Changing time signature doesn't change beats in measure

When I change the time signature of a single bar, I don’t know how to correct the number of beats in that bar. I’ve had to add a new bar – the new bar has the correct number of beats, then move the music into it and delete the old bar.

For example, I have a single bar in 3/4 followed by a bar with another time signature. I need a 4/4 bar so I change the time signature, but the measure still has 3 beats. Can I just add a beat? If I try Insert mode, all the music afterward shifts.

I wish there was a way in Insert mode to limit the range that shifts. Shifting a line up to the end of a flow can really mess up later music that is already lined up and finished. An alternative would be to have Insert mode insert time into the full system, not just a single staff. Then following music stays lined up.

I’m probably misunderstand something influenced by the way other programs work.


I’m not sure what you’re trying to do. Are you trying to add an extra beat to the 3/4 and keep the following measure as is? In that case, creating a time signature with insert mode engaged will change the 3/4 to 4/4 and put a quarter rest at the end of it, shifting the following music by one beat.

If, however, you’re trying to change the notation so that the note on beat 1 in the following bar is now on beat 4, then you should first delete the time signature in the following bar, and then add the 4/4 time signature. This will rebar the following music without shifting anything.

Does that help?..

When you add your time signature, make sure Insert mode is switched on, and then Dorico will ensure that if there is any partial bar left over, it will be extended so that it has the correct number of beats for the time signature you added.

I realize this is an old forum entry that I’m following up on, but I see Pam’s point. I have a 3/4 measure I’m trying to convert to 4/4. The way in which I’m trying to accomplish this is by simply selecting the first note of the measure, shift-M, 4/4, [Enter], but it preserves the three beats instead of adding a fourth beat of rest. It seems counter intuitive to have to go into insert mode to accomplish something that Dorico should be able to remap on the fly without any problem.

Thanks for the feedback, @rothvin, but this is intentional, so that you have the flexibility to tell Dorico whether it should insert time to make a complete bar at the end of the new time signature or whether you instead want to simply insert a time signature and take care of the consequences yourself. Dorico makes both outcomes just as easy as each other.

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