Complex Meter - Changing "Pulse" For Notation?

Hello, everybody. New Dorico user (migrating from Finale) and while I have many questions/concerns, this is the biggest one so far:

I am trying to re-write a piece I wrote in Finale to compare the abilities and features. The time signature is 7/8, but it’s not a consistent 2+2+3 pulse. It alternates from bar-to-bar, 2+2+3 | 3+2+2. I’d like to use beaming to show musicians what the pulse is, but Dorico won’t let me do it since it wants the same pulse in each bar (I’ve played with the Notation settings to no avail).

Check out the two screenshots of how the two softwares are handling the issue. Appreciate the help!
Finale 7-8.jpg
Dorico 7-8.png

I’ve played with this myself.

Option 1: add a different meter to each bar. In the Meter Popover, put [3+2+2] or [2+2+3] as your numerator. Dorico will combine it to “7/8” for display, but change the grouping. Select the Time Signature, then set the property in the bottom panel to hide the signature. You’ll see a little flag/signpost above your system to show there’s a time signature there, but not displayed.

Option 2: select the notes you want to be grouped. Right-click. Go to “Beaming” and select “Beam Together”

Thanks so much! Your first solution works perfectly (if a bit tedious for the 200 bars of 7/8 I have, haha!).

Wait, there is a better way that really showcases Dorico’s firepower.

Dorico can correctly setup an alternating bar scheme for you. Input [3+2+2]/8+[2+2+3]/8 — just like Ryan told you to, but separated by a plus sign — in the popover. Tadah! Now, this will actually display a 7/8 + 7/8 time signature because that is the default behavior (and the correct one for most cases, but if you do this only on the second bar (or second cycle), you can easily hide the time signature and have a single 7/8 in the first bar.

Not entirely sure what you meant here. I tried inputting the Popover you mentioned in the first 7/8 bar and nothing changed in that bar or subsequent ones.

You are absolutely right: I mistyped in my post. You’ll need spaces next to the plus sign, so pasting what I posted would indeed fail.


results in this:

… which you might want to hide, as I said.

One can also use the Edit Filter to copy and paste time signatures.
(Helpful if you first hide both versions of the 7/8 time sigs and select the banners.)

Thanks for the help, guys! I may be missing something obvious, but I can’t figure out how to hide the time signatures other than in the first bar…

The method should be the same: select the time signature and tick the appropriate box in the Properties panel (Cmd 8 if it’s hidden at the bottom).

Thanks, the Cmd-8 was the issue, I couldn’t get it to show up (the arrow to open it was being covered by my dock - oops!)

Hi Daniel,
I was playing around with this issue and found out, that all following signposts (time signature changes) were deleteted, when I delete one signpost. Is there a reason for this?

If the signposts had been copied, they were likely linked.

No, Derrek, it doesn’t matter if the time signatures were entered indiviually or copied. If they are hidden, they will be deleted. If I don’t hide them, they won’t be delteted.

I know that e.g. dynamics and slurs can be linked. Derrek suggested, that the sime signatures were linked. Is this possible? How could I find out, that time singatures are linked? Is there a list of elements that could be linked (and/or grouped)?

It’s very much possible that deleting the signpost precipitated that measure and the following ones to be recalculated, no? I mean, the changes should not be deleted, but perhaps it registered as 7/8 by the algorithm, paying no respect to the different metrics.

LSalgueiro’s hypothesis seems to match what what I’ve just found:

Deleting a hidden 7/8 time signature deletes following hidden time signatures that have the same total number of beats (1+6, 2+5, 3+4, 3+2+2 etc.)
If a following hidden time signature has a different number of beats (6/8 for example) neither that nor any further hidden time signatures will be deleted.

As a workaround, select the whole passage that uses alternating beat patterns, go Edit > Filter > Time Signatures and unhide all of them. THEN meddle (delete, insert new ones etc.) THEN filter and hide them again.

Well, sure, but… I feel creating an actual alternating time signature would bypass the need for all this fiddling.