Suggestions for Improvements/Time-Saving

• Feb 8, 2020 - 19:50

I am very happy with MuseScore 3's automatic anti-collision feature and consider it (among other features) a huge leap forward. However, there were a few changes or oversights that I still think need considering. I am not a programmer by any means, but as an arranger/composer, I believe these are things that could at least be considered or looked into.

Suggestion 1. Shape notes with regular-notehead accompaniment notes. Here's one aspect where MS2 is still preferred for me when writing in SATB. Small accompaniment notes in MS3 cannot be changed into regular noteheads. Although I wouldn't consider this the end of the world, I still believe that such a strong software could be made stronger by giving users more liberty over how their scores look.
1a Acmp notes.png 1b Acmp notes.png

Suggestion 2. When going into "Time Signature Properties" after right-clicking a Time Signature, after you change how the beaming would look, it would be nice to have an "Apply to all time signatures" button. That way, one can pick and choose which time signatures would have different kinds of beaming, instead of when copying one time signature to another, it affects all time signatures. The reason for this being is when, in some pieces I write, the beaming/phrasing is different for different instruments/sections.

Suggestion 3. An option to select more than one voice when inputting notes. This has long plagued me even since MS2. When inputting notes, only one voice can be selected at a time. I don't know how this looks from programmers perspective, but I look forward to knowing more about it. There's been way more than one occasion where I was writing for SATB, and some or all of the voices are singing in unison, and so I would need to notate both voice one and two separately, or just copy voice one into voice two after I finished the first voice. This is one area where so much time would be saved for me.

Suggestion 4. Proper automatic rest distribution when writing in compound time signatures (6/8, 12/8 etc.) Let's say I'm writing a piece in 6/8 where the melody would go Crotchet/eighth rest/Crotchet/eighth rest. One would assume that, after inputting a crotchet, an eighth note rest would appear automatically in front of it since it's a compound signature, right? Nope! Anytime I try to write in 6/8 or 12/8, the software thinks I'm trying to write in 3/4 and 6/4 respectively, and automatically distributes the rests as such. This is a big one, since the way the rests are distributed are entirely incorrect and would save me a lot of time if the correct automatic rest distribution would be applied.

Suggestion 5. An option to select a different kind of beat other than the crotchet in the New Score window. The only beat represented in the New Score window is a crotchet (crotchet = 120.) This makes no sense, since there are a plethora of other kinds of beats that are required in different kinds of time signatures, e.g. the minim beat for 4/2 and the dotted crotchet for 12/8 etc.

Suggestion 6. Input a voice other than one, anywhere on the bar. Let's say I finished notating voice one in a bar and I want to start notating voice 2 anywhere other than the beginning of a bar. Is it possible to start notating voice 2, 3, and 4 anywhere on the bar without needing to input a rest at the beginning of a bar? There's been many occasions where I want to start notating voice 2 anywhere other than the first beat of a bar, but I can't do that without first inputting some kind of rest into the first beat of a bar, or taking voice 1, from anywhere other than the first beat of a bar, putting it into voice 2, and then putting it back into voice 1, and start notating from the rest in voice 2 where voice 1 was. This is convoluted and takes too much time to execute. This would save a lot of time for me.

Suggestion 7. A "Fill With Rests/Triplets" button. There's been lots of occasions where I need plenty of triplets in an even time signature for lots of measures in a row, but I can't do that without first pressing 5 (shortcut for crotchet) consecutively for a long time to get all of the crotchets I need to turn into triplets. Another method would be to select all of the measures I would need triplets in, then pressing 5 to make quarter rests, but that only distributes quarter rests for the first two beats of each measure, the last half of the measure is always minim rests. This is a little irritating and would save a lot of time.

Suggestion 8. An SATB friendlier input mode, where voice one would always be facing down if notes appear above the middle line of the staff, like in the example below.
8 Auto stem beam directions.png

Of course there's also always the requests to make cross-staff arpeggios easier to notate/playback accurately, and also make it easier for some notes in a chord to be in one staff, and the other notes to be in the original staff, like in the example below.
Cross-staff notation, arpeggios.png

I hope these suggestions could possibly make MuseScore faster to work with. If not, i'll be glad for any feedback.


That's a lot of different things to cover in one post, but here goes nothing :)

  1. Shape notes are a staff property in MS3. But for your scenario you can apply the Staff type change element from the text palette. Then select it and you can change the Notehead scheme in the inspector.

  2. I'm not quite following entirely. You wish to be able to apply changing beaming options for all time signatures within a score to make it easier to use different beaming options for time signatures within a score? I'm also rather assuming you meaning beaming for all the same time signatures within the score, as beaming options for different time signatures won't necessarily make sense.

  3. I like the idea of some kind of vertical block input mode. It would require some though as how to indicate in which voices/staves you'd be entering at the same time though. I personally don't regard copy and paste as a huge time burden myself, but see value this proposal for certain use cases.
    Feel free to open up a separate topic for this feature request specifically, so more input and discussion around a possible implementation can arise.

  4. This has been a long-standing issue: #4867: Rests in measures should be grouped according to time signature

  5. Makes sense to broaden this into multiple beat selection possibilities. Please file the request into the issue tracker as an S5 - suggestion

  6. This comes up from time to time and it is being considered as part of a broader UX redesign. The partial difficulty is finding a good snapping behavior with the desired accuracy.

  7. The advised way of (pre)filling a range of measures would be to create the pattern to repeat once (a triplet or a bar of them) then select the pattern and use the shortcut R to replicate the selected part (feel free to hold it down for faster replication).

  8. This one won't happen automatically as it goes against the rules of standard notation. You are free to overwrite the default beam direction (as you probably are aware already). But when we interpret your first measure according to standard notation, it would mean voice 2 is splitting into a chord with voice 1 being silent; the opposite of what you wish to convey.

In reply to by jeetee

I believe I should elaborate on a couple points.
1. In MS2, there are instances where I'm writing for SATB where shape notes and notes with regular noteheads are occurring within the same measure (accompaniment notes.) In MS3, this is not possible. I have shape notes in one voice, and when I try to put accompaniment notes in another voice and make them small, I cannot change the shaped noteheads into regular noteheads because the option in the Inspector is grayed out and cannot be changed.
2. I think what I meant was, have an "Apply to all time signatures" button so that can replace having to copy one time signature to another so it applies to all time signatures. This way, one can pick and choose which time signatures should have which kinds of beaming by copy-pasting, instead having the "copy and paste one time signature to another to make it apply to all of them."

In reply to by jeronjoseph

I confess to having no idea for the purpose of shaped notes in SATB. I have sung in choirs most of my life and never seen them. Is it to let the singers know where the melody is? Or at least the most important part?
I, too, would love to be able to place a note anywhere in a measure without adding rests first.

In reply to by bobjp

I guess you can call shape notes a visual aid, but the reason I like it and use it is, when improvising accompaniment on, say, a piano, shape notes help enormously when differentiating the melody in the soprano and the bass in the bass part, and the chords in the tenor and/or alto. Each shape corresponds to a syllable in the Do-Re-Mi scale, or the number system, 1 to 7, and then back to 1 again. If you're playing in the key of C, the C note is always going to be a triangle in every octave, the E note is always going to be a diamond in every octave etc. If you're playing in the key of A flat, the A flat note is always going to be a triangle in every octave and the C note is always going to be a diamond in every octave as it corresponds to the Do-Re-Mi scale or the number system in each key.

In reply to by jeronjoseph

Interesting. Thanks for explaining it. We all do what we need to do. I would think that figured bass or chord symbols would provide a more universal system.
My simple brain thought at first that a C note is always going to be a C note in every octave :-) But that's not what you meant.

In reply to by jeronjoseph

You can however change normal notes into shape noteheads on a regular staff using the inspector.
It is rather cumbersome in your use case though: The fastest way I could discover for now is after entering all notes:
1. Right-click one of the notes that needs to be changed
2. Select → More…
3. check Same note name and same voice (and whichever other options are appropriate)
4. Change Head group in the inspector

Feel free to post a request for an update of the plugin to MS3. So far no one has bothered with porting it, as for all known use cases (up till now :) ) the staff property and staff type change elements covered those.

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