressing the key or icon corresponding to the desired location.

Changing the time position of a note or group of notes is accomplished via cut and paste. Select the region you want to move, cut from current location, click new location, paste.

In the specific case of changing two quarter to dotted quarter eight, all you need to do is click the first note and press ".". The first note is lengthened, the second shortened correspondingly. Simple as that!

Deleting rests makes no music sense. A rest is silence. You can't delete silence; you can only fill it by sound. So rests go away autoamtically when you replace them with notes.

The fundamental thing to keep in mind: all note entry in MuseScore is "replace mode". Every note you enter replaces whatever was already at that time position. Once this fully sinks in, everything because very natural and obvious.

I'd suggest watching the tutorial *videos* on note entry if you haven't already; they should help. And feel free to ask other questions.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks Marc:

Admire your work, here and on your web site. I did look at the tutorial on note entry. It was clear with respect to straight entry of notes. But it didn't address the situation I was struggling with. . .I've entered a melody and find that I don't like the phrasing of the notes and want to change when they sound.

I may have picked an unfortunate hypothetical example.

It's been a long time since I tried to do anything in the way of composition, but I have a vague recollection of having used a program in the past that did what I was looking to do. Imagine that I have a 4/4 measure that has a single quarter note starting on the downbeat of the third count. Suppose, for whatever reason, I decide that I'd prefer to have that particular note be an 1/8th note on the upbeat of the second count. If memory serves I could simply drag the note and change the duration, and the software would automatically adjust the rests accordingly. In other words effectively moving as opposed to "deleting" silence.

Thus far, when I've tried to effect the same result in Musescore I wind up with notes all over the place interspersed with multiple 1/8th rests.
Not looking for a response to this at this point. Your explanation made perfect sense and is much appreciated. Before I ask for any further help I need to go back and spend some quality time with the program with your suggestions in mind.

Thanks again,

Jim R.

In reply to by Jim Ramsbotham

Dragging to change actual time position? That seems a poor choice to me. How would you do a simple manually adjustment of physical position on the page, then? That's what drag seems more properly suited for, and how most programs I know do it, including MuseScore.

Anyhow, you say have you have a quarter note on 3, you want an eighth on the "and" of 2. That's different enough you could just re-enter it - which, being i "replace" mode, is as simple as entering it that way to begin with would have been, no special handstands required to first delete what you entered originally as might be required in other program. But assuming you are not wanting to simply re-enter the note, here's one method:

Click the quarter note, press "4" to turn it to an eighth. Now it's the length you want, just not the position. So, to change its position, press Ctrl+X to cut, click whatever is currently on the position you want to move it to, and press Ctrl+V to paste. Other variations are possible of course.

BTW, if you are still in note entry mode when you change your mind, in 2.0 there will also be the ability to use Shift+Left to exchange a note with whatever came before it. That will occasionally be useful. Not sure it really helps here, though.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks again, Mark:

Per my last, I spent a bit of time with the program. Short version is your explanation broke the code for me. Having only played with it an hour or so, I already find it much superior to what I used before, as well as to the couple of other downloads I played with recently before MuseScore.

I really appreciate the follow-up. A little knowledge being a dangerous thing I'm already hitting other things that raise "why does it?" and "why doesn't it?" questions. I won't bother the forum with those unless/until I've spent a reasonable amount of effort looking for the answers myself. I expect in a number of cases the answer will be that the features I'm asking about are part of the Pro package.

In this case, I really was stymied, missing something obvious. Your explanation really flipped the switch.

Best regards,


In reply to by Jim Ramsbotham

Glad to hear it! Took me a couple of weeks to "get it" when I first started with MuseScore as well, so I still remember the feeling well, even though that was several years ago!

To add to Thomas' comment - the software itself is already as "Pro" as it gets. It's the score sharing web site that has a separate "Pro" account.

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