I have a staff with wrong placement of notes. I can change the selected note's staff with ctrl+shift+up/down, but the voice of the note remains and creates a mess.

How can I change the voice of a not with one operation (or minimal) so it is detached from the voice group of notes ?

In this example, I want to move the notes according to the red arrows. Ideally the change should be associated by a voice change and I should have voice green at the bottom and blue voice at the top.

staff system to edit

  • Isn't the green voice already in the bottom and the blue voice already on top in your picture?
    – Dekkadeci
    Feb 20 at 16:49
  • 2
    Given the godawfulness of what you're trying to deal with - 64th rests, even a 128th rest!?! - if you're editing for readability, I recommend an overhaul such as transcribing this by ear.
    – Dekkadeci
    Feb 20 at 20:27
  • @Dekkadeci Well quantization may help simplify, that would be a smart first step before thinking taking such radical option.
    – Soleil
    Feb 20 at 21:00

3 Answers 3


You'll need to make do with cutting-and-pasting notes from one staff to the other. I would NOT use ctrl+shft+up & down, since all it does is move the note representation to the other staff, but it's still counted for in the original staff.

When ever I encounter a mess like this, I tend to create additional staves, where I can temporarily park stuff. E.g. I'd create a new staff and start constructing the blue notes there, cutting them from the source staves and pasting them in the destination staff and immediately changing the voice and fixing durations etc. when necessary.

  • "with one operation (or minimal) ", furthermore you are changing the text, I want to keep it but change the "label" of few notes.
    – Soleil
    Feb 20 at 18:43
  • 1
    @Soleil - If by "changing the text" you mean cutting and pasting or committing notes to memory when deleting and adding - with the attendant risk of mis-remembering the note transferred - then I'm afraid you have to change the text.
    – Dekkadeci
    Feb 20 at 20:18
  • @Soleil - One example where you have to change the text if all you want is 2 voices is the third note you want to transfer: a dotted 32nd note that's getting placed where the latter part of a 16th note is. I'd have to shorten the 16th note to a 64th note in order to transfer your dotted 32nd note.
    – Dekkadeci
    Feb 20 at 20:20
  • @Soleil - Even if you want to preserve all note starts and note lengths when transferring that dotted 32nd note, you have to resort to hacks such as replacing that 16th note with a 64th note tied to a dotted 32nd note. In short: for situations like that, you really have to change the text and you cannot win.
    – Dekkadeci
    Feb 20 at 20:54
  • @Soleil it's not possible with one operation, I'm afraid. It's like asking to untangle a ball of christmas lights with "one operation or minimal". Cleaning up midi is unfortunately still a manual and intelligent operation, since you'll need to judge what needs to happen exactly. Maybe some day using A.I. it will be different.
    – Creynders
    Feb 21 at 8:20

Naively, you can click on any individual note and change which voice that particular note is in by clicking on the voice label you want (details on how to do that are in https://musescore.org/en/handbook/3/voices#change-voice).

You can even exchange the voices of (two voices' worth of) notes by selecting the range you want to exchange voices of, going to the menu bar, and finding which voices you want to exchange in the resulting dropdown menus (further details in https://musescore.org/en/handbook/3/voices#exchange-voices).

This may hit snags if the note you want to swap in is a different note length than at least one note in the equivalent place in the voice you want to swap that note into, such as swapped-in notes displacing swapped-out notes or the notes refusing to swap in the first place. I'm afraid I'll have to defer to Creynders and his answer (copy and paste notes back and forth, or essentially do that by committing single notes to memory and deleting and adding them yourself) if you encounter those snags.

If you want to preserve note starts and possibly nothing else whenever you hit such a snag, you may need to edit notes in the voice you're swapping notes into to fit in the notes you're swapping out. For example, in order to successfully swap in the third note you want, a dotted 32nd note trying to displace the latter portion of a 16th note, I'll have to turn that 16th note into a 64th note.

Even if you want to preserve all note starts and note lengths when transferring that dotted 32nd note, you have to resort to hacks (with their own readability issues) such as replacing that 16th note with a 64th note tied to a dotted 32nd note, then swapping that dotted 32nd note in.

  • The problem I had was the duration discrepancy, which blocks the voice affectation.
    – Soleil
    Feb 20 at 18:45
  • @Soleil - I was afraid your situation matched my third paragraph for a high enough percentage of notes: snag after snag.
    – Dekkadeci
    Feb 20 at 20:22
  1. Select the passage whose voices you want to change
  2. Go to the Tools menu on the top bar, and then go to voices. There you will find options like "Exchange voice 1-2" and so on. Click on what you need. It's as simple as that.
  • This is not what I'm trying to achieve.
    – Soleil
    Feb 20 at 18:53

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