can I notate polytemporal music in dorico?

I am a phd student composing polytemporal and polymetric music and my music is influenced by conlon nancarrow

I am interested in purchasing dorico but before I move forward I need to know that I can do these things. can you please let me know what is and what is not possible in terms of advanced rhythmic music? I know there are some limitations your notation program will have and I need to know them before I decide if I want to purchase it. THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME!!!

  1. can I have multiple different meters in different staves - like 5/8 in the tremble clef and 4/4 in the bass clef

2… can have multiple different tempi - like a polytemporal piece - where I have like 5/8= 140 bpm in the tremble clef and 4/4 = 84 bpmin the bass clef

2b - can you have tuplets cross bar lines?

  1. are you able to notate micotonal symbols like quarter tones?

  2. to what degree can you control and notate accellerando

Welcome to the forum! I would recommend downloading the free trial so you can experiment a bit more yourself before purchasing.

  1. Yes, you can time signatures on individual staves independently very easily in Dorico. However, a crotchet (quarter) = a crotchet on all staves, so in your example, the barlines on the 2 staves (one with 5/8, one with 7/8) wouldn’t align. You can force the barlines to align by re-inputting one in the 2nd bar, and then using tuplets (hidden if desired) to make one staff “match” its time signature (e.g. you could allow the 5/8 staff to function normally, but have 7:5 eighth tuplets on the 7/8 staff).

  2. Polytempi aren’t natively supported; you could probably approximate the appearance using text but it won’t affect playback.

2b. Yes!

  1. Yes indeed - more info about tonality systems in Dorico here (24-EDO allows quarter tones).

  2. Gradual tempo changes like accelerando are input as tempo marks, and you can control them minutely using the Time track in Play mode. You can also change their end tempo.

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If you’re interested, here are some Nancarrow studies I’ve put into Dorico - I think the polytemporal capabilities are the strongest of any notation program I’ve seen. And for microtonality, it’s amazing, with 12,000 divisions to the octave. (1.39 MB)

While polytempo is not supported as a dedicated feature, my experience is that you can achieve pretty much any result as long as your tempo relations are strictly rational*… and provided that you come up with the necessary math to prepare the underlying tuplet construction for the different layers. What that means in practice basically depends on the complexity of what you want to do.

* I have come across a limit that is eventually reached when trying to build up a very fine gradual tempo change from accumulating instant tempo changes. With that particular exception, I have so far found nothing where Dorico hasn’t wildly exceeded any of my modest initial aspirations in regard to polytempo scenarios.

Not original poster, but this is awesome! Nancarrow’s handwritten scores are a bit of a scrawl, it’s cool to have some clean copies of some. This must have taken a while. Good job.

Thank you everyone for replying and I didn’t realized there was a response to my questions. It is really helpful to know this and I am going to download the demo version and check out Stephen Taylor’s scores.