Beaming question

In the attached image Dorico-beaming-1.jpg, is there any way to beam only the first two notes in the 7/8 bar? And if so, how?

When I try to select those two notes and use Edit > Beaming > Beam Together, Dorico also selects the previous and following notes and beams them all together.

To honor the composer’s intent (it’s not my piece), the notes must be beamed together this way - changing the grouping is not an option.



hello bobk,
the problem is the tie from the note before. It has to be untied first with the scissors tool. Then do the beam together step.
Afterwards the tie has to be reintroduced.
Hopefully your new beaming will stay intact.
If not, Dorico should be reprogrammed :wink:

You need to be in Engrave mode to select an individual note of a tie chain. I think using your method there should give you what you want, Bob.

Thanks, but unless I’m missing something, this doesn’t solve the problem.

When I use the scissors tool to cut the ties (both into the first note and from the 2d to 3d notes in the 7//8 bar), I can then beam the notes as desired (i.e., the first four 8th notes of that bar are beamed in groups of two).

(How/why does that work? What exactly is the scissors tool doing when you cut ties?)

I can add back the tie into the first note of the measure.

However, when I then tie the 2d and 3d notes together, Dorico beams them, which means the first four 8th notes are now beamed together. (I tried switching from Write mode to Engrave mode and then adding the tie, and got the same result.)

If I then try Edit > Beaming > Split Beam, I’m back to square one.

You shouldn’t need the scissors tool at all. Anders was right: just switch to Engrave Mode, select the two noteheads you want to beam together and do Beam together. That should do the trick.
Another possibility would be to specify beat grouping with the time signature: type [2+2+2+1]/8 in the popover to get the beaming you want.

As for the scissors tool: In Dorico, tied notes are stored as a single event that’s rendered according to your note grouping settings. The scissors tool divides a tie chain into its components.

How do you select both noteheads in Engrave mode? When I click on one and then shift-click on the other, it just selects the latter one.

That did it. I had to first use the scissors tool to cut the tie into the first note before the beat grouping would work. I’m still new to Dorico, and hadn’t realized all the great options available in the Meter popover.

Once you specify a beam grouping, does it apply only to the bar in which it’s specified, or to all later bars of that meter?

For example, this piece is mainly in 5/4, but there are many instances where it changes to other meters just for a measure. If I specify a beam grouping for 5/4 at the start of the piece, will it resume even when interrupted by that one measure of 7/8?

That’s what I wanted to know!

Thanks very much Florian!


I’m afraid you will have to input the meter with the brackets as many times as needed if you want Dorico to do its magic with the beaming. Which means, if you “interrupt” a 5/4 meter with a 7/8 meter, when your music is back in 5/4 and you want it [3+2]/4, you need to input that in the meter popover. But I think it is pretty fast to do :wink:

I believe that if you open the meters section of the right panel (in Write mode) there’s a section for “meters used in this flow”. If the ONLY 5/4 meter you’ve used is one with funny beaming, it should be easy to drag and drop from that panel - though it may be quicker to use the popover!

Thanks, Marc and Leo. Will look into it.

Ctrl-click on the other! :wink:


Thanks again!


Of course, on mac, cmd-click… :wink:

Sorry for setting off confusion, in the mean time I figured out that the scissors tool is not needed. Engrave Mode is the way to go…