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Today my classmates put me onto Musink Lite. If I understand well, the idea is that it somehow 'knows' how long your notes should be, so it becomes one click per note.

I like it, but as a newbie I don't understand how to go about writing some kinds of music and hope someone can point out how to think the right way.

An example to illustrate what I mean. I'm writing a bass line in 7/8 which is something like:

enter image description here

Now let's say:

  • I want a dotted quarter at the end of the stave, or
  • I would like the notes to be grouped 4x8ths, then 3x8ths.

Without manually setting note lengths and beaming, how is this done? Can someone can offer me a clue that would shift my head into the right thinking space?

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  • Does the software detect how long your click lasts?
    – Aaron
    Feb 3 at 18:55

2 Answers 2

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You're slightly misinformed that Musink doesn't let you set note durations manually. The notation software handles this for you 95% of the time but you can also choose note durations purposefully if you need to. The mindset change you need is you need to work with the software, not tell it what to do.

Some background

In sheet music, the way that notes are grouped dictates where rests or notes must fall. For example, imagine two triplets. Both triplets must always start with a note or rest, and all notes and rests in the first tuplet have to end before the next triplet starts.

In Musink, this idea is the key to writing. If the notes are grouped properly, the notation software can calculate which note durations you want without bothering you to do it yourself. If you work with this in mind, you'll find that editing in particular can become faster than you'll be used to, even with a pencil and paper.

Give it hints

Normally the default note groupings are what you want, but yes, if you're playing something a bit nuanced you might need to override the defaults.

In your case, you would select any of the first three notes, then in the tuplet dropdown, choose a half note. They will now be grouped as 4 eighth notes.

musink tuplet editing 1

Then select the 5th note and select a dotted quarter. These will group as three eighth notes.

musink tuplet editing 2

To make a dotted quarter at the end of the bar, you'd just delete the last two notes. If the tuplets are as above, the notation software will lengthen the last note played for you.

musink tuplet editing 3

It would also be worth having a read about the other tuplet functionality, like splitting and bisecting tuplets, as these can save time too.

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Put simply, the thinking pattern is just:

  1. Where are my main beats? (when do I tap my foot)
  2. When do I want notes? (this is your "one click per note")

So long as your main beats are the start of note groups (either by default or by your selection) the note lengths just care of themselves.

In your example, I think your main beats are actually beat 1 and the fourth quaver (note groups of four and three quavers) - like you say in your hypothetical rather than your original version. Once you've selected this phrasing the notes will connect in the way you'd like and you can have your dotted crotchet at the end. If you decide to change the notes or add extras later, you'll find things just flow.

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