One of the most frequently asked questions here on MuseScoreTips and via my Youtube videos is: “Why does MuseScore keep “adding” rests into a measure when I’m entering notes?”.
Along the same lines is this question: “How do I delete rests?”
If you’ve had experience with notation software before, you won’t be surprised by MuseScore’s behaviour but it can be disconcerting for someone who’s come from a MIDI sequencing or simple pencil-and-paper background. I hope this video clears things up a little.
Video transcript below.
When you set up a score in a notation program like MuseScore, you will choose a starting time signature which defines the pulse or meter of the music you’re writing.
The time signature you choose defines the number of beats in a bar, and what type of beats they are. For instance, a time signature of 4/4 means that I will have 4 quarter note beats in each measure.
Every measure in a score consists of one of the following:
1. Sound – that is, a note or a number of notes
2. Silence – that is, a rest
3. A combination of the two – some notes and some rests
For example, if I add a quarter note – worth 1 beat – into the beginning of a 4/4 measure like this, MS will automatically maintain the total value of the measure – in this case 4 – by inserting rests that add up to 3 beats.
If I add another quarter note, the measure will now contain notes that total 2 beats and in order to maintain a total of 4 beats, MS will alter the rests accordingly so that they add up to 2 . The total value of rests and notes in a measure in 4/4 time will always add up to 4.
If you have rests in a measure that you don’t want, you simply need to replace the rests with notes.
In this example, I have 3 quarter notes in a measure. The rest at the end of the measure is worth one beat so that the measure correctly adds up to 4. If I wanted to get rid of this rest, I would simply need to make the third note longer by changing it into a half-note.