select, copy and paste of a single voice in a staff with more voices

• May 1, 2009 - 14:20

Choir-scores frequently have two staffs in which two voices are combined in one staff (Soprano and Alto in the upper staff, Tenor and basso in the lower staff). It would be nice to select one voice at a time and copy, edit and paste this voice seperately (e.g. in a temporary staff).


I want to be able to copy one voice and past wherever. Furthermore, it would be really good to be able to copy one set of notes in a voice and then paste them into a new voice.

Also, copy should be made to work for single notes when selected, even within a voice that has more notes at the same time.

Anyway, I've found a workaround for now about copy/paste which involves copying the section to blank measures, exchanging voices to get the voice I want to deal with in either voice 1 or other depending upon what I'm doing, and then pasting where I want and re-exchanging voices where necessary. I don't have the exact order of the workaround, but it's possible, I got it to work.

In reply to by wolftune

This is how I combine 4 parts (SATB) in separate staves into a two-staff notation. The process seems involved on the paper, but I find it rather clear while doing. The trick is to go bottom-up, i.e. start with the lowest part of each staff and go up. The following assumes:

*) Source: you have the four voices in separate staves
*) Destination: you have a two-staff system (piano-like) with no music yet

  1. Select and copy the Bass part (left-click the first note, [SHIFT]+left-click the last note, press [Ctrl][C])
  2. Paste the part into the left-hand staff (click the first rest of the left-hand staff, press [Ctrl][V])
  3. On the left-hand staff, exchange voice 1 and 2 (use the menu: "Edit | Voices > | Exchange voices 1 and 2"); now Bass is in the voice 2 of left-hand staff
  4. Select and copy the Tenor part
  5. Paste the part into the left-hand staff; now Tenor is voice 1, Bass is voice 2 and the left-hand staff is done
  6. Select and copy the Alto part
  7. Paste the part into the right-hand staff
  8. On the right-hand staff, exchange voice 1 and 2; now Alto is in the voice 2 of right-hand staff
  9. Select and copy the Soprano part
  10. Paste the part into right-hand staff; now Soprano is voice 1 and Alto is voice 2
  11. And the process is complete.

    Note: Keys are for Windows/Linux
    Note: Don't worry about the orientation of note stems (up or down) during the process and leave them as they are: once you save and re-load the work, all stems will orient properly.

    You can easily adjust the process if you have more (or less) than 4 source parts and/or more (or less) than 2 destination staves: start from the bottomest part and accumulate them from bottom up, exchanging 'down one notch' each part already pasted in the same staff before pasting a new voice in that staff. I have used this process several times on 0.9.5, 0.9.6 and, always without problems.

    Hope it will help.


In reply to by wolftune

works independently for the rests - but if one has copied notes from another line, whatever one does to the new part gets done to the one one has copied from, too. So if I wish to copy and move a part to another instrument, when I go to delete the old part, the new one is deleted, too!


In reply to by hemus

By trying things with the various contextual menus, regular menus, and individual clicking of items, you can get done what you need. Still, there's a lot of room for improvement. There ought to be a way to get voices moved around better, and we'll probably see that in the future.

In reply to by wolftune

I usually manage to find ways round, and I did this time.
It's the same with all the music programs I've used - there are always things one would like in a certain way, and I can usually find a way to do them!

I was wondering if I'd missed something (I don't think I have) or it could be a bug in certain situations (it may be) - if it repeats I'll post it on the bug-board!

When I had a mac I used Encore - this program produces even better-looking scores, and, is as intuitively easy as I felt Encore was (is.) I suspect that as MuseScore grows into fullness, it will become the natural choice of many.

Thank you. It's already a really good program!

John Overton

In reply to by peter12171

Using MuseScore 1.0, Ubuntu 10.10.
Starting from a staff containing 2 voices, I can select the first voice (right-click on a note Select -> More -> same voice), but I can't copy and paste the selected notes. So it's impossible split the two voices in two separate staves.
Is there another workaround?

In reply to by Nicolas

Lasconic, thanks for your suggestion, but there are still some problems.
1. When, for example, I paste both voices and I delete the 2nd voice (right-click on a note Select -> More -> same voice and same staff), the notes of the this voice are replaced with rests. I know that it's possible to set invisible these rests, but at the end in the score there will be a lot of not desired symbols: it's not “clean job” especially if I start from a score with 4 voices.
2. A little bug (I suppose) using Ubuntu: when I select the voice (right-click on a note Select -> More -> same voice and same staff), at first appears that this method of selection does not work (it seems that I have selected only the first note and the “Delete” key does not work), I have to change the current window to display the selected notes of the voice. This occur using MuseScore 1.0 with Ubuntu 10.10, not with Windows XP.
Best regards

In reply to by antoniomarchionne

Regarding 2.:
when a voice is selected (right-click on a note Select -> More -> same voice and same staff) no indication appears that this is selected. Neither copy or cut works. Only when press fn + delete the whole voice gets deleted, which is what is expected.
Mac OS X 10.9, musescore 1.3 revision 5702

Any ideas?

In reply to by georgid

Copy only works with range selections, not list selections of individual items (which is what select / more does). Actually, in 2.0 beta/nightly builds, there is limited support for copy of certain types of list selections - chord symbols, lyrics, and articulations for example can be copied and pasted from one passage to another.

What exactly are you trying to do? Chances are, there is another way to get the job done.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Deleting rests.
SATB (original) into SSAATTBB (new score)
Copy all of the Soprano line and past into 1. the NEW Soprano 1 line - AND into 2. the NEW Soprano 2 line.
On the NEW Soprano 1 line delete ALL of the copied Soprano 2 part. This will leave rests where notes have been deleted. HIGHLIGHT all of the NEW Soprano 1 line and then click on the number "1" at the top of the page (1 2 3 4 on the 2nd line) or Ctrl+Alt+1 - and all the notes on that line will then be Voice 1 with the rests being Voice 2. Hold down the Alt key and Click on the 1st rest then the last rest. Press DELETE and all the rests will be deleted PLUS the note stems and beams will be aligned to the correct orientation. Repeat for the 2nd Soprano and the other ATB lines.

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