Fermatas are miscategorised

• Sep 30, 2018 - 08:05
Reported version
P2 - Medium
S5 - Suggestion

Fermatas are currently placed in the 'Articulations' palette. While a fermata could be considered an articulation (since it alters the length of the note), I think it's more suited to the 'Breaths & Pauses' palette (specifically because it's a 'Pause'). I think this should apply to all 7 fermatas in the palette.

Does anyone support this idea? If people do, I'll make the changes and submit a PR.


You know, I was just thinking this same thing earlier today! True, it's not a true pause, but then, it's even more true that it is not an articulation. Because neither is a perfect fit, and because people are accustomed to it, I'd support having it in both places.

However, before we go mess with that, might be good to merge https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore/pull/4341 so we can edit the XML files directly. And I'd also like to address the "Staff Type Change" and other layout-related element as per #278205: Move Staff Type Change to another palette (it is not text).

Ursus in mente, fermatas are frequently used to indicate the ends of chorale-lines, even in organ chorale preludes, when no execution/slowdown at all is wanted. And many of us use hidden, playing fermatas as expressive control of tempo (and I wish those distinctions were possible in MusicXML, but they're not).

Would love to see barline fermata pause properties work for inter-movement pauses (now that the fermata-on-barlines issue is fixed).

For Inter-movement pauses use section breaks, they have a 3 seconds pause by default already and should be used to separate movements anyway, so measure numbering starts from 1 and again, and courtesy key and time signture are not shown at the end of the previous section

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Section breaks are too big a hammer in this case (for instance, I don't want need or want measure numbers to restart). The source music I'm working with at the moment (Corelli's La Folia) uses barline fermata to indicate a pause. I can use a hidden "comma fermata" pause to get what I need, so I'm okay. Maybe this is less common than I thought, but it appears to have come up multiple times in the forum.

Fermata marks most commonly require a player to hold on a note for a period of time. You could call it an articulation but I think it's most appropriately categorised as a hold or pause. Check out Behind Bars on this (attached imagery).

Also, Dorico have very deliberately categorised fermata marks under 'Holds and Pauses'. I think that categorisation is far more likely to be correct than not. (Finale puts all kinds of things under the catch-all of 'articulation', including tremolo and mordents. Sibelius also classifies them this way but it feels like they did it for utility reasons due to lack of space).

On another now, I'd prefer to avoid putting the same element in two different places because it will make general reorganisation harder later.

The only reason they are lumped in with articulations is that this is how they were originally implemented - a particular type of articulation, which encompassed any marking applied to a chord as opposed to a note or a segment. Now fermata are their own element type, and I agree that conceptually they share more in common with pauses.

Btw, we also need to consider the Selection Filter.