Swapping positions in a measure?

• Nov 11, 2019 - 15:53

hey folks

am fairly new to MuseScore, and for the most part have been enjoying it and finding it very useful.

However, 1 major issue with note input, and am hoping someone can assist.

1- Create any two eighth notes.
2 - Change the first eight note to a sixteenth.
3 - The system autoplaces a sixteenth note rest between the first and second note.

Up until now, I have had manually re-enter the 2nd note on the space where the new 'rest' got created. This is obviously very onerous. Ive looked around the forums and cant find any way to disable the 'auto' rest function. So ive tried the 'swap' function - the shift + arrow keys, to at least move the 2nd eighth note to the left, so it swaps places with the auto-inserted rest.

But this does not work. Ive tried every shift arrow combination I can try, no dice.

Is there a way to work around this issue so i can change note duration without having to re-enter my notes every time i change one? Swapping, moving the rest, anything would be welcome at this point.



There is no easy way to fix this except to reenter the note. Rests are considered walls when using shift+arrows to swap notes, that is a note will not swap with a rest (or a rest with anything).

Just today I was entering multiple note chords and realized my source had a dotted 8th followed by a 16th which should have been two consecutive 8th notes. I cut the 16th note chord, selected a dotted 8th note and pressed 4 to change it to an 8th note, then pasted my 16th note chord where it belongs, selected a note in the chord and press 4 to change it back to 8th notes. This sounds rather complicated, but I didn't think twice about doing this since I've done it so many times.

In reply to by mike320

ouch. this seems like such a simple feature to add; i completely understand the program needing to 'lock' the beat notations, or we end up with a situation where time keeping gets dicey; however, it should be possible to at least move an autocreated rest 'out of the way' - i.e, stick it at the end of the measure to be dealt with later. I too had a fairly decent amount of re-editing to do after i realized a melody in a 128 bar arrangement needed to be retimed; and the thought of having to do it all by hand made me nauseous. i considered just playing the piece on my midi piano, but then the program doesnt have realtime midi input either, so its either redo by hand or export to another program and fix there.

In reply to by ptrtool1999

If you want to double or halve the duration of several notes over several measures, then there is the paste half duration and paste double duration commands in the edit menu. If you need to move several notes then cut and paste is the way to go. This has the same effect as move the rest to the end of the group of notes. The point is, for longer passages there are tools that can help. If you are a bit more specific perhaps there is a tool that can make this easier for you next time.

What you call an "issue" might be not what you want here but is absolutely what you want in other cases. Unfortunately, MuseScore can't read you mind to know what you want. If you change the first eighth to a sixteenth, how can MuseScore know if you want to move the next note earlier or not? Or if you do wish to move it earlier, do you only wish to move one note, or maybe 2? Or maybe the next 17? Generally, if you want to move the next note - of the next 2, or the next 17 - earlier, just select them and move then with Ctrl+X.

Feel free to attach a sample score and describe precisely what you want the end result of an edit to be, and we can help you find the most efficient way to make it happen.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I agree it shouldnt read my mind - which is why a simple toggle for 'on/off' or 'lock rests in place' option would be fantastic. Then, the power would be where it should be - with the user. If cleanup was needed afterwards, an autoformat option (a la crescendo) would probably do the trick.

I had a bit of success with band in a box; exported to that, did my edits, and imported back. Wasnt too bad, but again not ideal in having to juggle the multple apps. tonight i will look at the available plugins to see if they can do what i need.

I've read a fair amount of posts here going back to 2016 about requests for basically the same thing -a toggle for auto creation of rests. Hopefully one day this will get done, meanwhile i guess cut n paste is going to get a workout! ;>

i have a test score i created to play around with the autorest functions to see how it behaves in various situations. I will ammend with text and then paste it up here so you can see what i am doing.


In reply to by ptrtool1999

The power is with the user - you get to specify exactly how many notes you want to move, and where you want to move them to. It's not at all clear what "local rests in place" would even mean. If you have a measure with a mix of rests and notes, and you change one duration early in the measure, how on earth could MuseScore possibly know which notes or which rests you want to keep in their current time position and which you want moved? That's not control, that's giving up control. Control is you telling MuseScore exactly which notes or rests to move.

It is indeed common, though, for people to misunderstand the process and the reasons why computer programs can't read minds and why giving you control is better than having the program guess which notes or rests to move and which not to. But FWIW, since 2016, there is a new feature added where you can "remove" notes or rests from a measure with Ctrl+Delete, thus leaving you with too few ebats., and you can also insert new notes into the measure with Ctrl+Shift+letter. No magic, no guesswork or mindreading required on MuseScore's part - you tell it which notes or rests to remove, you tell it which to insert. There are probably not many real-world use cases where it results in fewer keystrokes than simply moving the notes/rests you want. But if it fits your way of thinking about the process better, that's an option now.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I can try the Cntrl Del, didn't see that option, thanks.

I said 'lock' rests in place, not 'local'.

What I mean (very easy to reproduce) - create a half-rest, quarter rest. and 2 eighth notes. You now have a full 4/4 measure.

Now, change the first eighth to a sixteenth. You now have a sixteenth note, a sixteenth note rest, and an eighth note. So the measure still has the correct number of beats. However, suppose I could 'unlock' that autocreated 1/16 note rest, and move it behind the 2nd eigth note. The measure would still have the correct duation (a full 4 beats worth of rests/notes), but I could drag the auto created rest to where i wanted it to go manually, without having to resort to cut n paste. Obviously, for a single change, the cut n paste is as quick as the drag, but if i was changing a lot of notes in a measure, and changing timing in multiple voices, then the ability to have total control of where those rests ended up would be a godsend.

In reply to by ptrtool1999

Yes, "local" was a typo on my part, I understood you wrote "lock" but I still don't understand why you are seeing this as being about locking rests. It's not. It's about whether subsequent notes move automatically when you shorten notes. You example oversimplifies the problem by only having two notes in the measue, and placing that at the end. Changing you example to a measure full of eighths, and now change the first to a sixteenth. How can MuseScore possibly guess how many of the subsequent eighths you want moved earlier? Maybe you just want the very next note moved, with the other six remaining where they were. Maybe you want the next three moved earlier, perhaps because you intend to change all three into sixteenths, but the remaining four staying. Or maybe you want them all mvoed, but the next measure left alone., heck, maybe you want everything from that point to the end of the piece moved earlier.

The point is, MuseScore cannot possibly read your mind about any of this. So, it gives you the control - you decide how many notes you want to move.

Now, you do propose a sort of interest alternative to using cut and paste, using drag on the mouse instead to move a rest and have the side effect of moving other notes earlier. That's kind of a backwards way of looking at it, and it's certainly no more efficient to drag & drop then to cut and paste (particularly if you need to move several notes or rests), but in principle, it would certainly be possible to implement this as an alternate way of accomplishing the exact same thing. I'm not at all understanding why you think having to do that drag multiple times would be better than using cut and paste multiple times. And if you're thinking of wanting change a whole bunch of eighths into sixteenths, there's a much simpler way: select and cut the eighths, then Edit / Paste Half Duration (Ctrl+Shift+Q).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for the very quick and thorough response. Your presence on this forum is very much appreciated and kiicks the tail out of the support i used to get on the Sonar and Cubase forums.

The main reason I prefer the choice whether or not to do the cut n paste route or the 'drag the rest to where i want' is, again, about choice. Ibn many cases, its much quicker and fewer keystrokes to drag one autorest to a new spot than it is to highlight a slew of sixteenth notes, copy them, move to the new location, then paste them in. You are comparing a simple mouse operation versus a multi-keystroke operation.

Please dont take this as criticism, as its not. Rather, its a hope that the program continues to improve, and granting greater freedoms for the user to choose what he can do is never a bad thing.

In reply to by ptrtool1999

Not to worry! I think it's an interesting suggestion. Often people are surprised than MuseScore doesn't just automatically do exactly what they want and we try to explain why that's actually impossible in general, but don't get anywhere. I think we are understanding each other well here, though. You aren't asking MuseScore guess what you want - it would still be a matter of you explicitly telling MsueScore what you want. You just want an alternate way of doing that. Fair enough. To me, anything that requires me to take my hand off the keyboard and perform physical gymnastics with a mouse or other pointing device is automatically way more complicated than just pressing some keys, but there's no particular reason both methods couldn't exist someday.

FWIW, Ctrl+Delete will very easily remove a note or rest from a measure. The corresponding way to add one back is Ctrl+Shift+letter, while in note input. Currently no direct way to do insert a rest, but you can insert a dummy note then immediately press Delete (no Ctrl) to change it to a rest. Basically, your proposed new facility would have the same effect - remove the note or rest from its current position, insert it into a new one. In principle, if we look at it that way, it probably wouldn't be that hard to implement - start of drag calls the remove command, the drop calls the insert command. Of course, sometimes the devil is in the detail, but it could be an interesting experiment.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks again for the speedy response! That would be fantastic if this gets rolled out, and hopefully won't be difficult to implement,.

I expect my facility with the 'keyboard only' route will improve, but I do most of my composition on a small laptop in front of the piano with a midi keyboard stacked above. So the touchpad on the laptop is generally the way i do things as there is no numeric keypad on the laptop, and I am still customizing the shortcuts as I got used to from mapped shortcuts in piano roll mode in Sonar and BIAB. I've tried to make some room for a fullsize keyboard in my setup, but the big monitors took precedence as my eyes are not what they used to be...:

Hey, I create 2 eight notes, and , after listening, I think it's better to have , at the same place, 2 sixteen notes, to get a staccato effect, so I click the 1st eight note, and tape 3 , I get 1 sixteen note, BUT, if your ask was the reality, the 2 nd eight note moves also for placing juste after the new sixteen note, and I am obliged to move it at he good place, spending my time.............how do you want MuseScore knows your purpose ?

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