Trouble with changing time signature and tuplets?

• Feb 15, 2019 - 14:58

I started by importing a PDF. My time signature is supposed to go from 4/4 to 2/4. Instead, the second signature is 2/2. I try to insert a 2/4 time signature but receive an error message "Tuplet cannot cross barlines." Well, my score doesn't have any tuplets that cross barlines. Tried deleting the measure but the time signature remains. Tried inserting the new time signature at a later measure. Same error message. I have no clue what I'm missing.

Please advise. Thank you in advance.


This is a quirk (aka bug/design flaw) in MuseScore and a bug in PDF import (which is 3rd party). If there are any tuplets, you cannot change time signatures, because the internal process that MuseScore goes through to process the notes. PDF import puts tuplets where they are not needed when it gets confused. So even if there are not tuplets that should cause a problems, you have two opportunities to have the problem.

If there are voices in the original score (two lines of music with different rhythms on one staff) you will not be able to avoid the tuplet bug in PDF import. If it's a simple score with one line of music per staff, then you my be able to improve the quality of the PDF to get a better import. Otherwise you will need to enter the score by hand.

In reply to by SomeGuyWithaBassoon

If they come after the measure where you trying to change the time signature, you may still have difficulties if at any point during in internal process of changing the time signature, MuseScore thinks the tuplet crosses a bar line. What I've been know to do is to change the time signature in measures after the tuplets, then copy and paste the problem measures, then use ctrl+delete to get rid of all the measures I don't need any more.

A further complication: Although the 2/2 time signature appears, this measure and the subsequent measures count as 4/4. However, when I look under Measure Properties, it shows both Nominal and Actual as 2/2.

So confused. :-)

Again, thanks in advance for your guidance.

In reply to by Doug Dormer

"So confused. :-)"

So is MuseScore ;-)

There is actually some work being done under the hood that might make this work better at some point in the future. The way MuseScore examines tuplets is being reworked. I don't know how soon it might be implemented and I don't know for sure it will help in a situation like this. I suggest (maybe request is a better word) you keep your imported score and test future releases on it as a test to see if the situation improves.

In reply to by mike320

Mike320, an update for you and anybody else who may come across this thread:

I continued working with the score that I imported from PDF. After I completed all the other edits ignoring the fact that I could not fix the time signature, I gave it one more try. Presto, after fixing everything else, (usually by deleting the offending measure and re-entering the notes manually), I was able to change the time signature without a problem. So, I really have no idea how I actually fixed it, just that I did.

Kind regard,


In reply to by Doug Dormer

Since I didn't see the imported score, all I could do was give generalities. One thing I know is that 6-lets at the ends of measures has caused problems in the past. There are others, but that is a common one with problems. If you deleted the tuplet and reentered it using version 3.0.2, then the internal structure might have been a little different than the score that was converted from PDF to XML (a step you don't see) then to .mscz. This could very well be the difference.

I had the same problem. I discovered that there were tuplets in the score PAST the point of the time signature change. Deleting those tuplets, changing the time signature at the desired point, and then recreating the tuplets as necessary, fixed the problem.

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