Putting a time signature in one staff

• Aug 7, 2020 - 00:11

I just found out that if notes a already in a measure you can't change the time signature for just one staff. However, I also found out that even if I delete the notes in the measure, it won't let me do it. Haven't figured out if this is a known quirk or a bug.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Right. I am OK with that. But I was not able to apply a local time signature to an empty measure that had something in it at one time, but I cut the content out so that I can apply a local time signature. Would not do it. Oddly, it let me change the time signature to both staves even with content in the measure - just not to one staff.
After additional testing, I was able to partially figure out what is going on. Apparently, if there are measures, with content, that come AFTER the measure you wanna change, it will not let you put the local time signature. But if the following measures are blank, you can put a local time signature. Another workaround is to first put a courtesy time signature on subsequent measures, then put the local time signature and it works. Doesn't seem like that is how it should work. Oddly, if you change all the staves with a new time signature, you don't have to worry about subsequent staves. It will let you do it without having to put a courtesy key signature. What if you want to put a local time signature in the middle of some music what has 50 measures of content after it. Sounds like an inconsistency to me.

Attachment Size
Test Score-local time signature.mscz 21.32 KB

In reply to by odelphi231

Local time signatures are inherently different from global ones, so yes, they are inconsistent by definition.

The complexities of implementing local time signatures are enormous, and there is no easy way to figure out how to deal with notes that were already entered. Existing notes would have to be converted to tuplets in many cases. Perhaps someday a programmer with enough motivation, skill, and time will take the project on. For now, it's just a limitation of local time signatures one has to live with.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I understand, I have no idea the complexities of programming this great program. It would just seem the same complexities exist for global time signatures as local time signatures (e.g. converting existing notes, etc).
"Perhaps someday a programmer with enough motivation, skill, and time will take the project on." Your not suggesting the current programmers don't have these attributes?

In reply to by odelphi231

For regular time signatures, if you have a 4/4 measure with four quarters and you change to 3/4, we simply push the four quarter note the next measure. And so one down the line. If two staves both have four quarter notes, they both get treated the same way. The notes - and all markings connected to them - stay perfectly lined up. It's a very simple operation, one for which the code was written over a decade ago and works just fine. Only if there are already tuplets present that would end up cross a barline do we block the operation.

For local time signature, first, what would you even expect if you had a measures of four quarter notes and you changed it to 3/4 locally on one staff only? Those four quarter notes used to line up with four quarter notes on another staff. They won't anymore, unless we turn them into tuplets. And what if instead of four quarter notes, there were tuplets there? Now we're creating tuplets within tuplets? Except in some cases, the matho will work out that what was a tuplet is now just a quarter note. Or we could say we don't want them to line up with the quarter notes on another staff anymore, so we keep three in this measure so they are really triplets now relative to everything else and push the last into the next measure as before - but what if that next measure is back to a "global" time signature - note those four quarter notes aren't the same length as each other.

It's really not at all clear what a user would expect, and even if we got 100 users to agree, the complexities involved in sorting out which regular notes to turn into tuplets, which tuplets to turn into regular notes, which notes that used to line up before don't anymore and vice versa - it's all just a gigantic can of worms that doesn't happen at all with global time signatures.

As for what attributes programmers need, I mentioned motivation, time, and skill. Lots of us have one or two of the three. Finding someone who has all three at once is the trick.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.