Turning dotted 8ths to even 8ths (work in progress)

• Jan 3, 2024 - 11:32

It all started when I found Fats Waller's wonderful Alligator Crawl on musescore.com.
The sheet is well written. A pianist knows how to groove it. But the Musescore playback doesn't. And actually it's not written according to newer standard, which is writing swinging 8ths (or whatever dotted rhythm) as even 8ths and adding the word Swing or some other advice.
So I started to write a plugin, which converts the dotted 8ths to even 8ths. So far my plugin works only on the upper stave (I guess the script makes an error and abrupts or hangs, when reaching the end of the first stave, before starting on 2nd stave). And it brutally writes over a dotted 8th chord with same pitches as even 8th, when the note is on a 4th beat in a measure. And it copies the pitches from the following 16th chord and writes them as 8th chord one 16th earlier. This procedure might make enharmonic errors. It probably also deletes accents, staccatos etc. as well as ties.
But I can already hear that the result is exactly what I want. Here are two examples from Alligator Crawl.
The first is the original sheet from Musescore.com (public domain) without swing (the score is full of dotted rhythms, so the swing setting made it much worse).
The second is after running my plugin and using Musescore's swing settings (64%). You can still spot "dotted" rhythms, where the score had 8th note followed by 16th rest and 16th note. And you might spot notes at 3rd beat of bar, where a tie is missing from previous 8th.
Both scores should have an increased tempo of 133%.
The peculiar braclet in the edited version came from switching the staves back and forth to make the plugin work.

The result is very promising. This is exactly what I needed. I have an automatic reed organ, which plays from Musescore and I really need the playback to swing correctly. It can only be achieved with even 8ths and adjusted swing settings.


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