Better looking triplet designation?

• Sep 24, 2012 - 15:41

Hi: This may be a feature request. I just used the "tuple" option to create a triplet of 3 eighth notes. It works just fine but the only way you know it's a triplet is because it adds a number "3" above the middle note. This looks a little like a fingering number and there's no bracket or anything over or under the 3 notes to group them as a triplet. Can anything be done to make the triplet more obvious? Thank you ever so much. I love this software! JHJ


Rightl-click on the tuplet -> Tuplet Properties and switch from auto to bracket. (or whatever it is in the english version)

Or "unbeam" them..

Do note, though, that while you *can* do this, it is not recommend. Music a century ago or more used to be typeset that way - with curved lines that were easily mistaken for slurs - but modern editors are practically universal in declaring that brackets should be used only if the triplet contains a rest or otherwise cannot be easily understood by beaming and the number alone. Which is to say, MuseScore is following standard rules of notation here, and you really shouldn't override them with a reallly good reason (like, you are trying to make an exact copy of a 200 year old manuscript).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Modern editors may not realize that my beginning students need bold clarity when it comes to something like a triplet. They're learning concept and sight reading and things need to be super-obvious. My position is to make things so obvious that no debate is required. A simple "3" is easily missed or mistaken for fingering so I need more. I'm the type who might hire a brass band if that will remind my students so they can learn. Less is not always more. The solution to right-click and use the tuplet editor is what I needed. Thanks to all. JHJ

In reply to by JimJPiano

Yes, if you are specifically writing pieces for beginning students, that could indeed be a reason to disobey the standard rules of notation and do something one thinks beginning students might find easier. Just like putting letter names inside note heads, coloring note heads, etc. I just wanted to make sure you were aware that what you are asking for really is non-standard and should not be thought of as "better looking" in general.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I have a good understanding of traditional hand-typesetting practices of classical piano music from past centuries up to the digital era, and I've seen no evidence that tuplets were set out with anything resembling MuseScore's 'bracket' option (i.e., a bracket spanning the dimension of the group that could possibly be mistaken for a slur).

Instead, the numeral was horizontally centered above or below the group. The numeral (and only the numeral) was displayed with a symbol that resembled a rotated close-parenthesis -- 90 degrees to the left and above the numeral if it was placed above the tuplet group, and 90 degrees to the right and below the numeral if it was placed below the gruop of notes.

The numeral itself was italic and large/bold enough that it would never be mistaken for fingering or anything other than a tuplet indicication.

In reply to by [DELETED] 448831

Not an expert, I've seen several variations in music I've played, as a musician. Some are flowery and excessive and some are minimalist. Of course, the main requirement of all notation is clarity because, after all, the musician needs to recognize and act on it very quickly. I appreciate the bracket. I think we can retire this discussion, now. Thank you. JHJ

In reply to by JimJPiano

I'm not sure why would would say that. MuseScore seems to strive to be able to emulate traditional typesetting practices in virtually all regards, and tuplet notation -- at present -- in one area in which it fails.

In reply to by [DELETED] 448831

I agree, it's worth discussing, even if the OP's concerns are now met.

Steve, I am having trouble picturing the specific look you are describing in terms of the 90 degree parenthesis that somehow doesn't look like a slur as the old-fashioned / obsolete triplet marking I am familiar with does. Could you provide examples? It actually sounds like we are talking anout the same thing, but you don't see the potential for confusion with a slur for some reason?

Anyhow, I agree that the old-fashioned / obsolete curved bracket I am familiar with from very old editions should be an option, but it *is* possible to create it, simply by adding slur, which to my eyes looks identical to what I think we both talking about. Is the difference some subtlely of the tapering and positioning of the ends, as it is with slurs versus ties? Or maybe you are referring to the fact that in some editiors, the slur is "broken" in the middle (just as MuseScore's bracket is) to make room for the number? I've seen it with and without this break. You can create that broken look in 2.0 by explicitly setting the background color of the number to be white.

But in any case, it still seems we are talking about corner case usage, where you are deloberately mimics and older style of notation. So saying MuseScore "fails" at tuplets is overstating the case. MuseScore meets the modern standards for tuplets by default, and it is already *possible* to create ancient styles as well. But yes, it could certainly be easier.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Sure, Mark. Examples are abundant, so my goal was to tind instances where tuplet numerals with rotated close-parentheses (both above and below the tuplet groups) exist within a relatively small snippet.

This one, from Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9 No. 3, published by G. Schirmer, shows a septuplet, 14-plet and a quintuplet (the latter of which is itself within a slur): tuplet example 9-3.jpg

The folllwing link is to the first page of Chopin's Mazurka Op. 6 No. 1, in which there are multiple examples of triplets typeset in this same manner.


FWIW, I didn't mean to imply that MuseScore fails at tuplet notation (which is manifestly untrue!). My remark was restricted to this one visual aspect of the appearance of the numeral itself.

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In reply to by [DELETED] 448831

MuseScore hasn't failed but, for my students, an extended slur marking or bracket clarifies the intent of the numerals and makes the notation easier to read at a glance. I would recommend, in a future release, that MuseScore consider offering more than the tuplet notation styles now available. Until then, what is offered already is sufficient, I think. JHJ

I am hanging this question on at the end of this thread. It belongs here and I am hoping someone would have a tip. I am working on a piece with lots of triplets and now -- about in the middle of it -- I decided I'd rather like the little 3s eliminated except maybe for the first measure of each group of triplets (I am eliminating the brackets by hand as I am going along, I find them ugly--which is bad in the otherwise optically appealing picture of a Musescore-score--I have never seen them anywhere else either). All those 3s clutter up the picture (this is a piano score, hard to play, with lots of notes and dynamics); also the already mentioned clash with fingerings is a problem. It is mostly blindingly obvious that they are triplets, at least to someone who can play the music in the first place.

Can I find a way to make the triplets by default "naked" so I can decide to ADD the 3s if needed them rather than the other way around (I took them out one by one going through the score in an earlier project and I don't feel like doing that again....)? I tried to set the color to "colorless" in the style > text > tuplet section, but it didn't take (I can successfully do it with an individual tuplet that I select though...).

Thanks for any tips in this regard!

In reply to by azumbrunn

It is indeed possible to affect all existing tuplets at once after the fact as suggested above. Would still be nice to be able to set the defaults ahead of time, though. This kind of goes along with being able to set beaming defaults - another common request that makes sense to me.

BTW, regarding brackets - the most commonly used modern publishing standard calls for brackets to be used in any case where there is not a beam connecting the notes. That is, for tuplets that incorporate quarter notes, half notes, or rests of any kind. If a piece is primarily triplets - eg, it really probably should have just been written in 12/8 instead of 4/4 - then indeed, it would be common to omit any brackets along with the 3's. Otherwise, unless you have aspecific application or context in mind where you know the lack of brackets won't cause trouble, you probably are doing the readers of the score a disservice if you remove them. Brackets are the standard visual cue musicians use to figure out what is part of the tuplet and what is not in cases where the beaming doens't make this obvious.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks to both of you! This piece has triplets as well as even numbered rhythms, sometimes simultaneous. In a score or piano part it is mostly obvious where the triplets are since there are often other notes/rhythms in other voices. My piece is in 3/4. I beam the 8th notes one beam a bar and the triplets one beam a triplet i.e. three beams a bar. This to me is enough of a visual clue if I support it with 3s and brackets in the first bar of every triplet passage. This way I can un-clutter the music quite a bit. (BTW I still don't like the appearance of the tuplet brackets, I prefer the old fashioned round ones although they can lead to confusion with legato).

In reply to by azumbrunn

I'm a bit confused, then. If you are beaming your triplets, then there should be no bracket at all by default. Can you post an example (actual score) of what you mean?

And yes, I think the potential for confusion with legato is one of the reaosns why most modern publisher have adopyted the convention of square brackets - but again, only for situations where there is no beam. In those case, no bracket should be needed at all.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The bracket shows up in triplets such as "rest - note - note".

I learnt in my violin lessons 50 year ago that these brackets don't mean legato. But of course the problem occurs when the composer wants to indicate legato in tuplets: There is already a legato-like visual element cluttering up the space.

By the way I don't beam the triplets, Musescore does it automatically. Only the beams to eigth notes (default 2 per beam) I correct to one measure per beam with the appropriate exceptions (I don't beam across a break in phrasing).

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