# Switching 4/4 to 5/4

• Aug 2, 2022 - 23:10

Referring to the attached file: measure 1 and 2 are good, then when I get measure 3, there are 5 beats. I switch to 5/4. The playback is too slow and I want the bass note to sustain through the 2 notes following it.

What do you know?

Attachment Size
4-4--5-4.mscz 11.28 KB

In your example score, measures 3 and 4 are empty, so it's hard to comment.

But the tempo remains as 70 bpm throughout, so all the 5/4 measures will have a duration longer than the preceding 4/4 measures. A measure with 5 beats lasts longer than a measure with 4 beats. Is that what you mean by "playback is too slow"?

Maybe you want a 5-let instead?

What Jojo is suggesting is this, to fit 5 quarter notes into a 4/4 measure:

"... and I want the bass note to sustain through the 2 notes following it."
It's not quite clear: do you mean sustain through the duration of the three 1/8th triplet notes? Or the duration of two of the quintuplets? Either way, you can do that by notating the bass notes in Voice 2:

See the Handbook section about Voices:
https://musescore.org/en/handbook/3/voices

Just a suggestion, but seeing as Jojo's solution gives what is effectively a 15-let, which is very close to the length of the 16th notes in the previous bars, maybe what you want is actually a time signature of 15/16 (and no tuplets) so the speed doesn't change at all?

@bobjp
This whole tuplet debate is an attempt to solve the OP's original problem:
"when I get measure 3 [actually m.5], there are 5 beats. I switch to 5/4. The playback is too slow"

These are the two suggestions so far to fit five beats into a 4/4 time signature (so the measure duration remains constant during playback):

What would your preferred solution be?

I understand. But it's one thing to have notation that MuseScore understands, and quite another to have sight-readable notation for a real player. As a result I like neither solution. I wouldn't write anything close.

I'm not. You made a contrary, argumentative statement, didn't say what exactly what you had a problem with, and had no remedy or solution proposed.

Sorry. but the reason I have no solution is because it is totally unclear what you are doing. Is this your own composition? Are you transcribing something? What is the end goal of measure 5? Is it a change of feel? Obviously triplets are going to playback too slow. Do you want to keep 5/4? Based on the little information you have given us, I can only suggest a rather poor idea in my measure 4. A slight change of feel. but not tempo.

Attachment Size
4-4--5-4_2.mscz 11.19 KB

You could increase the tempo for the 5/4 sections by multiplying by 5/4. So 70 bpm would become 70 * 5/4 = 87.5 bpm. This keeps the notation easy to read.

But impossible to play. No one would be able to figure out the exact tempo change needed to achieve that. The tuplet is actually much clearer, if still difficult to pull off in practice for most people.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I'm sure that you are right.

I guess that the same mental gymnastics have to be performed either way in any attempt to play the notes correctly. Looks almost impossible to play to me but the 5 nested triplets looks clearest.