Dashed false barline request

I have trouble being concise, so bear with me.

music is in 7/4.
requires “fake” dashed barline between beats 3 and 4.

easily created for the score in Dorico. Great.

flute has 3 measures of rest during this time. Normally, it would have a multi-measure rest, marked “3”, to indicate that there are in fact three bars of 7/4 music where it does not play.

The problem is that Dorico’s “fake” barline isn’t quite so fake… in the flute part, it splits all those 7/4 measures into a bar of 3/4 and a bar of 4/4. Which means that instead of a 3-measure multi-bar rest, I actually get 6 entire measure of rest, alternating 3/4, 4/4, 3/4, 4/4, 3/4, 4/4…

It would be nice to be able to insert a false barline (I have numerous scores of my own, as well as some fine examples in the music of others, where this is used) that does NOT break up the bars into two (or more! I can imagine this might happen) bars in the parts and thus breaking multi-measure rests.


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Would inputting an aggregate time signature ( 3/4|4/4 ) at the start of bar 2, which you then hide, help by making bar 1 the only bar that needs manual fixup?

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Might a local time signature (plain 7/4) work for the flute? (Just guessing)

ok, the only issue with making a fake time signature and hiding stuff is that this is actually halfway into the first movement of a half hour work.

I’d just like a way of indicating bar subdivisions that won’t affect the breaking of multi-measure rests.

I hate comparing to other software, but…
In Finale what I had done was created an expression that was simply a short dashed line, spaced to the left of whatever note I had attached it to. This way I could insert the little dashed barlines where they were needed (some staves were easy because they were, for example, simply a tied dotted half, then a whole note, while others were more complex, with off-beat note entrances and syncopations).

If I can create a playing technique, for example, that would automatically place a small dashed vertical line where I click in the measure (Dorico is infinitely superior in this case with the placement of things on beats rather than the need to attach to notes), I wouldn’t have to worry about my multi-measure rests getting broken up.


Are you sure this won’t work?
dashedBarline.dorico (500.8 KB)

It’s basically what Lillie suggested.

ok, let me try that.
but it seems that was exactly what I did the first time… maybe not.
I’ll post as soon as I see whether it works or not.

So there is no way of making the first measure of that passage appear with the 7/4 time signature?
(I don’t see an option to “display as…”)

If I require the first measure of the passage to also have that dashed barline dividing the 3/4 and the 4/4, will I have to find some other way to fake it?


If worse came to worst, I mean, I COULD live with a time signature of 4/4+3/4 (I accidentally inverted the required subdivisions in my earlier posts), but I’d much rather have a straight 7/4 with the dashed barlines.

One could hide the real time signature and add it as text with a font like MusGlyphs or such, but one would have to put that on each staff. Otherwise use a standard 7/4 time signature just for the first measure and add the dashed barline in that one measure (for instruments that have notes in that measure) as an expression or vertical line from the line tool.

Surely you could add the 7/4 at the beginning and manually add a dashed barline for one measure, and then add and hide the compound signature in bar 2 as suggested, to get the desired beaming for the rest of the piece.

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apparently, you can’t attach a vertical line to a rest. and in some instruments this is required.

this will be a LOT of tedious cleaning up, because we’re talking about a large orchestra.

My initial request thus alters a bit:

It would be nice if Dorico let you change the appearance of a time signature that is equivalent. It already does so with 4/4.
It would be nice if it allowed it for things like this particular case: 4/4+3/4 = 7/4.
This would be applicable to any time signature where you required a visible sub-division of beats.

I’ve seen folks have trouble dealing with quarter-note measures of 5, 7 and other (mostly prime) numbers of beats. Perhaps because of my background (or need for speed) I find I have always constructed these asymmetrical measures with eighth-note pulses, which lets me use beaming to convey the subdivision.

I wonder what I would do if I found myself in a situation that required a quarter-note pulse.

the particular section I’m working on has a very slow pulse, with rapid notes (tiny groupings of 16th notes, basically like bird calls) and in irregular placement. later on the in the section the groupings become easier to divine simply from the beaming but in the early measures there are a LOT of rests, pauses, off-beat notes, etc… that make intuiting when and where beats fall a tiny bit more difficult.

In that case, if you have the option (just another idea): You could write “3/4 + 4/4” and let all the barlines be solid. If it’s conducted, it’ll have to be 3 + 4 anyway.

the dashed barlines that 3/2|4/4 provides are perfect.

I’d just have preferred to have it marked as “7/4” with that dashed barline.

Yes, I can make the passage 7/4 by making that first measure 7/4 and manually adding a dashed barline (Dorico will then split the measure into two bars).
Then make the rest of the passage “3/4|4/4” and hide the time signature, where Dorico will NOT split the measures into halves.

There is a new issue: that first measure of 7/4 has dashed barlines on EVERY staff of the orchestra including those with only a whole bar rest, while the subsequent bars have dashed barlines ONLY where instruments are playing.

This is why it makes sense to add your 7/4 time signature as text with a font like MusGlyphs (as @Derrek suggested). If you don’t want to do that, you could use a dotted vertical line on each playing instrument to show the meter break in the 1st bar. You decide which is more work!

how exactly does one insert a vertical dashed line, like that when using the | in time signatures?
You apparently cannot attach a vertical line to a rest (which in my case I would need, as the 4/4|3/4 split does not necessarily occur exactly at a note for all instruments in my score.)

I tried making a technique that would insert a dashed barline, but there doesn’t seem to BE an equivalent glyph of the dashed barline.

I tried using a suppressed whole note with a custom notehead simulating a whole rest to prompt the dashed barline.

You are welcome to “steal” the custom notehead if it helps your engraving.

fakeRest_74.dorico (1014.0 KB)

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Adding dotted/dashed barlines within a ‘real’ bar, to show subdivisions, is described in Gould, page 178, and it really ought to be possible in Dorico with a single time sig.


the thing is, it ALMOST is possible… by setting the time signature slightly differently. I actually get a beautiful result: “3/4 | 4/4” (the pipe symbol creates this dashed subdivision.)

The problem is that Dorico then insists on keeping this “different” time signature (in my case 3/4+4/4) and not letting me change it to the required 7/4.