Time Signature Pane
  1. If the Score Structure panel is not already visible on your screen, choose Score Structure Panel... from the Tools menu to make it visible.
  2. If the Time Signature pane (which contains the tabs: Time, Time +, Partial MM, and Beats) is not visible in the Score Structure Panel, select Time Signature from the Available Panes pull-down menu at the top of the Score Structure Panel.
  3. Choose between the four tabs in the Time Signature pane to view controls for Time, Time+, Partial MM, or Beats.

Time Tab

To change time signatures, set the time signatures numerator and denominator with the two sliders. Choose how many measures from the current measure are to be changed to the new time signature: only one measure, to the end of the score, or to (and including) a specified measure number. You should also set whether you want images adjusted to new measure or kept in the same measures they are currently in. If you want the beam groupings of notes recalculated, check the Recalculate Beams check box. If you only want the rhythmic spine altered, but no new time signature to be entered and no image adjustments to take place, check the Change Spine Only check box. Once all the appropriate settings have been made, click on the Change Time Signature button.

If you have chosen either to change time signatures for one measure or until a specified measure number, the time signature will be changed back at the correct measure. In the example below, the time signature of the second measure was changed from 3/4 to 5/8.

Notice also that some notes were adjusted to new measures and that the passage was re-beamed according to the normal beat divisions.

Choosing Change Spine Only can be useful for creating pickup measures. In the example below, the first measure was changed to a1/4 measure with the Change Spine Only setting. Here, the 4/4 time signature is not removed, the1/4 time signature is not added, and the spine is simply changed to have only one beat.

The Partial MM tab view can also be used to create incomplete or partial measures

To hide or show time signatures or to remove unwanted time signatures from your score, use the menu items in the small pull-down menu located on the top-rigth corner of this pane.

- Since there is only one rhythmic spine it is not possible to have two different time signatures in the same measure. However, it is possible to fake multiple meters by hiding the barlines on a staff (with the Barline pane) and adding time signatures and barline graphically (i.e. using the Commands for adding graphical version of these images.) The example below shows a 4/4 measure on the top staff and a "faked" 9/8 measure followed by a 7/8 measure on the second staff:

- Complex time signatures such as 4/4 + 1/8 can also be added graphically or they can be added using the Time+ tab view. The non-standard time signature below was created using the Command 12 for the numerator and a graphical note for the denominator.

- Since any NoteAbility image can be set to be any point size, you can choose to remove some of the time signatures in a score (using the Remove Graphic T.S. menu item in the pull-down menu), make the remaining time signatures larger (by selecting them and setting them to a larger image size with the Set Size button on the Control panel) and drag them so that they are centred them between staves:

- Cautionary time signature are added at the end of systems automatically. If you do not want them to be displayed, you can use the items in the Modify/Time Signatures menu to disable cautionary time signatures

Time+ Tab

The Time+ tab view is used for entering complex time signatures in your score. Complex time signatures are meters which are comprised of two or more time signatures which are added together. Although complex time signatures are not common, they are sometimes used when a composer wishes to explicitly indicate the beat groupings. For example, a composer may wish to have a meter of 3/4 + 1/8 rather than a meter of 7/8. When a new complex time signature is entered, you can choose either to have all notes in subsequent measures adjusted to their new metrical positions or to keep images at their current beat positions.

It is possible to specify complex time signatures with either two or three component time signatures. There are three groups of numerator and denominator sliders - each of which control one of the component time signatures. If you want to create a time signature with two components, set the first time signature with the first numerator and denominator sliders, then check the second check box and set the second time signature with the second numerator and denominator sliders. If you want a a third component in your time signature, check the third check box and set the third time signature with the third numerator and denominator sliders. Next, you must set the details as to how many measures are to be affected by the time signature change and whether beams are to be re-calculated. All of these setting are on the Time tab view, so you must click on this tab in order to specify these settings. Choose how many measures from the current measure are to be changed to the new time signature: only one measure, to the end of the score, or to (and including) a specified measure number. You should also set whether you want images adjusted to new measure or kept in the same measures they are currently in. If you want the beam groupings of notes recalculated, check the Recalculate Beams check box. If you only want the rhythmic spine altered, but no new time signature to be entered and no image adjustments to take place, check the Change Spine Only check box. Once all the appropriate settings have been made, return to the Time+ tab view and click on the Change Time Signature button.

If you have chosen either to change time signatures for one measure or until a specified measure number, the time signature will be changed back at the correct measure. In the example below, a complex time signature of 1/4 + 3/8 + 1/4 was entered for 1 measure. Notice that the beam groupings reflect the beats indicated by the complex time signature.

- Since all spine beats within the measure are must be of equal value, NoteAbility will calculate how many beats and the value of the beats that will be inserted into the score. For example if you specify a complex time signature of 2/4 + 1/8 + 3/16, NoteAbility will create 13 beats each of which has the duration of a sixteenth note. If 2/4 + 1/8 + 3/8 is entered, NoteAbility will create 4 beats each of which has the duration of a quarter note.

- If you want to change the beat groupings without entering a complex time signature, use the Beats tab view of this pane.

Partial MM Tab

Partial measures can be found as upbeat measures at the beginning of scores and of sections of scores, at the end of scores (to match the upbeat values at the beginning of the score) and any other place where the number of actual beats in the measure differs from the beats in the time signature.

To create a partial measure:

  1. Place the Entry Cursor in the measure you want altered.
  2. Use the numerator and denominator sliders to set the number and type of beats you would like to appear in this measure. For example, a 1/4 beat upbeat measure should display 1/4.
  3. Check the Exclude This Measure from Measure Count check box if the current measure should not be counted with a measure number. (Normally upbeat measures are not counted as complete measures).
  4. Click on the Create Partial Measure button.
In the example below, a 1/4 upbeat is created (with the measure number excluded), at the beginning of the score, Notice that the 4/4 time signature still remains. In the second example, a 3/4 measure is created at the end of the score (with the measure number included).

- Partial or upbeat measures can also be created using the Change Spine Only setting in the Time tab view.

Beats Tab

The Beat Grouping pane is used for altering the beat groupings in a particular measure or for a particular meter throughout a score. The beat grouping for a measure determines how notes will be beamed together during automatic beaming. This pane is only necessary if you require beat groupings other than the standard groupings for a particular meter. For example, a standard 4/4 measure normally has a beat pattern of 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4, so the display will look like the example above:

To alter the beat groupings, adjust the numerator and denominator sliders to the beat pattern you want, and click on the Set button. If you want all instances of this meter altered throughout the score, check the All Instances of This Meter button before clicking on the Set button.

- No beat group will be registered if either the numerator slider or demoninator slider is set to 0.

Below are two examples of diffent beat groupings of a 4/4 meter along with the beaming that will occur in the music once these groupings are set:

Example 1

Example 2

- It is up to you to make sure that you have indicated the correct number of beats for the meter. Excess beats or insufficent numbers of beats may result in parts of the measure not being formed into beam groups

- Notes are not re-beamed if you change the beat groupings of measures that already contain notes. To re-beam after changing the beat groupings you must select the notes, Unbeam them with the Unbeam Notes menu item and use the Beam On Beat menu item to re-beam the notes according to the new groupings.

Menu items

The pull down menu located at the top-right corner of this pane contains items to Hide or Show time signatures in your score and to remove unwanted time signatures.

The Remove Graphic Time Sig menu item is necessary because time signatures are not normally copied, cut or pasted like other images. Although they are music images, they are considered to be part of the music structure. This menu item allows them to be explicitedly removed from your score.

The Halve All Time Sig menu will alter all time signatures so they are half their current value. For example 4/4 measures will become 4/8 measures, 3/2 measures will become 3/4 measures. The position of notes and their rhythmic values are not changed.

The Double All Time Sig menu will alter all time signatures so they are double their current value. For example 4/8 measures will become 4/4 measures, 3/8 measures will become 3/4 measures. The position of notes and their rhythmic values are not changed.

See also

© Keith A. Hamel 1998-2005 - All Rights Reserved