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Friday, 12 July 2013

Musescore - how to make a 7-beat triad chord (double-dotted whole/semibreve notes) in a 4/4 time signature

This took a while for me to figure out, but this is what I'm going to show you how to make:

This is a triad chord that has a length of 7 beats. In a 7/4 time signature (7 quarter notes per measure--merely for illustration purposes) it would look like this:
As you can see below, a double-dotted whole note is a 4 beat whole note plus a 2 beat half note plus a 1 beat quarter note:

(image source:

Just a music-theory-FYI, each dot equals half the note value of the note/dot to its left, i.e. the first dot in our example has a value of 2 because 4 (a whole note's value) divided by 2 equals 2 (4/2=2), and the second dot has a value of 1 because 2 (a half note's value) divided by 2 equals 1 (2/2=1).

So, since making a 7 beat triad chord in 4/4 time is what is difficult (it's easy in 7/4 time), I'll now show you how you do it.

We begin with 2 empty measures:
Press "n" to enter insert mode, then click the whole note button and the double-dot button, then click on the C4 note:

The note on the right is automatically selected after clicking on the C4 note, so now:
* hold in the "alt" key and press e.g. "4" (i.e. insert a fourth above the selected note--which puts an F on top of the C)
* then hold in "alt" again and press "2" (insert a second above the selected note--which puts a G on top of the F)

Now it looks like this:

Now press the "esc" (escape) key to exit insert mode and enter select mode, and select the C4 note in the first measure, then repeat the procedure above (alt+4, then alt+2). It will now look like this:
All that's left to do now is tie all the notes together:
* press "esc" to enter select mode
* select all 6 notes (hold in the "shift" key and draw a box around the notes)

* click the tie button
Voila! ;)

(Press the left arrow key to move the cursor back to start, then press the "spacebar" key to hear it play)


"Merci" Nicolas Froment for letting me know how to format the top tie by flipping it up so it looks better:
To do this, simply select the top tie and press "x". According to Nicolas, the next version of MuseScore will do this automatically.


  1. I'm not able to proceed past click on C4. The next note is not automatically selected for me.

  2. try manually selecting the note in the second measure, then proceed.


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