Is it possible to create cadenzas in free time with multiple voices operating independently of each other (as in the attached images)?
Many thanks
Mark Smith

I think you should find this reasonably easy to notate in Dorico, simply by using open meter (Shift+M, then enter X as the time signature, which you can later hide using the ‘Hide time signature’ property). The only thing that will be problematic is adding the brackets that show where the different instruments enter.

You know, at first glance this looks like cake for Dorico, but on closer inspection, I think it might be slightly more complicated. The issue is that each line has different amounts of music. For instance in pic (2) the bottom system has 15 beats in one staff, 12 beats in others, 11 in others, and 8 in one of them. I assume it’s similar for the other rest of the music as well.

Unless I’ve missed something, Dorico will want all of the beats to line up. That being the case, this seems to be very much like the issue of wanting independent meters but where the barlines line up; the only difference is that, here, it’s independent meterless meters. This is possible in Dorico, but, to my knowledge, only via workaround. You can, for instance, take that 8-beat line and make it a 8:15 tuplet and hide the tuplet. Likewise, the 11-beat line becomes a 11:15 tuplet, and so on.

With that amount of fixing necessary, it becomes very much like the way it would be achieved in Finale.

Do you think at some point, perhaps when the team addresses independent meters with aligned barlines, it would be possible to include meterless meters in the functionality? Oh how lovely it would be to put in several independent lines with independent barlines, then simply select those barlines, hit a button or select a menu option, and have Dorico link the barlines together and line everything up properly.

Once you solve that problem, you’ll have to look at the offset fermata assignments.
I’m trying to think how one would conduct this (lots of cue notes in the parts?)

Still, if someone writes it, one will eventually need a way to set it in type (so to speak).
I was trying to think how one might use invisible or offset bar lines and hidden time signatures to approach this.

mmh :thinking: conduct a cadenza?
Isn’t that the precious little moment of freedom for soloists and the conductor?
At least the conductor can sit back and relax, just has to catch the moment to get the lot back in again…

Seem to me a cadenza for one instrument would be just as you say, but considering the way instruments in the example need to synchronize with each other, the situation appears different.

My German and French are rough, but I think the text before the section says they play independently.