3/4 to 9/8

Hello helpful people! I’ve been given a piece of piano music (picture attached) that I’d really like to put into 9/8. In my head this seemed like a pretty straightforward change…on a paper score I’d just change the metre then erase the "3"s above the triplets but in the software it all goes to hell (pic attached).

I’m sure I could figure this out but I’m on some flu medication and my brain is mush. Could anyone share how they’d go about this change?

You need to deal with each voice (the triplets and the non-triplets) separately, and don’t worry if some of the intermediate steps look at mess when you have only done half the changes.

Change the time signature to 9/8. To get rid of the triplets, select insert mode (press I) then select just the "3"s (not the notes in the triplets!) and press delete.

Now you need to make the non-triplet notes longer. If you had some quarter notes, you can select them in insert mode and press . to change them into dotted quarters.

That doesn’t work for your long notes because you can’t represent a full bar of 9/8 time with a single note duration, so the best way is probably select some notes which all have the same duration (e.g. the two-bar chords in your picture) and use shift-alt-right arrow to lengthen them.

Just work your way from the start stretching the notes to the correct length, and don’t worry about what the unprocessed part of the score looks like. Unlike other notation software, Dorico “knows” that a set of tied notes is really one long note, and it can deal with triplets that get split over a bar line etc while you are working through the score.

Should Insert mode be on throughout this process or only during certain steps?

It should be on all the time. When you make a note longer you want to push the notes after it to the right, not overwrite them.


My apologies: as soon as I had typed my message I realized you had said to “press I” and realized you had already answered my question. I immediately went to delete my message and confirmed it by clicking “yes,” but apparently it did not trash my redundant question. Thank you for answering so politely (as is so common on this forum).

Derrek, in fact I didn’t notice the question was from you, I assumed it was from John McKinnon (and caused by some combination of flu meds and my inability to write simple English!)

Nothing to add except “get well soon, Rob!”

Thanks Rob, very helpful. I had actually never used insert mode mode before, so I’m glad you’ve brought it into my life!

Now this might sound lazy but I actually have to do the whole 3/4 into 9/8 process for voice, flute, violin, cello and piano…and it’s an awfully labourious task just to clean up the score a bit! I’m not even sure if this is a kosher reason to use 9/8 over 3/4. I’ll need to consult my theory books.

Either you meant “get well soon, John” (see the OP) or the joke as a bit subtle :wink:

Oops. I misread. Get well soon John!

You can select multiple notes on several staves and do the same edit to all of them, but I can’t think of a quick way to automate the whole process in Dorico.

If it was me, I might think about exporting the score as MIDI, editing the number of MIDI ticks per quarter note and the time signature in the MIDI file, and import back into Dorico, but I’m not going to try to describe how to do that here. And you would then have to re-input all the dynamics, slurs, articulations, etc.

Perhaps this isn’t helpful but Finale has a plugin by Jari Williamson which does this very thing easily and all in one go. I’ve needed to use it occasionally for exactly your situation. Perhaps Sibelius has something similar. If you have one of these programs, you could export the file as XML, perform the transformation and then re-import it.