Pickup measure

I’m trying to create a pickup measure that consists only of five grace notes in 6/8 time. How do I correctly input this?

Shift-M 6/8,5 Enter

Thanks, but that didn’t work. It still leaves a bunch of rests.

I don’t recall ever seeing only grace notes before a barline at the very beginning of a score. Before the first note with no extra barline is standard.

If you must put only grace notes before a barline, you will have to make some pickup duration anyway in order to get a barline, and then hide the rest.

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Honestly… the problem here is I didn’t think things through. I’m doing an arrangement of something fairly obscure from the early 19th century, and that’s how it’s written in the original. I’ll just put the grace notes in the first measure. I feel kind of dumb now… not enough coffee yet.

Hello. I Hope I understood your request according to the attached picture. To place only 5 approval notes before the barline, I proceeded as follows:

  • Enter all the notes in the 2nd measure.
  • Remove silence from the first measure
  • Select the group of approval notes.
  • Properties panel / Approval notes / activate “Approval notes before the barline”
    Slice 1

I don’t think you should feel dumb at all to want to carry out the composer’s preference. The composer might be a follower of Schumann who placed grace notes before and after bar lines to show how they are to be played:
Schumann example


Curious: How are these to be played differently from each other?
What does the different placement indicate?

The grace notes before the bar lines take their time from the measure they are in, so the tenor voices in the left hand are played simultaneously with the right hand and on the first beat of measure one. If the pianist has a largish hand, the bass note can be held through with the fifth finger. If not, it is not a disaster because the pedal is also used. A player with a smaller hand will hold the F as long as possible with the pedal but without blurring the right hand. This may require half pedaling.

If the grace note is at the beginning of the measure as in m. 3, it would be played in Classic style: simultaneously with the soprano voice. In this way, the left hand chord would be rolled starting on the first beat while sustaining the B-flat with the second finger which gives excellent extra control over the stretch to the G in the tenor for a small hand. The tenor would be played slightly after the first beat. This act of rolling the chord and delaying the entrance of the tenor voice, which is actually the leading part at this point, gives the effect of a vocal portamento between the B flat and G.

Schumann’s usage breaks down when the grace notes are in the middle of the measure as in m. 3. However, that didn’t stop him from trying to show the exact performance of grace notes whenever possible. In this case, the way he writes the grace note at the beginning of the measure provides a model for the second one.

Beethoven also experimented with placing grace notes before the bar line. For example in ms. 7-8 of the first movement of his Piano Sonata op. 2 no. 1 the first edition has the small notes first after the bar line and then later before the bar line in ms. 108-109, which probably reflects what the engravers saw in the now lost manuscript.

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Thank you. Exactly what I wanted to know!