triplet / tuplet tool

• Dec 16, 2019 - 09:02

Hello, devs,

I find it rather strange that you cannot convert existing "normal" notes into triplets/tuplets. It cannot be that you have to delete existing notes (and thus also text, symbols, chords, etc. that are attached to them) and then have to re-enter everything.

My suggestion: A "triplet tool" with which you can convert normal notes into triplets (or tuplets).


This is already possible. Select a note (perhaps with articulation or dynamics or text attached), press CTRL+3 and hey presto! it turns into the first note of a triplet (still with any of the attached items) with two following rests to make up the original length of the note you have just tripletised.

Or have I misunderstood what you want to happen?

In reply to by ingobert

Yes, I can see how it could be useful. However, I think there may be a lot of potential "difficult cases" that would need to be handled. Presumably in the case you describe, the user would make a range selection covering the eighth-quarter-eighth group and hit the TRIPLETISE button. But consider what should the behaviour be when the button is pressed in these cases.

  • user selects eighth plus quarter only
  • user selects a dotted quarter plus an eighth
  • user selects four consecutive eighths
  • user selects five consecutive 1/16ths
  • user selects three consecutive quarters
  • user selects a range of notes that cross a bar line
  • user selects middle three notes of a quintuplet

One can tell the user not to do those things, but surely someone will try even though most don't make much sense. Perhaps the Tripletise button would do nothing unless there are exactly 3 notes in the selection AND the total duration of the selected notes can be represented as one undotted note (i.e. whole, half, quarter, eighth etc.) AND the selection doesn't cross a bar line. If it was extended to a general n-tuplet, the complexity would grow. I am not a developer but I can believe there would be some quite knotty problems in identifying what is a valid selection before actually putting the tupletise function to work.

Of course, MuseScore is open source and if you fancy having a go ....

In reply to by SteveBlower

Hmm. At least to me, your bullet point examples don't seem that hard to resolve. The "tupleator's" function is to take the selected pitches and distribute them evenly across the interval available.

"eighth-quarter-eighth": Duration, 2 beats (half-note). # of pitches: 3. ((# of pitches) - 1) / (duration) = 1, which corresponds to a quarter note. Create a quarter note triplet.

"eighth and quarter": Duration: 1.5 beats, # of pitches: 2. ((# of pitches) - 1) / (duration) = 0.75, so this is a non-standard tuple. Can either be notated as two dotted eighth notes, or two eighth notes with a "2:3" designation underneath.

"dotted quarter and eighth" Duration: 2 beats, # of pitches: 2. Becomes two quarter notes.

"four consecutive eights", "five consecutive sixteenths", "three consecutive quarters". All notes are already evenly spaced: no change. Or, even better, assume the user wants to make an n+1 tuple. So 4 eighth notes become an eighth-note quintuplet made up of the four notes and an eighth rest. Three quarters become a quarter-note quadruplet. Five sixteenths becomes a "6:5" tuple (which would be preposterously difficult to play, and is probably a mistake. Time for an undo.)

"across a bar line": Process the notes before the bar line, and the notes after the bar line. If that's not what the user wanted (and it probably isn't), then they'll just have to "undo" the change.

Now, if you want a quadruplet in the first half of a 6/8 measure where you currently have three eighth notes, make the last one a sixteenth, add the fourth pitch, then Tuple-ify the set, and get four eighth notes with a "4" underneath. (Basically, any time the ratio is (n+1)/n, you can leave the ":n" off. ) Or tuple-ify the three eighth notes to add the rest, then fill in the fourth note.

Want a septuplet to fill a 4/4 measure? Put in the seven notes and an eighth rest, select them all, and tuple-ify it. The rest gets tossed out, the pitches get evenly spaced and "7:8" goes underneath.

In reply to by snarke

Right, so what we need is a "redistribute" tool. That makes sense. Tripletising is just one special case. Redistributing gets rid of the need to test for tripletisability (isn't English a wonderful language to make up new words in?) as the number of notes in the final tuplet is just the same as the number of notes in the selection. Nice!

Yeah this was very frustrating for me, when I incorrectly notated many of my compositions in 4 /4 with triplets instead of 6 / 8. I basically had to re-enter everything. I am all for this "triplet tool" if it is feasible.

I would be so glad for such a plugin. My music scanning software (SmartScore Music to XML from the Windows Store) usually recognize triplets in piano accompaniment as tuplets (resulting in broken measures when I open the xml file in MuseScore). I am now transcribing vocal pieces and exercises which often have these triplets all the way through. Now it seems I have to keep rewriting everything, with such a plugin it could become just a copy-paste and convert work.

You should have a look at my Duration Editor plugin, that I updated for managing that very same issue.


You can download the last beta version here.

Its is not 100% perfect as you still loose some information in the process (some texts and other decorations), but the most important is kept: the chords, the durations.

As for the other the featurse of my plugin I wish they could become native in MS instead of through a plugin which has its limitations.

Any feedback is definitely appreciated !! (but best in the Duration Feedback thread.

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