4/4 Beaming Observation

In 4/4 with ordinary beat groupings, no combination of Note Groupings can yield a half note on beat 2 tied to an 8th note. Instead the best it can yield is a quarter note tied to a dotted quarter note.

This is interesting to me because it seems to actively disagree with two Note Grouping options: “Notes starting on a beat followed by a rest in the middle of the beat” set to ‘Split at beat boundaries,’ which ordinarily disallows dotted notes followed by 8th rests and should require splitting at the 4th beat boundary, and “Notes starting after the start of the bar of multiple beats in duration” set to ‘Notate as a single note’, which should allow the half note without requiring a split at the 3rd beat, the middle of the bar. But this rhythm always breaks the middle of the bar, regardless of any notation options.

I’m using Force Duration for now—this is just an observation.



Er, what?

Hi Leo, this is on beat 2, not on beat 1.

Sorry, I missed that!

Oh don’t even worry about it. I got a tad lazy and didn’t include any pictures—I wish it was slightly easier to upload them here.

EDIT: Added some!

I recommend Greenshot for that.

FWIW I think the second example (Dorico default) would be clearer in most cases. When I worked for Arnold Arnstein in NY (Leonard Bernstein’s and John Corigliano’s copyist) he always insisted that the middle of the measure be visible.

However, I understand there may be certain instances when your first example makes more sense.

Many would maintain that the second example should be quarter tied to quarter tied to an eighth.

I don’t think that’s a common requirement at all. The point of clarity has always referred to the middle of the bar being displayed, not every beat.

Otherwise, why would music in 4/4 include any half notes?

Derrek, I’m personally more inclined to what you suggest than what Dorico outputs—perhaps it’s a tad uncouth but I personally just abhor dotted quarters into 8th rests. I always prefer a quarter tied to 8th. Although to be clear, my desired output is still half tied to 8th.

However, the curiosity here is even that’s not possible to get Dorico to output via Notation options alone. Every Note Grouping combination both breaks the middle of the barline but never breaks at beat 4.

Hello Josh, Is this what you want…
2020-04-27 (2).png
If so, place cursor on beat 2, hit o+7+g [or other pitch], then hit 5, then t for tie.
The o command locks your choice so Dorico doesn’t correct it.
Btw, Does Greenshot give you these moving screen records that you and Leo are doing?

Yes, but for gifs I prefer ScreentoGif. So handy…

Thanks for the pointer David. Yes, this is what I’ll do for now. I’m just pointing out an interesting intersection of the current Notation Options where this note grouping falls into a bit of a hole, perhaps.

Regarding the screen shots and records, I’m on Windows and I am using Window’s Snipping Tool for pictures. For video, I’m using (as of a few minutes ago!) ScreenToGif as Dan mentioned.

In retrospect, this topic is named incorrectly and should be “4/4 Note Grouping Observation”. However, it may also just be called “Ties crossing the half bar”

One last example, this time including a dotted half note, showcasing how for some reason Dorico is far more protective of the half bar when ties are involved. There’s no Note Grouping option which covers this behavior and in the case of the half note variant it even ignores your Note Grouping option (“Notes starting on a beat followed by a rest in the middle of the beat” set to ‘Split at beat boundaries’ is honored for the dotted half note variant, disallowing a dotted quarter on beat 3, but somehow is ignored for the half note variant, which is an unusual incongruence).

What music font is that?

Music font is November 2, text font is Minion 3 (which I’m using over Minion Pro because it has nice glyphs for superscripts, like 1ᵉʳ Mouvement)

I thought so. November 2 is wonderful. Except for that “p”…

I just use Nov2 but set dynamics font back to default.