No time signature after section break

• Nov 26, 2018 - 12:41
Reported version
P1 - High
S3 - Major

After a section break there should be a time signature

Attachment Size
no-clef-after-section-break.mscz 2.55 KB


Workaround No Yes

Workaround - just add it again. Actually, I'm not even 100% sure this isn't by design - I think the main purpose was to suppress courtesy signatures, not to force new ones. ut I agree it seems to make sense. Might be some people depending on current behavior, though?

In 2.x I often found behavior around sections breaks depended on the order I did them (add key change then add section break vs vice versa). But at least if I do add a time signature after adding the section break, I don't get a courtesy (true for both 2.3.2 and 3.0).

I'm more than happy to see this fixed, but given how long it's been the case and how easy the workaround is, maybe it's not as critical as some others...

If you add a timesig all following measures are reset to the timesig. This will destroy upbeats as well as modified measure lengths.

Maybe the XML import set this additional timesigs in MS2? I cannot remember this as issue there.

Priority P0 - Critical P1 - High

True, Still, one would normally be doing this before adding content to those measures. Anyhow, given this is same as 2.3.2 and some people might actually depend on this, I'm personally uncomfortable with a rush decision on fixing.

True, but I'm not understanding your point. Are you saying MusicXML is somehow relevant here? You have a sample MusicXML file that contains an element we are interpreting as a section break but not using the same semantics as defined in the spec?

Lets take this reduced example:

  1. Export as pdf
  2. Scan in Capella and save as musicxml (attached)
  3. Import in MuseScore. Please try to insert the missing time signature at the start of the song...
    If you a) insert the time signature, all measures are reset to 4 / 4 which is a real mess.
    If you b) insert a section break at the end of the intro (which is correct anyway, to avoid courtesy clefs, keys or timesigs) it does not insert the timesig.

I see, so inserting the 4/4 at the beginning of the "Song" eliminates the pickup. So, first insert on the first full measure, thus "protecting" the content from there, then add it to the first measure, then correct the actual duration, then delete the extra time signature. Convulted yes, but anyhow, that's how to deal with this particular corner case in both 2.x and 3.0 for now.

Sorry, but your suggestion does not work. Did you really try that? If I insert the 4/4 at the first full measure, the shortened measures in the voltas get corrupted as well as the subsequent pickup measure thereafter.

And no, this is not a corner case. Many songs have such a structure.

Yes, I did try the suggestion, I just didn't look far enough ahead to see that there were problems further down.

There are several respects in which the scenario you describe is a corner. One is that what you are trying to do is actually incorrect notation - it's not normally correct to repeat the time signature after the intro to a song. Not sure why you're trying to do that, but the standard is not to. Only if it's a different song. And in that case, you almost certainly would not be importing both songs from a single MusicXML file, as that isn't really supported to begin with.

In normal use, section breaks would be added as you enter your music, left to right, start to finish, so there would be no issue simply adding the time signature then, before you've entered notes or done any other customization to the measures that follow.

Anyhow, I'm agreeing it would be worth revisiting the original intent of section breaks and consider extending the behavior to support the ability to display time signatures. That's why I didn't simply close this as "by design" even though it technically is. But if we do extend the behavior, it would be important to do so in a way that doesn't break compatibility for people relying on the current behavior - eg, people using section breaks as separators within worksheets and other situations where repeating the time signature is not desired.

I think the best way forward is to add a new property to the section break to control whether you want to generate time signatures or not, much as we already have properties to control the length of the playback pause, whether you want measure numbers to reset, and whether you want long instrument names to be used. This could be done in conjunction with moving these properties form the dialog where they are now to the Inspector. I think ideally the default for newly-added section breaks should be to have the time signature option on, but for compatibility, scores that don't have this set explicitly should continue to have it off. This could be done by having the actual property default to off but having it explicitly set to on in the palette.