Issue: How to disable program's automation and manually edit notes?

• Jun 27, 2012 - 11:34

Version: 1.2
Revision: 5470
Platform: Windows 7 Professional Edition

How can I disable the program's automatic editing where it add rests?

Let me make the edits manually, select the measures, and click a tool to "proofread" my edits.

Simple note/rest edits that should take seconds end up being 20 min. battles and the changes I'm trying to make are still not done. I give up, very frustrated.

Sometimes computer program's hinder more than help and this is certainly one of those times.


The trick is to learn how note entry actually works - go with the flow ather than fighting it. It's actually quite simple once you "get" it. Specific examples would help - you explain what you want, we explain how to get the job done. The process actually is quite manual, but you have to learn to think in terms of *music* rather than *graphics* - ie, notes don't ever change time position unless *you* change them. You always replace, never insert or delete. And coy/paste is your friend.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, thanks for the quick reply.

So you know, I DID work through the manual tutorial on Note Entry and the How-To video on Note Entry before I asked for help here. But the Tutorial and the vids only tell how to do note entry; not note editing. Shorten the value of any note in a measure and now you have unwanted rests to deal with. I was never thinking in terms of "graphics", only music timing.

Scenario: A 4/4 piece that someone else created and uploaded to I want to slightly modify the rhythms they used. The measure currently has 1 quarter note, 2 eighth notes, and 2 more quarter notes. I want the first quarter note dotted, followed by 2 sixteenth notes, and the remaining quarter notes to stay as they are (for now). A simple edit, right?!

Adding a dot to the first quarter note exceeds 4 beats, which the program won't let me do (or will it?!) until I "relieve" some time somewhere else in the measure. I change an eighth note to a sixteenth note and a 16th note rest appears to take up the slack timing. Now I change the other 8th note to a 16th note and another rest appears. Dotting the first quarter note and getting rid of the unwanted rests is now a new problem to solve.

What am I doing wrong? Thanks in advance! John

In reply to by johne1

work that measure backwards:
- leave the last 2 quarter notes
- change the last eigth into the 2 16th you want
- change the 1st quarted to a dottet quarter

The program will allow you to change the 1st quarter to a dotted one, but that will overwrite the 1st eigth.

This is not a text editor, where the removal of a letter makes there rest of the line move one step back.

In reply to by johne1

A few observations:

The reason there is no separate discussion of how to edit in the documentation is that there is no separate set of procedures to learn - editing is done the same basic way as note entry. Somply type the new notes directly over the old ones; the news one will replace the old. For small edits, that's always going to be more deficient than learning some arcane series of commands to transform one thing into another. But the two important things you *can* do in that respect are, when *not* in note entry mode, you can chane length of a note (which does *not* chane the time position of other notes), and you when you do wish to change time position for a note or notes, you can use copy/cut/paste.

The respect in which it seems you are thinking graphically rather than musically is that you seem surprised that shortening a note results in a rest being added. But that rest is musically necessary to keep the subsequent notes in their original time position. When you enter a note, it is at a specific time position, and MuseScore won't change the time position of any note unless you ask it to directly. Not indirectly by changing, by something that came earlier; directly, by copy/cut/paste. A graphics ram would see no need to add the rest, but a musical program does - it is the way to avoid inadvertantly changing the time position of subsequent notes.

In your specific example, the simplest answer is to lengthen the first note (while not in note entry mode), then simply retype the two sixteenths. A grand total of six keystrokes after clicking the measure: dot, right arrow, N, 3, then the two notes. Sure, some other scheme might save a keystroke or two, but it's hardly going to make a big difference overall.

For edits that are ore complex than this, then copy/cut/paste is your friend as I said. Had those eighths been big chords wih accidentals or other adjustments, so simply retyping them would be more than two keystrokes, you could use cut and paste to avoid re-entering the notes. First turn the eighths into sixteenths by clicking and pressing 3, then cut cut and paste them from their current time positions to their new time positins, then lengthen then first quarter.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc, I have exactly the same problem but I'm not trying to enter anything. I converted a not so difficult piano score to musicxml and read it into MuseScore for the purpose of adding a baseline and fingering and changing a few notes/chords/grace notes.

Its a giant mess. Every measure has goofy alterations from the original score. The measure I'm currently working on is a good example of how things go badly wrong when trying to fix this with MuseScore.

The piece has a time signature of 6:4. Somehow, this is not 10:5. There is a chord missing in the treble and there are additional rests in both the treble and bass. I need a way just to fix the errors. In order to do this, the simplest way is to make multiple changes before MuseScore applies it's rules on how a measure should be constructed. If I change one element at at time, bad things happen. Notes get pushed to the next measure, or rests get added at the end of the measure, or notes disappear spontaneously etc. etc.

There seems no obvious way to make simple corrections, which requires that I do exactly what you say cannot be done (you mean this limitation is a feature?) The edits would be quite simple if MuseScore didn't keep second guessing every change I make, and altering the score in unacceptable ways.

Yes, I've fixed some other measures with cut and paste etc etc but it's not straightforward and simply not feasible from a time standpoint. I have 50 pages to edit like this and entering it from scratch would be far too time consuming, since I already have all the notes available. As was pointed out, simple edits can easily take 20 minutes as we try to outsmart the automatic features of the program and sneak up on a way to make it work. Ugh.

I would post the score except it's copyrighted by the transcriber (I purchased my copy).

How about a command that temporarily disables all automatic features of MuseScore while we fix the measure by making arbitrary deletions and insertions until it looks correct, then have Musescore check to see if we got it right?

I'm not trying to improve on the score except for a few edits here and there. I'm not entering anything. I'm just trying to get the broken musicxml score to look like the original. Should be simple, just a few tweaks to each measure - except the program constantly gets in the way.

Any chance of a new command that lets the user actually edit a measure (or the whole piece in my case) without constantly clobbering correct repairs to the score?

I've done comparable things with other software and not had problems like this. With OCR software, I've captured legal documents and then had no problem making the needed corrections in Word without any second guessing of grammar etc. It was quick and just a bit of effort. This should be similar, but it's not....

Thanks for your help.

In reply to by bluegs

Sounds like most of our problems stem from a bad PDF import, so I would start by posting issues to the support forum for the software that produced the importer (Audiveris, if you tried the experimental service used by MuseScore).

After that, it sounds like you tried some things that don’t work. That’s not surprising, lots of things don’t work, especially if the things you try are based on how some other program works. Different programs work differently to be sure. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that would have worked better. In fact, almost certainly there are. We just can’t begin to guess without more information.

So I suggest you try again with a score you can post here, and if you run into problems, start a new t he was and ask for assistance. We’re always happy to help.

Saying you want “all automatic features” disabled isn’t practical. Does that literally mean you don’t want staff lines drawn for you, don’t want clefs or barlines drawn, etc? No, it’s just a matter of understanding how to work with the features provided. Again, we’re happy to help. So I look forward to doing so in the new t he was you start with a sample score and questions and about how to make specific edits!

In reply to by bluegs

There seems no obvious way to make simple corrections, which requires that I do exactly what you say cannot be done (you mean this limitation is a feature?) The edits would be quite simple if MuseScore didn't keep second guessing every change I make, and altering the score in unacceptable ways.

If there is one thing MuseScore never does, it is second guessing a change you make. It does only what you ask it and nothing more. And it is very rigid in changing as little as possible of the existing notation when you do so.
So if you ask it to "change this 1/8th to a duration of 1/4th" that (and only that) is exactly what will happen. MuseScore will not 2nd guess that you wished to also lengthen the measure; but only for this instrument at this position and not for all other instruments of that same measure (or at least not in the same spot within the measure) etc..
It does exactly what you ask it to do: only change the duration of that note.

Now, I understand that in some cases, (especially single instrument scores) a more time-fluid way of editing is desired. Have a look at using "note input: insert mode" in which edits will alter measure durations. And starting with 3.5(.1?) deletions will also be more consistent with that. Marc recently made a code change request in that aspect.

Sometimes with a text editor it is more efficient to delete the improper text and retype it instead of editing. Don't be afraid to just delete the problem measures and re-enter if it looks like a better idea.

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