Change 6/4 to 7/4 and measure still wants to be 6/4

Not sure why it happens, but I had one measure as a 6/4 and decided to change it to a 7/4, but I can’t get the 7/4 measure to quit trying to be a 6/4 measure. In the attached picture, the top measures set of notes should have a quarter note rest after the dotted half note and the bottom measure should have an whole note rest followed by a quarter note rest before the two notes. Any ideas on how I can solve this problem?

Doug :slight_smile:

You need to have insert mode (I) switched on,

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Or after the fact, Shift-B, 1q, Enter.

When you change the meter, Dorico doesn’t add beats unless you tell it to!

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Specifically, Dorico will only automatically rebar as far as the next existing time signature. It won’t create new beats without Insert mode, and it won’t move subsequent existing time signatures.

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Very clumsy! :frowning: You’d think that Dorico, being a world class music writing software, would automatically know if you changed the measures time signature it would indicate the missing beats by putting in the appropriate rests. Using the Shift B worked, but it won’t insert rests. So, I had to add notes and them delete them in order to get the rests. Even so, I had to be careful so that the following measure wasn’t impacted.

And even though it was marked as a 7/4 measure it played it as a 6/4 measure. Now, after adding the extra beat (rests) it plays it correctly.

Doug :slight_smile:

If you use Insert mode before inputting the time signature, Dorico will add the required rests at the end of the measure. If you don’t use Insert mode, Dorico assumes that you will do the Inserting yourself at some future point. The clue is kind of in the name.

(This is documented here: Inputting time signatures with the popover)

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To avoid further frustration, I seriously suggest you take the time to work through the Getting Started Resources, especially the First Steps guide.

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To all,
To be clear, I am a newbie to Dorico, but I have used Guitar Pro to write music with. Dorico is a very complex program capable of doing amazing things. I have the user’s manual and I went thru the Getting Started Video. The Video, covers a lot, but its to much stuff for the beginner. (Short cut keys all over the place, when to do what, etc.) So, I’m writing a fairly simple piece of music and stumbling along, learning as I go. I find the user’s manual reasonably helpful once I discovered the index.

But I was very shocked that when changing a measure (one measure) from 6/4 to 7/4 that it can’t figure out the obvious of adding a rest at the end of the measure! On top of that, Dorico will play it as 6/4 measure, even though it is clearly marked as 7/4! And even after I read the responses and using Dan’s suggestion, it seems you can’t insert a simple quarter note rest.

And using the “Inputting time signatures with the popover” method seems very awkward at best, but is a very clumsy way of getting there.

At any rate, I’ll keep learning as I go,

Doug :slight_smile:

ShiftB +1q Enter does work, but it’s tricky in this case because you have to select something such as the note at the end of the bar first. Or use the caret.

An easier way: Turn on Insert mode, double-click the 7/4, press Enter.
Dorico fixes the bar length for you.

It works for me. What are you doing in particular? If I select a beat and then press ‘Shift B’ +q, then the needed beats, as specified by my value, are inserted before of the selected note.

The easier way seems to be the best solution. Next time I have this issue, I’ll give it a try.

Doug :slight_smile:

As I stated and showed at the beginning, I’d already created the 7/4 time, but Dorico still shows and plays it as a 6/4??? So, I just needed to insert a rest in the top measure at the end of the measure and in the bottom measure before the two notes and change the two quarter note rests and the half note rest to a single whole note rest. Anyway, it seems that Mark’s easier way solution is probably the best.

Doug :slight_smile:

I think it’s understandable to run into this as a new Dorico user; @Doug2430 if there are other places (e.g. in the documentation) that you would expect to come across this sort of pointer, please do let me know in case that’s something that can be improved.

The functionality-flipside of course is (if Dorico always added time at the end of a region where you’re changing the time signature before a subsequent, existing time signature) you could end up with rest gaps between notes you’ve already entered and wondering how to remove or otherwise deal with those.

The way Dorico handles this at least makes sure that the positions of notes relative to each other in time are preserved (i.e. changing the time signature doesn’t affect the flow of music), but obviously for easy communication with performers it’s best if time signatures and beats in bars match.

With the expansion of Insert mode’s capabilities in Dorico 4 with the addition of scopes, an alternative way of going about this operation is not to add time signatures yourself at all: simply set the scope to “Global Adjustment of Current Bar” and input the extra note/rest etc. Dorico will add the extra time to the bar and change surrounding time signatures accordingly.


Do you see the problem here…? I’ve been told three or four ways to correct this problem, some more complex and cumbersome than the others. It seems incredible to me that you have to tell Dorico to correct an obvious problem (when it can do so much more efficiently). Why would you have to tell Dorico that 7/4 time means that there are 7 beats in the measure? I wouldn’t mind if Dorico added an extra rest at the end of the 7/4 measure, because you can easily move the notes around (or add some) to do what you want. If I go back and change the 7/4 to 4/4 Dorico will adjust the remaining measures accordingly (or so I thought). I would have to delete the following 4/4 time signature, otherwise it creates two measures one with a 4/4 time and a 3/4 measure with no time signature… Typical :frowning:

I would think that if someone is writing music and change the time signature of one or more measures, then Dorico would pad it with the appropriate rests as needed. Then they would adjust the measures as needed. Otherwise you have a time signature that really doesn’t mean what it indicates.

Thanks for the advise,
Doug :slight_smile:

You have made the same statement over and over. We understand how you feel. And users have tried to explain to you that if you activate Insert mode, changing the time signature will do exactly what you wish.

You need to learn to use the program as designed. If the Development Team decide to change the program, you have already made your point and do not need to keep repeating it. If the Team decides to keep Dorico the way it is, you will simply have to adjust.


I am new to Dorico (about 2 weeks in) and in the process of learning it. Knowing to use one feature while changing another feature is not intuitive and is part of the learning process. A year from now this may no longer be an issue for me.
That being said, on day one of learning to read music you learn what a time signature means… for some unknown reason to me it seems that Dorico doesn’t agree.
I’m moving on and letting this subject go…

Doug :slight_smile:

For what it’s worth, I remember several bad experiences with other notation software, when I would change a time signature and the rest of the music would get totally messed up for the rest of the piece - broken ties, extra rests, etc., requiring lots of cleanup.

Once I got used to Dorico’s way of handling time signatures, I find that I much prefer it. And I think that’s the key here. New software takes some effort to learn, especially if you’re used to other ways of doing things. But the designers have also had lots of experience with other software, and they’ve thought carefully about their design choices in Dorico. Although ymmv, for me it’s worth a shot to try it their way.


I understand how it works, but I’ve still gotten bitten by this a couple of times. I’m not necessarily advocating a change in behavior, but it would be really helpful as a proofreading tool if there was a way for Dorico to highlight incomplete bars that don’t match the time signature, or have a signpost visibility option, or some mechanism to alert the user.

Of course, it’s even easier in Finale to have incomplete (or overloaded) bars which is why the very first thing I do when receiving a file from a client is run Check Region for Durations. I also run that on my own files before starting part formatting. In Dorico I have to manually proofread around time changes (it’s usually the bar before a change that is an issue) but this is time consuming. Dorico could probably do these calculations in a few hundredths of a second, but for larger more complicated scores the manual proofing can really eat up some time. It would be great if Dorico could offer some assistance with this. It certainly would be a significant time saver when working on scores with many meter changes.


One tiny help with proofing I noticed today: An incomplete bar in a staff with no entries shows telltale rest values rather than a bar rest.


I could support that. Good idea.