Possible or not? Change of clef in a run of grace notes

• Nov 19, 2019 - 14:31

One of the transcribers for the OpenScore Lieder Corpus has transcribed a song by Augusta Holmès, which requires a change of clef in a run of six grace notes. This song is in 4/4 common time, and examples of the clef change are in the 1st, 3rd and 5th bars of the piano LH part:
Change of clef in a run of grace notes.png

Is this notation possible without all sorts of offsets being applied manually? So far I haven't found any way to achieve a neat solution. And accurate playback seems to require a hidden voice 2. Unless you increase the length of the bar and treat the grace notes as semiquavers - in which case the clef change is easy. But for OpenScore we prefer not to mess with the actual time signature as originally published, because it upsets any computer analysis of the score by musicologists.

Any thoughts or advice?


Make a tuplet that is 22/16 in duration, enter all of the notes, make the 16th notes small in the chord, insert the clef at some point in the process, adjust the beaming, and make the tuplet number and bracket invisible. You also get a reasonable playback when you do this. See the attached for how I did this:
grace clef.PNG

Attachment Size
clef_in_grace.mscz 9.91 KB

In reply to by mike320

Mike, that's a beautiful solution - thank you very much.
It took a few minutes for me to understand, so for the benefit of others I will outline the steps in detail.

  1. Select the whole note (semibreve) rest
  2. Choose Add > Tuplets > Other... - the ratio 22/16 replaces the whole note rest with 22 sixteenth (semiquaver) rests
  3. Enter the correct notes (in bass clef) for the first three 16th notes ("grace notes")
  4. Select the rest for the fourth note and apply the treble clef
  5. Enter the correct notes (in treble clef) for the next three 16th notes
  6. These steps used 6 of the 22 sixteenth notes, which leaves 16 sixteenth notes
  7. Enter the missing whole note (= 16 sixteenth notes)
  8. Then do the visual tidy-up: make the 16th note chords small, and separate the 16th note beam into two groups of three

In reply to by DanielR

Very good explanation. I knew you would understand what I did so I explained it with only you in mind. I know that you'll explain it to the transcribers. FYI, when the slur got left behind in the other staff, I double clicked the bad end and dragged it to the other.

How does the tuplet line up with the line above?

Another way (but more laborious) is to make use of the Fix to line option after applying the clef and hiding it. Then attach a clef from the symbols pallet and adjust the segment leading space for the whole note as well as for the first three grace notes and the symbol.
The downside of this approach is that I couldn't quite attach a valid cresc to the grace notes.

Attachment Size
297341_grace_clef_fix_to_line.mscz 5.66 KB

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