Copy time signatures

• Aug 14, 2019 - 16:14

I have looked through the literature but found no answer: how can I copy / paste a passage including the time signatures?


You cannot currently do this, though there has been much discussion on the subject. I wouldn't be too surprised to see this happen in the not too distant future.

Adding one more plea, I can't figure out why this is not a high priority thing, it is so incredibly irritating and illogical not to be able to just copy/paste a part with time signature changes to experiment with it instantly instead of "preparing" the signature changes in empty bars beforehand...

I cannot believe this still isn't implemented. We are on Musescore version 4 now. A huge amount of modern music, especially symphonic music, has more than one time signature in a single piece and at this time, working with pieces with more than one time signature is a huge headache. I write symphonic progressive rock / jazz fusion that often changes time signatures many times per song, sometimes with sections that oscillate between two time signatures every single measure, which you can imagine is a nightmare in Musescore. When I select a whole section, copy it and paste it, it should paste the time signatures, period. I shouldn't have to carefully construct a whole section of time signatures in empty bars before pasting. It's incredibly counterintuitive, it's very slow and inefficient, and it makes working with the application a dogged, cumbersome and very frustrating experience. Please fix this!

In reply to by AlteriusOmega

"I cannot believe this still isn't implemented"

Why can you not believe this? This is open-source, free software. Here are your options:

Hope that someone with coding skills wants this feature,
Hope that a lot of people have put in Feature Requests - AND that someone is willing to write the code,
Learn to code yourself and contribute,
Hope (and wait)

In reply to by underquark

I will put my money (time) where my mouth is. I will fork the Musescore repo tonight. I don't have much free time right now as I'm in-between jobs but when I do I will start investigating how the paste function currently works and how to fix it to work the way it to copy and paste all content and attributes including time signature unless specified otherwise (paste without formatting for ex.) like how it works in most programs.

A workaround is to export to a music xml format and text edit the xml file. It’s actually pretty quick.

It’s easiest when there is only one instrument but multiple instruments with notes are possible to copy. You just need to pay attention. I haven’t tried it but xml comments are “‘<‘!’-‘- comment ‘-‘-‘>” (excluding the quote marks). You can comment start and end points where you think copying should start and end before actually doing it. You will be looking for ‘measure number=“1” ‘, etc.

Before export, note the measure numbers and add a “16/16” measure before the first copy area and after it, to signal the bracketing.

After export, edit the xml and copy and paste, and don’t update the measure numbers. They duplicate and are wrong but are easier (to me) to fix later.

You can copy and paste a section multiple times. Include the 16/16 measures at the start and end.

Save the xml and then drag and drop the xml or music xml file into Musescore. You should have a file with copied mixed time signatures. But, your scores measure count (small numbers that tell you where you are in the score) will be wrong. Delete the added 16/16 measures, which have an offset to compensate (I think) for the “wrong” measure number changes. You can verify measure counts using measure properties and look at “add to measure count.” It should be 0. Use the arrows in the properties box to scan the copied area or just manually count and verify the measure count.

I would export to xml and reimport it to Musescore again to “sanitize it.” The measure numbers should be recalculated correctly by Musescore.

I find it easier to text edit than re-enter a verse-chorus section with a lot of time signature changes.

Need more info?

I don’t know the limitations of XML but hopefully you can copy and paste other details between Musescore scores afterwards.

In reply to by TDYama

Copying here my reply from the feedback thread:

Hi, I tested it with several scores and worked fine, without problems, with the restrictions you indicated (can't paste to measure #1 but also cannot paste to measure #1 of a new section).

It would be great if it detected when the actual measure duration is different from the nominal, the scores which I used to test had several of those and they needed to be edited separately, but as it is it's already a huge improvement and time saver. All the rest worked well.

Thank you for your hard work. You solved a missing functionality that was plaguing Musescore, and many needed it. I don't know if a similar method can be used to copy-paste tempo marks, but if it could, it's the other big copy-pasting tool that people are requesting for ages.

Thanks for the encouraging words. I just revised it so it also copies Actual Time Signature. I’ll likely make a separate copy plug-in that copies a few more items but copy all is unlikely. Copying tempo and Rehearsal Marks are likely. Other items are being tested but it isn’t known if they will work.

I need to spend time on the user interface as well. Please download and help test it out.

The feedback thread is where I’ll post revision info.

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