Beaming - sit/straddle/hang screwup

So the beaming in a file I’m working on looks like this, which gets all the Ross sit/straddle/hang rules wrong:

If I edit one of the files that shipped with Dorico it correctly shows as:

Obviously while tweaking Engraving Options, I’ve managed to screw something up, but I can’t seem to sleuth out what it is. Also, the easiest way would probably be to attach the file to the forum, but I’m getting an “Invalid file extension: Beam Test.dorico” error when trying to do that. Can we really not attach Dorico files to the Dorico forum?

Oh, I guess it has to be zipped. Here’s a sample file with the incorrect beaming. Thanks for any help with this!
Beam (364 KB)

Fred, if you hold down Ctrl (or maybe it’s Alt), you can reset Engraving Options to factory settings. Button in the bottom left corner of the dialog box.

Thanks, it’s Ctrl but that’s one of the really weird things, it doesn’t seem to fix it. I’ve tried resetting to factory a bunch of various Engraving Options and Notation Options items, but the beaming is still incorrect. Since this differs from the files that ship with Dorico, obviously I’ve done something, but have no idea what. If I delete everything and re-enter, it still occurs so it’s not a manual edit and definitely a setting buried somewhere. That wedge formed with the G-A beam is particularly ugly.

Forgive the obvious question, but have you tried right-click—Beaming—Reset Beaming?

Yep, that didn’t fix it either. In theory, resetting Engraving and Notation Options to factory, deleting everything, and then reentering should fix any beaming issues, right? (Keeping Beat Grouping/Break Beams at Beat Boundaries in order to beam in groups of 2) Yet it doesn’t for this file. So the issue must be in another setting I suppose, or perhaps oddly “baked in” to the file. I’m still convinced I must have changed something somewhere and just don’t know where to look, but I’m stumped.

In fact the settings in your project match the defaults almost exactly, with the exception of the ‘Horizontal eighth note (quaver) beams within the staff’ option on the Beams page of Engraving Options. Dorico does in fact produce those beam positions in a new project using the factory settings.

The reason for the “wedge” in the beam from G5 to A5 is that Dorico won’t allow a beam to be positioned within half a space of the outermost staff line, precisely to avoid the worse kind of sliver-like wedge that would result.

I think the difference with the project files that we supply as examples will be in the beam slant values, which I typically reduce in the example projects so that they look more European by default: normally it’s 1/4 space slant for a 2nd, and a 1/2 space slant for every interval larger than that.

Thanks Daniel! I’ll check out those settings from the sample file as soon as I’m home tonight. When I entered that scale on one of your sample files the beam angles looked perfect, so I’ll probably just steal those settings. At least now I know where to look, thanks.

Solved!!! I was looking in the wrong place. The answer was actually the different settings under Notes/Stems and Notes/Stem Shortening, not the slant values. When I tried inputting into the Drozdoff piece that comes with Dorico, I was basically getting Ross beaming. I was assuming that was using the default beaming and stem settings, but it was not.

“Do Not Shorten Beamed Stems” is a factory default! I’m kind of surprised that this came to be as it is “wrong” for those of us that care about this sort of thing. Obviously Daniel and the team did during development, but it’s sort of fascinating to me that if you go back and look at the example from the Making Notes blog discussing beams and beam angles (part 10), the Dorico example given is NOT an example of how Dorico beams now using the default factory settings. Instead the example showing the attractiveness of Dorico’s beaming is what you get with “Shorten Beamed Stems” selected.

Anyway, glad to have solved that and now have the correct stem settings selected. Thanks Daniel and Dan!

I’m glad you put the word “wrong” in inverted commas since you will appreciate that different engravers have different views on these matters. In particular there is a Transatlantic divide on this kind of issue. We have taken the advice of many engravers working for different publishers and on different kinds of publications and have tried to tread a middle ground as a form of compromise. For my own tastes Dorico’s beams are too slanty, but we try not to make Dorico’s defaults purely reflect my own tastes!

I’m not sure it’s just a matter of “short stems good, long stems bad”. I think it depends on the note spacing - “Short stems and tight spacing good, short stems and loose spacing not so good”.

IMO both your examples are “not so good” - you have long stems with tight spacing, and short stems with loose.

When I look at the second one, part of my brain says "those shortened stems mean there should be another note somewhere at the top of the staff at the start of the bar - where’s it gone :confused:

YMMV of course.

I just found it interesting that the compromise must have arisen sometime between your blog post on beaming and the release date, as the example given on the blog (which I like) no longer reflects Dorico’s actual default beaming. As long as I can get it to do what I want I’m happy! After years of using Tom Brodhead’s BEAM subroutine for SCORE and then Patterson Beams for Finale, wedges like that just jump out to my proofreading eye, so I knew something had to be amiss.

BTW, I have a commission due May 31 and have decided this will be my first real paid work in Dorico, so I’ll probably be pestering the forum with more questions about small details like this in the next couple of weeks. I decided I would use it as an excuse to really learn the program and not gloss over the little stuff.

Yeah, both were screencaps from Page view so there were other factors influencing spacing. I’ll try to remember to post from Galley view so bars per system won’t influence it. It was more the issue of the beam angles, wedges, and the fact they didn’t obey the sit/straddle/hang rules when I knew from Daniel’s blog post 4 years ago that this was something they really considered in development. Not a fine example of horizontal spacing in isolation, although in full page context not so bad.