5/4 bars with different subdivisions query


I’m writing a piece on Dorico in 5/4. Sometimes the bars are 2+3, other times 3+2.

I can’t for the life of me work out how to layout these bars properly without putting a new time signature in (e.g. [2+3]/4 or [3+2]/4) - and of course I don’t want to keep putting in 5/4 every other bar just to get the divisions of the bar right - is there a way to do what I"m wanting to do that I’m missing?

Thanks so much!


You will have to put in the time signatures in each bar so that Dorico knows what the beat grouping should be, but you can do it using an interchangeable time signature so that each successive time signature will automatically be hidden – though you will see two instances of 5/4 at the start, so you have to trade these things off against each other.

To create an interchangeable time signature at the start, in the Shift+M popover type:

[2+3]/4 + [3+2]/4

and hit Return. Then create a new [2+3]/4 or [3+2]/4 time signature in each bar as needed, and Dorico will hide them automatically.

It’s also worth saying that you don’t have to add the time signatures up-front: Dorico will update the rhythmic grouping of each bar if you create a time signature after the fact, so you can happily work entirely in e.g. [3+2]/4 and then go back and add the other time signatures as needed later on.

Very powerful !

I’m afraid there is a “coquille”, Daniel, you certainly did not mean to write {, did you ?

“Coquille” est tellement plus joli que “typo”!

Hi Daniel,

Thanks so much for this. Will there be a way to do this without having the two instances of 5/4 at the start in future? Because like this the score really looks unnecessarily complicated and confusing…it would be great if it were possible to enter a time signature and then hide it in instances such as these.

Very best

Perhaps in the future we’ll be able to create a “rhythmic grouping change” event in the score (shown with a signpost), to tell Dorico that the time signature doesn’t change, but the grouping should. Just an idea.

That would be amazing - so useful.

I’ve just realised that using the Force Duration tool solves this problem - hurrah! (at least so far…)