# Creating an Aggregate(?) Time signature C plus 3/8

Hello, sometimes one has to create time signatures consisting of two parts, one of them a C or Cut C, the other part being a numbered time signature. Example in this Aria is a C, followed by a 3/8. Is there a way yet, to achieve this notation (which is quite common in older music) in Dorico?

ps: I am not sure “Aggregate Time Signature” is the right terme

Dear @k_b ,
My way of doing this may be slightly convoluted, but it works like this:

a) Input a C time signature with a short upbeat (f.ex. C,0.25)
b) Input your “real” time signature - in your case 3/8 - on your first full C-bar
c) Hide the rest in the upbeat bar the usual way (scale and color).
d) Change the barline between the C and the 3/8 time signatures to dashed, and set the dash length in Barline Options (Engrave Mode) to 0. (Assuming that you don’t need dashed barlines elsewhere)
e) You should now have your two time signatures next to each other. Use the Note Spacing Tool to drag them closer together.
f) You will have to repeat (part of) this procedure in the parts as well.

Is there a simpler solution?

You don’t need to hide anything at all, and you certainly don’t need to scale or colour things.

1. Create an Interchangeable time signature. Shift-M 4/4 = 3/8,1.5 Enter
(Explanation: Any bar following a 4/4 = 3/8 interchangeable time signature can either be 4/4 or 3/8. The “,1.5” adds a pickup bar at the start that is 1.5 beats of whatever the first time signature is: 4.4 in this case.)
2. Set the separator property to a space and turn on the Common/cut common property. Note also that I’ve turned on and then unset the Group first bar as pickup property
3. Add a 3/8 time signature at bar 1 (which is actually the second bar) - this will be hidden automatically as it’s telling the existing interchangeable time signature that you want to be in 3/8 until you tell it otherwise.
4. Add a bar number change so the first bar is bar 1. (Pickup bars are automatically n-1, but this pickup bar needs to function as a real bar.)
5. If you need the first bar to show a bar rest in any stave, invoke the caret on that staff in the first bar and type Shift-B Rest Enter.
3 Likes

Thanks @pianoleo !
Much smarter and faster. As usual!

Very good, thanks. But what about resting instruments? Someone entering after 8 bars will have a single rest followed by a multi measure rest of 7. Is there a way of getting a MM rest of 8?

Thank you Leo, great solution. One has to be aware to put in spaces around the = in the Popover to make it work.
The small caveat, as mentioned by LAE is true. This works fine in a score, but if a part has rests at the beginning one gets a split multirest:

Is there a way to refine this by allowing a bit more space between the two time signatures?

There are gap settings in Engraving Options.

Hmm. Nope, not unless you resort to a bunch of tuplets.
@lumortensen’s method works well, though I’d remove rests legitimately with Edit > Remove Rests rather than colouring and scaling; this’ll work fine as long as there are already notes somewhere in each instrument (and/or you hit O to force each rest before removing it).

Thank you Ben, I was able to change it in Engraving Options, and it looks fine now.

There is also the possibility in Engraving Options to make -Space- the default separator for interchangeable time signatures.

I’ll visit them again!

Incidentally, the method described above - slightly modified - also works well to solve the old and frequently discussed issue of Cautionary Time/Key Signatures at the end of flows…