Toggleable staccato mode (already exists?)

• Aug 7, 2019 - 03:51

The Shift-S to make a note staccato is nice (and I understand and use that I can select a bunch of notes and make them all staccato w/ one Shift-S), but the S to turn slur on until you press S again to terminate the slur is better: can we have something like that for staccato, i.e., something to turn staccato "on" and then every subsequent note is staccato until we toggle it off again? (I'm entering in Mozart, and he seemingly never has just one note staccato: it's getting very tedious entering in a sequence of notes, then exiting note entry mode so that I can select them all, make them staccato, and then have to return to note entry mode; typing Shift-S after each note is just as tedious, and worse ergonomically.) Thanks!


In reply to by mike320

I guess I was too wordy: that's what I'm doing now; or do you mean after I've completed entering the entire score? Too many button presses, and too much of a chance of missing some notes: I much prefer to staccato them as I go along (in continuous sequences, not one at a time).

In reply to by OlyDLG

I break the score down to at most pages, and that probably works for most Mozart pieces. For each instrument I enter notes, slurs and maybe staccato, sforzato and marcato if there are few of them. If there are runs of notes with any of these I add them after the notes. This is also the time I enter fermatas and dynamic markings. One thing I do is enter all notes from the keyboard. My left hand is on the a-g letters and my right hand is on the numeric keypad for selecting durations. My right thumb and pointer can reach the arrows if I need to adjust an accidental. When I go back and add accents and dynamics, my right hand becomes my mouse hand and my left hand handles the keyboard. This is the point at which I start watching where I place my fingers because the n (tenuto) and o (marcato) keys are not within reach of a-g. Note entry is totally by touch.

If I have 5 measures of notes that need staccato on them, I select 5 measures and press shift+s to enter the staccato on all of the notes at once. If there are an irregular rhythm to which notes get staccato, I enter it as I go like:

4 a shift+s c shift+s 5 b 4 a shift+s c shift+s 5 f g 4 a shift+s b shift+s

and so forth. In my example I was adding staccato to the 8th notes, but I think you get the idea. If I did only need staccato on every 8th note I would use select>more... and limit my selection to only 8th notes being selected in the selection by choosing the correct options. If I have spiccato (slur and staccato on several notes) I always go back and enter the staccato after the notes are entered to avoid having to alternate between s and shift+s which usually leads to errors on my part. In my above example, I may decide to select several notes by clicking the first and ctrl+click more notes then press shift+s to add staccato to several notes at once.

In reply to by mike320

Is this your way of telling me my feature request will probably not make the cut? (I work the way I work: some of it is as you describe, some not; but I am not a musician, e.g., not facile w/ a (musical) keyboard, just an educated amateur (who is comparatively facile at a QWERTY keyboard), doing this b/c I've dreamed of a program like this since I got the very first Yamaha CX5M (1983-4!), and b/c my daughter plays clarinet in her school band, and though she's not very serious about it now, if she decides to get serious about it, I see MS as a way for her to have "Music Minus One" to practice clarinet-including chamber music. So I'm not likely to change my work habits significantly: if the powers that be decide they can implement my feature request without breaking the labor bank--or the program, of course--great; if not, well, as the Stones say: "You can't always get what you want.")

In reply to by OlyDLG

I agree with the OP. A new feature that would allow an articulation-toggle (not only staccato) as with the functionality of duration-toggling could be quite useful, especially when using the keyboard during note-entry -- it does not already exist in the current version.

In reply to by worldwideweary

Sincerest thanks for your support...but, really, how common are uninterrupted sequences of the same, individually-notated articulation--other than staccato (which also occurred very frequently in the Carl Baermann Clarinet Etudes I recently finished MS-ing)? Unless it would be easier to implement and use as an articulation-agnostic feature (for the record, all I had in mind was something like Control-Shift-S or Alt-shift-S to toggle staccato "mode" on and off--completely unobtrusive to people's current work habits, I would guess) the reaction so far makes me concerned that generalizing the request to encompass all articulations might make it less, not more, likely to see the light of day.

In reply to by OlyDLG

This is my way of telling you there are simple ways to do what you want. I was explaining my workflow some in hopes of helping you come up with a workflow that for yourself using the program the way it is now. I personally don't see a need for a toggle pick your accent mode. I'm not saying it'll never happen, I don't know. As Marc said, if someone comes up with a way to implement it that makes sense, I wouldn't object to it either.

One way to implement it might be a similar idea to the fingering mode Marc made recently but rather as an add accents mode. While in the mode you could press s to add staccato, n to add tenuto. To add both, press s to add a staccato then shift+n to add a tenuto to the same note in a manner similar to creating chords. This would allow for adding any combination of accents to notes. The implementation would need to define shortcuts for a few more common accents in my opinion. I realize this is still go back and add the accents after, but managing which accents are turned on and which are turned off would become a nightmare for the user. It would greatly simplify the task of adding all accents to arbitrary notes. It's value would be realized more in late Romantic and Modern classical music than in Mozart.

In reply to by mike320

To me, that's a (really) good idea in itself, but unfortunately I don't think it would be easier for the case at hand then simply entering the staccato dots immediately after the notes - it's still an additional keystroke per note.

But let's think for a minute about this "add accidentals" mode might work. RIght now, with fingering, you type the fingering then press Space to move to the next note. It's not actually a new mode at all, but just special handling of "Space" while in text edit mode for a fingering (same as we already we doing for lyrics, chord symbols, and figured bass).

Sounds like you are envisioning a scheme where pressing Space isn't needed (which is why you need the Shift+N to add a tenuto after already adding a staccato). After all, right now it's already a simple enough matter to press Right after entering the articulation to select the next note. While saving one keystroke might not seem like much, I can see how it could add up in this workflow. So what would basically be happening is, in this "mode", entering an articulation would enter the articulation but then simply select the next note instead of leaving the current note selected. That is, eliminate the need to press Right.

There's no particular reason we couldn't choose to do that right now in "normal" mode - always select the next note after entering an articulation by shortcut. Except for the likelihood that some would prefer the current scheme for whatever reason - their workflow has them more likely to do something else with the current note than to move to the next. It's interesting to consider, though. I suppose there could be just different shortcuts for "add articulation and keep same note selected" versus "add articulation and select next note". I don't know, just trying to imagine to gain those benefits without actually inventing a new mode.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Some of your suggestions would change the current workflow. Currently you can add several accents if the shortcuts are defined. You can enter a note (say A) then simply add accents to it shift+n, shift+s adds a tenuto and staccato, you can then actually say oops, I forgot to add the D to the chord and press shift+d to add to the chord if you like. Since shift+s is a toggle, you can also use it to delete a staccato, which I often do when I forget what I'm doing and accidentally press shift when I want a slur.

There needs to be a conscious decision on the part of the user to change notes. Currently that conscious decision can be as simple as entering the next note or pressing the right arrow to move to it.

You are correct about my suggestions, in the "add accents" mode, no arrows or spaces would be needed unless you want to skip a note. I realize this is a radical change to the current way things are done, but I think it would be a good method to simplify entering accents like fingerings has been simplified.

In general, I'm not a big fan of adding new "modes" (where the same command does different things depending on something you did previously) and I don't personally see this particular new as valuable enough to overcome this bias. To me, just managing the going in and out of such a mode and remembering if I'm in or out and thinking about what happens if I navigate to another measure or staff is fiddly enough that I already don't see it as that advantageous even for slurs. That said, if there is enough support for it and someone wants to implement it, I certainly won't object either.

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