enter pitches first, rhythm later

• Apr 5, 2017 - 18:39

In the release of 2.1, one can find:
Rhythmic input: enter rhythm first, pitches later

But can we have the opposite please: enter pitches first, rhythm later


That can't happen for the same reason you can't insert notes or rests. It could lead to impossible measure breaks in the middle of tuplets after the changed note. If you were using your desired technique in the middle of a song, tuplet breaks would still be a possibility so any object that there are not rhythms yet won't work. I would very much like all of these options, but it can't happen.

The best way to work around this for continuity of thought is to use a temporary file or later part of the score to enter notes, then use the View Stacked scores menu option. You can show different sections of the score on top and bottom, or 2 different scores at the same time. You then use the notes you entered as a guide to setting up your song.

In reply to by frfancha

Indeed, inserting or deleting notes or rests is technically *possible* to implement, as it a "notes first, rhythms later" input method. But they do both suffer the same inherent *difficulty*. Namely, deciding *how many subsequent notes to move left or right*. Could be just a note or two you want moved, could be everything to the end of the measure, could be a few measures, could be literally everything to the end of the piece, depending on exactly what you are trying to do. And if it is decided to moves notes beyond the current measure, it is also problematic deciding how to handle things like, say, tuplets that might now cross a barline, or chord symbols that maybe are in the correct time position already or maybe aren't, etc. Not that we couldn 't arbitrarily just decide on something and then do it. But chances are, people would realize that any single rule we followed would be what you wanted sometimes, not at other times, and you probably would be unhapopy with the result much of the time.

Which isn't to say it is absolutely not worth doing - just that people tend to overestimate how useful such features would turn out to be given that they will tend to guess wrong often. And while, again, it's certainly not *impossible* to implement, I think people also tend to *understimate* the complexity involved. So by overestimating the usefulness and underestimatng the difficulty, one ends up very very greatly overestimating the return on investment. Which is why we end up with people not understanding why it hasn't happened yet. Again, it's not impossible, nor is it completely without value - it's just of less value for the amount of work required than people tend to assume.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I feel I have said this before, but... Just implement "unmeasured bars". (Can you really call an unmeasured space between two barlines a "measure"?!)

There is a genuine need for scoring unmeasured music - Gregorian chant for example. This means "no barlines", or in other words the whole piece is one "bar". In such music, using an "insert mode" is both natural, and easy to implement (even by a plugin, probably) given the provision of an unmeasured bar.

People who want to jot down the notes, then work out what they mean, could perfectly easily start off with one unmeasured bar; there is then a need to be able to paste a time signature at any point in this "bar", to chop it up appropriately. That this is not a very efficient way of entering measured music is then the problem of the people doing it.

I think that providing the basic unmeasured bar function is going to need someone who understands the overall architecture very well, but after that, it's relatively straightforward incremental functionality.

In reply to by Imaginatorium

That is also a valid feature request. But it doesn't really address the issue(s) at hand. Using unmeasured bars in situations where you really just want to move some unspecified number of notes earlier or later in time is as awkward a partial solution as using measures to created unmeasured music is.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Sorry, but I cannot see how this does not address exactly the issue at hand. What does "measure" mean, apart from being the American for "bar"? Well, it means that the space between two barlines is a fixed number of beats, a fixed duration. You cannot have unmeasured music within that constraint, but rather than conceiving a whole new architecture, it is much simpler to generalise from "measure" to "space between two barlines" (which we can call a "bar", since it just happens not to have anything looking like "measure" in its name). Then a "bar" can be either a "measure" in N/M time sig, or it can be an "unmeasure", in oo time sig. ("oo" means "Toilet" in French, or "unlimited" here). The point is that within an "unmeasure", it makes perfect sense to move notes along to insert or delete, whether this "unmeasure" is a Gregorian chant, or a scratchpad someone is using to jot down a partly-formed idea for a tune. There is also no reason not to allow either sort of "bar" to be anywhere in any score, so if you are composing, and want an unmeasured section, how else (senza kludge) could you do it? Like the senza misura section at the beginning of the Libera me, Domine of Verdi's Requiem?

In reply to by Imaginatorium

It's possible.
But, If you do not plan to put barlines after you finish writing.
If you plan to put barlines later on, there are some limitations here: "triplets can not exceed the measure line" is one of them. And maybe it's the most important thing.

We are always used to thinking about the directions that fit us.
But programmers need to look ahead and think about possible problems beforehand.
Also, there are also some limitations of the programming language.

Perhaps a very intelligent person finds a way to surpass (or to go beyond) these limitations and everyone will be happy.

Maybe, one day a new writing option may come: "loose engraving", "free writing" or something like that... But not right now and not at the moment, I guess.

In reply to by Imaginatorium

Somehow who has written a song in 4/4 but accidentally entered a haklf note where they meant a quarter note somewhere, resulting in everything after that being a beat late from that point to the end of the piece, is not going to think that a "measureless mode" has any relevance whatsoever to their problem., They still want measures, and they still want each measure to have exactly 4 beats. They simply want everything from the point of the error forward to be moved backwards by one beat, still keeping the same measures otherwise. Same with if they accidentally added an extra rest they now realize was a mistake.

it's true that if you literally want to enter an entire piece as notes with no rhythm whatsoever, then add rhythm later, thus special sub-case of the more general problem could be handled by first entering into a measureless mode and then copying and pasting the contents into regular measures. But in real life, many people requesting such a thing still are thinking in terms of measures, and still entering the right notes into the right measures on the first pass - they are just wanting to amend the rhythms later.

So again, I see a measureless mode as useful indeed, but not really a general solution to the sorts of problems that people encounter when trying to alter rhythms after the fact.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

'' Namely, deciding how many subsequent notes to move left or right ''


When you are in that mode "enter pitch first rhythm later", there is absolutely no such decision to make.
Applying a rhythm on a note must move all the subsequent notes, nothing less (and nothing more).
That's the only meaningful option in that mode, anything else would change the rhythm of other notes than the current one you are modifying.

In reply to by frfancha

I wish it weren't so, I'm a user like you and not a programmer. If a note is inserted that causes a tuplet to be split between measures it must fail. I would prefer to allow for inserting notes and when MuseScore discovers a tuplet will cross a measure it would give you an error explaining why it failed. One other question that needs to be answered before you implement inserting notes and rests is: at what point do you stop moving the following notes over by the desired amount? Do you do this all the way to the end of the score? Do you move them only to the end of the measure? In practice, the user probably wants the moved notes to end at some arbitrary point between the two because he realized he forgot the dot or entered the wrong duration for a note.

This is all related to the issue of entering notes then changing the rhythm, because as you change the rhythm on a note, the following notes have to move so they remain visible for you to change their rhythm. Once again, you may not be working on the end of the song when you use this feature. So, once again, at what arbitrary point does the program stop moving notes. You don't want the measures you have completed to have their notes moved a 16th note at a time and you probably don't want irregular measures created to accommodate the duration of the added notes.

As a possible solution to this conundrum, if arbitrary measure lengths were implemented then this feature would be possible. What I mean is that the user enters a mode where everything entered is put into one measure and has a tool to mark the end of the current measure and a new arbitrary measure is inserted into the current location. This would also be useful for modern and early music that does not have a time signature.

Can I agree with this suggestion?

So: I press the notes on my MIDI Keyboard, and then press 5 for a crotchet or whatever. A crotchet appears on the score. If I press 5 with no keys down, a crotchet rest appears. If I then press for a dot, a dot appears next to it, on the already-entered note.

Returning to MuseScore after a long time away, part of the reason for the desire for pitch-before-rhythm is because when I write music by hand, I go to the pitch position on the manuscript, then enter the duration. Isn't it possible for MuseScore to work the same way?

The other reason is that as Finale refugee from a long time back, that method of working has been hardwired into my brain. But still - I would contend it more closely aligns to pen-and-paper working.

In reply to by mhindson

I don't have an easy way of checking this, but does it work that way in "Rhythm" input mode? Certainly the durations enter notes, but normally it would be a note of the same pitch as the preceding one. Would probably be a pretty easy enhancement to check if a MIDI key is depressed and use that pitch instead, if it doesn't work that way already.

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