Confusion with rests in split bars.

• Jul 22, 2016 - 11:38

I have come across a feature that has caused some confusion with members of the quintet that I play with. It has never occurred to me before but when we were rehearsing recently we came across the following.

The music is the "Gavotte and Musette" from Grieg's Holberg suite. The time signature is "split common", ie 2/2. The music starts on the second half of the bar and at various places there are split bars. The first one occurs early on - see the following illustration.

Capture 1.JPG

The confusion arises when looking at parts for individual instruments. In this example it is in the second viola part 2 lines up from the bottom. See the following illustration.

Capture 2.JPG

MuseScore has included the half bar rest in its total of 5 bars. It would be better if MS recorded the multiple bar rest as 4 bars and then printed the first half of the next bar as a minim (1/2 note) rest.

I have tried changing the score so that the fifth bar does contain a minim rest, see the next illustration

Capture 3.JPG

but this makes no difference to the viola 2 part. It still shows 5 bars rest.

I can get round it by entering the offending bar as 2 crotchet (1/4 note) rests, see the next illustration.

Capture 5.JPG

This makes the individual part now correct, see the next illustration,

Capture 4.JPG

However, this work around is messy and shouldn't really be necessary. Surely MS should treat these half bars correctly in the first place. Is this a bug??



Have you tried:
Right click on the offending bar (in the main score) and then, in Measure Properties, tick 'Break multimeasure rest'.


In reply to by Jm6stringer

Thanks for the tip. I have just tried it, but it appears to make no difference. I am not sure that I understand what 'Break multimeasure rest' should achieve as it appears to do nothing in this example. However I will keep on investigating.


In reply to by ahiw

"Break multimeasure rest" does what it says - breaks the rest at that measure. You have to do this for the measure where you want the break to occur, and you have to do it in the part, not the score. So, from the part, first turn multimeasure rests *off* (press "M"), then right click the first measure you want to be excluded, then Measure Properties, turn on that option, OK, then turn multimeasure rests back *on* (press "M" again).

In reply to by Jm6stringer

[Original post deleted after seeing Marc's reply (which crossed with mine in Cyberspace....)]

Marc--The fact that only works when done in the part is counterintuitive, quite confusing, and most definitely not user-friendly.

First of all: When I create a score using the New Score Wizard, "Create Multi-measure Rests" is UNchecked by default, but the program still creates them when the parts are generated. In addition, the program checks 'create multi-measure rests' in the Style>General>Score dialogue for the parts once the parts are created...but that checkbox remains UNchecked in the same dialogue panel for the score. That's confusing, even if there is a sort of underlying logic to it.
Second: A user wanting to break a multi-measure rest in a part would have to know that checkbox won't have any effect when checked in the score. IOW, that checkbox should be greyed-out in the measure properties dialogue for score measures. Question: When was the last time you saw a SCORE with multi-measure rests in it?? They are only created when NOTHING is going on for more than 2 or 3 measures in ALL the instruments. Multi-measure rests in a score might be appropriate for someone doing a jazz-ensemble transcription of John Cage's 4'33", but I can't think of any other circumstance where they would be needed.

Third: The user cannot access the 'measure properties' dialogue through the context menu for a measure buried in a multi-measure rest in a part. That context menu item is greyed out.

Fourth: The user would have to know he could access the measure properties dialogue through the context menu if he toggled multi-measure rests off using M (and I did not know one could do that after using this program for years!), or that he'd need to uncheck the box in the Style>General>Score dialogue.

In sum, this whole thing is much to complex. It needs to be fixed so that the average user, not only those at your level of expertise, can figure it out without needing to post questions on the forum or spend half a day looking through the handbook for instructions on how to do something this simple.

What would you think about adding some popup warnings (with a 'do not show this again' option, of course) for procedures such as this?

In reply to by Recorder485

The fact that measure properties only affect the score being viewed and not other linked scores is logged as a bug - see #64636: "add to measure number" is not linked between score and parts after reload. I generally agree they probbably should be linked in msot cases, but there may well be exceptions, and finding a way to allow the link to be broken is an open question. It goes beyond just the break mmrest option, so I don't think a popup for that specific case really addresses the bigger issue.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks, Marc. I had not seen that discussion before (nor the others linked to it), even though you mentioned one of the use-cases I asked for a while ago (cues in parts but not in scores). The general issue is complex. I don't think this discussion is the place to elaborate on the list of elements or properties that should/could/might be addressed by a linking/delinking command, but a couple of ideas occur to me as far as making whatever process is finally adopted more user-friendly.

The more flexibility built into a program, the more complex the UI will necessarily become. When a program reaches the level of flexibility/complexity of MuseScore, it is virtually inevitable that only a few users will ever explore all of the functions, and fewer still will master them all. The Handbook is good and gets better all the time, but it is massive and most users will not read past what they need to get started until they run up against a problem they can't solve. When that happens, they often post questions or requests for help here, necessitating a delay in their work process. Alternatively, they can search the Handbook for a solution, but an effective search presupposes some knowledge that what one is searching for exists. (For instance, a search of the Handbook for 'how do I make a cue invisible?' turns up three result pages--Voices, File Formats, and Staff Properties--none of which offer any information to answer that question.)

That said, I think it would be worth the effort to build some 'active help' into the UI itself. There are at least two ways I see to do this.

The first idea I already mentioned: pop-ups. You are correct that a popup for this specific case would not address the larger issue, but implementing such warnings for all similar cases would go a long way to making the user's life easier.

Another option would be using a hover-triggered 'Tool Tip' for context menu items which either shows a brief text explaining what the item can/cannot do, or shows a ? icon which the user could click for more information, possibly including a link to the appropriate page in the Handbook. This would be especially useful for greyed-out items to explain why they are inactive and/or how to activate them ('Measure properties only available for single measures: type M to break multi-measure rest and select one measure').

One last thought: For advanced users who don't need such things it would be important to include a 'don't show this again' checkbox in any popups, or a way to turn off Tool Tips--or better yet, filter which 'level' of tool tips would appear--in Edit>Preferences>General.

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