Export to MIDI, then import MIDI to MuseScore

• Sep 24, 2021 - 18:18

Hi, everyone.

I understand that an imported MIDI file will most likely have issues that need to be corrected, but shouldn't a simple rhythm export from MuseScore to MIDI, then opened again in MuseScore be the same?

Please look at the attached screenshot? At the top is my original MuseScore. I exported it as MIDI and then opened the MIDI file (bottom of screenshot)

I didn't expect it to be identical; however, I'm surprised that the dotted 8th + 16th rest in measures 2 were replaced with a quarter note. Likewise, the 16th note + 16th rest in m3 was replaced by an 8th note.

Shouldn't the MIDI file contain these dotted values and 16th rests?

I tried applying different quantizations (from quarter to 128th notes), but that didn't change anything. I also turned on/off "Simplify durations" but that made no difference.

BTW, I entered these notes directly in MuseScore, not using an external keyboard, so I assume that MuseScore would have written the full value of the notes & rests.

Can some of you explain why the imported MIDI file wouldn't have the exact same note & rest values?


Attachment Size
Export-Import_MIDI_file.jpg 63.94 KB


MIDI isn't a notation format and doesn't record duration in "notation"-like terms, only in "ticks", which allows for much precision in the playback but would result in completely unreadable notation if a program tried to literally display a note with a duration of say, 459/480 of a beat. So all notation programs round off durations to values that make sense notationally. Dotted eighth followed by sixteenth rest is not normally encountered in standard notation - it's normally notated as just a quarter - so that's part of the rounding MuseScore performs.

If you prefer to see less aggressive rounding, you can turn off simplify durations - be sure to then hit Apply, though (merely toggling the checkbox doesn't take effect immediately). if you did that, and it doesn't have the expected effect, please attach the actual score rather than just a picture, then someone may be able to check to see if there is something else going on.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks, Marc. Although I had tried turning off Simplify Durations, I forgot to click Apply.

That worked.

I figured that because a dotted quarter (360 ticks) and a 16th rest (120 ticks) were simple divisions of a quarter note, that exporting to MIDI then importing should preserve those rhythms – which, as you pointed out, does (if Simplify Durations is off).

Thanks for your continued help!

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