Alternating Beam Grouping

Is there a way to have Dorico alternate the beam grouping in a bunch of 5/8 measures so that one measure is [2+3]/8 and the next measure is [3+2]/8, and keep alternating like that until you explicitly change the meter? The only way I can think of is to start the 5/8 section with [2+3]/8 and then insert hidden time signatures in every measure after that, with the first hidden time signature being [3+2]/8 and the next one being [2+3]/8, and so on, but that requires a whole lot of entering time signatures and hiding them. Something that automatically alternated the beam grouping, while simply showing 5/8 on the staff, would be nice.

I just tried this - for me at least, it worked best to input the first time signature showing, then the second one hidden; then enter a bunch of notes, disregarding the beaming; then alt-click the time signatures to copy them (hide if necessary, though if you hide them once, they’ll stay hidden when copied).

But first I tried setting up the time signatures without any music in the bars, and they just got overridden. So I think you have to have music in those bars, first, before you try copying the time signatures.

Thanks, Stephen. I hadn’t thought about copying the time signatures, but it seems like a reasonable way to do it. I’ll give that a try! (I still think it would be cool if Dorico provided a way to do this automatically, but it’s certainly not an absolute requirement.)

Worked like a champ, Stephen. Thanks. The only problem I see is that there isn’t enough room for the Meter signposts to sit side-by-side, so they’re stacked in a stair-step fashion and the left-most signpost is almost off the top of the page in Galley View. You can only see the bottom half of the left-most signpost, but it’s still clickable. If I had to add one more hidden time signature, the left-most signpost would be completely off the top of the page. Luckily, that isn’t the case here.

Well there is this SHIFT+M combination if you do not mind a dashed barline in the middle.
You can always set up the first measure as a straight 5/8 and then hide the 5/8+5/8 time signature in the second or third measure.
One can adjust a couple of engraving properties to change the dashed barlines to solid.
Not sure how to make the measure count the formerly dashed divisions as separate measures in bar numbers.

measures.png (469 KB)

Yes, the measure count would be a problem, since the rehearsal marks use the measure number. Other than that, though, it’s an interesting solution.

I was thinking you could just use repitch.
Create some (random) notes for two measures, each with the appropriate beaming, select both measures, use r (repeat) a number of times, then repitch (L) from the beginning.

I’m afraid it’s not quite that simple. Let’s say you’ve specified [3+2]/8 in the meter popover, and you have a measure that’s grouped the other way around (2+3). In this measure, let’s say the first group is a quarter note, and it’s tied to the first eighth note of the second group. In this case, Dorico will enforce the [3+2] grouping and you wind up with just two beamed notes in the second group (the beam on the first note of the second group is disconnected from the other two). If you try to manually change the beam grouping using Edit->Beaming so that the last three eighth notes are beamed together, the tie will disappear.

Evidently Dorico will not permit incorrect beam grouping in the presence of a tie between the two groups (which is a good thing, actually). In cases like this, you must explicitly tell Dorico what the desired beam grouping is for that measure. When you have alternating groupings, a new grouping specification is required for each measure (unless, of course, you don’t have any ties between the groups). As noted above, it’s quite easy to do but the stacking of signposts for the hidden time signatures is potentially a problem.

Still, one could create the alternately beamed measures as Stephen Taylor suggested, hide the time signatures, copy them as many times as needed, and fill in the notes either by locking or by retyping the values. The measure configuration in the time signature should assure the desired beaming.

You can make an alternating time signature in the panel:
3+2/8 + 2+3/8

and in the pop-over:

[3+2]/8 + [2+3]/8

(mind the two spaces round the middle +)


Yes, that is clearly the best solution I have seen yet. And if one starts with a single 5/8 measure before starting the duple and hiding that key signature…

Yes, that solution solves the multiple stacked signpost problem, too. Great discussion, folks. Thanks!