Beaming in an 18C piece

An Allemande by Georg Böhm. How would I beam these inner voices together? Dorico won’t let me select both notes and say beam together as they have to be in different voices for the durations. This is a fairly common way of indicating a held arpeggio on harpsichord.


If this is what you want (I think I’ve got it right),

then it started life as in the next picture - in separate octaves and moved up and down as needed.

18C beaming.dorico (571.8 KB)

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Probably you could do that with only one tuplet as well.

Is this a tablature originally? If so, you could also notate it as you wish – the notation in your image is not sacrosanct in any way, I think other ways of notating are more common.

@StevenJones01 the C in the bottom is a dotted quaver not a dotted crotchet but you concept can be made to work. Thanks!

@LAE not tablature but 18C engraving. I usually like to copy the original notation as far as possible (and I have no friends because I use original clefs as well! :slight_smile: ).


Ah ok! Well, count me in as a distant friend then :wink:
Some music just looks very unbalanced and complicated with modern clefs. One piece that comes to mind is Les Baricades Mistérieuses (and many others with that kind of low register, but not low enough for bass clef).

In this case no problem at all :smiley:, the Estienne Roger engraving uses the “modern” clefs!
BTW I see that Wolgast did a very good job in copying the exact notation

I just want to add that when Bach and Beethoven wrote such figures they always correctly wrote separate flags for notes that overlap in duration. If I were trying to copy this exactly I would probably fake the dot with text.

@Mark_Johnson I am well aware of that, but it’s not Bach even though contemporary and far removed from Beethoven, and it’s what Bohm and Estienne Roger liked, plus, it’s perfectly clear to any harpsichordist. Thanks anyway. Actually, I think it’s quite a nice way to write a held arpeggio, part of the technique that adds resonance to the harpsichord.

@StevenJones01 Thanks. I used a tuplet for the voice with the G, as suggested, but with the appropriate actual values, and it works great. And just hid the stem on the C. I wouldn’t have thought of it. Neat.


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I’ve just noticed that the dot on the C in your first post is in the space above. Similarly for the other instances. I assume, without actually having tried, that flipping the stem on the note with the hidden stem would attend to that. However, it might involve some Voice Column Index adjustments to return all the noteheads to where you want them.

Well actually the Estienne Roger 1710 edition I am working with shows this:


Although I am fussy about many things, I have, strangely, never been concerned about where dots go.

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I dare say your version in Dorico looks clearer than the original. Kudos!

This highlighted one is a different case. [Image from 1710 original edition.]


Having trouble wrapping my head around that one.

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(No joke- I love custos…es. I’ve added them to a a few of my [modern] scores. They are so very useful!)

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Indeed. This is a great example of where judicious use of multiple tied notes is your friend, not your foe. I find myself increasingly leaning on this (admittedly more modern) convention.

@Romanos I am tending to think this is an actual error, or infelicity at least in the 1710 original. More modern editions omit the lower beam, even though they do the other cases. I may go with that. I don’t have the MS of the piece to compare with the composers notations.

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Here you go!

That end result started as:

It was easier to separate and select the different voices if they were not overlapping.

I then applied the appropriate Voice Column Index adjustments, hid a stem, hid the tuplet number and bracket, removed rests and changed octaves.

18C beaming-2.dorico (586.2 KB)

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