Copy and Paste pedal marks from measures to measure

• Jun 27, 2021 - 20:38

OK, I have read the posts on whether it is possible to copy and paste pedal marks onto multiple measures, and I regret that I am still confused.

Assume I want to insert pedal marks onto each measure in a piano song, so that the synth built into MuseScore will play the song properly. As learned here on the forum, a well marked pedal starts at the first note in a measure, and ends on the 1st note of the next measure. Here is what it looks like:
pedal test.png

Notice that the notes in the remaining measures are not yet pedaled. To do so, I can add new pedal marks manually, measure by measure, but ... what I want to do is add the appropriate pedal marks automatically, so that as I move onto a new measure, I can simply click or paste or something, and pedal marks will repeat on each measure. It would be so nice in fact, if I could simply select ALL the piano measures, press 1 or 2 keys and have ALL the measures contain the proper pedal mark. It would look like this in line 1:


Is this possible? How?

Thanks in advance



In reply to by kuwitt

That doesn't work if the line's end is anchored to the next measure though.
But from my own testing, that's not necessary to get the "expected" playback of having the pedal release only at the very end of the bar, though obviously half-pedalling is not properly supported by the synthesizer.
From what I can tell as long as you keep both anchors in the same measure they copy & paste just fine, and play back fine - the problem is it's very fiddly to get right and you often still have a visible gap in the "half pedal"
^ mark.

In reply to by kuwitt

Thanks for the advice. I now know how to add pedal marks to blank measures in advance, using the "r" key. Then, after that is done, I can add notes to each measure. Unfortunately, I once had a running debate on this forum about the "proper" way to post a pedal mark. Apparently, pedal marks should not end at the end of a measure, but extend onto the first note of the next measure (to be correct). I never heard any difference in the synth when it plays a score with the pedal lines ending at end of measure or beginning next measure, and I've seen lots of printed scores where the pedal marks do NOT extend onto the next measure (as in my image above), but ... apparently ... it is not notationally correct. In any event, I can live just fine with all pedal marks ending at the end of each measure, so ... your directions will work just fine. Thanks.

In reply to by fsgregs

It's possible that the pedal line extends onto the first note of the next measure with this method (according your example), here a workflow:

  • change the rest of the first measure to quarter rests
  • select the measure and add the pedal line
  • press "r"
  • select the first pedal line, press shift+arrow right
  • select now the first and the second measure (for example click on the first measure, shift+click on the second) and press "r" again
  • select the pedal line of the second measure, press shift+arrow right
  • select measure 1, shift+click on measure 4, press "r"
  • ...

In reply to by fsgregs

@fsgregs... You wrote:
I once had a running debate on this forum about the "proper" way to post a pedal mark. Apparently, pedal marks should not end at the end of a measure, but extend onto the first note of the next measure (to be correct).

It depends on the "style" of the pedal mark. The marks with angled hooks are designed such that when two lines are placed together, an inverted v is formed. This inverted v indicates the moment of pedal press/release.

In a simple score, like this:
the harmony changes every measure so the pedal line extends to the first note of the next measure. That's where the ʌ (inverted v) appears - right where the harmony changes.
In more complex scores, there may be more than one harmony change in a single measure, or there may be more than one sequence of notes which get 'pedalled'. The ʌ ensures spot on accuracy in showing exactly where the press/release occurs.

A "traditional style" would be:
but those fanciful glyphs are not as streamlined for precision placement in a more densely packed score.

Here's where the images came from: Pedal_lines.mscz
If you look at measure #5, you will see that the ʌ shows that the pedal line is actually a continuation from the first system.


In reply to by Jm6stringer

Thanks. I do understand. That said, it appears to be easier to simply place a pedal mark within each measure as in example 2 above. The synth in Musescore plays it exactly as your first example with the "V", and it is a lot simpler to notate, given the "r" shortcut to place them in new measures. However, if very subtle pedal marks are needed, I will be sure to extend them to the next measure as desired.

In reply to by fsgregs

If you are focused on playback, (e.g., non-player wishes to hear how his creation sounds) it doesn't really matter which style of pedal marks are used, as long as you get the playback you want.
If using pedal on a sheet to be read by a musician, you can often let the pianist decide.
Here, for example:
The upper staff contains a whole note being held while 3 quarter notes follow in succession.
The MuseScore synth can handle this without a problem, but a pianist would have to physically span a large interval of piano keys, or else use the pedal to keep the whole note sounding while playing those quarter notes.

The full context can be seen (and listened to) here: Piano_sheet.mscz
Measure 6 (in the section with counterpoint) is what the image depicts.

Also, the use of voices in notation plus a pianist's proper execution can make it seem as if some sustain pedal is used.
Here's a strictly didactic example: Voices_vs_pedal.mscz
Same tune, but using the bass line to compare playback of voices vs. pedal.

In reply to by fsgregs

To be clear - there is no debate on the proper way to notate pedal marks. Having the "/\" at the point of change is correct, having them separate in any way at all is incorrect plain and simple. That's for the pedal change marking. If you intend to notate a full release, that would certainly at the end of a phrase without another marking immediately following, but that isn't done using the "/\" - it's just a vertical hook, or in older editions, the "". But "/" is never ever separated from "\" when notating a *change, which is what you seem to be doing.

Now, whether or not the internal playback of the current version of MuseScore happens to allow the incorrect version to sound correct is irrelevant, it's still incorrect and will confuse anyone reading the score, and may well sound different in a future version of MuseScore that reproduces these effects more accurately.

Changing pedal exactly one per measure would really be particularly common - it's normally more subtle than than and often rather more common than just once per measure the notes.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Is there a way to have the _/ mark attached to a note/rest at the end of one measure and the subsequent _ mark attached to one at the start of the next one such they'll never detach? I guess not because it could always end up crossing systems, and I agree it would look wrong if / appeared in one system and \ in the next.
So to me the problem is MuseScore's copy & paste support which doesn't work well when you select a measure containing lines that have anchor points in the following measure. I.e. there's no easy way you can select a line that starts in one measure and ends in the next and duplicate it into the next measure. That's actually something I'd quite like to fix, as I've had several occasions where I wanted to do exactly that. It just means there needs to be some smarts around "reattaching" the line to whatever note/rest replaces the one that end point was originally anchored to.

In reply to by Dylan Nicholson1

That is exactly the problem. If the correct way to include pedal marks is to have them span two measures as exampled in the sketch to this post, with the right end crossing a measure line to end under the first note of the next measure, then MuseScore should have a way to copy and paste those marks. In composing, the notes go first, then the pedal marks are entered, not the other way around. Once the notes are all present, it would be great if we had a way to paste pedal marks into completed measures, one by one, speedily. In a big song, there could be 100 measures. Doing it manually using the palette line icons is very time-consuming. Could this be something the next version of MuseScore can do?

In reply to by fsgregs

Interestingly, copy & paste does seem to work OK providing you select a range that includes the final note that the pedal mark is anchored to - but yes, it's a annoying that it then replaces the note at the start of next measure after that when you paste it elsewhere. But to me the "hard part" is already done, i.e. re-anchoring existing lines to newly pasted notes/rests.
But there's no good reason you shouldn't be able to select just a line (inc. a pedal mark) and copy & paste it as needed, even if the line spans a longer duration than the area you paste it into. Actually currently even if you copy a line to the clipboard that spans, say, 4 notes within a measure, and paste it on to another 4 notes in another measure, it still doesn't work, I'm not sure why. seems to be the relevant issue, I'm quite happy to have a look at what would be required to implement it in MuseScore 4.

In reply to by fsgregs

You'll be glad to know it's actually a very simple change to the code to allow Pedal marks to be copied just like hairpins, and in fact there's no good reason that all Spanner elements (basically everything in the Lines palette) can't behave the same way, though slurs have some special rules as they're supposed to only attach to notes (though interestingly they work just fine even if they don't).

In reply to by Dylan Nicholson1

That would be soooo nice. Recently, I composed a piece with 76 piano measures, and I had to click and click and click for every one of them to insert a piano mark from the Lines palette into each measure, spanning across the measure line. If its not too much trouble, copying and pasting lines in MuseScore 4 would be a great new feature.

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