How do I add a pickup measure?

I've arranged a piece, and after I completed the arrangement, I wanted to change the intro to have a pick-up measure. However, I cannot find this option anywhere except when I'm originally creating a new, blank score. I cannot find anything mentioning this anywhere. Can someone please help me figure out how to add a pick-up measure AFTER the score has been created? Thank you!


Insert an empty bar Create->Measures->Insert Measure. Select the measure. Right-click on measure and select Measure Properties. Set Measure Duration->Actual to 1/4. Check Irregular.

Pickup measures are covered in the handbook. See the "Duration" section of Measure operations in the handbook.

I too needed a pick-up measure and cwhysall's explanation worked perfectly. Thank you.

That explanation applies to an older version of MuseScore. Starting with MuseScore 2.0, there is one change: instead of checking "Irregular," check "Exclude from measure count."

I Select Measure Properties and nothing happens. I'm in Beta2 RC on Mac Mavericks Help?

Update to a stable and released version of MuseScore! 2.0.1 is the latest currently. If you have problems of any kind with things not working after installing the real version, run a factory reset (

I don't see how one can create a pickup measure at the beginning of a piece that allows you to start with a single eighth note. Anyone know how to do this?

Right click the measure;
Bar properties...-> change the 'Actual duration'


Hi Isaac, repetita iuvant...

And I pointed towards your advice, too! ;-)

But I think that only lets you start with a quarter note. It can't go any smaller than that, does it?

I go it! Bien merci!

You're very welcome. B'vakasha!

For those in dec '16,

Right click measure > bar properties > Bar duration: number of pickup beats (1 to number of actual beats) > apply > ok

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