Adding Meter Changes "on the fly"?

Hello there!

New to Dorico from a very “hacked” Finale with tons of macros/scripts/metatools, I guess I’m getting a bit confuse with the way of inserting/adding meter changes in an already written score… The stop position, the popovers Shift+B and Shift+M, the pick-up menu…

Is it possible to “lock” the meter changes and add some meter changes “on the fly” with some macros/scripts like in the video below? It seems that Dorico always rebars everything perfectly but perhaps there is a way to tell him to stop calculating for a moment? :sweat_smile:

Meter Changes

Thanks by advance!

I’m not quite sure what you’re after, but Dorico will rebar everything until the next meter change. So you may want to put in a ‘backstop’ further down stream.

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To achieve what’s happening in the video, first add a “redundant” 4/4 after the bar you want to alter, to prevent further rewriting. (ShiftM 4/4Enter) Then enter the new time signature where you want it, with Insert mode on. (I) However, if the new T.S. is shorter than the old one (e.g. 6/8 replacing 4/4) it will add additional bars padded with rests so no music gets deleted. To get rid of a bar, select it and press ShiftB- 1 Enter.

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Thanks @benwiggy!

I want to know if there is a way (like in the linked video) to temporary switch Dorico into a “no Rebar everything” mode since everything that is already written change has to be preserved?

Thanks @hrnbouma :slight_smile:

So in a way, we always have to prevent further rewriting by adding an already existing meter change? I’m ok with that but I must say it’s not very convenient in terms of getting it scripted…

Yes, that’s what the “backstop” time signature is for. Keep in mind that once you’re familiar with the various keyboard shortcuts and with the way Dorico handles things like this, an action like this takes just a second and would therefore be hardly worth scripting.

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I’d certainly wait to get reasonably familiar with it before starting to customize and setup scripts.

As said, a lot of operations are so much faster to execute than in Finale, so you likely don’t need as many macros to start with.


From the perspective of a lifetime working on those machines, everything is worth scripting don’t you think?.. :wink:

Thanks a lot for all these insightful answers @benwiggy & @hrnbouma :pray:

Nevertheless, adding a “backstop” meter change to prevent Dorico from rebar music - before adding the actual meter change is still not very convenient (to me :innocent:).

Who said creating are was convenient–or easy? :laughing:


When you add a metre change, Dorico then sets all the music afterwards to that metre, until the next metre change.
What would you have it do instead?

It depends on the frequency of use, and effort required to create it, compared to the non-scripted alternative. In Dorico’s case, the alternative is a few key shortcuts, and the jump bar.

Perhaps let the user have the choice to rebar music or not?

Then, let say I get a file from a collaborator. I want to add a pick-up measure.
Is this little video the way to go?

Creating Pick-up bar on existing music

Thanks again for your time!

You can add a metre change with a pickup.

Adding a metre change and then not actually having your music in bars of that metre makes no sense.

Don’t think that Dorico will behave like Finale.

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From a copyist point of view you’re absolutely right. But when it comes to writing music, things are a bit more “erratic” and changes might happen anytime don’t you think? Hence my question. :blush:

For me, one of the big advantages of Dorico is its ability to use open meter, with no bar lines, by typing shift-M, open.

Also, if you have Insert mode switched on, bars will shrink or expand their number of beats to fit the entered meter, which could be useful in examples like the video above from Finale.

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@Stephen_Taylor The use of the open meter is indeed a real game changer.
And thanks to mention the Insert mode. A pretty powerful feature too!

@dan_kreider’s view (2018) on this matter still stands.

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