How to mantain notes proportionally to their duration?

• Sep 30, 2020 - 05:38

I am helping in an elementary school group and I was asked to create some sample bars to explain the length of notes and the basics of rhythm.

These small groups of sample bars should ideally be the same horizontal size, and all notes would have to be horizontally proportional to their duration within the bar, but I can't find a way to do this in MuseScore.

I thought of some way to internally subdivide the measure to force it to maintain the proportion, although I didn't find how to do it either ... I also can't find how to choose the number of bars per line to make all bars the same size.

Could someone guide me?
As always thank you very much!



Option to give space to notes proportionally to duration has been required but not implemented yet.
-you can add your voice to that request (I'll let you search in the forum where it is, I don't remember)
-use Lilypond for that specific task as Lilypond does have that possibility

You can get an approximation by setting the bar stretch to make the bars the same length.

Bars per line: press enter on a barline to force a break. Use fill threshold to make the last stave fill the width.




In reply to by jeetee

That's neat and much easier but there are some alignment issues, e.g. the crotchet in bar 3 does not line up vertically with the 2nd minim in bar 5; the second halves of bars 7 and 9 do not line up. Maybe this doesn't matter in the context.

MuseScore 1 had such an option (forcing equal width measures), it got removed in MuseScore 2 together with the option to force a certain amount of measures into a system. Esp. the latter was causing more harm than doing good (causing all kind of bad layout issues, like overlapping notes), so it was good to have it removed, and I suspect the former got removed as a collateral damage, I guess it should have better been kept.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Oh! There seems to be an excessive tendency nowadays to "simplify" things (or should I say: let automation or AI do the job ..)

I understand that sometimes it is necessary to provide a clear and simple interface, and in favor of this, conflictive functionalities are removed, although I think it is always preferable to leave those little-used functions or settings in some section nested as "advanced", "extra" or something So.

I know it's a bit naive, but I always had the idea that the bars should be the same size (time = size) and the notes should be in proportion to each other, an opinion shared by the teacher who asked me for the job. (I clarify that I am not a professional musician or teacher)

It is also true that musical notation can be beautiful precisely because it does NOT necessarily comply with these and other logical premises, and that giving it that refined appearance takes a lot of work, but for more functionally focused people like me, musical notation is quite controversial.

Thank you very much for the information, and also for tolerating my misplaced comments and poor translation

In reply to by nexxxxen

"I know it's a bit naive". It's not at all, it is perfectly logical and gives scores a time analogue. For guitar TAB it makes even more sense since, historically, tab had no stems and therefore note duration was shown by using distance and a fixed width font.

TablEdit is based around proportional spacing and even shows a ruler on screen. You can click at any point in a bar to enter notes since this spacing indicates which beat you are on.


In reply to by nexxxxen

To be clear: note spacing isproportional to duration, just not directly proportional. That is, the amount of space allocated to a half note is greater than the amount of space allocated to a quarter not - it just isn't twice as great.

I am not talking just about MuseScore here, I am talking about the rules of musical notation as they have been followed by professional musical engravers for centuries.

It is true that a few people do like to experiment with their own invented musical notation systems, and some of these could possibly involve more direct proportion. So that's a feature that may eventually make it into a future version of MuseScore.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I understand that the horizontal dimension covered by the note in a classical score is only partially proportional (MuseScore will probably use a logarithmic ratio)

I do not intend to change the traditional musical notation. I think it is very beautiful and works quite well for anyone who has taken the time to memorize its complexities and peculiarities. I was only looking for an "intermediate" form of representation in which classical musical notation would be closer to physical reality (what it sounds like).

Children often ask very intelligent questions that frequently expose our mistakes and bad habits that we keep dragging on almost without noticing.

Teacher! Didn't you say that the bars were the same because they lasted the same?

To be clear: I'm not making anything up. (at least not this time)
MuseScore's own pianoroll shows the notes perfectly proportional, the measures are equal, the distances between intervals are clear and consistent ...

For children who start with music (which are not few), the notation of a pianoroll is much more understandable. For anyone without previous knowledge of music, I even think that for an alien it would also be much more understandable the way of graphing music from a pianoroll. Even for me, (with an average knowledge of music) and although I am neither a child nor an extraterrestrial nor a computer, it is more understandable and enormously easier to edit a pianoroll than classical musical notation. In it I can do things (like record my midi piano) that I probably don't know how to represent in traditional notation.

I think that the use of traditional notation is limited to very specific purposes, so if you intend to make MuseScore a composition suite, I think it would be convenient for you to consider all these issues as well.

I apologize if something I comment on sounds aggressive. That is not my intention.

The idea of ​​this talk is to convey the opinion of a person who has experienced a couple of changes, and learned that resisting does not make sense, the best thing to do is to "guide" the change that is coming and take advantage of the movement that it produces. (something like martial arts;))


In reply to by nexxxxen

It's a good discussion, thanks for bringing it up! A few observations:

A piano roll isn't standard music notation. It operates under entirely different principles, one involving a strict flow of time measures in MIDI ticks or whatever. And MuseScore 4 will probably expand on this. So yes, for people who don't read standard notation and wish to see a piano roll, that facility exists and will likely be improved

As for traditional reading being limited to very specific purposes, well, yes - in the same way a car is limited to a specific purpose, or a refrigerator, or a screwdriver. Music notation is designed to make it possible for millions of people to play previously-composed music on sight. It serves that purpose well. For other purposes, like keeping food cold, there are other devices available.

And when reading standard notation - and for a music notation program like MsueScore, that applies to the majority of its users the majority of the time- it works best when that notation is presented in standard ways, Otherwise the brain's "pattern recognition" gets thrown off. Reading music, like reading words, is not based on processing one symbol at a time but seeing "chunks" of information. Taht's huw yuo arr abel too reed thhis - and also why it is rather harder than reading correctly written words. One can argue all day about whether it's "logical" for the word "cough" to be spelled like that rather than "coff", but still, if you want to be easily understood, it is good to spell the way people are used to. And for music notation, that also applies to spacing. Non-traditional spacing is harder to read simply because it is unfamiliar to people used to standard spacing. But also, directly-proportional spacing is much less compact. It would result in fewer measures fitting on a system, and thus music requiring more pages, more page turns, and thus being objectively harder to read in that sense. So there actually is a logic to it, probably more so than for the spelling of "cough".

Anyhow, again, for those wishing to create their own experimental notations - including ones that are otherwise similar to standard notation but differ in the horizontal spacing - someday we may add an option for direct proportional spacing.

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