Courtesy barlines

Hi, I’m sure this is explained somewhere, but I can’t find it!

I’m trying to add dotted barlines, that have no meter meaning. They should only be ‘courtely’ barlines, showing how a measure is divided internally.

If I add a barline by typing Shift-B, and then ‘:’, I get the dotted barline I want, but then I see the internal meter is recalculated.

For example, if I have a measure in 7/4 divided as ‘[2+2+3]’, the first minim is now shown as two tied crotchets.

I can solve this issue either by entering an invisible meter change at the courtesy barline (Shift-M, and then ‘2/4’), or force durations.

At the same time, the courtesy barline breaks the accidentals rules, and make an altered note non longer valid after the courtesy barline:


Can this type of barline be changed into something exclusively graphical, with not musical meaning?


If using real barlines, the only way that I know of to stop note/beam grouping getting recalculated is to use tuplets that span barlines, and hide the tuplets.

You could also use a dashed vertical line, but these aren’t really intended for cross-staff use.

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Thank you Lillie. Yes, vertical lines are not easy for a large orchestra.

So, please let me file a request for barlines with no musical meaning!


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It’s funny you mention this. Just yesterday I discovered a score by Sigfrid Karg-Elert that uses courtesy dotted barlines (in this case, indicating the half bar) that do not break apart a dotted whole notes, and I was wondering how on earth to accomplish that… it happens multiple times in the attached image alone. This case is fairly straightforward as to ‘why’ it’s being done, but it’s also used elsewhere. I also do this in accompanied chant, occasionally.

So consider this a second official request!

I would use a 2:1 tuplet…