Tutorial: Writing Pickup Measures Within a Score

Pickup measures usually occur in the first measure of a piece. And generally, the last measure of the score is shortened by the note value of the pickup measure.

But what if a pickup measure is required within the score, for example, after a repeat bar as shown in the image below?

In the following short video, we explain how to work with pickup measures in FORTE, and below the video, we’ll look in more detail at our example.

Pickup measures within a score


Now back to our example and adding a pickup measure within a score after a repeat…

Step 1  Adjust the meters

Before inserting the repeat, change the meters before and after the respective bar line.

It is advisable to start with the measure after the pickup measure (in our example, measure 8). Here, you simply need to insert the general meter for your piece (2/4) to ensure nothing gets messed up in the following measures.

After that, adjust the “incomplete” measures before and after the repeat.

Step 2  Insert your notes

Now that all measures have the desired length, you can enter the repeat bar.

Then go ahead and enter your notes.

Step 3  Tidy up your layout

You’ll want to hide the meters you’ve just inserted without everything getting messed up again.

Simply double-click the element and open the “Meter Properties” window with a right-click. In the “General” tab, choose “Hidden” and “Apply.”


To move bar lines, notes or rests around, first select them. (When an element is marked, it should turn red.)

Press ctrl and keep ctrl pressed while using the arrow keys to reposition the element to the desired place.

All done!

We hope you found this tutorial helpful. Let us know in the comments below.


And now, to close this tutorial, we thought you might like to listen to an English version of the old German folksong sung by Elvis himself. Enjoy!

Elvis Presley - Muss i denn zum Städtele hinaus (Wooden Heart) 1960


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