For MuseScore 3 users, see Tuplets
Tuplets are used to write rhythms beyond the beat divisions usually permitted by the time signature. For example, a sixteenth note triplet divides an eighth note beat into three sixteenth notes instead of two:
In 6/8 time, an eighth note duplet divides a dotted quarter note into two eighth notes instead of three:
Create a tuplet
The exact method of tuplet entry depends on whether you are starting off in Note input mode or Normal mode. We'll start off with a simple example: the creation of an eighth note triplet.
Create a triplet in normal mode
Select a note or rest that specifies the full duration of the desired triplet group. In the case of an eighth note triplet, you will need to select a quarter note or rest—as in the example below:
From the main menu, choose Notes→Tuplets→Triplet, or press Ctrl+3 (Mac: ⌘+3). This will give the following result:
The program automatically changes to note-input mode and selects the most appropriate duration—in this example an eighth note. Now enter the desired series of notes/rests. For example:
Create a triplet in note input mode
- Ensure you are in note input mode (press N).
- Navigate to the note/rest (or blank measure) where you want the triplet to start (use the left/right arrow keys as required).
- Select a final duration for the whole triplet group. In the case of an eighth note triplet, click on the quarter note in the note input toolbar (or press 5 on the keyboard).
- From the main menu, choose Notes→Tuplets→Triplet, or press Ctrl+3 (Mac: ⌘+3). This creates a triplet number/bracket and appropriately divides the original note/rest (see image above).
- The program automatically selects the most appropriate duration—in this example an eighth note—allowing you to immediately start entering the desired series of notes/rests.
Create other tuplets
To create other tuplets (Duplet (2) to Nonuplet (9)), substitute one of the following commands at the relevant step above:
- Press Ctrl+2–9 (Mac: Cmd+2–9).
- From the menu, select Notes→Tuplets, then click on the desired option.
For more complex cases, see below.
To create other tuplets than the default options (e.g. 13 sixteenth notes in the space of one quarter note):
- In Note input mode, select a note duration equaling the total duration of the tuplet; or, if in Normal mode, select a note or rest of the desired overall duration;
- Open the Create Tuplet dialog from the menu: Notes→Tuplets→Other...;
Select the desired number ratio (e.g. 13/4 for thirteen sixteenth notes in the space of a quarter note) under "Relation" in the "Type" section. Specify "Number" and "Bracket" using the radio buttons in the "Format" section;
Click OK to close the dialog:
Enter the desired series of notes/rests.
Delete a tuplet
To delete any tuplet, select the number/bracket and press Del.
Change display of tuplets
- To change the way that tuplets are displayed in the score, adjust the properties in the "Tuplet" section of the Inspector.
- Some general settings for tuplets can also be found in Style→General...→Tuplets.
Using the Inspector
To change the display properties of tuplets in the score, select the tuplet numbers/brackets, and adjust the desired properties in the "Tuplet" section of the Inspector:
If neither the number nor the bracket of the tuplet is shown in the score, select a note from the tuplet, then use the Tuplet button in the Inspector to display the "Tuplet" section:
- "Auto" places the bracket/number in the default position.
- "Up" places the bracket above the note heads, regardless of the stem, or beam position.
- "Down" places the bracket below the note heads, regardless of the stem, or beam position.
- "Number" shows an integer.
- "Relation` shows a ratio of two integers.
"Nothing" turns off number display.
- "Automatic" hides the bracket for beamed notes and shows the bracket if the tuplet includes unbeamed notes or rests.
- "Bracket" displays the bracket.
- "Nothing" hides the bracket.
Using the Style menu
To make fine adjustments to the way that all tuplets in the score are displayed, from the menu, select Style → General... and select Tuplets.
Two adjustments are possible: Vertical and Horizontal
- Vertical adjustment has three options with values in space units and one (un)ticked option
- Maximum slope: default value is 0.50; range is from 0.10 to 1.00
- Vertical distance from stem (see (2) below): default value is 0.25; range is from -5.00 to 5.00
- Vertical distance from note head (see (3) below): default value is 0.50; range is from -5.00 to 5.00
- Avoid the staves: by default ticked
- Horizontal has four options with values in space units
- Distance before the stem of the first note (see (5) below): default value is 0.50; range is from -5.00 to 5.00
- Distance before the head of the first note: default value is 0.00; range is from -5.00 to 5.00
- Distance after the stem of the last note (see (6) below): default value is 0.50; range is from -5.00 to 5.00
- Distance after the head of the last note: default value is 0.00; range is from -5.00 to 5.00