Breaking beams

I am copying 18th century music. The meter is C, and the eights are usually beamed in groups of four, but in many places they are broken up in groups of two. I know that I can select two notes and go to Edit>Beams>Beam together, but what I would like to be able to do is break the 4-beam on the fly while I am entering the music. However, none of the commands available lets me do that in that particular context.

I enter 8-notes, c d e. At this point I want to tell Dorico to break the beam, I select Edit>Beam>Break beam. So far so good, but when I enter the next 8-note, this one will not beam itself together with the last one, but be on its own.

Maybe it is not possible to accommodate for this case, but it would surely be good if the Break beam command in this situation only broke the beam backwards and not forwards.

I personnally created a key binding (alt-b) in the shortcut editor to break beams (and cmd-b to beam together) and it is really way faster than using the ctrl-click menu. So fast that I do not really care if I have optimized or not the way I break beams :wink:

Hi Marc, yes I did that too after a while! The break beams command will work fine in many occasions also while entering music. For my specific case of wanting to beam four 8-notes as 2-2 on the fly, I made a small macro consisting of shift+leftarrow and beam together.

Two other of my favourite bindings are make into frame and make inte system. Could not live without them.

I hope that in the future we will be able to start and stop beams during note input, i.e. issue a command to say “start a beam here” and then type a bunch of notes, which would automatically be beamed together until either you hit a duration that can’t be beamed, or issue a command to say “stop the beam here”. We also hope to introduce a command to split an existing beam at the selected position, instead of having to select the notes you want to be in one half of the beam and choosing Beam Together.

I wonder if it might be possible in the future to have a single key that either forms a beam to the left if there isn’t one and breaks it to the left if there is (one thing I actually like about Finale)

Probably not. See this discussion for why:
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=149633&hilit=Beam

Haha! I see this topic has already been thoroughly addressed - apologies