Shift notes when changing duration

• Oct 4, 2022 - 19:18

Hello everyone

I don't write music but I do transcribe sheet music for our local choir (often decades-old handwritten, photocopied, looks-like-a-fax sheetmusic). This is a laborious process because with Musescore I have to set both the pitch and duration of each note as I type it (or click with the mouse). It would have been much faster if I could type all the notes with the correct pitch first, and then afterwards edit each note to give it the correct duration.

Does MuseScore have a function that allows that? I mean, if e.g. I change a half note to a quarter note, then instead of a quarter note-sized gap appearing next to the note, all subsequent notes simply shift to the left to fill the gap, or if I change a quarter note to a half note, instead of deleting the next note, all subsequent notes simply shift to the right, to make room for the note that is now longer.

(I understand why musicians don't write music that way, but I don't write music.)



The short answer is no, this is not currently possible.

There is a "Duration Editor" plugin than can do a more limited form of this, but it's more for making edits to a single measure at a time, not for completely rewriting all rhythms for a piece. It's not impossible that someday someone might create a "scratch pad" mode that allows more more the sort of thing you are describing.

Meanwhile, I'd just point out that there is nothing physically faster about doing all pitches followed by all rhythms compared to pitch & rhythm together - it's exactly the same number of keystrokes either way. So there's no reason to expect the method you to describe to be any faster at all. Maybe depending on how you conceptualize music about it, a very slight improvement from less back and forth thinking between pitch and rhythm. But it's highly unlikely to be anything more than maybe 5% faster, and for many people would almost certainly be slower.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

True, but (a) I can type letters without looking at the keyboard, but typing numbers requires my hand to leave the home row to type the numbers (whether I use a number pad or not), and (b) if I use my mouse to enter the notes (I hold my mouse in my right hand), well, I don't have a left-handed number pad or a number pad to the left of my keyboard, so I can't "blind type" the numbers. This means that I must look at my keyboard and move my fingers in a rather unproductive way every time I change a note's duration. But it is, strictly speaking, the same number of key presses.

In reply to by ugcheleuce

Interesting way of looking at it! You could redefine the duration shortcuts to be something you can do without looking, if numbers are hard to find for whatever reason. Also, consider using Q & W to change duration rather than numbers. Could also be a case where MIDI entry has an advantage. But definitely avoid the mouse if your goal is speed.

You wrote:
It would have been much faster if I could type all the notes with the correct pitch first, and then afterwards edit each note to give it the correct duration.

Why not reverse the order?

From your other post here:
you saves me time to just copy the entire soprano notes... onto the alto instrument, and fix the pitches.

Okay, so since "fixing pitches" saves you time and is available as 'Re-pitch' mode:
do this:
First enter the rhythms using 'Rhythm' mode:
then change the pitches using Re-pitch mode.

So, it's number pad first for durations, then keyboard for note names.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Why not reverse the order?
First enter the rhythms using 'Rhythm' mode

Yes, that was my very first thought when I started reading this thread.
The only special feature in repitch mode is entering a rest. Instead of a note name, the "0" key must be used. But the right hand is still free...

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