Fake time signatures

Hello everyone!

New Dorico user, here, and I would like to say in the first place that I’m really impressed with the software. Conception team : bravo!

I would like to write a « fake » time signature. In S******s, I would hide the real one, then insert the fake one (right click -> text -> staff/system/special text -> time signature), then manually move it to make it fit at the place of the real one.

The Dorico meter popover - and this is absolutely comprehensive - don’t allow me to type the specific time signature I’m looking for : « 0/0 ». The aim is to express an open style / free time bar. Yes, I know, there’s already the X and the Penderecki symbols, (which both look great!), but I plan to do a sequel of an already published composition of mine, which uses 0/0, and I would like to keep coherence in notation throughout the volumes.

I tried Write -> Create Text, but there is no specific Time signature font, and I can’t get something satisfying. In the other hand, the « Time Signature 0 » is present in the Edit music symbol dialog, so I just need to find a way to insert it properly in the score, but I don’t know how. I am not very familiar with music fonts, so forgive me if the solution is obvious!

Thank you very much,

Here are a couple of threads addressing this - I have made several pieces with fake time signatures. Not as straightforward as Sibelius, but definitely possible. 0/0 should be no problem.



Hello Stephen,

Thank you very much, I found my solution in the first thread (Daniel’s message, very clear!). As you said, not very straightfoward, but possible! Here’s the steps, if it can help someone else :

  1. Activate the Unicode Hex (here for mac : http://poynton.ca/notes/misc/mac-unicode-hex-input.html)
  2. In Write mode, select a rest/note, then press Shift X, and switch the Character Style to Music Text
  3. Select the Universal (Unicode Hex) keyboard on your computer
  4. Enter the digits required (see the SMuFL codes for time signatures here : https://w3c.github.io/smufl/gitbook/tables/time-signatures.html)
    In my case : Alt + E09E E080 E09F E080
    Corresponding to : (num) 0 (dem) 0
  5. Go in Engrave mode, reposition the time signature, and adjust the Custom scale in the Bottom panel to make it fit into the staff.

As someone not very computer-savvy, I’ve gotta say… it’s quite a workaround! But I’m glad I discovered a new world, the world of glyphs!

Hi, one friend of mine who is interested to change from Sibelius to Dorico asked me today: How can I make Dorico NOT to rewrite the music after you reenter a time signature. Sibelius usually asks for that. And I was not able to answer…

In an old music till the 17th century there is a usual practice to write C or cutC instead of 8/2 or 3/2 instead of a 6/2. Is there in Dorico the only one way to fake a time signature copying glyphs, entering them as a text, adjusting their size and note spacing? There could be not a problem to change it once, but if you work on a long piece like Renaissance opera?

Dorico is doing a great job when you change a time signature rewriting and regrouping all the material. But in this particular case it would be great, if it would be possible to make Dorico NOT to recalculate everything. At least on the end of the project while entering other time signatures.

Could it be a future solution to let a user to enter “officially” a fake time signature direct in metrum popover writing something like (3/2) or [3/2] or similar? Just a thought…

Enter your “fake” time signature as a pickup bar, to make the first bar the correct length. In Dorico the pickup bar can be longer than normal bar if necessary.

Then enter a time signature with the correct length bars (and correct not grouping) one bar later, and hide it.

You only need to adjust the beam grouping etc of the first “pickup” bar.

Try Rob’s suggested method, and if you run into problems, then undo and try adding Rob’s second time signature first, if you see what I mean…

(My thought process: when notes with Force Duration get split across barlines they sometimes lose their “Force Duration” property, on account of the fact that at that point in time the specified forced durations are impossible. If you add the “stopper” time signature - the one that will then be hidden - first, you guarantee that no following music will be rebeamed or rebarred at any point.)

Any time signature in 2 – 4/2, 8/2, 12/2 – can use a Cut C symbol by checking the Property in the bottom panel.

Thank you all for your suggestions. I know a workaround with a pickup bar. It works if there is a one time signature on a beginning which have to be changed. But what do I do, if a time signature changes few times in the whole piece? Yes, there is an option for 4/2 etc… to make it as a cutC in a property panel. But not to make it as a “normal” C.

You can make those into pickup bars as well. Dorico interprets “pickup” bars anywhere, not just the beginning of a flow.

Hm…I tried but no success. If somebody of you would have a minute, could you please edit this Dorico file? I would love to analyse and learn on this example what exactly was done. I am attaching hier an example written in Sibelius.

Fuga francese.dorico.zip (1.04 MB)

Attached. Once you understand how it works, it takes mere seconds to achieve, thankfully!
Fuga francese with meters.zip (1.04 MB)

Thank you dankreider very much for your extremely helpful and quick answer. Do you think it is possible to write it even with these brackets?

The only way I could think to do it would be to use the music symbols editor perhaps. You should be able to edit the “c” to include the brackets. But I’ve not tried that particular usage before, and I’m not at a computer. Maybe someone else can chime in.

…or add them as text items, remove collision avoidance, and drag them into place. But that’s a very in-elegant solution.

Just tried it, and it works beautifully.

Fuga francese with bracket c.zip (1.04 MB)