I've created a few bars in a MIDI editor and the sound is as I want (the instrument is intended to be a violin) but the notation looks very odd - despite the fact that the end sound at 120bpm is what I want.

enter image description here

I'm wondering if there are any evident ways in which this can be simplified? (my apologies to violin players who read this)

  • Are you sure the end result at 120 BPM is what you want, or would you be willing to try ditching the 64th rest in Bar 2 and shifting the notes accordingly?
    – Dekkadeci
    Nov 17, 2019 at 9:49
  • Cleaning up this mess would take far longer than re-entering the music from scratch in your notation program.
    – PiedPiper
    Nov 17, 2019 at 13:26
  • @PiedPiper yes. agreed.
    – timbo
    Nov 18, 2019 at 4:38

2 Answers 2


There are several steps to correct this viewing:

  1. You can tell the program to ignore the rests smaller than 16th. This will make the picture clearer without loosing the groove of the song.
  2. You can set the quantization when loading the song to a value that ignores 32nd notes. Try it out with different values and see what will happen! (As the shortest played note is a 16th ... you should choose this value otherwise this note will drop out.
  3. Some programs allow a transformation that works just on the screen. You will probably find this function in the midi menue.

You didn't play right 'on the click'. That's fine. The mechanical, lifeless feel of much sequenced music comes from it being quantised. But, as you've seen, too much accuracy is counter-productive in music notation. (I love the way the program has decided to make some of the 64th notes tenuto!)

You haven't revealed which MIDI editor you use, so we can't tell you exactly what menu you'll find 'Display quantise' in. But that's the function you're looking for. Keep playback how you actually played it, display it 'to the nearest whole number'.

We could inquire why you're notating a violin in alto clef, normally reserved for viola?

  • I've been using Rosegarden and oddly, it used alto clef from the midi. It was pretty straightforward to switch to treble clef and just maintain pitch in rosegarden's notation editor.
    – timbo
    Nov 19, 2019 at 21:04

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