3/4 time whole note

• Feb 28, 2013 - 17:29

I'm sure I'm an idiot here but when I'm in 3/4 time and hit 7 for a whole note I expect a single whole note not a dotted half and an extra quarter. What am I doing wrong?
Musescore 1.3


A single whole note lasts 4 beats, in a 3/4 measure there's only space for 3 of them, so MuseScore carries over the excess beat into the next measure, properly tied, so that a whole notes gets played.

We have a whole rest and a whole measure rest (and they look identical), but we only have a whole note, something like a whole measure note doesn't exist...

In reply to by mlacons

Whole notes are indeed incorrect in 4/4 time and whatever sheet music you have that uses them is in error - or at least, not adhering to the stamdard typographical conventions. But for the record, whole *rests* are correct in 3/4 time. Or more precisely, the symbol used to indicate a whole rest is also used used for what is sometimes called a "measure rest" - a reat of the duration of the measure, regardless of the length of the measure. And you'll see MuseScore fills you score with these by default. It's just a shorthand for an empty measure, that saves space seems just as easy to read. But as soon as you change from that rest to actual notes, you are supposed to indicate the proper length - dotted half for 3/4 time.

finale does allow you to put a whole note into a 3/4 measure,but it definitely doesn"t do this by default - you have to go out of your way to make it happen. Actually, it's rather too easy to do it accidentally, but Fnale does try to discourage. MuseScore also makes it possible to put a whole note in 3/4, but makes it so you're very unlikely to do so accidentally. You do it by right clicking an emoty place in the measure to bring up note properties, then changing the actual (as oppsed to "nominal") time signature to 4/4. Now you have a 4/4 measure - and it will play back will four beats - but it won't actually display the tme signature change. So you'd be able to get a whole note into the measure.

But again, you normally wouldnt want to do this, as it is incorrect notation. Someone reading wouldn,t understand if you meant the note to last for three beats (the normal length of a measure in 3/4) or four (the normal leng of a whole note). But the ability is there for the rare cases where for whatever reason it is what you need.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I know this thread is old, but if I was looking for this solution, other transcribers might be also.

I have a "dummy" way to add the whole rest in the 3/4 bar, to match the other auto-filled bars. I selected the measure where I wanted the whole rest, added a measure (Add > Measure > Insert One Measure), then cut-and-pasted the treble and bass measure contents into the newly-added measure, leaving the old voice, treble, and bass measures empty. Then I deleted those measures and had exactly what I wanted.

In reply to by Jaycie622

This thread was actually about whole notes in 3.4 time, which are of course incorrect.

Whole rests are another matter, and actually extremely easy. Simply delete the contents of the measure (select, press Delete) and a full measure rest (looks like a whole rest but is centered) automatically appears. If it's a multi-voice context and you need the measure rest in one voice only, there are other relatively simple ways of doing this. One is to enter the notes into a voice other than 1 so 1 retains its default measure rest, then you can use Tools / Voices if desired to move the voices around. Another way to enter a full measure rest directly into another voice is to use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Delete.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

So you are simply NOT ALLOWED to use the whole note in 4/4 because of its inherent time value? Can you not do this, lets say we are in 3/4 and I put in a whole note, it will last the first 3 beats of the first bar with a quater note rest at the start of the second bar? Is that not correct?

In reply to by taliesinhunte

Incorrect. Enter a whole note into a 3/4 measure and you'll get a dotted half tied to a 1/4 note which in total has the same duration as a whole note.

In 4/4 whole notes are permitted as long as they start the measure. If you put them on a later beat you will get notes tied to the next measure.

BTW, there is a workaround. I've occasionally seen things like this. If you are copying music and want it to look the same, you can create a tuplet. In 3/4 select the measure rest and press ctrl+4 and you will get 1 4 1/4 rest tuplet. You can then enter a whole note and make the tuplet number and bracket invisible.

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