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I'm trying to write a custom tuplet in 4/4 time, which occupies one beat consisting of:

A sixteenth note A sixteenth note A dotted eighth note

Musescore is putting rests in and not recognizing it as a "triplet". If I set a custom ratio, and use 5 instead of 3, it works, but this is not what I want. Thanks for any advice!

enter image description here

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  • 4
    Your notation suggests an equal 5-division of the beat (1 sixteenth + 1 sixteenth + 3 sixteenths). What rhythm are you actually trying to achieve?
    – Aaron
    Commented Jun 22, 2023 at 21:10
  • "One beat" in 4/4 does not normally "consist of" two 16ths and a dotted 8th. Should the 16ths be 32nds perhaps? Commented Jun 22, 2023 at 22:00
  • There are some useful HowTo's in the handbook over custom tuplets.
    – lvr123
    Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 7:57

2 Answers 2

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If your goal is to have 2 sixteens and 1 dotted-eight over 1 quarter with a "3" on top of it, this approach will work:

  • On a quarter rest, press CTRL+5 to have a tuplet of 5 sixteens: enter image description here
  • Enter your rhythm: enter image description here
  • Then go in the tuplet properties, and set the number to none: enter image description here enter image description here
  • Then add a staff text (that you format like a tuplet number) and place it over the tuplet: enter image description here
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  • Does this solution produce a picture that doesn't actually make a musical sense? Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 1:19
  • I let the original requester decide if what he asked for as a musical sense. At least, now he can achieve his desired output.
    – lvr123
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 16:27
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EDIT: I’ve found a way to do this over GUI. Basically what you need to do is to create a 5/16 measure. This allows you to select a duration of length 5/16. Then you can insert a triplet and copy that triplet to the location you want it to be in.

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The problem here is that while MuseScore would technically allow this feature the input system won’t allow this as it requires you to select to duration of the whole tuplet (and there is no single duration spanning 5 16ths, undless you nest tuplets).

But this does not mean that you cannot do this at all: You’ll need to manually edit the MuseScore file though:

Suppose you create a part like this:

enter image description here

and save this as (uncompressed) mscx file (or decompress the mscz, which is a renamed zip archive). This file is then an xml file containing this part

      <Measure>
        <voice>
          <KeySig>
            <accidental>0</accidental>
            </KeySig>
          <TimeSig>
            <sigN>4</sigN>
            <sigD>4</sigD>
            </TimeSig>
          <Tuplet>
            <normalNotes>2</normalNotes>
            <actualNotes>3</actualNotes>
            <baseNote>eighth</baseNote>
            <Number>
              <style>tuplet</style>
              <text>3</text>
              </Number>
            </Tuplet>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>eighth</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>eighth</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>eighth</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <endTuplet/>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>quarter</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>half</durationType>
            </Rest>
          </voice>
        </Measure>

The part

          <Tuplet>
            <normalNotes>2</normalNotes>
            <actualNotes>3</actualNotes>
            <baseNote>eighth</baseNote>
            <Number>
              <style>tuplet</style>
              <text>3</text>
              </Number>
            </Tuplet>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>eighth</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>eighth</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>eighth</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <endTuplet/>

is responsible for the tuplet, that beyond is the further two rests:

          <Rest>
            <durationType>quarter</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>half</durationType>
            </Rest>

Now this thing

          <Tuplet>
            <normalNotes>2</normalNotes>
            <actualNotes>3</actualNotes>
            <baseNote>eighth</baseNote>
            <Number>
              <style>tuplet</style>
              <text>3</text>
              </Number>
            </Tuplet>

tells us how the Tuplet is set up: normalNotes is the actual Duration of the Tuplet and actualNotes is the Division of the Tuplet. In our case this is 2 and 3, so 3 eighth notes in the place of 2.

But what we actually want is 3 sixteenths (or 3 eighths = 6 sixteenths) in the place of 5 sixteenths. So let’s adapt

          <Tuplet>
            <normalNotes>5</normalNotes>
            <actualNotes>3</actualNotes>
            <baseNote>16th</baseNote>
            <Number>
              <style>tuplet</style>
              <text>3</text>
              </Number>
            </Tuplet>

Now we need to replace the three eighths by three 16ths (unless we go for three eighths again):

          <Rest>
            <durationType>16th</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>16th</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>16h</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <endTuplet/>

and we need to adjust the rest, which was before a quarter rest and a half rest but now needs to be a 16 rest, an eighth rest and a half rest:

          <Rest>
            <durationType>16th</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>eighth</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>half</durationType>
            </Rest>

So this gives you a final result of

      <Measure>
        <voice>
          <KeySig>
            <accidental>0</accidental>
            </KeySig>
          <TimeSig>
            <sigN>4</sigN>
            <sigD>4</sigD>
            </TimeSig>
          <Tuplet>
            <normalNotes>5</normalNotes>
            <actualNotes>3</actualNotes>
            <baseNote>16th</baseNote>
            <Number>
              <style>tuplet</style>
              <text>3</text>
              </Number>
            </Tuplet>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>16th</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>16th</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>16th</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <endTuplet/>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>16th</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>eighth</durationType>
            </Rest>
          <Rest>
            <durationType>half</durationType>
            </Rest>
          </voice>
        </Measure>

Replace the previous part by this and open the mscx file with MuseScore. If MuseScore complains about a corrupted file this means you have not correctly filled up the Measure. The result should look like this:

enter image description here

or with actual notes:

enter image description here

This is of course a bit more inconvenient than simply adding the tuplet, but it is a straightforward procedure if you understand how that XML-Data translates to Music.

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  • 2
    I suspect that is a very ingenious answer to a flawed question!
    – Laurence
    Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 0:05

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