Double time signatures

• May 26, 2021 - 16:59

Is it possible to write double time signatures? Specifically, I need to write 6/4 and 3/2 together for a transcription of early Boroque music that keeps switching back and forth between those two meters. (And, I do know that 3/2 is the equivalent of 6/4, but that's the way it's written and I need to copy it exactly.)


In reply to by Jake Sterling

Hi Jake!
This is a bit of a bugbear for me--here is a link to the thread Jojo referred to:
but I've summarized my imput below:

You have to create the second signature by drawing glyphs off the symbols palette (Shift-F9 or "Z"). The first glyph will have to be "pinned" to the first note or rest in the measure. Shift its placement by dragging it, or using F8 (my preference). You'll also have to disable "automatic placement." Additional glyphs can be created and pinned to the first. ALSO make sure that the glyphs match the note font you are using, otherwise they won't match--see the second last measure of my example--4/4 is in Leland and 2/4 in Emmentaler.

A MUCH, MUCH simpler method is to use the time signature properties, and set the "appearance text" to have a numerator of "42" ("63" in your case), and a denominator of "44" ("42" in your case). It will create the signature as you see it in the last measure of my example; although, in my opinion, it does not look right.

This is really a pain, and hopefully this is an issue which will be simplified in future versions. When I have discussed this on this forum, I was challenged why anyone might want to create such notation.

In reply to by wfazekas1

Thanks for taking the time for that in-depth response. And, yeah, I am now totally terrified by the whole time signature thing. For my purpose, I think I am just going to use 6/4, forget about changing to 3/2 every other measure, and hope that musicians have the sense to see that here there be hemiolas. Maybe I'll just make the time signatures invisible and obviate the whole problem.

I am also hoping that this matter gets attended to (Not forgetting to mention that I am hugely thankful for all the work that goes into constantly improving MuseScore and that it's totally affordable for us poor starving musicians).

In reply to by Jake Sterling

Don't forget, you can use the "beam properties" palette to suggest the hemiolas--although that would be more apparent in 6/8(=3/4) time. Also, you might be able to create a signature that just has a "3" (no denominator) centered between the 2nd and 4th staff lines (which might be the notation in the original), but I'm not sure how much easier that would be than creating a double signature. Of course, all of this depends on how familiar the performers are with the style.

All in all, MuseScore is a very flexible software, able to handle notation ranging from Early Music up through Avant-garde. But often, it just requires a little cleverness with work-arounds.

Just trying to keep you au Courant(e).

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