Insert notes?

• Jun 9, 2011 - 08:17

First of all, this is probably the best notation program I've seen in a while. It neatly avoids the mind numbing complexity of some music programs, and while it needs some work, it's very exciting. I've used it for a lot of things, including quickly notating music I've heard in dreams before it fades away in the morning! When I'm in a bit better financial shape I'm defnintely going to contribute.

Question: how do you insert a note or rest between other notes?


Thanks for the kind words.
Currently you can't insert notes or rest in between other notes. And probably you don't want that. Think about a 4/4 measure with a 3 eighth notes triplet on the last beat and you insert a 8 notes on the second beat. What would happen to your triplet ?
If you really want to insert notes, you can use copy and paste.

In reply to by Nicolas

This is true, but suppose I didn't have a triplet? Suppose I accidentally deleted a note, or I wanted to add something else, which I frequently do? As it stands, I often have a situation in which a note is deleted and I’m stuck with an odd jumble of rests, which is a frequent complaint I’ve had with both MIDI and music notation software. I can’t get rid of them and I can’t insert a note in its place. Copy and paste strikes me as a poor substitute for an insert capability. Why not just create an Insert mode that is toggled with the INS key? After all, every word processor I've ever heard of (and I've used a lot of them) toggle the same thing that way.

In reply to by Andacar

There are a number of significant differences between a word processor and a notation program. The most relevant here is that in a word processor, if you insert letters, then *of course* you want the rest of the letters in your documents shifted to the right . That''s so obvious you don't even think about it. It's far from obvious in notation, though. If you insert a note in measure 4, do you *really* want every note in every other measure for the rest of your piece shifted to the right as well? No? Well, then now you're asking MuseScore to read your mind regarding how many notes you actually *do* want want to shift. That's why copy/paste is such an simple and direct solution - select the notes you want to move and move them yourself.

The way MuseScore "thinks" is fundamentally different from how a word processor "thinks". With a word processor, when you type a letter, it isn't assigned a permanent location on the page - it's understood that the letter will floating to the right or left as you add or remove letters before it. But with music, that's almost *never* what you want. When you enter a note, unless you are making a mistake - which you will make far fewer of as you get the hang of things - then that is the beat on which you intend that note to sound forever. You wouldn't 8want* changes earlier in the piece to move that note.

BTW, what *if* you deleted a note? Well, for *exactly* the same reaosn, MuseScore doesn't try to read your mind and guess how many notes you wanted to shift left to close up the space. So instead, MuseScoe leaves a rest there. Meaning, the answer you to your question is quite simple: if you accidentally delete a note - and it's too late to simple hit Undo - then just click the rest and replace it with the note you wanted there.

You'll see there have been a few other discussions about this sort of feature, but invariably, people start to realize its a lot more complicated than you'd imagine at first. But also, less important. Once you wrap your mind around how MuseScore "thinks" and how and why this is and must be fundamentally differently from a word processor, it becomes much easier to get things done.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

You said it yourself: ALMOST never. There's the justification right there.

Suppose I enter a simple sequence. CDEFG, 4 crotchets and a minim, 4/4 time. Now, I'm not perfect and miss out the D. This can happen quite a lot when I'm typing stuff in from a score. Your objection is that D cannot be inserted because EFG are already in the right place and cannot be moved. But that is not correct. EFG are all a beat too early and do not make musical sense, and this is true regardless of what complicated rhythm you care to pick: maybe it's 7 notes in the time of 4.5 starting exactly pi beats into the bar, if I've missed out a crotchet, then that whole rhythm is ALREADY in the wrong place.

Inserting the D and moving EFG up a beat fixes the problem completely. Yes of course we could copy and paste. But an insert is conceptually much easier to handle, because we're all used to the idea of word processors being able to insert and shove everything right. And if someone does use it wrongly, then it'll be immediately obvious and finding something to delete and close the gap is the obvious and simple solution.

Similarly we can justify a delete mode for the same reason. Maybe instead of CEFG I entered CDDEFG. The EFG are now also in the wrong place musically and need to be shifted left a beat to make them musically correct. The solution here is to delete the D and not leave a rest in its place.

What ths meeans inn practic iz thatt II can ennter ntes quckily adn nott wrry tooooooo mch about hw corrcet I've got it, which in practice won't be that bad but I'm exaggerating to make the point, then I can go back and fix that with insert/delete. Imagine you wanted to fix that first sentence in a word processor and only had copy and overwrite-paste available - how tedious would that be (and YES I already understand the difference between text and notes - what I'm doing here is putting the boot on the other foot, so to speak).

In reply to by dave2012

Yes, there are occasions where an insert mode would help save us a keystroke or two, and I hope to see it some day.

But while copy and paste might seem like an awkward workaround at first, once you've gotten used to it, it is actually quite simple. A grand total of four keystrokes (two to select the region to move, one to cut, one to paste). Adding an insert mode would still require two keystrokes (to toggle in and out of it), and there is still the matter that it would have to guess how many notes you wanted moved (just to the end of the measure or all the way to the end of the piece?), with a very good chance of guessing wrong.

Like many, I found MuseScore's behavior surprising at first (as a Finale user, I was accustomed to insert mode), but after just a little while, it started to become second nature. I now realize there is a reason Sibelius opted for this method, and a reason (well, several, actually) why Sibelius is considered easier to use than Finale.

So again, I do hope someday to see the option of an insert mode (including the delete functionality), but for newcomers to MuseScore who find this behavior surprising at first, I encourage you to give the existing use model a chance.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Actually that's not true. You would enter INSERT mode once for all notes you want to insert, whereas every single insert with copy/paste requires an individual copy and paste. That is much less efficient than you're making out.

So let's fix "What ths meeans inn practic" with INSERT and a DELETE that closes up the gaps:
insert i,e -> "What this meeans inn practice"
delete e,n->"What this means in practice"

So: enter insert mode, 4 changes, exit insert mode. Now let's make the same fixes with copy/paste:

copy/paste to open a gap for the i: "What thss meeans inn practic" (and this assumes there's no messing about creating a new bar for the end c to drop into)
replace s->i: "What this meeans inn practic"
copy/paste to remove the e: "What this means inn practicc"
delete the extra c: "What this means inn practic"
copy/paste to remove the extra n: "What this means in practicc"
delete the extra c again: "What this means in practic"

To me that makes the software more difficult and less intuitive.

In reply to by dave2012

Yes, in that particular example - whcih would be extremely rare in music rhat you,d just "forget" to enter so many notes scattered at random intervals like that - it is more work in the current model. But that doesn't tend to be the type of thing that happen in real life music editing. And in other cases, the current model is actually more *more* efficient and straightforward.

Consider, in you example, once you add the "i" to this, the whole rest of the line woild need to shift to the right. Notes would move from one measure to the next, and long notes wold need to be split up as shorter notes tied together in order to be notated correctly. For example, in 4/4, a half note starting on 3 shifted right by half a beat would need to be rewritted as a dotted quarter in that bar tied to an eighth in the next. But then, it you deleted a note, that teid note would have to be not only moved back to the original measure, but also rewrtitten as a half note.

Finale and other programs that provide some sort of insert mode don't do this because it is enormously com
Icated. They only move notes *within a measure*, meaning copy and paste is still need in you example to handle the rest of the noes that need moving. Worse, it,s not as simple amd straightforward an operation, because some notes are moved alrady, others are not. So just selecting what needs to be mived is awkward and difficult. And then you still have the problem that all your rhythms are now written incorrectly (eg, the half note needing to be rewritten as a tie or vice versa).

It,s an *enormously* complex problem that I don,t think analogies to how word processors work an even scratch the surface of. It,s really only in the very simplest cases that an "insert mode" could work at all, and it,s those simple case where there is only a keystroke or two that would be saved.

So yes, adding an insert mode would occasionally save a keystroke or two, and I support that. But as someone who has worked *extensively* with both types of programs - literally hundreds of pages of scores produced in both Finale and MuseScore, as well as other programs - I can say from considerable experience that in the long run, it doesn't really provide a large advantage, and really, overall, if I had to choose between one way or the other, there really can be no question the MuseScore method is easier overall.

In reply to by Andacar

Word processors commonly have both Insert and Overwrite modes. On the other hand, texts (on which word processors work) usually have only one stream (of characters, in this case).

Scores usually have multiple streams (several notes in a chord, several voices in a stave, several staves in a system); they also usually have measures (texts have nothing similar to measures: paragraphs of a text can have different lengths; measures usually are all of the same lentgh, unless you explicitly force them).

This is why MuseScore DO NOT have any insert mode; there are lots of occasions where inserting a note (assuming it was possible) would have unclear results on the context. The tuplet example is just one. A score with several staves is another, maybe simpler: if you insert a crochet in a stave, what do you expect to happen to the other staves?

Also, if you shift all the contents (all notes of all chords of all voices of all staves) of a given amount, say a quaver, to insert something, the result usually makes little musical sense (it depends on genres and styles, of course, but in most occasions, it would).

Copy and paste IS a poor substitute for inserting; mainly because inserting, with scores, creates more problems than it solves.

Editing of already entered music is not perfect in MuseScore but, in my opinion, adding an insert feature would not improve it considerably and would raise any sort of problems.

As an aside; you say "I’m stuck with an odd jumble of rests [...] and I can’t insert a note in its place". In fact, you can, by overwriting it/them with notes; for this specific point, you need overwrite mode rather than insert mode.

Comments, corrections and criticism are welcome!


Edit: cross-posting! Marc preceded me while I was writing this post, to say mostly the same things (only better!). Chances of the Net...

In reply to by Miwarre

I think a type of measure floating edit (someone else suggested it) has possibilities. What if MuseScore allowed a second voice to begin in the middle of a measure without having to insert rests up to that beat, enter the note, and then set the unwanted rests invisible? This is primarily for when two parts are temporarily unison or a second apart and both up and down stems are wanted for a short passage and the rest of the notes can share stems.

In reply to by JaimeWJr

I'm not quite following. It the two pars are only temporarily in unison, you'd be wanting the twovoices with opposing sems the whole way. If you're notating it as one voice using chords, there is no reason not to just keep doing that where the voices come together, since that would be understood tonot really be two compleely independent voices. And you wouldn't notate something that way for a choral part, as it wouldn't be at all clearto the reader if the person singing the part where the stem second stem shows up in the middle of the measure was supposed to rest up to that point or what. If you want there two be two independent parts, you've got to notate it in a way that someone reading the score can tell. And if you'renotating for piano, so it doesn't matter if they are seen as ondependent pars of not, then you don't need the opposing stems.

Situations where you wanta second voice toshow up mid measure docome up, but there are legitimate reasons why the default should be to show the rests. In the rarw cases where hiding them makes sense, as I've said before, it just isn't that hard to ener the rest then hide them. And it could be made easier via a shortcut,ora keytoentera hidden rest in the first place. I just can't see it being so important to save a couple of keystrokes in theserare corner case situations that MuseScore would need to implement a whole new note entrymethod. That's a huge amount of engineering effort that could better spent on practically anything else.

In reply to by JaimeWJr

There are two possibilities. If a new voice enters simultaneously with notes in an existing voice, the leading rests can be invisible, because the position of the new voice's first note vertically aligned with a note of the older voice tells when it starts. If the new voice enters during durations in all other voices, we need the leading rest(s) to tell us when.

In this little demo attachment, the green quarter rest is necessary. The yellow half rest could be invisible.

-- J.S.

Attachment Size
VoiceEntryDemo.mscz 1.67 KB

In reply to by John Sprung

Just because the first note of the entry of a second voice happens to line up with a note in another voice, that does not make it proper notation to omit the leading rests that would otherwise be required. There are some cases where that can be acceptable (like if this happens on beat 3 in 4/4 time) but it certainly isn't the norm. I know, this subject keeps coming up over and over here, but four centuries of existing practice and every textbook on the subject ever written are not things to be ignored lightly. That's why I keep saying, sure, the capability should exist for the rare situations where it is proper, but given that it already is possible, and not particularly difficult, I think it would be a mistake for any programmer to waste their time devising an entirely new input method just to make this rare situation very slightly easier to notate. A shortcut to create hidden rests would already be within a keystroke or two of as easy as it could possibly be, and would be much less effort to implement.

Two people have asked about it on IRC (within the past week I think, actually) and in these conversations, I've had continuous thoughts.

It might introduce complications and questionable output, and part of me thinks it's not a good idea to encourage (I agree with the majority of opinions here, who favour Overwrite). However, to appease users in a possibly feasible request, what if there were these two kinds of modes (Note Entry enabled, or otherwise): 'Overwrite' and 'Insert' (perhaps named something else)?

'Overwrite' seems to be what currently exists in MuseScore.

For 'Insert': If there are triplets that go over a bar, ties could be produced. If there's multi-voice notes, they could move along with the changes (although users could probably question this). Not sure about multiple instruments, however.

I don't think I'd use overwrite, but it could be popular for those who compose non-linear and appreciate the quickness, etc.

In reply to by chen lung

I can see some sense in an insert (and delete moving subsequent notes left) mode *within in a bar (measure)* and possibly only in the current voice, but the complications of allowing an insert mode to shift all the notes to the end of the piece, and possibly notes in other voices and on other staves, seem to me too great. Not only would it be very tricky to code, it could take a long time to insert a note (lots of processing power / memory required as all subsequent notes are shifted and recalculated with ties perhaps needing to be inserted and so on). And there would be huge scope for bugs in such a compex operation.

Allowing a shifting insert/delete within a bar would reduce those complexities to something manageable. But even that wouldn't remove the necessity for these discussions, and the necessity for newcomers to MuseScore to learn how to use cut/paste effectively!

In reply to by Jon Foote

Yes, absolutely we don't want an insert/delete mode that would alter the relationship between subsequent measures and their contents out to the end of the score. To have insert/delete shift things back and forth in time within a measure raises the problem of what to do when insert would push something out the end of the measure.

I'd suggest for that case that a special temporary measure be inserted following the one being worked on. Notes from our working measure could be stored and seen there. Deletes would merely fill out the end of the measure or the temp measure with rests. If we do both inserts and deletes that add up to the temp measure being nothing but rests, we would have the option to delete it.

-- J.S.

I actually started this thread a while back, and have thought carefully about how to respond to this. With all due respect I think you guys are falling into the trap of linear thinking, of assuming that if you use something a certain way that therefore everybody does. You have a large group of people who use this program for notation. They are using an existing piece of music that has been worked out before and thus are recopying it. In that instance, yes, certainly a straight line method of notation is the best. It is also the way programmers look at things; logically, rationally, scientifically.
However, I use this software mainly for composition, and the creative process simply doesn't work that way. Composers don't normally put a piece of music together in one straight line. I will usually have a half finished idea in my head that I will put down, then decide to go back and redo something, change things around, add something in the middle, delete stuff, etc. Several posts have said that this is a most unusual way to work. No it isn't.
You can argue all you want about what being able to insert notes will do to triplets or whatever, but I think you are missing the point. Right now MuseScore works in a way that is counterintuitive to the way I need it to work, and I suspect how a whole lot of people need it to work. If you just want it to be a program to notate music, that’s fine. But if you want it to be useful to composers you will have to either fix this problem or expect them to go elsewhere. That's just the bottom line guys.

In reply to by Andacar

Not sure where you got the idea that I am not composer, but I assure you, I am, and I have used MuseScore as well as Finale for hundreds of pages of original composition - not recopying of existing manuscripts. Again, as someone who has extensive experience with both types of software, I can say that the seemingly enticing idea of "insert mode" is *not* all it is cracked up to be, and you really are failing to see the enormous complications that make this not nearly as viable and useful as one might at first imagine. Yes, at first it seems there that just being able to insert notes would solve a lot of problems, and indeed, there *are* occasions when it is useful, so I do hope to see it some day. But again, I know from experience that it comes with enough problems that you often end up needing *more* manual work to fix things up again. It really oes not turn out to be a huge win in the long run - again, as someone who has composed literally hundreds of pages of scores using MuseScore and Finale, I do have some idea of what I am talking abut here.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

First of all Mark, I didn't say you weren't experienced. I don't doubt your experience, it's pretty obvious. But if you think it's such a problem, don't use it. Nevertheless, I've found MuseScore hard to work with in its current state. It strikes me as unnecessarily difficult to go back and change things around after I've gone over them, to insert something, etc. I see why it would be a problem just moving a whole section over, but there have been times when it would have been helpful.

In reply to by Andacar

LIke I said, you will find the alternative does not end up being very easy in practice either - editing notated music is just an inherently complex operation. It does take a little to get used to how iMuseScore works; I'd just encourage you to stick with it and tey to understand how it works and why it works that way. It will become more and more intutive as you go.

In reply to by Andacar

I like the idea someone had of a scratchpad that could be pulled up for playing around with a bar of music.

You could experiment with different rhythms etc without upsetting MuseScore's status quo and then when you were done, you could paste the result back into MuseScore.

It might also help me in the constant writing of unmeasured music which I do on a weekly if not daily basis during my work at St Michaels, particularly if it automatically adjusted the actual timesignature to what is in the altered bar.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Yes, that is a very good idea, with fewer complications, I suspect, than an actual insert mode. I could see it basically just creating a small MIDI file then importing it in place. But I also think a combination of both would be best - the "insert mode" to help with the simple cases for which it *can* help, the scratch pad mode for the more general experimentation for which the insert mode turns out to be a headache in programs like Finale.

I have read with interest the previous comments. I am new to Musescore and have inadertantly inserted or deleted notes. When I try to place my cursor in a given measure to add or remove a note, Musescore intuitively adjusts by adding extra notes or rests. The blue bar seems to act independently. I click on a measure and try to add a note at that location and it gets placed where the blue bar is positioned in a different measure. It would be very helpful to me to be able to control the location and timing of the notes.

In reply to by rgrobins

MuseScore never inserts notes. It always replaces whatever is at the cursor position. So you do have complete control - you just have to learn to think in terms of replacing (including use of copy/paste) rather than inserting.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I think MuseScore should have both modes.

In the normal mode, it always replaces whatever is at the cursor position, adding rests or splitting notes as needed, to make sure the measures are always closed and complete.

In the 'elastic' special mode, it would allow to insert notes, or change note values, do whatever you want and it would always expand or shrink the measure 'actual' size accordingly, so you can shape your phrases and your composition without destroying it all the time. Why not? We do it in paper...

It would even be possible to turn a selection of notes into another value, or into a tuplet, without having the typical hard time every other application has to add tuplets.

I know this is has been subject of a large discussion, and while there may be reasons for opposition, I don't think there's an argument strong enough against 'why not?'.

Maybe it's a matter of tolerance with new concepts, because of the way all music notation software traditionally work. Even beign innovative, Musescore is a reflection of what we have been used to in software the same way as word processors and 3D apps did (But see how Blender is changed!).

The only thing I know, as a composer (on both 4/4 arrangements and meterless contemporary music) is that this 'elastic mode' would work like a dream. I don't think MuseScore is bad - it's a wonderful application! It's very nice for transcribing and editing scores, it allows EVERYTHING and version 2.0 is just great! But the old paradigms of destructive editing it's bind to cut my inspiration in the more creative part of composing. Does it have to?

If I could write a melody, delete a portion without inserting rests, turn another part from 8ths into 16ths, turn the first note into a dotted quarter and then insert a rest... that would be a lot more like composing on paper, with the obvious advantage of not composing on paper.

Of course this is a personal opinion. And of course, for the time being, I am using CTRL-C and CTRL-V, and getting used to it! After all, we got used to Lilypond before MuseScore, weren't we?

In reply to by elerouxx

Hey elerouxx, thanks for your comment. I started this discussion over a year ago, and the general consensus seemed to be very much against this idea, so I have let it go. More recently I have been using Sonar LE for this, though the notation abilities aren't nearly as advanced.

In reply to by Andacar

I don't think the consensus is against the idea of adding an *option* to have another method of note entry. In fact, I think virtually everyone in the discussion supports this idea. The question is, given the fairly large programming effort it would take to implement, how should this be prioritized? I think most people would agree it is nowhere as important to have two different ways of achieving exactly the same result as it is to have any of a few dozen other things that currently *cannot* be achieved just as easily visa other methods. That is, given that the programming effort required to implement this could be more profitably spent on any of 20 other things (at least), I can't see giving up those 20 things just to get yet another way of entering notes.

But if some sufficiently motiviated person were to volunteer to code this up, I can't see anyone objecting.

In reply to by Andacar

That depends on who you ask, I guess. Quite a bit is already implemented for 2.0, but of the things that aren't have not yet been tackled, off the top of my head, the following all seem pretty high priority from my perspective:

- better automatic placement / positioning of symbols (this alone could occupy all programming effort for years)
- improvements relating to page formatting with lyrics
- improvements relating to lyric entry
- copy/paste improvements
- ossia support
- control over default beaming behavior
- support for playback-only staves or audio tracks
- playback support for more articulations
- playback support for gradual tempo changes
- customizable swing playback
- more playback controls
- native support for slash notation
- playback of chord symbols
- development of improved soundfont for more more realistic playback
- support for MIDI out and VSTi instruments for more flexible playback options

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes, it depends on who you ask,.

MuseScore 2.0 looks so promising. I see all my needs about contemporary notation virtually solved, with feathered beams and the ability to create your own symbols, hide bars and so on.

So I agree in the improvements on placement of symbols. Some of which could be improved with simple things, like the ability to select and move several elements at once.

For some reason I don't expect a lot of MuseScore playback, but it would be wonderful to be able to use VST instruments, maybe Rewire, and better algorithms to play articulations, trills, tremolos, dynamics and tempo changes, and other things (feathered beams again!).

But, if I am able to do something in the future about this 'elastic' note input, I'll try. I'd put this somewhere in the middle of priorities, because it would make MuseScore a great composing tool on the road. Not in my level right now, but I'm starting to look at the code and try fixing some bits, so who knows how far I can go in the future.

Today I am using Notion for writing music. it has an awesome playback and beautiful engraving, and most of all it's very intuitive in note entering, but it's not really a music publisher. So I export the composition to MuseScore for score editing and delivering.

In this site you can see a video of how Notion works, along with an old tablet PC and StrokesPlus gesture software (that I adapted to Notion with the help of Rob - Strokesplus creator). Setting aside the pen and tablet WOW factor, you can see how easy it is to write music on it, even with a mouse. Sorry, I didn't had time to edit the video properly, Rob rushed to put it on his site...

Btw, Marc, thanks again for your Jazz Improvisation Primer, such a great reading for (re)starting musicians like me.

I've just started using MuseScore (about 20 minutes ago!), and almost immediately found myself looking for an Insert mode. Instead, I found this thread, which I've read with interest, and now have a clearer idea of why it wouldn't be straightforward to implement.

I'm not a serious composer, I'm just looking for a straightforward way to get a tune down on paper, and it would suit me very well to get the notes down first then go back and figure out the rhythm. Is this what the 'scratchpad' idea mentioned above would allow you to do? And if so, is it on somebody's 'to-do' list somewhere?

I can see that MuseScore is a powerful piece of software with a huge range of features. The problem is that I'm probably never going to need most of these features, whereas the thing I really want - a simple, intuitive interface for scribbling down a tune - doesn't seem to be considered of much importance. It may well be that there's another bit of software out there that is much better suited to my (very limited!) needs - if that's the case, please can someone point me in the right direction.

In reply to by callytmk

I think you will find a fairly steep learning curve no matter which program you try. Most people consider their needs to be quite simple, but there are so many different needs that any notation program must be expanded to be quite complex.

Once you get used to it MuseScore is really quite easy and fast.

If you have not already, I suggest looking at this: and this:


In reply to by callytmk

I'd say MuseScore *is* a simple intuitive interface for scribbling down a tune - as long as you don't start with a preconceiven notion that this means putting the pitchs down first and the rhythms later (or are willing to put that preconceived notion aside). As long as you accet that rhythm is equally important and think of rhythm at the same time as pitches, things couldn't really be simpler.

But sure, someday, an additional mode that allowed for entry of pitches first would be nice too.

For what its worth: I am a computer programmer (C#/java) but also a trumpet player. I am not a composer, although I do make up songs all the time while I whistle to myself. One of my primary rules about writing software is to not impose artificial constraints on my users. In other words: I don't leave out a feature *simply because* I wouldn't use it that way. This is especially true if this "unnecessary" feature is trivial to implement. It is my job as a programmer to give users a tool that enables them to perform their task more quickly and easily. It don't feel it is my job to tell them what is best. Everybody is different and I prefer to allow them to be creative in how they use my applications (within reason of course). Many times their creativity gives me ideas on how to write a new feature that the masses can benefit from. With that said, I think the absence of an "insert" mode is an artificial constraint. Perhaps such a mode isn't "proper" but I contend that doing things differently is the basis of art. It is the core of creativity.

In reply to by Brian Murphy-Booth

This thread is quite old now and I don't think we really want to dig it up again without having anything to add which is genuinely new. I'm not sure you've the whole thing properly because, as is repeatedly stated above, this feature is in no way "trivial to implement".

Also, people did finally reach a consensus. (Nearly) everybody agreed:

  • an insert mode would be very useful in some situations, but
  • practical limitations mean that these situations are not as common as you might think.
  • Considerable programming effort would be required to implement it.
  • There are already other ways to achieve the same thing (e.g. Copy + Paste).
  • Developer time would be better spent on implementing features that MuseScore cannot do at all instead of features like this one for which a workaround is readily available.

Basically the idea hasn't been completely rejected, it's just been postponed until after other features have been implemented that are of more interest to the developers.

Quote: "It is my job as a programmer to give users a tool that enables them to perform their task more quickly and easily. It don't feel it is my job to tell them what is best."

MuseScore's developers are volunteers and are under no obligation to implement features no matter how popular they might be. However, MuseScore is an open source program so you are more than welcome to contribute and implement a feature yourself if you think it is worthwhile.

In reply to by shoogle

A very strong vote here for an insert note mode.

True everything after the insert would move down (right), but if insert mode also added a delete note capability, everything could be moved back (left) at a user selected point to compensate.
This exactly parallels how live sketching of musical ideas with after editing works for me.

Programming would simply entail scripting the copy/paste function.

In reply to by David Klasovsky

This is a very old thread. But I cannot find a way to insert/delete, and a google search lands me here, so ...

Here's why I need insert/delete instead of overwrite. Whether writing new stuff of transcribing from printed score, I don't like the "normal" way of adding notes one by one with a mouse. It takes forever. Yes, yes, I know, practice makes perfect, and I'll get faster if I keep at it. But I can already see that I'll never get as fast as the way I'm doing it now. Not if I practice for a hundred years.

How am I entering notes? I play it on a keyboard, record the midi file, and then import it in. Doing it EXTREMELY carefully, I can get most of the note durations correct. Most but not all. I change a dotted quaver to a quaver, and musescore inserts a rest. There's no way to just "pull" all the subsequent notes to the end of the song and close up the gap. I change a quaver to a crotchet, and the last note in the measure is liable to disappear. Swallowed by the immovable bar line. Copy/paste is NOT a workable substitute.

Great software. But this missing "insert mode" is a fatal flaw. It makes this wonderful program unusable.

Should it insert only to the end of the current measure or all the way to the end of the song? All the way to the end of the song, of course. Why'd you want it to only affect the current measure? If you only want that, you can just use the current overwrite mode and re-enter everything, or just insert, go to the end of the measure, and delete what you don't want to line everything up again.

If insert mode is hard to code, I suggest a simpler, easier to implement actually workable substitute. Sort of a like a "built in" macro. Have a few new buttons in the tool bar. Call the first one INS. Whatever the currently selected note duration is, pressing the INS button (or the INSERT key on the keyboard) will insert that amount of rest into the current cursor position, AND PUSH EVERYTHING to the end of the song forward. It is like "insert mode", but not really, you don't have to code this. You code it like a macro, as if the user do the "select everything from here to the end of the song", cut, add rest, paste. The user can then overwrite the rest with whatever he/she wants.

An INS-ALL-STAFFS button does the same thing, but instead of acting only on the current staff, it acts on all staffs. (maybe with the keyboard shortcut Shift-INS).

DEL and DEL-STFS buttons deletes the selected note(s), and gets rid of the gap instead of replacing them with rests.

In reply to by bobq

FYI, though, the mouse is *not* the "normal" way of entering notes - it is indeed very efficient. Instead, simply type them. See the Handbook in note input to learn more about how to use MuseScore. You shouldn't need to rely on recording a MIDI file and import if it - that's going to be much less efficient as well in most cases.

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