Adding additional rests

• Mar 25, 2011 - 09:50

Hey guys!

So, I'm pretty new to Musescore, and finding my way around using the tutorial videos and the handbook. However, I'm stuck!

I already entered most of my score. Now I want to add in some rests I didn't put in the first time through, but every time I try to do that, Musescore thinks I want to EDIT existing notes into rests, instead of ADDING new rests next to them.

I'm hoping I've missed something, 'cause I'll be pretty bummed if I have to start all over again just to put some rests in! :P

Thanks! :)


In reply to by lydia.amateurfail

What purpose are the rests you want to add?
Musescore will only follow the time signature, so if all the time in the bar is notated, there is no way to add additional rests.

The only way you could do that is to use a 2nd voice, but if the numerical value of all incidents in the bar adds up to more than the time signature, how is someone to interpret that?


In reply to by lydia.amateurfail

If, for example, you've only entered three beats into a measure, so you need to insert a quarter rest between beats one and two, the way you'd do that is to select beats 2-4, copy, then paste them onto beat three. That moves everything over. Now you can delete whatever is in beat 2 and turn it into rests. This should be a very rare operation, though - why wouldn't you just have entered all four beats the first time? Sure, we all make mistakes, but most mistakes of this nature are due to being new with the software; you'll stop making so many soon enough.

In reply to by Bill Watkins

Oh, definitely - insert rests as you go. but that's easy. It sounds to me like the OP is talking about going back later and inserting rests into already entered measures, and it's not clear if that because they were left out originally or what.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

no, being new to the software, i didn't put in rests the first time through, so all my bars are full time-signature wise. next time i'll know to put rests in straight away, but what can i do now?

can someone advise me how to copy and paste on this software? i plan to copy and paste the bars which don't need any new rests into a new composition, and just re-do the ones which do.

In reply to by lydia.amateurfail

I don't understand. If the measures are already full, how were you expecting to insert rests? That would make the measures *overfull*. Maybe you mean, you half something like a half note that you would now like to see as a quarter note followed by a quarter rest? If so, you don't do that by inserting the rest - you do it by changing the half to a quarter, and the rest will be inserted for you automatically. Just click the note (while *not* in Note Input mode) and hit "5".

Another thing that occurs to me is that you might be talking about using multiple voices - that would be the only way to add rests to an already full measure. See the section on Voices in the handbook for information on that. But I sort of doubt that what's you mean.

Copy and paste is of course possible, though, and works exactly as you you'd expect, once you figure out how to select. You can select by dragging with the mouse if you press Shift while doing the drag (otherwise, dragging just moves the canvas within the window. You can also select a range of notes by clicking the first and shift-clicking the last. Or ctrl-clicking individual notes. These are all pretty standard Windows shortcuts; I imagine it works similarly on Mac or Linux.

You know, I can remember doing the exact same thing the first time I used MuseScore. In my mind the rest was just like when you use the spacebar. In a Microsoft Word file (or equivalent, online or offline), you press the spacebar and it inserts a space without compromising the proceeding characters. Of course, as a new user I thought adding a rest would be the MuseScore equivalent of adding a space. Turns out I was wrong. Rests are just like notes.

I will admit, though, that I would still find a feature like this useful. Even as one who is quite comfortably familiar with the software, I would love to have a way to insert a rest without compromising the proceeding notes. Granted, it would not replace the current method of entering rests (entering them in their desired place just like all the rest of the notes), it would simply be a toggleable ammendment or addition to how it is already done. I'm not sure how hard it would be to write that into the software's code, although I can't imagine it would be too difficult as similar such commands are already in the codes for word processors and such. It should be as simple as converting the similar code in a manner that would be cooperative and effective with existing MuseScore code. But, not being a software developer or anything like it, I wouldn't really know for sure.

In reply to by rj45

I'm not sure I understand the distinction you are making here. Entering a rest in MuseScore *is* just like entering a space in Word. The only difference is that the actual key you type to get it happens to be "0" instead of the space bar - but you can customize it to make it the space bar if you prefer).

The main difference in use model between MuseScore and Word is that both notes and rests in MuseScore are like typing in "replace mode" in Word - notes or rests entered replace whatever was already at that beat position - but there is no corresponding "insert mode". I think an "insert mode" would indeed be quite useful in MuseScore, but I can't see any reason why it should make any distinction between notes and rests, either. In "insert mode", anything you typed would push everything after it within the measure to the right. If the measure was already full, it could either not allow the operation, or truncate the measure.

The other difference between MuseScore and Word with respect to "replace mode" is that if you replace a note or rest with one of shorter value, it inserts a rest to make up the difference and to avoid needing to move subsequent notes to the left. That's sometimes, but by no means always, what one might want. So that's the other thing I could see wanting MuseScore to allow - a variation on the current behavior where replacing a note with a shorter one moved everything after it to the left. But adding a whole other mode for that seems overkill. A simple ctrl-Del operation that deleted the selected note or rest and shifted everything afterwards in the measure to the left would do the trick. You could then replace a note with a shorter note, then select the automatically-added rest, and then hit ctrl-Del.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It is like Word if you have your insert button on while you're typing. If you need to go back and add a space, you can, but at the expense of losing the nest character. I'm saying it would be nice sometimes to go and add a rest in a score without having to lose the next note in the sequence. In esscence, everything would kinda be automatically copied and pasted that much farther down in the score.

In reply to by rj45

"I'm saying it would be nice sometimes to go and add a rest in a score without having to lose the next note in the sequence. In esscence, everything would kinda be automatically copied and pasted that much farther down in the score."

that's what i was hoping for when i posted the question. i was frustrated that i wasn't able to do so, and i thought it was because i was doing something wrong. however, now i know that it is due to the software, not my ignorance, that this cannot be done. :)

i have fixed my problem by making a completely new score, and copying and pasting the bulk of my old score into it, whilst this time remembering to add my rests along the way, so i'm all good now. ;)

thanks for your help, guys! :D

In reply to by lydia.amateurfail

I was initially very frustrated with inserting into a measure. But, I realized what the software was doing (eventually) and found that if I need to edit a complex measure that it was easiest just to turn the entire measure into a rest and reconstruct the measure from scratch. I found this to be the safest way without blowing away what I've done in the following measures.

Once you realize that editing a measure is filling out a finite span of time, and that you're basically replacing rests with notes, it becomes a lot easier to move ahead.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I agree, what you call the "insert mode" would be a very useful tool for MuseScore users. It almost seems (forgive me) that MuseScore as a software is more concerned with making the smallest change possible (ie. not moving notes more than it has to, so that they retain their assigned place-sometimes, oftimes, this is preferred; I might actually want the notes to stay where I put them) than it is concerned with the flexibility of being able to close up spaces (in case of deleting some/all of what is written in a particular beat or the flexibility to insert a note/rest without having to risk compromising the next note in the sequence. It would be useful to have a way to easily switch such a preference, and I think there are lots of MuseScore users that would also find this useful. Should this idea be submitted as a feature request?

In reply to by rj45

I suspect the actual reason things are the way they are isn't laziness; it's compatibility with Sibelius, which has generally recognized as the easiest to use of the major notation packages (my students tell me that MuseScore now beats it handily, though). People coming from Sibelius aren't surprised at all by MuseScore's behavior in Note Input mode. People coming from Finale are; also, people not coming from any particular program. But yes, I think anything that could be done to improve this would be a great thing.

When I've asked about the submitted feature requests formally through the issue tracker, the advice I got - which seems very sound - is to first discuss the proposal in the forum to get feedback and maybe some sort of consensus on exactly the new feature should work, *then* create an issue. I'd say at this point there is widespread agree that there is room for improvement, and realistically, anyone who would be in any position to deal with the feature request has got to be well aware of this already. But my guess is the closer that we can come to figuring out exactly what this feature should look like through discussion here, the better the chance of any formal feature request getting implemented.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

When you insert in a word processor, it's just text and everything shift gracefully. In a scorewriter, you have measures, key signature, time signature, if there was a insert mode, what would you expect to shift ?
Sometimes, a user will want only the current beat to shift and erase the last 16th note of the beat. Another time, it will be the full measure. Another time, until the next clef/time/key change etc...
Once you shift more than a measure, what do you do for tuplets over barlines, clef/time/key change etc...

The time spent to configure the right shifting and be sure to don't loose anything in the process would be longer than redo the measure or do a smart copy paste.

In reply to by lasconic

It's true that actually trying to shift everything would be a nightmare. But I don't think would be anyone's expectation. I think only shifting within the current measure what the user would want most of the time, and obviously, if you limit it to that, it's much simpler to implement. I think that would cover most cases, and for the rest, there is still copy/paste.

On the other hand, Lydia, while obviously most people use insert mode in Word, music is very different from text in a fundamental way: rhythm. In text, adding a letter or word can shift everything else to the right without messing anything up. In music, shifting everything else to the right changes everything. I know that as a newcomer to the software you're probably running into cases where it *seems* like "insert mode" would be what you want most of the time, but I am almost positive you'd find out that wasn't actually the case. Certain types of mistakes might be more easily fixed in "insert mode", but many more types of mistakes are more easily corrected the way things are. And other types of editing jobs - not fixing mistakes, but simply changing one's mind about what one wants - are also more easily done if changes to one part of a piece don't mess with anything else. I do think once you get used to how it works, you'll see it really is *usually* better the way it is. But no doubt, the option to sometimes switch modes would be useful.

But I do agree that if there is be a serious hashing out of what such a facility would really look like, it should probably be in another thread.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

After reading lasconic and Marc's comments, I realize that there are definitely instances where this particular feature would not work. There are a lot of issues in relation with what the preferred outcome of such a feature should perform from a user's standpoint versus the outcome from the software's standpoint. There's really just too much uncertainty from the software's point of view to be able to create what the user wants to see without there having to be a whole bunch of guesswork involved.

However, I do think this could be a feature worth persuing. Perhaps, (and this may need to happen on a different thread), we need to have users discuss what they would like for the feature to accomplish, while the software engineers/developers address whether or not any given certain aspect of this feature would be feasible. Sort of where users thoroughly explain what they want, and then the developers say whether or not that is possible, and potential conflictions and issues that could arise with what is being proposed. Any thoughts?

All notes and rests in a measure have to sum to the time signature. So, if you want to insert a rest, you have to shorten something. The way to do this is to select a note in the measure before where you want your rest, then select a duration shorter than what the note is. Example, Say you are in 4 beats to a measure, and you have two half notes in one measure. You want to have a quarter rest at the end of the measure. You can't just insert a quarter rest because the measure would have 4 and a quarter beats. You need to select the second half note, then select the quarter note duration. This will shorten your note and insert the quarter rest at the end of the measure.

I hope that helps.

In reply to by dmesser

It should be possible to insert a rest where you want it. I can't copy and paste one, so I don't know what "copy and paste" refer to in this program. I may have cut a rest, and want it back. I can't get it back, and the program skips over the space and won't let me put a space back in.

Inserting notes and spaces is very non-intuitive and unpredictable and overly-complicated.

I finally found a way, I think, to put a rest in. Add a 4th voice, (the purple one), just to put the rest in, and delete the other rests.
All this and the other good answers above should be explained in the handbook.

In reply to by eameece

Using a 4th voice is a very bad way to add a rest if you need to insert it somewhere in the music flow. Of course, it's the way to go if you want to insert a parallel rest, that what voices are for.

If you want to insert a rest, because you didn't enter it in the first place, you can select the range you want to shift ( click on the first note, shift click on the last note) and copy it, select the point you want to shift it and paste. Then select the place where you want to insert the rest, select the duration and press 0 to enter the rest.

On a side note, and as other said, "non intuitive", "unpredictable" and "overly complicated" is not helpful. Describe exactly what you find complex, and how you would make it simpler. Here you could post your file before, and describe precisely how you want it after the manipulation. Someone would probably come with a simple answer.

Even better, the code is here, compile it, make a patch to suit your requirements, and submit it here. This program, as you call it, will then be better.

Btw, something else, it's better to open new forum post with your support request than using an old one.

In reply to by lasconic

It worked, though. I did not want to shift any notes. I wanted to insert a rest. Adding a voice is a lot simpler way to do it. Using copy and paste does not seem to work in many cases. What you described is an example of something overly complicated. On most programs, cutting and pasting is a simple process. You select the item, copy it, and select where you want it, and paste a copy. Period.

It doesn't have to be the 4th voice, of course; that just seemed the most logical, assuming someone might need the other voices for notes.

It's good that this program exists. People who like it though, should not assume it does not need to be improved. It is difficult to work with.

In reply to by eameece

Let me see if I understand... you don't need to move notes, but you need to insert a rest. The word insert implies moving things, so I hope you see the complication your wording brings.

The only time I've ever seen the case you talk of is when you have deleted a rest from voice 2-4. Once gone the note position is now empty, and I don't know how to get it back. Is this what you are referring to? If not, can you show the issue you needed to fix?

In reply to by eameece

Replacing a rest you deleted (from a voice other than voice 1, since voice 1 rests naturally cannot be deleted) is the only situation I can imagine where it would make any sense to need to "insert" a rest but not move other notes. I would have thought the rest could be added back easily enough just by going into note entry mode and re-typing it in the "hole" left behind by the deletion, but apparently that doesn't work: note entry mode skips right over the "hole" and nothing I do will fix it short of deleting the contents of the voice in that measure and starting over. That would seem to be a bug. I see something like it was reported last year, but the person who submitted it marked it "minor" in priority, and hence it probably had not yet been considered for fixing. I just went and moved the priority up to "normal".

Really, though, you probably shouldn't normally be deleting rests - that doesn't make musical sense. If you have a rest that you don't wish to display for whatever reason (and there are cases where this is proper, although it certainly isn't the norm), you should simply mark it invisible. Although I admit I've also been known to delete rests in those cases where I know it is proper notation to not display them, just to unclutter the screen while editing. Luckily, I hadn't then needed to change my mind.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Almost always in this program, the rests from other voices interfere with the visibility of the notes. When I am playing music, the notes need to be clear and unambiguous. Marking invisible might be better, which is the only alternative for voice 1 anyway. I just don't trust them to go away, so I cut them. Only once in a while, are they useful to make the music more readable, but then I always have to take extra trouble to move them out from under the other notes.

In reply to by eameece

Version 2.0 will have automatic adjustment for rests in other voices. Meanwhile, though, you can adjust their position manually - double click and arrow key.

In *most* cases with multi-voice music, the standard rules of notation does call for all rests to be shown - otherwise, a musician reading the part wouldn't where where to come in. But there are indeed special cases where hiding the rests is considered acceptable - situation where there is no possible ambiguity, and where the internal consistency of the part is not compromised.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Vice-versa. Usually it is easier to just read notes of different duration in the same measure, but sometimes it is better to clarify where a rest is. Glad to see they will eventually correct the rests in other voices obstructing the notes, I hope!

In reply to by eameece

You might think it is easier most of the time to not show the rests, but hundreds of years of standard notation experience says otherwise. There are certain very specific cases where it is permissible to hide rests, otherwise they must be shown. All notation style guides I have ever seen are quite specific about this.

And yes, rests *can* be set invisible in MuseScore - just right click and choose Set Invisible from the menu.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

You like to debate, don't you Marc. ;)
I play lots of music, and I don't see rests every time there are notes of more than one duration in a measure. That would be very cumbersome and distracting to the player indeed.
And, no; that did NOT work. If it doesn't work once for me, that's enough for me to say that it doesn't work. I clicked on Set Invisible and nothing happened to the green rest. Only blue (1st voice) rests go invisible when I right click and choose Set Invisible from the menu.

In reply to by eameece

"I clicked on Set Invisible and nothing happened to the green rest."

Now that is strange.

I have just been working on a score of organ music involving contrapuntal parts continually swapping from top stave to bottom stave of the Great Staff, this has invovled the use of many hidden rests to achieve this, and I can ascertain that green rests react to Set Invisible just the same as blue ones do.

One thing that may be fooling you into thinking that they haven't changed is the fact that they stay green until unselected, at which point they turn grey to indicate they are now hidden.

If you untick Show Invisible in the Display Menu they should disappear as soon as you make them invisible.


In reply to by eameece

Post some examples of professionally published music that does *not* show the rests for multiple voices, and I willbe happy to explain how these are example of the special cases I alrewady said do exist. The point is, they *are* the exception, not the rule. In *most* cases involving multiple voices, you are supposed to show rests. You need to understand what situation you are allowed to hide rests and not assume that you should be hiding all or even most rests. That would result in incorrect notation.

As for what went wrong when you tried to set a rest invisible, could you post a sample score and exact steps to reproduce? This really does work; I've done it hundreds of times (because these situations, while nit e norm, are nonethless fairly common in certain musical situations). It might also help if you used or the like to capture a screen shot video; that might help us figure out what is happening.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I don't think I need to do all that; what I said happened is very simple to understand. I click on the green rest and the only thing I can do is cut it.

You may be right. It will be a lot better though when they don't get inserted right underneath the other notes. That's the main reason I have to cut them now. If this program is going to insert rests for multiple voices, then they should go somewhere close to where the second or third voices are, not on top of the notes in the first voice.

In reply to by eameece

Well, something is clearly wrong - either you are using one a file that won't let you hide the rests, or you are doing something wrong. Either way, we should be able to help if you let, but we,ll need information in order to help. Because again, it really does work for everyone else. So I guess it's up to you if you want us to help you solve this problem.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I don't know what "using one a file that won't let you hide the rests" means. I clearly experienced that I could not cut the rest.
I tried it again on another file, and it worked. So I guess it is just that this program is inconsistent. I have experienced that a great deal with this program.

Another problem is that I go into note entry mode, click on a second voice, and then as soon as I change to the correct duration I want, it goes out of that voice again and back to the first one. Frustrating! I keep having to tell the program, "no, THIS is what I said."

In reply to by eameece

No. It doesn't. If you do exactly as you describe, the next note you enter will be in the voice you selected. That's how it supposed to work, and ithat is how it does work. What makes you think it has "moved out" of the voice you just selected? What do you do next, what do expect to see happen, and what happens instead? Have you watched the tutorials? They you understand what you are doing wrong. And if not, please start a new thread to discuss this new problem you having, posting a sample file and the *exact* steps you are following.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

BTW, when you say click, I assume you mean "right click". Are you saying the right click menu does not even appear, or that when you select Set Invisible and then select the note to view the effect, it has not turned grey?

Also, again, you don't need to make them go away just to avoid the collision. Simply move them. Double click and up/down. I find three notches usually does a nice job.

Regarding one corrupt file, I am assuming that this works normally for you on most files, but you have one or more rests in one file somewhere that cannot be made onvisible the usual way. It's that file I'd like to see.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It will be nicer if they get it so the rests go where they are supposed to. It's extra time and trouble to either move or erase those rests, especially since often I have to go into 200% and 400%, and like I said, the zoom never puts you where you are working, so that's even more fishing around. It was poor programming in the first place to put the second/third voice rests on top of the other notes.

I don't know what "up/down" means. I gather from the other poster it refers to "page up" and "page down" since all the arrow keys are used for other things, but I don't know.

regarding your first question, I thought what I said was clear. I right clicked, tried "set invisible," and nothing happened; I could only cut it. I question whether it's the document, since this program is so frequently inconsistent. And why would a file be corrupted, and by what? Sounds strange to me. But next time I'll try the set invisible, and hope it works.

In reply to by eameece

Once again, there is no inconsistency here. Thousands of rests have been set invisible before and it has worked every time. If you have the one example ever in history of a rest that for some reaosn could not be made invisible, then there may be a bug, and if so, you would need to post the file containing that rest if you want to see that bug fixed. But I suspect it,s just as likely it will turn out to be another simple misunderstanding, like maybe there was another rest in another voice in that same location, so when you set one of the rests at that location invisible, the other was still showing. But once again, whether it is a bug or a misunderstanding on your part, there is no way for us to help you unless you post the file and tell us *exactly* what you are doing. If you want us to help, you need to provide the necessary information.

As for up/down, assuming you are talking about moving rests, I am talking about the ordinary arrow keys - just as described in the Handbook section on edit mode. Which as I have alrady explained is the mode one uses to manually fine tune the position of objects.

In reply to by eameece

Inserting a rest is just like inserting a note - nothing different about the process at all. You simply have to think *musically*, not just *visually*. When you talk about inserting a rest (or a note), you have to ask yourself what the *musical* effect of what you are doing is. And the answer is, the effect is to take one or more of the *following* notes and movw them *later*. MuseScore does not move notes for you, because there is no way it can possibly know how many notes you wishe to move. Just the next note? everything until the end of the bar? until the next reat? until the next double bar? until the end of the piece? Only *you* know how many notes you wish to move. So it is *you* who must select the notes you wish to move, then copy and paste them from their current time position to wherever you want to move them to (a beat later or whatever).

So, the process is:

1. Select the notes you wish to move and hit "copy"
2. Enter the rests/notes you wish to "insert", by entering it right on top of what is already at that time position
3. Click the time position right after the new rests/notes and hit "paste"

Yes, this is not obvious at first if you have not used notation programs much before. But again, it makes complete sense once you start thinking *musically* instead of just visually. Musically speaking, you cannot insert rests/notes without moving one or more of the following notes from their original time position to a later one, and only you know how many notes you wish to move. So you simply need to move those notes *directly*, rather than by thinking in terms of "inserting" rests or notes and having the program guess what you want to move to make room.

If it helps to make an analogy, think about a desktop publishing program where you have have placed a square and a circle on the page. Now say you wish to "insert" a triangle between them. That will require moving the circle to the right, or the square to the left, or some combination. Only you know where you want those shapes to end up, so it is up to you to clear the space for the triangle by selecting which of the other symbols you wished to move and doing the move yourself.

Rests are not like spaces which are inserted between words to distinguish them; rests are essentially notes without sound. I can't see any situation where I would want to insert a rest and move everything to the right since that would scramble the whole piece. I can see where one might feel that an "Inset Mode" operating at the bar level would be useful but currently it's not too difficult to insert a blank bar and then fill it with notes. One thing that might be good (and I wonder if someone clever could do it via a plug-in) would be if you has a "smart-insert-rest" whereby you inserted a rest and then were presented with a choice of how you wanted the whole bar adjusted to accommodate that rest.

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