Change of voice--some minor issues

• Jul 16, 2020 - 01:28

I don't know whether to call this a bug, a needed improvement, or a feature request. I'm demonstrating some minor issues I've encountered with change of voice. I'm working with hymn scores where I may have to write some parts in two or more voices, and sometimes I change my mind after writing and change the voicing. In doing that I've encountered these issues, demonstrated in the attached file.

The file has two demonstrations, in measures 1-4, and 5-8. I first discuss measures 1-4.

Measure 1 is as originally written in two voices. In measure 2 Voice 2 has been changed to Voice 1 by control-selecting the Voice 2 notes and then clicking on 1 in the voice selection area above. This replaces the Voice 2 notes with rests. (Note 3 was not changed, as I wanted to retain both up and down stems on the note. So there is no rest on that beat.) In measure 3 I select the rests (the demonstration file does not show this) and delete them. Measure 4 is the result. Note that the dot on the dotted rest is not deleted. If I had not control-selected the rests individually but rather used Select All Similar Elements in Same Staff it usually deletes the dot, but I've seen it missed (but that also selects all the rests in Voice 1 that I don't want to delete). I must delete the dot manually. Note also that the stems remain up on the notes where the rests were deleted in measures where at least one Voice 2 note remains in the measure. I finish by manually switching the stem direction on those notes (not shown in the demonstration). If no Voice 2 notes remain in the measure the stem directions are switched automatically when the rests are deleted.

Wishes here: Primarily that stem directions would change automatically for any beat (not just any measure) where a voice is removed so that only a single voice remains, and the second-voice rests are also deleted. Also that dots would be deleted with their rests. And if there were an easy way to Select All ... (notes or rests) just in a single voice (and within pre-selected measures) that would also be helpful.

Now measures 5-8. Here the issue is with slurs.

Measure 5 is as originally written in two voices. In measure 6 I change Voice 2 to Voice 1 at beat 3. This places a Voice 2 rest at that beat and reorients the slur. In measure 7 I delete the rest. The slur remains oriented as though the rest were still there, but it is now an orphan. In measure 8 I switch the stem direction on the note. This changes the shape of the upper slur but leaves the lower slur as it was. The reason that does not appear in the demonstration file is that I copied measure 8 from measure 7. Copying drops the orphan slur. To put it back I must control-select the first and last notes and press S to place the slur on them. (This is a slur between voices, but MuseScore allows this.) I have not done this in the demonstration, but it does orient the slur correctly when I do.

Note that if the measure contains no remaining second-voice notes, orphan slurs are deleted automatically when the second-voice rests are deleted. But they do remain until those rests are deleted.

Wishes here: Primarily that the orphan slur would be changed automatically to a correctly oriented slur between voices, but that may be too much to expect. MuseScore seems to be uncertain what to do with it. If that uncertainty can be removed somehow, it would be a welcome improvement (I think).

Now one more wish, not shown in the demonstration. This is about making it easier to work with multiple voices. When writing scores of this nature a second voice must be used when the parts have notes on different beat intervals or to get double stem direction when two parts share the same pitch or are inverted (with the "lower" part pitched above the "upper" so that the visually-upper note needs a down stem and the visually lower one needs an up stem). This can often be only at a single main beat in the measure, yet a full measure of the second voice must be created (generally with rests) to place that note where it belongs. After creating it, the extraneous rests can be deleted, but all that is extra work. I wish for a way to alleviate that, to simply click on the beat that needs the additional voice and place the note(s) there, leaving notes already there unchanged, and not adding and having to delete unwanted rests. This is really about score appearance in print, not function in playback.

Let me add one more little finesse detail for multiple voices. If one enters multiple voices at the same beat but forces the stems in the same direction, the notes look like a chord if they are close enough for the stems to overlap and the stems are just straight (no tail). But if they have a tail (such as eighth notes), the tails are not "synchronized" to appear at the same place, so they are visibly superimposed, and it looks messy. It would be nice if, for stems from different voices oriented in the same direction, stem lengths were automatically adjusted to terminate at the same point so tails (for the same beat fraction) would overlap invisibly, making the notes look like a chord. Something of this sort is particularly needed if working with three or four voices on the same staff, as there are only two stem directions available!

Attachment Size
Demonstration.mscz 9.52 KB


To your 1st point; I don't see and leftover dots in measure 4.
I do see it though when deleting the dotted rest in measure 3, but after save/close/open it is gone, a bug for sure, but 'only' in display. Feel free to report it in the issue tracker (I couldn't find it being reported there)

To your last point: IMHO voices with stems in the same direction (1+3, 2+4) they should not be sharing a stem, but be horizontally offset from one another, so you really see that they are not chords but independent voices. If you want them to share a stem, write them as a chord in the same voice

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