Combining and simplifying rest symbols automatically

• Aug 29, 2019 - 22:26

Hello, friends.

After laying out an entire score in 4/4 time, I find that I often leave behind lots of quarter-rests and eight-rests, to the point that I sometimes have, for example, two quarters in one measure, followed by a half-rest in the same measure, or a half rest followed by four eighth rests, throughout the score. I would like to simplify all of my rest symbols by combining all such cases globally into whole-measure rests, in this example. I would also like to go through and combine all pairs of eight rests into one quarter, where feasible, or three quarter rests into a dotted half rest, etc.

Here's the catch. I know how to do it measure by measure individually, but I would like to know if there is any way to repair all cases globally throughout a score automatically, perhaps in the same way that I can already group individual eighth-notes connected by bars, throughout any score, by using the "auto beam" tool on my inspector palette. I suppose that there must be a similar tool for automatically grouping (simplifying) rest symbols throughout the score, as well.

What do you say?

I am using version 2.3.2. and cannot upgrade for now, so let me know if there is a built-in solution.


Layout → Regroup Rhythms might be of help.
Note that it rewrites chords/notes as well as rests and doing so will loose a lot of things attached to the original notes (articulations/lyrics)

There is no easy way to automate this process. The best method is to not make these rests in the first place. When you enter an 8th note on beat 1, it is followed by and 8th, a 1/4 and a 1/2 rest by default. If you delete a note, fix the rests in the measure when you delete the note.

In reply to by mike320

I see. I will take your word for it.

So far, I have been mainly "editing" hundreds of pre-existing scores, but not creating many from scratch, so I am still learning how to input, and the way I do it has been tedious.

Rather than use a MIDI controller (since I don't have one yet), I have been "typing" in the notes by letter, selecting the value with the mouse, as I go.

So, then, what do I do, if I have a full-measure rest by default, but I need to type in a sixteenth-note that comes in on the second half of the second beat? I cannot just select the whole-rest and begin typing.

I have been selecting the whole-rest, clicking on the quarter-note symbol, to automatically divide it, then selecting the second quarter rest, then clicking the sixteenth-note symbol, and so on, so that I can type in the note with the right value. Yes, I was sure that there had to be a better way (without a controller), but I was hesitant to bother anyone to ask.

Any tips? (besides seeking a psychiatrist)

In reply to by ErikJon

I rarely use the mouse except to click the starting spot. For durations I have my right hand on the numeric key pad. 1 = 64th, 2=32nd...5=1/4 note and so on. I rest my left hand on the note names a-g. When I need a rest it's on the right hand and I use a 0 with my thumb. So if I need a 16th note Bflat that starts on the up of 2 I press 5 0 4 0 3 b down arrow (if the is no B-flat in the key signature). I use the same method if I'm copying or composing original music. I have a few other shortcuts I've defined to make it easier. I can insert an accidental on a note using a shortcut or adjust the beaming of notes or include rests. Most of my shortcuts only use the left hand keys, numeric key pad or arrows I mostly press with my thumb. My beaming shortcuts use keys I can't reach with my left hand in normal position, but these are the least common keys I use.

This method was far less than perfect when I started, but I can now enter scores quite fast after practicing with it. It honestly took about 2 moths to get really comfortable with this method for me. The biggest problem was getting used to the 5 being a 1/4 note... ugh!

In reply to by ErikJon

MIDI input is not inherently any faster than computer keyboard input - both are quite efficint as you get good good at, and either is many many times faster than mouse input.

You say you want a note to come in on the second half of the second beat. The way this is notated is quarter rest, eighth rest, sixteenth note. So you type 5 0 4 0 3 C (or whatever the pitch is). Rests are entered left to right just like notes are, there is no difference as far as MuseScore is concerned.

In reply to by ErikJon

The speed of a MIDI controller or computer keyboard is dependent upon the user. I would slow down considerably if I used a MIDI controller others might initially be faster with a mouse, but the speed of a mouse is very limited compared to keyboards (computer and MIDI).

In reply to by ErikJon

It doesn't take longer to type "A" than to press an "A" on the MIDI keyboard. And you still need to enter notes one at a time, selecting durations etc. Unless you were planning on trying out one of the real-time modes, but those aren't very practical for music of any complexity.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Oh. I thought the system was much more advanced than that. I remember my band director doing live notation back in 1989, but I never asked him about how accurate it was. I just assumed that, 30 years later, it would have been developed much more. Maybe musescore does not have the capability but maybe sibelius or finale.? Anyway, it's kind of off the topic, so no need to respond.

In reply to by ErikJon

I'd say it all depends on how accurately you play. I'm a professional pop studio musician, so my timing is good. I took a bunch of unquantized, unedited midi tracks from my daw and imported them into dorico, and there was surprisingly little rework to do. I'm assuming live entry would work similarly.

It depends on the material of course, and smart decisions about quantizing the input go a long ways. For instance if you have mostly eighth notes and a few 16ths, it might be better to set the quantization to 8ths, and untangle the 16th notes later.

I haven't tried live entry with museScore yet, though. I also might try importing the same files I imported into dorico, and see how it does.

My wife never uses realtime entry, but she does all her scoring with a tiny midi keyboard handy. It saves you specifying the octave of notes and simplifies chord entry. She uses sibelius, so I don't know how differently that functionality might work with MS. Again, more things to investigate!

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