Meter change (scope)

• May 16, 2021 - 09:11

Before adding the following to the Handbook's Meter entry I thought I'd run it by folks here for editorial comment. I wrote this because I was surprised that Musescore lacks a mechanism for limiting the scope of a meter change—I had expected that a meter change would apply to selected measures only, which is a style I'm accustomed to in other notation application. Thinking that others might find this odd (an inconvenient) it would help them to know the reality from the outset:

"A meter change extends from the measure (where it was added) to the next meter change; or if no subsequent meter changes exist in the score—the meter change affects all measures through to the end of the score. Currently there are no options to otherwise designate or limit the scope of an added meter change."


Comments

A meter change applies to the currently selected measures - if you select a range then apply the change, the original meter is restored at the end of the selection. Only exception is a range of a single measure, because it is far more common that people would select a single measure and apply a change expecting it would, as with ordinary hardwrittten notation, apply from that point forward.

In reply to by scorster

It's correct that single measure meter changes require the "firewall" approach. As mentioned, by design, because the vast majority of the time time, this is exactly what you want (most time signatures changes across music history last more than a measure!). But probably there should be some special method to shortcut this normal behavior, like holding Shift while clicking the palette or whatever to force it to apply to a single measure only.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

>> Marc store: [A] single measure meter changes require the "firewall" approach probably there should be some special method to shortcut this normal behavior, like holding Shift while clicking the palette or whatever to force it to apply to a single measure only.

Thanks Marc. I was thinking likewise:

a) override the default need for a metric firewall via a modifier key click to the any of palette's meter items.

-- or --

b) a preference for Meter palette click behaviors:
    • current behavior
    • set meter while limiting the scope to any selection (single or multi-measure)

Either a) or b) or something equivalent would greatly help my workflow in various situations.

Glad to make an Issue tracker S5 request. Want me to do that?

Thanks, scorster

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

There is an issue not articulated in the original question. The question 'assumes' that the measure to be changed, or the following measures, have no entries. Let's assume changing a 4/4 measure to 3/4. What happens to the fourth quarter note?
Or wishing to change 4/4 into two measures of 2/4, with the contents of the 4/4 split between the two measures.
A more complex example is the 4/4 to 3/4 change, where beats 3 and 4 are a tuplet.
Related is changing a meter, and losing all of the system / page breaks that follow.
Kevin

In reply to by kevin.austin@v…

>> Keven.austin wrote: Let's assume changing a 4/4 measure to 3/4. What happens to the fourth quarter note?

> Scorster: Hi Kevin, Currently the fourth quarter become the first beat of the following measure of 3/4

>> Or wishing to change 4/4 into two measures of 2/4, with the contents of the 4/4 split between the two measures.

> That's exactly what happens. Each measure of 4/4 become two measures of 2/4 and the notes that were once in 4/4 now fill the two measures of 2/4.

>> A more complex example is the 4/4 to 3/4 change, where beats 3 and 4 are a tuplet.

> If you mean beat 3 and four are quarter note tuplets totally a half note of time ... that's an ugly result.

I think there could be a better way of handling breaks, rather than discarding them.

scorster

In reply to by scorster

The point here is that this is not a 'single' issue. One part of the question is 'what to do with the measure[s] being selected'. Another part is 'what to do with what follows the selected measure[s]'.
A more fundamental part relates to the documentation, but this is another thread.
As I see it, upon selection of a measure/s, there are two options:
[1] this is only about the selected region
[2] the impact on what follows needs to be counted for

[1] introduces the problem that if the [for example] one 4/4 bar is replaced by an insert of [say] 10 measures, those ten measures will need to be squeezed into the same amount of space as the one measure. There will be no automatic reformatting of what follows. It is simply and 'Insert' action.
[2] This action is more complicated as decisions need to be made about whether the entries will get shifted – a complex issue, and what to do with staff system formatting. This is a complex issue because the formatting may include 'page associated' text etc.
[This is somewhat similar to inserting / deleting text in a Word document.]

Another kind of action here is replacing a 4/4 measure with two 2/4 measures. This is not the same as replacing a 4/4 measure with two 3/8 measures, or two 5/8 measures as these pose 'type [2]' problems.

This is, in my experience a 'design conceptualization' issue.

Kevin

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