Explode Not Working in v2.02 (Mac & PC)

• Jan 27, 2016 - 07:32

I can no longer get Explode to work in v 2.02.

It was working fine for me yesterday.
Today, I tried it on a new song and it no longer does anything.
Implode still works but not Explode.

I made a short test file, and it won't work on that either.
I select Measure 1, then go to Edit/Tools/Explode - and nothing happens.

What could I be doing wrong?

Attachment Size
Test_Explode.mscz 6.45 KB


Explode is meant to explode *chords*, not *voices*. For exploding voices, you can simply use copy & paste plus the selection filter / voice exchange to accomplish the same thing,

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks, Marc.
I see how that works now.

There has to be at least one CHORD in the measure for Explode to do anything.
The CHORD is then split, and any VOICE notes are merely copied to the staves below.
I tried it that way, and it works fine.

I don't know how often the online Help gets updated, but I'd vote to have the above info added to clarify the section on Explode.

Thanks again for your assistance,

In reply to by tomfeledy

Let me insert a few words of clarification to my previous observations, which I have suggested to add for the online Help topic on Explode:

There has to be at least one CHORD in one of the selected measures for Explode to do anything.
The CHORDS will be split, and any additional VOICE notes from the selected measures are merely copied to the staves below.


In reply to by tomfeledy

Really, you should really not be thinking that voices have any relevance at all for the Explode function. They don't. I don't think the Handbook should be specific about what happens if you make that mistake; it should just say, "This is not intended to be used with multiple voices".

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

As I may have mentioned before, I use MuseScore to convert our community chorus printed scores into playable files so our singers can better learn their parts.

I import MusicXML files into MuseScore, the staves of which contain a mixture of chords and voices. Until yesterday, I never had a staff with 30 measures of no chords at all and just voices. All the songs I've Exploded always had at least one chord somewhere in the series of measures I had selected, and so Explode has always worked for me this way.

Explode can be used with multiple voices, so long as at least there is one chord among the measures selected. I would not call it a "mistake" for users to not know the specifics of the Explode tool, since it can be efficient to select several measures, even if only some of them contain chords and others don't.

I can quickly select all the measures of a staff, and Explode them with one command. I do not need to visually inspect each measure to see if it contains chords or voices. The lower staves onto which the Exploded measures are copied are useful for measures with chords and for voices. I avoid the additional step of selecting and copying multi-voice measures to lower staves in order to separate my voices into separate SATB staffs. It is all done at one time with Explode.

In this way, Explode has been useful to me many, many times. And now that I know the specifics of how Explode works, it will no longer be a surprise to me in the unlikely event that a select an entire staff with no chords at all, as happened yesterday.

As a user of your excellent MuseScore software, I continue to believe that my comments below would benefit other users as helpul additions to your Handbook:

There has to be at least one chord in one of the selected measures for Explode to work.
In the selected measures, chords will be Exploded (i.e. split) and any notes from additional voices (2, 3, or 4) will be copied as they are to the staves below.


In reply to by Isaac Weiss


I believe so, because the current statement you provided discusses only what happens to chords, but not to voiced notes.

Additionally, the use of the term "under voices" in the current statement is confusing to me. I'm not sure if it means Voiced notes not part of the chord being Exploded, or merely those chord-notes that are lower than the top note of the chord being Exploded.

The 2 sentences I suggested adding to the Handbook attempt to more clearly explain to users the behavior of the Explode Tool when measures are selected containing notes that belong to Voices 2, 3, and 4, and not just chords.

Am I the only user to have encountered this situation of wanting to Explode measures containing voiced notes and chords?


In reply to by jeetee

You ask a most interesting question!

I tested this out and the result is that Explode works only if you have at least one chord in Voice 1 in the selected measure(s).

You can have chords in Voices 2, 3, and 4, but Explode will simply copy those to the staves below - and only if there is at least one Voice 1 chord in the selected measure.

You can see the attached file for how this looks.

Thank you for asking the question. We have learned something more about the Explode tool that is not mentioned in the Handbook - that it works only on Voice 1 chords.

Attachment Size
Test Explode w 4-voice chords.mscz 11.82 KB

In reply to by tomfeledy

Again, to be perfectly clear: the explode command was designed to work on voice 1 chords and voice 1 chords only. No thought whatsoever was given to what might happen if you for some reason had notes in other voices - that is not the use case the explode command was designed for.

In reply to by tomfeledy

No, it's common to want to do that - or at least, with voices only. I actually can't imagine what one would expect if there were both chords and voices. I did look at extending the functionality of the existing tool to handle case. But the interactions are too complex for that to really make sense - if the music consists of both chords *and* voices. I think it would be better to have a separate tool for the exploding voices, that worked on voices *only*. But since it is trivially easy to do the operation with just copy and paste and no special tool, it has never been a high priority.

As for documentation, again, what the algorithm currently happens to do if you have multiple voices should not be documented. I think the documentation should say "This is not meant to be used for multiple voices. If there are multiple voices, anything can happen". I don't want to be locked into the accidents of whatever happens to be the case now and have to support that particular behavior. It could change at any time.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I think you misunderstand what I am saying.
I am not asking for a change in the functioning of the Explode tool.
As far as I am concerned, Explode works fine just the way it is.

Why do you say that "anything can happen" with multiple voices?
What I have observed and tested before I posted this is, as I have stated before:
1) If the measure contains no chords, nothing happens.
2) If the measure contains at least one chord, the chord is exploded, and the notes of other voices are merely copied as they are to the exploded staves.
This happens consistently and, in my opinion as a user, deserves explanation.

My concern is merely to better explain what your Explode tool currently does.
In my work-flow as librarian of our community chorus, I select multiple measures at once. Some contain chords and some do not. To save time, I Explode them all at once. The results are consistent and useful to me, so I will continue to work this way. I am certain there are other users out there, who may not have the time to interact with you repeatedly as I do, who use the Explode tool in a similar way.

I am a user and not a developer like you.
Try to see it from the point of view of a user like me. Would not the added explanation be helpful, to avoid wasting time, as it has done in my case, because of confusion on how the Explode tool works with mixed notes?


In reply to by tomfeledy

What I am saying is, I gave no thought to the possibiltiy that a user might try to use this tool with multiple voices. Whatever happens happens, but it is not the "intended" functionality - it's purely an accident. If I decide to improve the tool in the future, I don't want people to depend on whatever the tool happens to do with multiple voices today, because it might not be compatible with what it does in the future.

This is very standard in software - some behaviors are just accidents of how something happened to be implemented and not something users should depend on. And documentation should reflect this.

Stated another way: documenting a behavion is making a promise that this will continue to work similarly in the future. I do not want to make any such promise regarding this particular accident. Future changes to the tool might change how it works in this regard, so it is best to simply tell people not to depend on it. If it happens to be useful to you right now, by all means, use it that way, but I can't guarantee it will always work that same way in the future.

An analogy: I had a car once that you could start even without a key, by using a particular combination of steps. I don't think the car maker would have wanted that fact documented - they would thought of that as a bug to be fixed. Similarly, I have a notion that someday I might fix explode to *not* copy the contents of voices other than 1, or to do something else entirely like pop up a dialog warning you this is not the right tool for the job.

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