Lack of Capabilities in the Custom Time Signature Creator

• Oct 19, 2018 - 04:18
Reported version
P2 - Medium
Graphical (UI)
S5 - Suggestion
PR created

I have been asked to request a feature whereby atypical time signatures can be used. In one instance, I came across a section where I wanted a decimal/fraction time signature, but the program does not allow for this. Custom time signatures should be able to include fractions and decimals for more obscure time signatures (which may or may not be applicable in the real music world [there is at least one instance where this applied] but are helpful in prerequisite musical organization).


Currently, the "text" field supports only the numerals and the "+" sign as far as I can tell - presumably because we don't have pre-defined glyphs for much else (there is, I noticed, a comma available in Bravura). We should at least support other characters by using "normal" glyphs sized appropriately. But we should also provide more flexibility in the overall presentation. Two common requests are "large" time signatures that display between staves, also signatures of the form 3/4 + 5/8 (as opposed to 3+5/4+8, which is the closest we can do currently).

A "large" option would I think be especially appreciated by many, as this style has become quite common.

"Custom time signatures should be able to include fractions and decimals for more obscure time signatures (which may or may not be applicable in the real music world [there is at least one instance where this applied] but are helpful in prerequisite musical organization)."

Can you show some examples of these in use in actual music?

In reply to by elerouxx

Simply wow.
Have you thought of making the parser accesible in the normal score mode via a shortcut (Dorico uses shift+m for time signatures in what they call popovers), so that one can enter a time signature on the go?
It would make your new feature even more powerful.

In reply to by mike320

So what? It's about flexibility and providing users with different options. Popovers are one of the things Dorico owners will always bring up because they are so time-saving. I think it would be very wise to start incorporating them in MuseScore, and in a post comment Marc Sabatella said that they want to do things like this.

In reply to by Asmatzaile

I thought on just clicking the time signature and editing it in place, but that would be a lot harder to implement (this PR has been tricky enough for me to write).
And also would raise several consistency issues to discuss as this would be different from MuseScore's general interaction.
Another idea was to expose the text field directly in the inspector.
But I think the way it ended is the best so far, since the Time Signature dialog shows a real-time preview as you write the text, and this could not be easily done in other implementations.
On the other hand, if you really want to compare, this new proposed method covers several things that Dorico doesn't support.

How about exposing the text field directly in the Inspector? That would be consistent with MuseScore's ways and would speed the process as desired. I tried modifying the code and got this:

Attachment Size
parser_ts_inspector.gif 511.26 KB

In reply to by elerouxx

I wasn't talking about editing an existing time signature (which would indeed be done in the Inspector, or even in place as you suggested, if someone figured out how to do it) but about adding a new one when a note or rest is selected (which currently can only be done via the palettes). I think this "popover" function would allow for high flexibility and versatility.

In reply to by Asmatzaile

I see. Well, there are some things to consider. Dorico's popover allows to quickly add a time signature but it's integrated with the Real values, with the advantages and limitations on that. In Musescore, the real num/den values and the appearance text are not linked (the text is not functional) and this allows for a very precise beaming pattern that is not necessarily reflected on how the t/s looks.
Also, the popover is a Dorico's design concept. I like it but it's theirs. So the discussion should focus on how Musescore can do things better in its own way. In my opinion it raises two topics:
1. Despite the inspector isn't 'the right way' to edit a time signature, it should work better: it should change the whole time signature if it's selected globally or change just the selected staff if it was ctrl-selected.
2. The palette Create time signature option allows to create a t/s, but hitting the Add button doesn't do any obvious thing, until you realize: it creates the new t/s but doesn't add it to the palette, nor to the score, plus the button doesn't even blink when pressed. I often find myself clicking the Add button more than once, to find out that I added several of the same t/s to the 'more' t/s palette, so I need an extra step to drag this t/s from More to the palette, AND an extra step to drag it to the score. I don't think this is a good design. But if I can just select a measure, hit shift-t and create the new signature (along with its appearance and beaming pattern) and add it to the score, it seems perfect to me. It's a super pop over.