[trunk] Improvements to the 'section break'

• Sep 19, 2010 - 23:25
S5 - Suggestion

The section break in the trunk dev. line is a welcome addition.

Two improvements could be useful:

1) The break should be applied before the measure rather than after it.
The reason is in the pause which can be added to the break: a pause after the last measure is not useful, while a pause before the first measure is useful for playing with the MIDI ('karaoke'-style) and it is not possible now.

2) An option to add metronome ticks, with 2 parameters: numbers of ticks, frequency of ticks (in note units: every minim, dotted crochet (for 6/8 rhythms and similar), crochet, quaver, ...).

So after the pause, the requested number of ticks would be played and then the piece would start. No need to parametrize the tick sound itself.




Could you explain why a pause before the first measure is helpful for MIDI? Could this be better served by something else?

All the current break (system and page) apply to the next measure. Making the section break apply to the previous measure would break UI consistency.

I would prefer to see preferences for metronome ticks incorporated into the play panel (or a settings button in the panel that opens a new dialog). When I think of metronome I think of playback settings, I don't think of section breaks.

1) Section before rather than after a measure:

The main point is playing / singing together with the playback: A pause before any playing (i.e. at the very beginning of the score) is useful to allow some time for taking the instrument, etc. (when I'm sitting with the bow in the right hand and the left hand at the neck of the viol, it is difficult to start the playing; I assume it is the same for other instruments).

A pause after all the playing is totally useless.

That why I believe that the pause should come before rather than after.

Other breaks come after, that's true; but this is hardly an inconsistency, as the other are purely typographical devices and this is purely (or mostly) an auditive device. Maybe, it is simply a matter of changing its name: perhaps "section mark" instead of "section break"?

2) Metronome ticks to the play panel. It seems to make some sense, however:

a) if a score contains several pieces (which is the main reason why the section break has been introduced), each may have different metronome tick settings (a 3/4 Adagio will probably have 3 slow ticks and a 12/8 Gigue will have 4 quick ticks).
b) Even single-piece scores will have tick settings different from each other; so they have to be saved in the score itself and an initial section break seems to me a reasonable place.

Does it make any sense to you?


1. To me "Metronome countoff" is more descriptive of the functionality you are describing than "Section break" or "Section mark". A "Metronome countoff" would be the only palette item that has no affect on layout or notation.

2. A playback setting for a metronome countoff would ask if you want a one measure countoff or a two measure countoff. For a score with multiple pieces or movements, the countoff would automatically use the time signature and tempo of the section it is starting. It seems it would be easier if MuseScore assumed you wanted countoffs for every section or no sections than have to set the countoff for each section individually.

Metronome count-off:

Thanks for the reply. Yes, your idea makes sense.

However, trying to combine the best of both, I propose to have a "metronome count-off" gizmo (separate from the section break) where number of ticks, pause between ticks (in note value) and pause after last tick (also in note value) can be selected by the user.

This is to accommodate the many possible variations: attacca movements (no ticks, but still separate section), very quick tempos (where default ticks could be too fast), anacrusis, very short measures (too few ticks), etc...

This would make this think flexible enough, without relying too much on programmatic assumptions (music is too variable a matter...).

A check box in the play panel could turn on/off all metronome count-off playing.

What do you think?

Section marker before or after:

You did not comment on my idea to have the section marker at the beginning of the measure rather than at its end: I know I feel the need for a pause at the beginning of the whole score (and please do not tell me to insert some invisible rests: it is going to raise other formatting problems, when we already have the 'proper' tool for this, or something near to it enough).