Music Notation App for iOS and macOS

Manipulating Notes

This chapter is all about editing notes in Rescore.

Depending on the type of Track you're working with, entering notes is not handled in the same way. For more details about what track types are, please refer to the previous chapter about Tracks.

Here is how this section is organized :

Working with Tablature

If you're on a Mac, the best way to enter notes on a tablature is to use your numeric keypad.

Type the numbers keys (1) to enter frets on the string the cursor is located on. If you need to enter fret numbers greater than 9, simply type two digits successively.

The cursor is located on the A string, of the very first beat.

Pressing the 0 key will enter a new note with fret number zero.

Use the Arrow Keys (3) to move the cursor. Left key will move your cursor on the previous beat, and Right key will move it on the next beat. The Up and Down keys will move the cursor on the higher or lower string.

The cursor is still located on the A string, of the very first beat.

Pressing the Right key will move the cursor to the next beat.

The Plus and Minus Keys (2) are used to increase or decrease the duration of notes on the beat your cursor is located on.

The current beat under cursor is a Quarter Note.

Pressing the Minus key will turn this beat into a Eighth Note. Please note that the next beat is also turned into a eighth rest.

Use the Period Key to change notes of the current beat to dotted notes.

The current beat under cursor is a Eighth Note.

Pressing the Period key will turn this beat into a Dotted Eighth Note. Please note that the next beat is turned into a sixteenth rest.

On Mobile Devices, as you don't have access to a physical keyboard, a virtual keypad is displayed at the right of the accessory panel. It works exactly the same as on a Mac.

The Note Entry Mode

Rescore 2.1 introduced a new input mode for standard staff. To activate this mode, just press the "In" button in the Toolbar, or press the N key.

With this input mode enabled, you can enter notes directly by clicking and dragging your mouse on the staff.

This mode also works on Mobile devices, just tap and hold for a short moment on the staff.

Start by pressing the In button in the toolbar. A blue cursor will snap to your mouse pointer to indicate where you will enter note.

Click and hold down your left mouse button, a note is being inserted where you clicked ...

... Then you can drag your mouse up or down to tweak the note height until you get the desired pitch. And release your mouse.

To leave the input mode, simply press the Esc key or click on the "In" button again.

Outside of the input mode, you can still tweak note height by clicking on a note and dragging it up or down.

Working with Drums

When you're working with a Drums staff, you will notice an additional Drumpad on the right of the keyboard of the Accessory Panel.

If you know the MIDI pitch of drum elements, you can directly click on the keyboard, but it is recommended to use the drumpad as it is way more convenient.

On this drumpad, each drumkit element is directly mapped to a key. Hit the corresponding button to enter a note, and click again to remove a note.

Some more elements are available if you click the Alt button, or simply hold down the Alt key of your keyboard.

On Mac, the Drumpad is automatically mapped to your numeric keypad. So if you hit 0 you will enter a Bass Drum, 1 will enter the Closed Hi-Hat and so on.

Here is the default keypad mapping for drums entry. Please note that this mapping can be completely customized in the custom Drum Mapping. See the Tracks section for more details.


Rescore does not handle accidentals the same way on Tablatures and Standard Tracks.

To change the accidental of a note on a standard track, you can simply choose the correct one in the toolbar.

On a tablature, because the pitch of the note is driven by the string/fret numbers, Rescore needs an additional info to help it determine the correct alteration to apply. This is called the Enharmonic Hint. You can change this value using the Toolbar.

You can click on this button multiple times to cycle between all the valid note names of the selected note.

If you want to change the Key Signature, please refer to the corresponding section.

Duration and Rhythm

To change the duration of entered notes, simply click on the Action Bar on the duration you want.

If you change your duration to something shorter, say quarter note to eighth note, a rest will be inserted just after. If you change to something longer, notes next to the edited note will be simply removed.

When you select a Note, you can see its duration in the Toolbar. Here we've selected a quarter note.

If you click on a longer duration, all the following beats that overlap the new duration are simply destroyed. As you can see, changing the D from quarter to half has destroyed the E just after. To prevent this behavior please refer to the Flex Mode.

If you click on a shorter duration, rests will be automatically inserted right after. Here you can see a sixteenth and a eighth rest have been inserted as we turned the D from Quarter to sixteenth. To prevent this insertion, please refer to the Flex Mode.

Divide Beats

You can divide an existing chord into two new chords by pressing the Divide button.

For example, it will change a quarter note into two separate eighth notes with exactly the same properties.

Merge Beats

You can merge two adjacent chords into a single one. Simply select two or more chords and press the Merge button just besides the Divide button.

Select the notes you want to merge together.

Press the Merge button and all of them will be comined in a single chord.

Some notes could be lost in the process. As shown above, two notes have the same string, only the first one is kept.

Please note that if the operation is not possible, nothing is done and the operation fails silently.

Tied Notes

To enter a tied note, select the note on the right side and press the "Tied Note" button in the Toolbar.

Both notes must have the same pitch, otherwise the operation will silently fail. Tied notes can be on two different measures as long as they are on adjacent beats.

To remove a tied note, simply click on the button again.

Sometimes you will see tied notes with a gray slur. These are called implicit rests and are automatically generated by Rescore when a note has been split by a barline after some operation like a Time signature change or Increase Duration.

Triplets and Irrational Duration

To enter a triplet in Rescore, simply select a Rest, and click on the Action Bar to turn it in a triplet of equivalent duration. As an example, it will change a quarter rest in three eighth rests in a triplet.

To delete a triplet, simply select and delete all the notes/rests contained in the triplet.


You can change the orientation of the stem of individual notes. By default Rescore will calculate the orientation automatically but you force it using the corresponding buttons in the Toolbar.

There is also a button to get back to automatic stem orientation.

At the moment it is not possible to change the stem height, but this is likely to come in a future version.


In Rescore, you can beam notes as you like. By default Rescore will automatically beam notes using a predefined pattern.

Buttons to create or break beam groups are located in the Toolbar.

To change the beam slope, first select it with a left click to reveal the handles. Then you can simply drag one of these handles to change slope.

You can revert back to automatic beaming by clicking the corresponding button in the toolbar with some notes selected. Automatic Beaming is a property of the measure so you can't mix custom beaming with automatic beaming in the same measure.

The Automatic Beaming Pattern can be changed in the Time Signature Properties.

Multi Voice

Rescore supports four individual rhythmic lines per track. These are called Voices

You can select the voice you're working with using the four leftmost buttons of the toolbar.

At the moment, the only way to change voices of existing notes is to Cut them and Paste on a different voice. This could be improved in a future version.

Grand Staff

Some instruments such as Piano use two standard staves linked together. Typically one staff for each hand. This is called the Grand Staff.

Please make sure to really understand the concept of Multi Voice described in previous section to appreciate how Grand Staves work in Rescore.

Both staves of the grand staff share the same voices. Some other music apps have separate voices for each staff, but Rescore does not handle them separately. This is a design choice that allow making Cross Staff Chords and Cross Staff Beaming easier to deal with.

You can change the staff a note or rest is located on using the corresponding button in the Toolbar. By default the staff is where you entered the note.

If you want to enter notes on the second staff, just double check you are working on a different voice, otherwise newly entered notes will be considered part of the existing beats of the first staff.

MIDI Input

Please Note at this moment MIDI Input is only available on Mac. other platforms are planned.

If you've got a MIDI keyboard plugged in, you can simply hit the notes/chord you want and it will be entered directly at the cursor location.

The Flex Mode

The Flex Mode is a powerful tool if you need to rewrite a passage of your score. It is used for four main operations:

  • It prevents Rescore from inserting Rests when you reduce a note duration.
  • It prevents Rescore from destroying beats that overlap the new note duration when you change its value.
  • It allows you to insert a rest before a selected note.
  • It allows you to completely destroy a selected Rest.

The Flex Mode works on a selected bar range. All the notes in the range will be affected by flexible operations, notes outside are not affected.

To activate the Flex Mode simply press the Flex button in the Toolbar. To activate it on a bar range, simply select notes or rests spanning several bars.

Here is a detailed example of how the Flex Mode works on this short passage:

To activate the Flex mode on these two measures, start by selecting all the notes they contain. Then simply press the "Flex" button in the Toolbar, or press the F key.

You can see that the two measures are highlighted in gray when the flex mode is enabled on this range:

Decrease Note Duration

With the second note selected in Flex Mode, if you change the duration from quarter to an eighth note, no rests will be added just after. Here is what you get instead:

You can see that the D has been turned to an eighth note and there is no gap between the D and E. No rests have been inserted.

The G of the second measure now spans the barline and is automatically split into two tied quarter notes.

You can see that the slur of the tied note is in gray. This indicate that this is an implicit tie that has been generated by Rescore and not by the user. In the Rescore engine, these two G notes are in fact just a single note, hence the implicit tie.

After the operation a eighth rest is appended at the end of the second bar, because it is the end of the Flex range. All the bars outside the flex range are unmodified.

Increase Note Duration

Now the inverse operation, increasing note duration in Flex. With the same D selected, if you turn it into a dotted quarter note:

As you can see, the E next to the D has not been destroyed like it would have been if we weren't in Flex Mode. Instead the E has been "moved to the right".

Just as above now the F spans two measures and has been turned into an implicit tied note.

If you look carefully you will notice that the last C note however has been destroyed. Simply because it is the end of the Flex range and bars outside are not affected.

Delete Beat

The Flex Mode allows you to delete beats from a passage. This could be done without using the Flex Mode but the process would require lots of Copy/Paste operations.

Here is a short example, with the second beat selected:

If you hit the delete key with a rest selected, it will be completely removed and next beats will move to the left.

As you can see, all the notes from E to C have been shifted one quarter beat to the left, as the rest has been deleted.

Insert Beat

The Flex Mode also allows you to insert beats in the middle of a passage. Same as above, while it is possible to achieve this using Copy/Paste operations, it would require many inputs and is not intuitive. This is why the Flex Mode was created.

Here is a short example, with the second note selected:

We will insert a beat just before by pressing Alt+Left Arrow on the Mac:

And you can see that all the notes have been shifted one quarter note to the right.

Please also note that the last note has been destroyed because the shift to the right has made it leave the Flex Range.

Remember that all the operations in Flex Mode only operate in the Flex Range you initially defined when pressing the button.