Dotted crotchets

This may have been answered elsewhere but …

I’m in 3/4 time
I have this:

I want this:
screen shot 2


Thank you

Force Duration is what you need here. Press O before entering that final dotted quarter.

You could also (depending on how many instances there are of this and on how many staves etc etc) use a hidden 6/8 time signature local just to that staff (meaning you input it by pressing Alt/Opt-Return if using the popover or Alt/Opt-clicked if using the panel). Hidden time signatures are indicated by signposts, which you can easily copy/paste to other locations. That can be a handy way to control beat grouping without having to use Force Duration on individual notes (especially if you have recurring patterns of beat grouping or multiple staves have the same grouping).

Hi Dan. Thank you so much for your prompt response. This happens several times, so I imagine I would have to do this for each instance. (The piece was originally created in Sibelius, then exported to XML, then imported to Dorico - as I am gradually moving across … and on something of a steep learning curve!). Just wondering, is it worth making this an option in the “Notation Options” dialog? Thinking as an orchestral player, I would probably find the “dotted crotchet” version easier to read.
Thanks again

Hi Lillie. Thanks for your response … I will certainly give it a try. It’s only a 32 bar secion but as it’s an orchestral score, it happens on several staves. It’s one of those things where it’s a little ambiguous as to whether it’s 3/4 or 6/8! Thanks again

In my opinion, this should not be a notation option, since it’s not a standard way to display 3/4. Just my opinion!

Of course, what’s life without a little metrical ambiguity. If it helps, when I engraved the score and parts for The Piano for a concert screening of the film, I used that trick quite a bit as there’s a fair amount of 3/4 against 6/8. In general, it’s a useful method to know in Dorico as you can specify beat grouping as part of a time signature - such as [2+3+2]/8 for a 7/8 time signature where everything is grouped in 2+3+2.

Hi Dan. I’m not sure I agree with you, but I do understand your reasoning! I appreciate your assistance :slight_smile: :grinning:

For what it’s worth, I would also not expect to see this metrical grouping in 3/4, so I wouldn’t hold my breath for a notation option to make this possible by default. Sorry! (Adding options carries all sorts of costs – both in implementation, testing, maintenance, localisation, added complexity for the end user, added complexity for future development, etc. – so requests have to pass a pretty high bar to make it into the software; especially in the realm of notation options, if something is requested that flies in the face of established conventions, it’s particularly unlikely to pass that bar.)

This use of dotted quarter notes in 3/4 is not uncommon in piano music. An example from Chopin’s Scherzo no. 4:

Just chiming in to say this is very common in certain genres including an Argentinian rhythm called Chacarera. Whenever I’ve played in bands using this rhythm it’s always a toss-up as to whether it’s notated in 3/4 or 6/8 so it would be great to be able to notate this as the OP is requesting, as both meters sort of co-exist simultaneously.

As examples, here’s Grammy-winner Emilio Solla’s band playing his tune Chacafrik at Dizzy’s at Jazz at Lincoln Center. (I had a decent solo on the 2nd half of the tune starting here. )

… and here’s Grammy-winner Pedro Giraudo’s band playing his Desconsuelo suite for an NPR broadcast. The first movement is a chacarera with 3/4 vs 6/8, and the third movement is in 11/8 alternating between a merengue venezolano and a chacarera.

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I would normally handle a case like this with an interchangeable time signature, “3/4 = 6/8”. This will let you add a 3/4 or 6/8 time signature where desired, even on specific staves, and they will be automatically hidden.

When resetting, check “End interchangeable” in the properties bar of the time signature to go back to regular time signatures from that point on.


Another example from Legally Blonde. To me it’s essentially a reverse of the convention of notation syncopations across the half bar - in this scenario the syncopation is crossing the third(?) bar.

Which is nothing Dorico cannot handle. That’s what force duration is for. The difficulty is primarily for those who think Dorico should read their minds to notate such situations automatically. The question is whether most users would even want that.

Yes, Force Duration in this case is incredibly easy. Just leave it on while entering this entire section as dotted quarters, and you’ll get dotted quarters displayed.

Hi Lillie
Just tried what you suggested … works a charm doesn’t it?! Thanks for the tip :grinning:

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Decent solo–understatement. Awesome solo!