Rhythm input mode dotted notes

• Mar 16, 2017 - 16:20

I was testing the rhythm input mode to see how it works.

The first thing I tried to enter was a dotted 1/4 note. I pressed 5. and to my surprise I got a plain 1/4 note. I then entered my 1/8 note by pressing 4 and to may surprise I got a dotted 1/8 note. I pressed 4 a few more times and got a series of dotted 1/8 notes. This action is the opposite of what happens when you enter notes without rhythms. You cannot use this order in normal note entry mode. If you press a number for duration the dot becomes inactive until you press it again.

I started to just make this an issue, but decided some discussion might be in order.


This is actually the same behaviour as in normal input mode. In normal input you press "5" to *select* a duration, not to enter it into the score. You then press a letter (e.g. "C") to enter the note. If you then press a dot, it doesn't affect the note you just entered, only the subsequent notes.

So in rhythm mode, you press "5" to *enter* a note, and then when you press the dot only the subsequent notes are dotted, just like in normal mode.

In reply to by shoogle

That is not correct. When I want to enter a dotted 1/4 note in normal input mode I press "5 . a" (a is the note) to get a dotted 1/4 note, not ". 5 a" which will give me a 1/4 note with no dot. In the rhythm input mode I press "5 ." and get a 1/4 note as soon as I press "5" then the dot waits for the duration of the next note. What I expect from rhythm input mode is "5 ." will give me a dotted 1/4 note, not ". 5"

In reply to by mike320

Yes, Mike.
I also tested it and it's not very useful.
Perhaps, like the note entry, we need an extra key for input: select the rhythm and press the required key. (Because of the dot must be reset when we press any number key.) Example: 5. (0) 4 (0) 4. (0) 3 (0) (or Enter, Right-arrow)

Otherwise, we have to keep track of something because of the constant dot.
I don't want my mind to stick to this thing all the time.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

I would be happy with "5." making a dotted 1/4 note without having to press anything else. If i'm going to press another button I might as well press the note.

It will become very confusing if I try to switch between the two methods of note entry. I have sections of music I would prefer to enter this way to avoid having to manually change octaves of every note I entered, but I wouldn't use it with the current method because it would slow me down because the automatic movement of my fingers I've learned would be messed up. I wold be force to slow down and think about every note and rhythm I enter.

I realize shoogle wrote the code for this and wants to think he did it perfect, but feedback from others is often useful. Unfortunately not much will be coming until it is released and the forum is inundated with people point out this bug.

In reply to by mike320

I don't necessarily mind changing it so that pressing the period does dot the previous note, but then I would also make it so that the dot only lasts for that note and you have to press it for every note. I don't think it makes sense for the dot to apply to the previous note *and* the next note, it's got to be one or the other.

But what do you think of this proposal to use a modifier key to enter rests or dotted rhythms? The idea is that pressing numbers enters notes in straight rhythms (like now), but if you hold Alt then you enter rests instead of notes, or if you hold another key (e.g. Shift) you enter dotted rhythms. This way it is obvious when the dot applies and when it doesn't.

In reply to by shoogle

My expectation is that the dot would not be persistent like it is now. Dotted 1/4 followed by an 1/8 note is far more common than running dotted 1/4 notes (which are common in 8 time).

Using the Alt key to change the note to a rest makes sense to me. Holding down the shift key to add the dot makes sense to me. It is absolutely in line with the shift-q and shift-w being worked on.

I guess that makes alt-shift-# gives you a dotted rest.

This proposal I believe is very good.

It would be a slight adjustment, but easier than reversing the order of the dot and duration with this method as opposed to regular note entry.

In reply to by mike320

The scenario is:
Let's say we hit 5 and it's a quarter note.
Then we hit the dot and this note was dotted.
Now we hit 5; dot should be reset automatically and new quarter note is appears.
Two dotted quarter and one quarter:
5. 5. 5
Yes there is a possibility: in this case, data entry can be done without the need for an extra key.
Whenever a 0-9 key is pressed, the dot must be reset.
Or, when the dot is pressed, the dot must be added and immediately turned off.

What if the user hits the dot more than once?
Maybe the note should go back to its original state (without dot). Or nothing should happen. (extra input should be ignored)

So why do I write these? : /

Maybe someday the new code will appear magically. :)

PS: I always enter notes and values together. I do not need this input feature.
But: This Code is written with time and effort. Our feedbacks can make it even more perfect.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

I didn't realize q & w work the same in the rhythm input. Since I figured it out by trial an error, I didn't try q & w. The shift q & w would make the dots mostly irrelevant. I have a shortcut for double dots I use when needed that works the same as other dots currently do.

I have been using the AutoHotkey Script (that I posted a few days ago) and find it to be a very natural method for Rhythm Entry. The left-hand rests on the Ctrl-Win-Alt keys while the right-hand is placed on the number pad with the middle finger over key 5 (the quarter note).

To enter a Note: press the desired number key.
To enter a Rest: hold down the Win key while pressing the number key.
To enter a Dotted Note: hold down the Alt key while pressing the number key.
To enter a Dotted Rest: hold down the Win and Alt keys while pressing the number key.

In other words, the Win key selects Rests, and the Alt key adds a dot.

I have also included a Tuplet feature. Having just entered a duration (note or rest): holding down the Ctrl key and selecting a number applies the appropriate tuplet value. This is the standard MuseScore shortcut.

I have added three further control-key options: Ctrl+Alt+H displays a Help Box; Ctrl+Alt+S suspends/resumes the Hotkeys (so that the normal MuseScore short cuts can be used); and Ctrl+Alt+ X exits the script.

With a little practise, I have found that you can 'play' the keys like a piano and enter the rhythm almost in 'real time' while reading the score.

Why not give the script a try and see how you get on. If it is sufficiently liked, perhaps it could be adopted in a future MuseScore release.

In reply to by shoogle

I have updated the AutoHotkey Script to work with MuseScore 2.1. I am still very happy with the flexibility and ease of use it offers in conjunction with the Rhythm mode.

The attached zip file includes the Script (*.ahk), a Listing (*.pdf), and an Executable (*.exe) which does not need AutoHotkey to be installed.

I'm still hoping that someone will try the Script and provide me with feedback, but so far, there has been no response :>(

Attachment Size
MuseScore_Hotkeys_v1.1.zip 754.04 KB

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