Add clef to grace notes

• Jan 12, 2018 - 20:55

I need to add a clef in the middle of a grace note "run" (see page 5 of attached PDF), but my typical approach to adding a new clef (selecting the note to the right of where I want the clef and double-clicking the clef in the palette) doesn't work with grace notes. If there's a better way to notate this than grace notes I'd be open to suggestions, I just haven't seen anything like this before and I'm not sure how else to do it.


Friendly observations besides the visual notation:
Grace notes post-beat don't play on my M.S. system, i.e the last set of grace notes provided in your mscz aren't executing playback. As a result, playback proper isn't going to happen as it stands before moving on to a visual solution of fitting in a clef betwixt them. It seems an appropriate interpretation is needed to understand how to achieve what is being written before dealing with the mid-clef change if playback is of concern. With three beats per measure, the grace notes are starting on beat, so naturally there's no 'room' to play the last set of grace notes. As a workaround you could possible use a hidden 4/4 time sig. and then put a non-played/hidden note for the final post-grace notes for them to be regular grace notes, but I'm not sure if that would be an appropriate interpretation for playback purposes. Also, with 4/4 the initial chord being a dotted half would then give an extra rest afterwards which would be needing to be hidden.

If playback is of no concern, an imagined alternative would be to use tuples -- they allow for mid-clef changes. That would take some extra work though. This with the above hidden rest would make a visual form that would look okay, but it would be sort of messy in the process. Since I have some time on my hands, I'm providing an image of something that would be the result:


Of course some tweaking is still desired here, but it seems to look okay. Forgive the post-processing (added some waves), as I've been experimenting lately ;-) (included the mscz for the measure also).

In reply to by worldwideweary

Interesting. This is for Openscore, so both playback and correct notation are important. There's also formatting guidelines to follow, but this falls so far outside of the basics that I wasn't sure how to proceed. That certainly looks good, and sounds okay on my end.

Great discussion! @worldwideweary has the right idea (i.e. use tuplets) but his/her solution misses a couple of tricks:

  1. Tuplets don't have to take up a full beat (i.e. you can add an eighth-note rest before the first tuplet).
  2. The long notes at the beginning of the measure actually belong to the upper stave (cross-stave notation).

Once you know that (1) is possible the hidden time signature change is no longer required.

I will use the final measure of the "grace note" run as my example, as it contains pretty much all the tricky things that appear in this section.






  1. Tuplet numbers

    • I set the tuplet number type to "relation" (e.g. 15:2) so you can see how to make them, but you need to set the number type to "nothing" to comply with the OpenScore guidelines.
  2. Where did those rests in the tuplets come from? Shouldn't the tuplets on the lower staff just have smaller ratios (i.e. fewer notes) than the tuplets on the upper staff?

    • This would be impossible to play! It's much more likely that the notes were omitted to prevent the score becoming overly cluttered. You could continue the runs to fill in the blanks on the lower staff. They are probably only there in the PDF to make room for the clef changes, but there is room for them both in MuseScore. Still, it's probably best to follow the PDF.
  3. Small notes (or small chords)

    • You can make the tuplet notes small by clicking on them and then enabling the "small" checkbox under Chord in the Inspector. Make sure you make the chord small, not the note!
  4. V-shaped beams.

    • I haven't made the beams V-shaped like they are in the PDF (i.e. I haven't broken them), and you would not be required to make them V-shaped for OpenScore.
  5. How did I know that the initial rest should be an eighth rest and not another duration?

    • Well, I didn't know this; I guessed! It could actually be anything as long as it's smaller than a quarter rest, but an eighth rest is the simplest solution, and the simplest solution is usually the best.
    • Having picked the eighth rest, I can tell it is the right choice because it causes the run to "slow down" naturally during playback.
Attachment Size
11_Etudes_10_Passacaglia (Solution).mscz 13.61 KB

In reply to by shoogle

Definitely a nice point about the non-standard ratio tuples, shoogle.
It's easy to forget about this because it goes against the standard convention: having a bunch of eighth notes within a tuple that is of an eighth note didn't cross the mind. Thanks for posting here on the forum rather than only in a private message to the OP.

Selfish P.S. - Of the XY pair, a.k.a. not of the fair sex.

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