Who invented to put quarter note on shortcut 6 etc? whole note should be 1, half note = 2 etc

have nice day
who invented to put quarter note on shortcut 6 etc? whole note should be 1, half note = 2 etc

Which keys would you use as shortcuts for a double whole note, a 16th note, a 32nd note, a 64th note?

1 Like

how is that relevant to most used notes. 1-4 keys are highly used keys. u gotta assign whole, half, quarter and eightht to that… not 128th
why would u asign 128th to 1 or whatever it is

You can re-assign these if you wish. Be assured there’s plenty of thought behind something so fundamental.


You can assign eight to 4, quarter = 5, half = 6 and so on(as in Finale, another notation program). And you have to know that most people use numpad, to change note duration.
Left hand type notes and right - their durations.

As the subject is launched, I must say that I also cursed a little at the beginning not against the choice of numbers, but rather against the graphics (table with two vertical rows) of the note values and the visual correspondence with a numeric keyboard …you often have to hit a key on the left to have the selection on the right, etc…

But now I don’t even think about it anymore :wink: the thumb of the left hand is on the right and the thumb of the right hand is on the left

Larger numbers for smaller durations?

Finale uses 4, 5, 6, 7 for eighth, quarter, half and whole notes.
MuseScore uses the same as Finale.
Sibelius uses 3, 4, 5, 6.

The “most used notes” will depend on what sort of music you’re writing. There’s nothing special about the number keys 1 to 4. As shown, none of the major notation apps use 1-4 for those notes.


i wanna know the logic behind that

The earliest mention of Finale’s Speedy Entry I can quickly find dates from 1989.

(Finale (SOS Mar 89))

That predates Sibelius’s public release on Acorn by about 4 years, but even the earliest versions of Sibelius used smaller numbers for shorter notes and longer numbers for longer notes (and again, on the number keypad rather than the top row numbers).

I have no idea who came up with the idea that a greater number should be a longer note, but it seems (to me at least) to be consistent with the idea that the further along the (first seven letters of the) alphabet you go, the higher the pitch.

Regardless, the logic’s at least 33 years old.


I believe the guiding principle was putting the quarter note on the central 5-key which makes a reasonable range of durations available.

In order to write 128th notes (32 EDUs) or shorter in Finale, one can use the frame dialog, which lets you edit a coded representation of all the notes in a bar.

And of course that makes perfect sense if you’re using the number keypad - there’s even a tactile bump or ridge on the (Mac) numpad 5 key to make it harder to get lost.

Sibelius shunted the rhythmic values along by one (and lost some very short and very long values) in order to put a few accidentals on the number keypad, and the people at Dorico opted to use the top row numbers (though the number keypad works too, if you have one), shunting in the opposite direction in order to fit as many rhythmic values in as possible.

By the logic of the OP, 1=whole, 2=half. That’s fine. But what do we do with the number 3? If we want to keep it “logical”, we’d only use 1,2,4,8, then…oops. I suppose 3 could be for triplets, but of what rhythmic value?

Each program has a slightly different approach. Somehow we learn them. I started with Finale, moved to Sibelius, and now to Dorico. Somehow I made all of them bend to my will, and when I wanted an eighth-note, by golly, I got one. And, I can still count to ten. In several languages - not much of an achievement, I confess, but you take the victories where you find them…


holy shit… people here really are able write notes while listening to melody in their head…
thats too much for me. im out… im going daw…

that workflow is so 1800’s. writing down notes instead of just playing the melody and save it digitally into daw.

thanks for the big explanation pianoleo which is not helpful at all. im new. so i dont use numberpad. i prefer mouse.

There are so many things I could say here, but I imagine none of them are worth the effort.


Dorico’s real-time MIDI recording works very nicely on the whole.

1 Like

dan, sorry but that is what i think.

all the classic composers in the past, would they have used daw if they would’ve had access to it instead of notation?

using notation software always means u need to know how a c note sounds in your head? that takes too much of knowledge. takes for ever to ge tthat knowledge. instead of just simply using a instrument and sending the signals to a daw.

Not if they wanted actual people to play or sing their music.


I guess since they were writing for musicians, they would needed to notate their music at some point.
Now, would they have sketched in a DAW? Probably. Because that’s what they did with the piano (the invention of which gave a huge boost to compositional outcome and quality).
They just needed to remember what they played - I guess that ability is part of their greatness.

so if they would have access to todays technology and they wanted to publish their songs on the internet, they would make it in daw? causethere is no reason for notation in 2022 if u want to make music?

There are a great many people that would disagree with you that there’s no need for notation in 2022. This isn’t hyperbole - classical music is still built around notation (along with various other genres). Orchestras can’t function without it, hundreds of conservatoires with hundreds of thousands of students around the world can’t function without it, the vast majority of commercial movies can’t function without it.

If you want to create fully synthesised/sample-based music, that’s entirely possible without notation (though notation may still be a helpful shorthand at some point in the process).