Huge mess when adding or removing a time signature

• Apr 15, 2022 - 18:04

When adding or removing a time signature, all repeats, all bar lines, all edits to measure numbers (manually done to avoid collisions), and all adjustments to measure width (needed because MuseScore does not dispatch space correctly ending with the last page with extra-wide measures) are lost. This can represent hours of work!

To reproduce, add a 4/4 time signature at measure 2 of the provided file and see the result.

Attachment Size
466_InTheMood_BUG.mscz 248.72 KB


Measure numbers are automatically generated and get recaulated at times. That's why individual edits of their positions don't survive a time signature change, even if it is matmatically compatibel (like Cut time or 2/2 vs. 4/4). Also the beaming rules are different between those

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks. I guess that the repeats and bar lines disappearance is not normal, though.

By the way, I inserted a 4/4 measure in order to generate slashes with4 slashes per measure although the time signature was 2/2. My intention wasn't to delete the time signature afterward but to make it invisible. Unfortunately, an invisible time signature in an empty measure prevents making a multi-rest with adjacent measures. Is there another way to get 4 slashes per measure with a 2/2 signature?

In reply to by Pierre-Yves Saumont

Changing a time signature rewrites the barlines because the code doesn't analyze up front whether they would end up at the same positions or not. If you change from 4/4 to 7/8 for example, non of the barline logic you had in 4/4 makes sense anymore.

Plenty of ways to generate 4 slashes:
Method 1
1. Append a measure
2. Add 4/4 to it
3. Fill with slashes
4. Cut and paste
5. Remove the extra measure

Method 2
1. Fill with slashes on a single 2/2 measure
2. Click on the first slash
3. Q to half the duration of it
4. R (eventually press and hold) to replicate the correct slash

In reply to by jeetee

Thanks for the advice. Regarding the rationale behind the removing of all elements related to measures (bar lines, measure numbers, repeats, measures width adjustments, and probably more), I can see two parts:

1) Switching to a time signature with a different ratio, such as from 4/4 to 7/8 makes all these elements obsolete, so they have to be deleted. (Surprisingly, page breaks and line breaks are not deleted although they might very well be no longer valid too.)

2) Since some changes force deletion of these elements, let's delete them also when they stay valid, meaning when the ratio doesn't change, such as switching from 2/2 to 4/4.

It's the second part that I don't understand! It looks much more like a bug than a feature. And if it is a feature a warning saying that all these elements will be deleted (although they would be still valid) would be welcome.

In reply to by Pierre-Yves Saumont

There is an attempt to preserve the measure structure when it doesn't need to change. For me it works as expected when changing an existing time signature. For instance, in the default empty score, try changing the time signature to cut. Notice the breaks remain. Also if you customize position of any measure numbers before making the change, that is preserved as well. But, if you insert a new time signature - eg, adding the 4/4 to measure 2 instead of replacing the one at the beginning - this fails. That's something that can be improved indeed.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

This depends upon the use case. I copy paper scores. I start with creating the needed number or empty measures, adding the rehearsal marks, and placing the line and page breaks in the parts because it's much easier to have the same breaks as the paper score being copied. Then I enter the rhythm for the saxophone section, with all common elements such as the dynamics, slurs, articulation marks, system and staff text, and more. If I realize that I need a different time signature, for example, 2/2 with eights grouped by 2 instead of by 4, changing from the second to the first destroys the entire score although there is absolutely no reason for this. Even a staff text line, going from one note to another (nothing to do with measures) is broken. It is not lost, but its formatting (font, line style, hook type, placement, and more) is reversed to default.

I don't think this use case makes sense only for copying a paper score. When creating an arrangement, it is common to copy one staff to another and only change the pitches. I guess this is the reason why the Re-pitch option has been created. It would not make sense not to have a maximum number of elements present before copying the staff to a different instrument.

If you want to change the time signature for just part of a piece, first "protect" the part that you do not want changed by inserting a repeat of the original Time Signature. Here, a cut-time has been inserted in measure 9 and a 5/8 inserted a few measures before.

Attachment Size
rubb_466mood.mscz 213.27 KB

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