Adding a series of notes that don't count toward the beats in a measure

• Aug 2, 2020 - 20:05

Hello. I am working on notating a piece that I wrote for piano, and have been very pleased with MuseScore up to this point. One thing that I can't get to work is creating a series of notes that don't count toward the beats in a measure. I tried to use grace notes, but multiple chords don't work correctly in grace note form. I attached a screenshot of the notes I want to include. They're just eighth and sixteenth notes, but I want to put them in a measure without them counting toward the count of the beats. I know that this is sometimes signified by making the notes very small, but I can't find a way to do this either. I'm still pretty new to the notation process, so can you let me know the proper way to do this? My composition is probably going to be submitted to a contest, so I want to make sure I use the most common way to signify this kind of passage. Thanks,


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There are a number of different features that could relate to what you are trying to do, but we'd need a clearer understanding of the goal in order to advise better. Sure sounds like you are talking about grace notes, so it isn't clear what about them seems to you like it isn't what you want. Could you post a picture of what you want to achieve, such as a scan of it drawn by hand on manuscript paper?

You can certainly make individual noteheads, or the entire "chord" (noteheads + stem + beam) small using the Inspector. But they'll still have their normal duration, so if you want the measure to still have the number of beats specified by the time signature, that probably won't be what you want.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella


I attached an image of a section of my piece. I highlighted the part of the piece that I want to be in grace note form or some other form, so that it doesn't count toward the beat count. I assumed that this could be achieved with grace notes, but I can't get the rhythm right. When I put two grace note chords next to each other, the first lasts for a ridiculously short amount of time no matter what value I assign to it.
Thanks for your help.

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In reply to by T.F.F

Just a clarification: when I say that "the first lasts for a ridiculously short amount of time," I'm referring to playback. Based on the playback, no value of grace note comes close to a normal 8th note in duration. This is my problem.

In reply to by T.F.F

Unfortunately I'm still confused. You say you don't want these notes to count, but then you also say you don't want them played fast. Do you want them played for the normal amount of time - basically - to take one full beat? If so, I'm not understanding what it would mean to exclude them from the count. If someone were just listening to this, not looking at the music, would you expect them to hear only six beats in the measure, or would you expect the time to stop for a moment so there was basically an extra beat between the measures? If so, then you don't want grace notes, you just want a measure with seven beats in it. Help us understand better how it is actually supposed to sound, then we can assist better.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I suppose making that measure having seven beats might be my best option. The problem I'm facing is that if I do nothing special with that beat, everything after it won't fit nicely in the measures and I'll have to use lots of ties. Is it a common thing to have an odd measure with one extra beat? How would I implicate this in the program? Thanks again, and sorry for the confusion. I guess in my mind I was thinking of those notes as grace notes, as I didn't want them to be part of the six beats in the measure, but if I want the notes to last a full beat, would the only logical option be to make the measure have 7 beats?

In reply to by T.F.F

The program will not do anything than you are not also able to notate on paper with a pencil.
So, as Marc suggested, if you do that (paper+pencil version) and scan it we can help.
Now, if you don't know how to notate what you want on paper, then it's becoming a music question and no more a MuseScore question. People on this forum generally kindly help for that as well, but in that case it is better to forget a moment what MuseScore can or can not do and to concentrate on the music question first.

In reply to by T.F.F

If you are looking to make that measure have a different number of beats from the rest of the score, musescore supports that. See, under the section for "Measure duration". It says:

"This feature allows you to adjust the time signature of a single measure regardless of the time signature indicated in the score. You can use it to create a pickup measure (also known as anacrusis or upbeat), cadenza, ad lib section etc."

In reply to by npip99

The OP may be referring to a score where a cadenza will have 30 or 60 small notes. When you add up the times of those notes it is WAY more than the time signature. I saw this in a recent Beethoven piece I notated. His Polonaise. Chopin's Nocturne Eb major has a section that does this at the very end. For the Beethoven piece I had to change the time signature and do a Feathered beam over two measures, but that is not how Beethoven wrote it (who am I to correct Beethoven). He put it all in one measure. The Chopin measure has 54 16th notes in a 12/8 measure plus 4 8th notes. I did the playing time signature different from the stated time signature thing, but even that didn't work quite right. I would have had to do like a 5.5/4 time signature.
I posted a forum comment about my situation.

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