I am rewriting this for two violins but am having a little trouble with the very first measure. They look like some weird sort of triplet. How do I enter the notes into a music editor? I've never seen that kind of syntax!

enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    They are triplets, it's just the triplet marks are left out. It's not too uncommon as seen here. Just mark them as triplets in musescore.
    – Dom
    Oct 24, 2016 at 18:16
  • What is your musical background/training? Oct 25, 2016 at 11:38
  • violin lessons.
    – dalearn
    Oct 25, 2016 at 12:44

2 Answers 2


Dom has it right. They'd just be written as triplets with only the top or bottom notes present. You could enter them into the music editor the way you'd do any other triplet, with or without the triplet mark.

So, as far as stuff like left hand pizz, (which my computer keeps trying to say is "left hand pizza") it is currently not a possibility in Musescore to specify left hand pizzicato, but you can certainly tell it to perform pizzicato and write left hand in in the notes. (See: https://musescore.org/en/node/12183)

Triplets can be input with the information present here: https://musescore.org/en/node/11186

Which looks like this:

Triplets! More Triplets!

Although, as Tim said, it's possible that you'd want to use 12/8 instead of this method.

  • and i would enter them as eighth notes?
    – dalearn
    Oct 24, 2016 at 18:20
  • ok, entered! now I have the new image in the question. how do I make this look like the original?
    – dalearn
    Oct 24, 2016 at 18:25
  • @dalearn Not quite... Let me see here... Just a moment, I'll do it myself in Muscore and show you so you can see what I mean. Oct 24, 2016 at 18:28
  • I'd swap them over, so the top line consists of the top notes. It could be written in 12/8, or 4/4 with a comment at the top stating a crotchet = 3 quaver triplets.
    – Tim
    Oct 24, 2016 at 18:30
  • 1
    @CarlWitthoft Fair point, I've seen places, particularly in modern music, where left hand pizz is not specified, but I've also seen places where it is, especially when it's because you're alternating between pizz and arco without much of a break, but some naive musician may attempt to do a traditional pizz anyway. Think Fantasia from Boy Paganini, where in most copies, "left hand pizza" is notated by a little cross over the notes. Oct 25, 2016 at 13:23

Thanks to GeneralNuisance for jogging my memory. The Dolmetsch chart lists a "+" sign over the note as indicating Left-hand Pizz. So two suggestions: 1) place a text "+" where you want it in Musescore, 2) switch to Lilypond :-)

ETA for non-google people: lilypond

  • what is lillypond?
    – dalearn
    Oct 25, 2016 at 19:31
  • @dalearn see edit Oct 26, 2016 at 12:22
  • Musescore 3 has a "+" for "mute" in the category Articulations, so unless you're concerned about how the playback sounds (which I don't think you should as it doesn't quite reflect how it might sound when played by actual human), you could simply use those as the l.h. pizz notation.
    – Divide1918
    Dec 16, 2019 at 9:52

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