Measured arpeggio, how to notate it?

• Dec 4, 2019 - 00:16

So, I have made some decent progress with my bagatelle, but there is something that I know I want but am not sure how to notate in Musescore(or even if it is possible). That is a measured arpeggio. Let me make things clearer. What I am wanting is something like this:

Measured Arpeggios.png

Except that instead of the 32nd note distance in the arpeggios shown above(which are from the Presto Agitato of the Moonlight Sonata), I am wanting an eighth note distance and I am wanting all the notes of the arpeggio tied to a half note. Also, as far as notes and how many of these arpeggios, I want 2 arpeggios, the first of which goes Bb, D, F, Ab, and the second of which goes Eb, G, Bb, Eb. If I want to lengthen the arpeggio to 3 bars, that's easy. I just go into note entry mode, make sure the half notes tied to the measured arpeggio are selected and then press the plus key and I will have lengthened the arpeggio.

The hard part is getting the measured arpeggio in the first place. A measured arpeggio is easy when you don't want to sustain the notes of the arpeggio across the entire arpeggio. It is hard when you do want to sustain the notes of the arpeggio across the entire arpeggio as I do in my bagatelle. As you can see from the Presto Agitato arpeggios above, there are 2 beams per note, 1 beam for the arpeggio in its entirety and another beam for the individual notes. Best way I know to get that is by having the first and second voice in unison and then making all the second voice notes silent.

But, I'm not sure that I can do that, because there are 4 voices in total in the Musescore software. Won't putting all the eighth notes in the first voice and then tying one of them to a half note cause the other eighth notes to disappear? So that would mean that I would have to use 4 voices for the eighth notes. Then how am I going to get my 4 eighth note beam? My bagatelle is at the bottom of the page and the arpeggios would start at measure 119.

How can I notate this sustained, measured arpeggio in Musescore(This would also help if I ever finish arranging the Moonlight Sonata for string quartet)? I have only seen such precise arpeggiation notation for sustained arpeggios in the Presto Agitato of the Moonlight Sonata, thus me using it as an example of measured arpeggios. Most sustained arpeggios that I see are notated as an arpeggiated chord, but I am wanting more precision than that with this bagatelle, thus me asking how to notate a sustained, measured arpeggio in Musescore.

Attachment Size
Bagatelle in Eb Major.mscz 52.5 KB


When I've see arpeggios like this notated in the past, all of the various length notes in your picture with the stem pointed up were missing, so you only had the 32nd notes tied to the longer note or only the longer notes with no 32nd notes. Both of these would be understood the same way as far as how to play the notes. My personal preference would be to omit the 32nd notes because the longer notes are clearer in their meaning.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

This has the first proposal in the second measure and the playback is fine.

Where the first proposal was previously, I have shown the basis of a quite complicated method to notate what is in the picture. I only notated the first arpeggio. For the second, you would place the 32nd notes in voice 2 of the top staff and use cross staff notation to move them down in a manner similar to what I did for the first arpeggio.

If I decided to enter this sample score into MuseScore, I would probably resort to the methods with the cross staff notation, but would never use this in original music.

Attachment Size
Arpeggio test.mscz 12.18 KB

In reply to by mike320

I don't know if this is the method that you used for the arpeggios that were all in the first voice, but this is what I did:

1) Wrote the eighth note arpeggio as normal
2) Wrote the chord the arpeggio is tied to as normal
3) Went note by note and pressed the plus key to add the ties

And I had no issues with notes disappearing when I added the ties.

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