Time Signature Changes

• Nov 25, 2011 - 23:58

Can I change the time signature across a block of measures. ie highlight several measure and change the time signature within the highlighted measures.

When I try it only seems to change the 1st highlighted measure only.


I don't think you can, as that would go against one of the basic principles of how MuseScore works.

The first basic concept around which MuseScore works is that there should never be too many or too few beats in the bar, and changing the time signature across a block of measures would breach this rule.

TBH i'm not sure why you would want to do this anyway? A time signature is a very basic thing in terms of composing - one wouldn't normally suddenly change a section of a piece already written from 3/4 to 4/4! The only scenario I can envisage is changing a section heavily infestes with triplets into compound time.

But maybe this is what you want to do.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist


Many thanks for your reply. It's not the notes I want to change. Only empty measures. An example being is a lot of tunes I deal with are straight forward 18 bars (2 sections of 8 bars with a lead in) in 4/4 2/4 6/8 etc. I was trying to see if I could just re-use a page from another tune by block deleting all the notes, then do a block change on the time signature to that of the new tune and then enter the new notes, Save it with a new file name. Thereby keeping all the page formatting, spacings new lines, new pages etc all in the same place for the new tune without having to think about any of those settings. It's what I did using other software. I suppose the follow on question would be, can I create a standard template and then choose the time and key signatures at the time of using the template?

Regards, Brian Fisher

In reply to by db.fisher@live.co.uk

Sure, you can choose the time and key signature every time tou use a template - it's one of the dialogs in the new score wizard. Definitely, creating a template is what you want to do here.

But to answer your original question, while you can't apply a tome signature to just a range, you can apply one at the start and another at the end. Whoch amounts to exactly the same thing if the measures are empty. It's only in the case where some of the measures already contain notes where there might be a difference.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

There are many compositions that contain multiple time signatures. Half of the songs we play in our community band go from 4/4 to 3/4 to 5/8, etc. So I must be really confused.

I swear I've done this before and it's worked fine. I get to a point in the composition and I change the time signature, and the empty measure after this all change to the new time signature. But it's not working now and when I looked it up, I see here that this is viewed as something that would not happen. I would have started a new question except that I've seen people beat up for putting it in the wrong section and since this is the same question I have...). Maybe someone knows what happened.

In reply to by dreemsnake

Actually you would have done better to start a new thread as it is easier for people to see, but never mind :)

Regarding your problem:-

You are misunderstanding the issue here.

My reply further up was assuming that there would be notes already in the bars where the time signature change was required.

You should be able to assign a new signature in the way you describe by dragging one off the palette onto the bar where you want to change it.

Is this not working for you?

Maybe you should attach the score and give us the MusScore version number to see what is going on.

In reply to by dreemsnake

The way it works is that inserting a time signature all measures from that point up until the next time signature change. So if a song starts in 4/4 but change to 5/4 at bar 20, then you add a 3/4 at bar 7, the result is that bars 7-19 would be in 3/4 and then it keeps the change to 5/4 at bar 20.

In other words, it works pretty much the same way as a pencil would. If you had already written in 5/4 at bar 20 then wrote in 3/4 at bar 7, that's exactly what it would mean.

I created the score and used the 4/4 default by mistake. I started entering my notes an realized my mistake. I deleted my notes, dragged the 3/4 time signature to the first measure. Result: first measure is 3/4, rest is 4/4. Can I change the whole score to 3/4, or do I have to start from scratch?

I went from 3/4 to 4/4 ok. spent HOURS putting in more notes.
Then noticed 4/4 had been written twice by Muse.
So i deleted one of them.
10 mins later, i noticed Muse has wiped out half my score
& i am not able to get it back!
My experience, so far, is that Muse does all sorts of crazy things.
Doesn't Muse have any safety checks?
Or save earlier versions you can go back to?


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

thanks jojo for the info.
however, there are no other files listed alongside my current song file.
it took a long time to find (not obvious) a tab called "previous versions".
here, it listed only very old verions, the latest being 1 wk old!
What about all the work i did yesterday? that would still be lost with this version.
thanks, anyway,

In reply to by henri-t

Are you on Mac or Lonux? Your system might be set up to hide files starting with a period. Assuming you saved your work at some point, that backup files has got to be there. MuseScore never doesn't create it that I know of.

In reply to by henri-t

In which case, if you are looking in the same folder as the main score itself, the backup has got to be there - unless you inadvertently deleted while fumbling around trying to figure out what happened.

I know when you first use a new program, it seems it is doing all sorts of crazy things, but you should consider the possibility that it really is just a matter of you learning how it works.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks 4 your interest.
Yes, i am new to the program & still learning/ making mistakes.
I have one back-up copy of my song in the main folder.
But only 10mins old. no real difference.
The mistake which wiped out lots of notes, happened the day before.
So i am stuck.
I reported this to Muse, but have not had an answer as yet.

In reply to by henri-t

Not sure what you mean when you say you reported this but have no answer - there have been responses to this thread, have there not? As far as I can tell, you haven't posted anything anywhere else - not there is any more appropriate place to post. If you have something else to report, I would suggest starting a new thread here instead of piggybacking on a mostly unrelated thread from a couple of years ago - and to get really picky, do it in the "Suppot" forum rather than "General Discussion".

MuseScore creates multiple backup, and so does WIndows, I guess. The WIndows ones are probably the ones from a week ago; I don't really understand how that facility works. The backup I mentioned is the one MuseScore creates when you first open a file, but if the problem happened the previous day, then indeed, this isn't what you want. You'll want one of the backups it creates automatically every couple of minutes. I believe these are found in:


but I'm not clear on how long these are preserved or how that works exactly

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