Fanned beams limit


Currently Dorico sets the limit for fanned beams up to 32nds (this follows the examples shown in Gould, p.158) however the literature contains several examples where fanned beams go beyond this limit. (For instance in pieces that go up to 64ths and 128ths if one needs a fanned beam to display accel. or rit. It wouldn’t be coherent for the latter to be limited to 32nds).

The example below is from Crumb’s black angels which displays a fanned beam of 64ths in the 1st violin, the 64ths in the 2nd violin below explains this choice.


Dear Santa,
if you are bringing some additions to the fanned beams, I would love to have some kind of a system that positions the notes automatically accelerating/rallentando. Tweaking them every time is irritating (adding imaginary smaller values, moving them in the Note Spacing). Also, a playback would be amazing!

Just a spontaneous idea/dream/fantasy: The first note is 64nth, it is followed by eight notes (let’s say 32th) and one 16th note. You click “Create Fanned Beam”. Out comes a fan that begins as 64th (four beams) and ends as a 16th (two beams), it has altogether ten notes, the first and last one have their original durations, notes between have durations that go linearly from one to another (these values would probably get rather groovy, so they will need to be simplified, of course). The duration of the whole fan would be the duration of the original notes. These note values are then used for positing the notes and more importantly for playback.

I wouldn’t use them in any naughty ways, promise!
Also, a pony.


Hey I like it.
Why not make it easier: insert a half note. Properties > activate fanned beams, set amount of notes (10?) and start and end beam amount and Dorico fills it automatically?
With two quarter notes, Dorico could fill the Interval between the pitches.
Ok, I realize, this is getting quite hard the more pitches one wants, but if the number of notes selected and the number of specified notes match, (for example 10 specifically chosen 16th notes selected before incoming the mechanism) no additional notes would be added…
Playback would then be maybe easier to accomplish, as Dorico is replacing the notes with its own „fanned beams“ object, which can have an internal algorithm for placing notes getting faster or slower?
Don’t take anything here too serious, though just thinking out loud here…

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I’m also working on a score and I would need a rallentando fanned beam that finishes in 16ths instead of 8ths.
I think is still not possible in an automatic way, am I right?
If is is not I’m going to do this with some lines and engraving manual adjustment.

You’re right: at the moment, the fanned beam always ends with a single beam.

Apropos: I would like a tremolo between two notes, beginning accel. and then changing to rit. half-way between the notes. Thas is, I would like to change the direction of the fanned beams mid-way between, not on a stem. Is this possible?

No, I can’t think off the top of my head of a way you can do that at present.

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Since this has turned in to a fanned beam request thread:here’s mine-on fanned beams that last multiple measures if there is a system break the fan starts over, so you need to be sure to only have the fan on a single line. It’d be great to be able to split it and dorico keeps the beam looking right. I’m not sure if that’s something that happens in the literature though, it just caught me on a piece I just finished up.

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It was a solo passage, so I have found that I can write triplets, change fanned beam direction on the middle stem and then hide both middle stem and middle notehead.
(In a non solo context this would have meant hopelessly much graphical fiddling afterwards to get things in line.)

I’d like to draw attention to the appearance of the inner fan beams in the Black Angels scan. Notice how they taper away, so only the two outer thick beams meet at the leftmost point of the fan? That’s a really low-priority engraving-feature request for the Dorico team: “Converge all beams” (typical fan notation) vs. “Converge only outer beams” (à la Crumb). I don’t own a copy of Gould yet, so I don’t know what she’d say about it; I find it appears unconventional, but is highly readable and avoids creating thick areas of ink. Perhaps that’s why the original engraver did it.

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I just checked Kurt Stone’s Music Notation in the Twentieth Century (p. 124) and he explicitly recommends the by-now-traditional thick-beams-only, the way Dorico does it. I’m liking Crumb’s engraver’s approach more by the minute, though. It’s elegant!

Crumb famously made his own scores by hand. Widely admired.

Whoa, I didn’t know that. Terrific.