3/8 beaming question

The attached image shows twice the first two bars from Bach’s Partita III BWV 827. The first two bars is what Dorico produces with its default settings, the second is what I would like to have without resorting to “Beam Together” wich becomes tedious after a while. Am I missing something? Is there a combination of Flow/Engraving Options to have Dorico automatically beam 3/8 bars the second way?

Also, another thing:
During note input the shortcut Alt+Shift to specify that the next note should be in the octave above the last one does not work with Bs (it happens for example when I try to input this way the second note of the second bar). Is this a bug?

What keyboard do you use (OS, language)? On some configurations the keyboard/OS forces ALT-SHIFT-B to produce an “i” without a dot. The Dorico team is aware of this and (presumably) working on a solution.

I run macOS Sierra and i have US/Greek keyboards switched on.

I find this secondary beaming of pairs of 16ths in 3n/8 meters almost exclusively in scores since the 20th century. Music of the common practice period always beamed six 16ths together in compound meters where the dotted quarter is the beat. This default beaming of pairs of 16ths cropped up in the Sibelius era as well, and was quashed by complaints. It should be an easy option, of course, but not the default.

You can define the default beaming when you create the time signature.

Press Shift-M, then type [3]/8 in the box not just 3/8. This should work with a US keyboard, but there are some problems using Dorico with some European keyboard layouts.

It’s easier to explain what the [3] means with a more complicated example - for example in 7/8 time you could type things like [3+4]/8, [4+3]/8, or [2+3+2]/8 to get different beaming patterns.

Thank you! I did not know this.

This is good but I have another question now: what if (as is often the case with works of, say, South American composers) I want the time signature to display 4/4 but have it beam 3+3+2 8ths?

At the moment, you can’t easily do this, I don’t think, as it would require you to enter [1.5+1.5+1]/4, and as far as I know the popover doesn’t accept decimals for the beat grouping numbers. We will add this to our backlog to do it as soon as we can.

Two ideas about time signature entry:

  1. In response to the above, perhaps instead of decimals in the top number we could specify the note value for the bottom number with new punctuation, such as: 3+3+2/8(4) meaning beam the quavers in that pattern but show the time sig in terms of a crotchet. This gets around having to do division in one’s head, and then would also allow us to specify (c) or (2) or (¢). The question remains whether to allow such entries not to add up to an even number of the note value specified, e.g. 4½/4 (once used by Ives).

  2. My instinct is want to use the dot after the bottom number for compound meters, e.g. “3/4.” = 9/8 (three dotted crotchets). This seems even more sensible since Dorico supports Orff-style time sigs with the note on the bottom in place of a numeral.