Time Signatures and tuplets

• Apr 22, 2021 - 18:17

To the MuseScore Forum:
I recently learned to use MuseScore. I also have the handbook, "Mastering MuseScore." I am now printing a complete score to an opera that I composed. Up until now, I have pretty much solved any problems that have come up. But now I am stuck. I am printing a section which goes back and forth between 3/4 and 9/8 meters, and the changes are at different places in different parts. The parts are happening simultaneously. I have until now been able to print individual time signatures in individual parts. But now, when I try to make a change, a notice will appear, saying, "tuplet cannot cross bar lines." It has caused problems with rest measures that I can't fix, Also, I cannot erase a time signature that is already there. I don't understand the concept of "tuplet" in this case. I feel I need to talk to someone who can talk me through it. Is that possible? I look forward to any advice you can give. Thanks so much!
David Gilbert


If you attach your score, and tell us more precisely what you are trying to do, we can certainly help! But I can tell you that error message is a bit misleading. It's not a true tuplet, it's just any time you have different time signatures at the same time, it's "as if" it were a tuplet - "X" beats in one staff in the same time as "Y" beats in another. And the facility for dealing this is definitely limited. You generally can't add or remove these time signatures once there are notes, you can't copy/passte within these sections, etc. The error message, again, is misleading, but if it's telling you that you can't do whatever it is you are trying to do, it's unfortunately correct about that.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hello Marc, I am honored to get a reply to my problem from you. I have your handbook which I love. I have just recently learned to print, so I'm learning as I go. I am attaching a segment of the score where the trouble began. I seem to have done this before without a problem but suddenly the 3/4 group became problematic. I hope this will work for you. The score itself is extremely tall, so I couldn't scan it. In this fragment the 9/8 part is for one of the soloists, and the 3/4 parts below are for men's chorus. On the 2nd page you'll see where the chorus part suddenly takes on extra rests, and I can't get out of it. I will be deeply grateful for any help you can give me. Thanks so much! David.

Attachment Size
muse score problem.jpg 3.75 MB

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Dear Marc, I have at last compiled what I hope will be enough for you to see what the problem is. I am also attaching the MSCZ file of the score. This is an opera in 2 acts. I was able to print about one third of Act I when the trouble started. I have included some examples of the same type of thing when I had no problem, in order to give you the background. I'll be happy to provide extra details if you need them. I am so grateful for your help! David.
Here goes:
1) Measure 179: (Poco meno mosso) The baritone solo is in 3/4, everyone else is in 9/8. No problem.
2) Measure 285: All are in 9/8 except the men's chorus of sailors--they are in 3/4. No problem.
3) Measure 316: Same as in example 2. No problem.
4) Measures 324: All in 3/4 except the baritone solo.
Measure 326: Men's chorus changes to 9/8, but orchestra stays in 3/4. No problem except that I made a mistake in the bottom bass part of the chorus (in Measure 325). I put the 9/8 one measure too soon, but I can't erase it.
5) Measure 339: Men's chorus + baritone solo in 3/4. Everyone else in 9/8. No problem.
6) Measure 351: Here's where the trouble began. In the piccolo part I mistakenly printed the 3/4 one bar early and couldn't erase it nor could I continue in 3/4. Here for the 1st time the tuplet notice appeared--"Tuplet cannot cross barlines." I had to continue the picc. part in 9/8. All other parts were fine.
7) Measure 374: Here's where the big problem began. Men's chorus changes to 3/4. Then in Measures 376 and 377 I started to put in notes for the chorus basses and had great trouble keeping them in 3/4. Finally in Measure 378 and following: there is a huge confusion of rests in the chorus basses, and in Measure 379 a gap at the beginning of the bar appeared in all the 9/8 parts in order to accommodate the extra rests in the chorus parts. Notice that the top bass part has an 8th note rest instead of a quarter rest like the others. I have no idea how all this got started. If I tried to fix it, it got worse. It is here that I had to stop.

In reply to by gilbertdavid

The score reports it is corrupt when you load it, so no surprise things go well when you try entering notes into those measures. The question is, do you have any idea how that corruption happened? We try to fix bugs that cause corruptions and really there aren't many left, but if this score was begun with an earlier version, that could have something to do with it.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I'm very new at this. I just started last summer and have used only that version. I hope that can tell you which version it is. I truly don't know how the corruption began. It occurs to me that in the voice parts, which are listed and named on the 1st page, I did not list the extra 6 staves for when I began to use the double men's chorus (measure 285). Thus I began to change the designation of some of the solo parts to compensate. Perhaps that's where the trouble began.

In reply to by gilbertdavid

I can guarantee updating won't fix these existing corruptions for you - if it did, I wouldn't have know your score was corrupt :-). BSo you definitely need to do that yourself whether you update or not. But, there is a decent chance that whatever the bug is that caused the corruption, it may have been fixed meanwhile, so you hopefully won't get so many new corruptions in the future.

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