Multiple markers for side by side documents

• May 6, 2022 - 08:12

When trying to work with two (or perhaps more) scores together, it is useful to have markers in each. One might be a definitive version, or an outline, while the other may be a copy, or an arrangement which is being worked on.

It is possible to put the documents side by side, but trying to implement easy to use markers which are individual and specific to each document seems really hard. There is a kludge which enables parts to be highlighted - but it is of limited use. Another approach might be to use Rehearsal marks, but that can also be quite clunky

This is a real problem. Has anyone got close to finding a solution?


It is not clear to me what problem you are hoping to solve here. Can you explain in a bit more detail the tasks that these proposed markers would help with.

In reply to by SteveBlower

The specific issue is one of working through documents in parallel - more or less - and keeping track of where one is looking in each. One technique I found - but even that doesn't work well - is to put text marks in - for example cross referencing bar numbers from one to the other document. Unfortunately when copying and pasting into various bars, those specifically inserted text markers may get overwritten. There may be a way of avoiding this particular problem, but so much of the MuseScore interface seems designed to make things difficult.

Yes - I hear and read that MuseScore is much better than other systems - such as Finale - and easier to use for simple scores, but when more complex problems are presented it falls down - as do many other systems.
Computers - and computer software can be brilliant - but the enthusiasm for WYSIWG and other interface features which have emerged in the last two or three decades have tended to disregard the benefits of batch processing. Thus there are some operations - for example transposition - which MS and similar systems can do very rapidly - much faster than humans. There are also other tasks where the clunkiness of the systems makes notation systems almost worse than paper and pencils.

In reply to by dave2020X

You can set bar numbers to show for each bar in [Format]>[Style]>[Bar Numbers] and you can make them more easily seen by setting them to a larger size and more prominent font in [Format]>[Style]>[Text Style]>[Bar Numbers]. That should help to keep track of your position. Also in that Text Style setting you could make them different colours for each document so that you can keep track of which document you are looking at. Bar numbers will not get overwritten by pasting.

But you seem to be asking for something else. I am still not sure what that is though. Can you provide a sketch or mock up of what you would like.

In reply to by dave2020X

It's just not very clear what you are after. It sounds like maybe one thing you want would be something like if you are at measure 56 in one document, on switching to another document you would also be at measure 56.

It seems to me that any notation software has one job. But as with any software the fact that it might not do what someone demands of it doesn't make it bad or hard to use. I think the developers need to know just what it is that you want.

In reply to by dave2020X

As always, posting specific scores and precise steps to reproduce problems is invaluable in helping others understand and assist. As it is, it still isn't clear what exactly you are trying to mark in the score, and what is going wrong when you try adding rehearsal marks (these shouldn't be affected by copy/paste).

The interface is designed to make common things easy, while making uncommon things at least possible. Trying to use features for things other than they were designed for can someone be tricky, but often there are betters ways of accomplishing the goal. Which is why, as always, sample scores and precise steps are so important.

You wrote:
Another approach might be to use Rehearsal marks, but that can also be quite clunky.

Quite clunky? As opposed to regular clunky? Please explain.

You wrote:
...trying to implement easy to use markers which are individual and specific to each document seems really hard.

Rehearsal marks are easy to use and can be colored differently to be specific to each document. For example, red colored markers throughout can mean "Do not modify this score version".

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Rehearsal marks are also not removed or overwritten with cut and paste operations - or at least they shouldn't be. Indeed, what to do with rehearsal marks is one of the decisions that has to made if the long-asked for "copy and paste everything" command is to be implemented. If you have examples of such cut/copy/paste operations that do affect rehearsal marks, that could be a bug.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Rehearsal marks are also not removed or overwritten with cut and paste operations.

The behavior differs. Individual rehearsal marks can be cut/copy/pasted. It is range selections that exclude them.
The OP mentioned using text markers which get overwritten when copy/pasting bars. Use of rehearsal marks will preclude that from happening.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Well, yes, if you don't want to remove a rehearsal mark, don't select it and cut/delete it. But copying a single note and pasting it onto another note to which a rehearsal mark had previously been "attached" does not remove the rehearsal mark. It is not possible to copy/paste more than one note other than as a range, and so that can't remove it. Copying a note to which a rehearsal mark has been "attached" and pasting it onto a note to which a rehearsal mark is already "attached" doesn't remove the rehearsal mark. Copying a rehearsal mark and pasting it onto another note to which a rehearsal mark is already "attached" adds the pasted mark but doesn't remove the one already there. Copying an element other than a rehearsal mark or a note and trying to select a rehearsal mark and doing a paste operation does nothing. So how is the OP losing rehearsal marks other than by selecting them and cutting/deleting them? MuseScore can hardly be blamed for removing a rehearsal mark when asked to do so. Or is there some other circumstance that I have missed?

[Edit] Rereading, the OP said rehearsal marks were clunky and didn't say he was losing them. My confusion. But my comments remain, rehearsal bar numbers and rehearsal marks seem good and stable markers.

In reply to by SteveBlower

OK - I didn't want to post earlier as this was (and still is) something I've been working on.

However see the comment here -…

This does include a link to a score and a comment as to why it was difficult - and perhaps still is.

Using the selecrion filter helps a bit sometimes, but basically I stick very strongly with my original assertion that movable markers to work with multiple scores would be a great help, and trying to fudge this with rehearsal marks, or text marks, or anything similar is just not good enough.

Faffing around with different selection filter settings for each mark and other things - just no good at all - I did try - far too many key strokes and possibilities for things to go wrong.

In reply to by dave2020X

I'm still not seeing how adding a rehearsal mark doesn't solve the problem completely. They are markers, you can move them easily. It's not clear what kind of problem you encountered in trying to use them, So again, in order to understand and assist, we need precise steps to reproduce the problem you are seeing. BTW, the Selection Filter should not be needed.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It's because in order for a marker to be useful it has to be very visible, so ideally text with Colour or an image.
It also has to be very easily movable - probably using drag and drop - allbeit with maybe a lock feature if someone is concerned about it being shifted accidentally.

OK - you have enabled me to identify one other desirable feature of the markers suggested above - rehearsal marks do feature in the Timeline, so if the markers I'm suggesting are ever put into a system, then ideally linking them into the (or a Timeline) together with some form of search could be useful added features.

For the moment however, rehearsal marks are just too clunky to use.

In reply to by dave2020X

You can color rehearsal marks however you like. And they can be moved just as easily as any other element, via cut and paste. Far more practical than drag and drop if you’re trying to move it any distance (eg, for page 4 to page 17). And they don’t shift accidentally; they stay attached to the measure you added them too.

So can you be more specific - with a sample score and precise steps to reproduce the problem - what you finding “clunky” about them? And explain how you’d propose solving that specific issue?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I understand that - but really they are just too clunky. Have you never had to cross check two or more documents - not necessarily music - side by side? I have had to do that many times, and often it helps to have two people, both can put pencil marks on the paper. On occasions that has had to be done more than once in order to find specific errors or missing items or unwanted insertions.

What is needed is something which is as fast as marking (possibly in coloured) pen or pencil - a piece of paper. Having to do some convoluted sequence in order to get this done in a software tool such as MuseScore is just not good enough. Another problem with tools like MuseScore is that the pages often reformat - something which does not normally happen with paper. So I really, really, am claiming that the suggestions made here are not good enough, and also that I do know what I'm doing, and what should be provided - if possible. Just because everyone works with what they've got, doesn't mean that's the best way to work.

In reply to by dave2020X

You wrote:
Having to do some convoluted sequence in order to get this done... is just not good enough.

To unambiguously nail this down, please give one specific example of what you wish "to get done" and what "convoluted sequence" you find yourself needing to perform.

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