A triplet never comes alone

• Dec 17, 2017 - 06:02

In Ravel's Sonatine there are many places with multiple eight note triplets. After entering one I have to press 5 & Ctrl-3 again for the next triplet. If I press only Ctrl-3 I get a triplet of 16ths (as if Musescore now expects an 8th note).
It seems to more logical that the second Ctrl-3 would give an 8th not triplet again.

Not a major hassle of course.


For example, if you have a few consecutive measures with triplets, create a first one, empty, then you select it (picture below).
And then press the "R" (Repeat) key as many times as necessary.
Now, you only have to enter the notes.

In reply to by cadiz1

This is the common by-pass given and is useful to know, but really a "true" repeat mode for triplets (that could be activated or not, so people preferring the current behavior could keep it) is necessary to stay fluent in note entry.
And after a triplet, if you don't have the same triplet, you will have a 8th note, or a 4th note, or.. you will select a note duration anyway.
For any note duration, MuseScore keeps it until you change it. I have never understood why for triplet it doesn't.

In reply to by elsewhere

The problem with that is when you press 5 ctrl-3 the duration changes to 1/4 note which is the most common duration expected for the first note in that triplet. If the duration is 1/4 note and you press ctrl-3 you get triplet 16th notes.

When I have a series of triplets I want to enter, I make the first measure all 1/4 rests (for your example) select the entire measure and press ctrl-3 and instantly I have a measure full of triplets. If I want them continued I then press R repeatedly until all my desired measures are full. There is a little bit of back and forth between the mouse and keyboard for a moment, but with long lines of triplets it is much faster since I can then concentrate on nothing but notes.

The idea of toggling the tuplet mode is not bad at all. The way I would see it work would be that you enter tuplet mode indicating somehow the duration of the tuplet. As you enter notes and durations, if you pass the end of the tuplet, MuseScore would automatically change the next note of the same duration into the same tuplet so you can continue entering notes until you toggle tuplet mode off. MuseScore would stop you with an alert if you tried this with 1/4 note triplets in 3/4 time. Example: On the first (3/4) beat you start a duration of 1/2 note triplets, you can then add 3 1/4 notes (or equivalent) when you try to add the next note MuseScore will give you a message such as "Tuplet mode ended. Tuplets cannot cross a bar line." If you want a 1/4 note tuplet it would then be your reposibility to restart tuplet mode. However, if the time signature were 4/4 time, MuseScore would happily continue with these tuplets in the next measure since there is no issue with tuplets crossing a bar line.

In reply to by mike320

I don't understand your first sentence. Perhaps I did not make myself clear. In the attached you see what I get after I press N, 5, Ctrl-3 (that gives me the triplet of 8ths). Now I press Ctrl-3 again, and I get a triplet of 16ths, as if MuseScore already decided that the next note would be an 8th. That is, as was pointed out, inconsistent behavior, and I would expect at least another triplet of 8ths.

In reply to by elsewhere

The last note you entered in your triplet was an 8th note and MuseScore knows that. So if you don't change to a different note, anything you do next will be based upon the 8th note regardless if it's a tuplet, rest or another note. When you press 5 ctrl-3 the 8th note in the Note Entry toolbar is automatically selected, which in most cases is exactly what you want. It does not automatically change to another note because you are no longer entering a tuplet.

The main reason for this is that you are not required to enter 3 eight notes in the triplet. You can enter a 1/4 note and an 8th note in any order, or use a combination that includes 16th or shorter notes if you like. In violin (and other string) music it is not unusual to enter a dotted 1/4 note in a triplet with a tremolo on it.

Why does it automatically change the next note duration on the toolbar to an 8th note you may ask? Because MuseScore changes the 1/4 note into 3 8th rests as a visual and practical aid. It would be illogical and confusing to many people to see the cursor highlighting an 8th rest and pressing a note (a,b,c...) producing a 1/4 note, which is the last duration you press to make the tuplet. It also save you a keystroke most of the time.

Just as a side note, your title of the thread is not really true. There are many, many instances where tuplets appear in isolation (that is not 2 or more in a row). I'm currently transcribing a piece with many tuplets that are neither preceded nor followed by another tuplet. And to be honest, there are also many places where there are multiple tuplets in succession.

In reply to by mike320

<< The last note you entered in your triplet was an 8th note and MuseScore knows that. So if you don't change to a different note, anything you do next will be based upon the 8th note >>

Well, this is fundamentally incorrect for me.
After entering the last note of the triplet, MuseScore decides to put you out of triplet mode.
One can discuss that, but if this is the behavior, conceptually the last note you have entered is not the last 8th note of the triplet but the triplet itself occupying a 4th note. So exiting the triplet should revert to 4th duration and not what was by accident/chance the last note of the triplet.
Should MusceScore allow you (always or as an option) to stay in triplet mode, then, yes, keeping the duration equal to the last note of the triplet would make sense.

In reply to by frfancha

It's as simple as this: while still within the trilet, if you type "A", you get an eighth note A - that means eighth note is the selected duration. You could argue that museScore should change the duration once you leave the tuplet, but there is no no getting around the fact that the current duration is the eighth note. Right now, MuseScore is quite consistent about not changing the current duration unless you ask it to. I can see why some sort of new triplet mode might be diesrable, but it is important to realize this would fundamentally change a very important consistency MuseScore currently enjoys.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

<< but there is no no getting around the fact that the current duration is the eighth note. Right now, MuseScore is quite consistent about not changing the current duration unless you ask it to >>

This is not true. In the triplet, the current duration is a 1/3 of a 1/4 note , not a 1/8 note.
So MuseScore does change the duration to 1/8 note.
What I say is that instead of changing to 1/8 it should change to the duration of the triplet itself (1/4 in this case), or even better stay in triplet mode: this way it would really be consistent by not changing the duration!

In reply to by frfancha

It's an eighth note in terms of type of duration to be entered, if not the actual playback length. There are two different concepts in MuseScore. It's not very often the distinction is relevant, but this is one of those cases. But that also suggests that if the behavior were changed to preserve playback length instead duration type, that might still seem consistent in itself. However, this would be a step backwards for those use cases where the triplet does come along (probably 95% of the triplets encountered in a jazz context, for example).

In reply to by frfancha

If we implemented the triplet mode where the selected duration remains eighth. I was responding to your suggestion that the duration automatically be changed back to quarter - pointing out that this in itself would be "most astonishing" given that MuseScore generally does not change duration type without your asking it to.

In reply to by elsewhere

Except that as mentioned, MuseScore is currently very consistent about preserving the current duration. Breaking that consistency is not a good thing. I'd prefer to find a better way of making consecutive triplets easier - one that didn't make the duration change of its own accord (From eighth to quarter, which is what the would have to do for Ctrl+3 to do what you want).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

<< MuseScore is currently very consistent about preserving the current duration. Breaking that consistency is not a good thing >>

Fully agree. This is why staying in triplet mode instead of automatically exiting it would make it even more consistent.
Exactly as when you set you on 1/16 note duration (just an example), you stay so until explicitly asking another one,
when you set you in triplet mode you would stay it until explicitly asking to change it.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Why not have a toolbar button like and next to the note input button. The icon could simply be 3 connected 8th notes. IMHO, the trick is being able to start tuplet mode for any tuplet, not just triplets. I know multiple keyedshort cuts are not your favorite, but I would suggest T + # for toggle tuplet mode. # = 2-9 to indicate tuplet count (duplet, triplet...). T+0 could turn off tuplet mode and T+1 brings up the tuplet dialog. This has the advantage that there is no need to move your hands from the note names and durations to use it. Ctrl + 2-9 would continue to work as they currently do.

In reply to by mike320

That's a possibility for sure. Another would be to have tuplet mode be a simple toggle that you enable once you are inside a tuplet. So you'd press Ctrl+3 or Ctrl+7 or whatever as usual to start the tuplet, and then press the new shortcut to stay in that mode. Then only one new command is needed.

In reply to by mike320

My thinking was, if you are in the tuplet mode, then Ctrl+3 would no longer be needed - as soon as you run off the end of the tuplet you were within when you enabled the tuplet mode, MuseScore would automatically create another tuplet of the same total duration and ratio. I guess if you did press Ctrl+3 while in this mode, you'd get a nested tuplet, just as you do currently.

Here's how I see the thing working (you might have to play along to see the details):

When you're in note input mode entering notes normally, every time you enter a note or rest, that note or rest remains selected, so that for instance the up & down keys affect that note, since they operate on the current selection. In addition, the note input cursor that shows where the next note to be entered will go advance to the next available beat position.

When you press Ctrl+3 (or whatever), several things happen. First, the tuplet is created at the note input position. Second, whatever was at that position already has its duration adjusted and becomes the first element of the tuplet. Third, the rest of the tuplet is filled with rests. Finally, the first element of the tuplet is selected.

It's the last part that is the key here. Now that an element of the tuplet is actually selected, if you were to enable a proposed "enable tuplet mode" command, it would simply go with the tuplet that is encompassing the currently selected note. The nice thing about this is, even if you wait until you enter all three (or whatever) notes of the tuplet, or if you actually enter your triplet as an eighth and a quarter, it won't matter. When you complete entry of the tuplet, the last note/rest of the tuplet remains selected, so if you then give the "enable tuplet mode" command, we can continue to look at the type of tuplet the selected note is within. Won't matter if that note is actually an eighth or quarter - if it's within a tuplet that has total duration 1/4 and ratio 3:2, then enabling the mode would know to start creating more tuplets of that same total duration and ratio. With the mode enabled, as soon as any note input command would otherwise create a note that is not within the original tuplet, we'd internally issue a new command to create a new tuplet of the same total duration and ratio.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Do you mind if I start a feature request? It will be a lot easier than reading a 3 word wide column that you get from forum topics after so many responses. Do you think it would be possible to implement this in 2.2 or would it require waiting for 3.0. I don't see why it would make the file not readable by early 2.x versions.

In reply to by mike320

I would recommend starting a new forum thread as opposed to a feature request in the issue tracker - far more people will see it. Might want to include links to this thread and also other that have discussed the topic over the years.

My proposal above is, to the best of my knowledge, the first somewhat well-thought-through proposal for exactly how this might work. It sounds complicated, but the idea of course is that the average user doesn't need to know how it works internally, it would just feel like it's doing the right thing. Feel free to copy and paste it, or I could do that in a response. But still, I'm sure there are other possible solutions.

As for whether this could be done for 2.2, I would say I don't see any technical reason it couldn't. But given the workaround is pretty simple - pre-fill a region with rests then apply the tuplet to all at once - I also suspect it won't be prioritized as highly as some other things.

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