Free meter input

Sorry if this is covered elsewhere, but I can’t find it. How do I create a free-meter bar in the middle of a piece (surrounded by metered bars)?

SHIFT-M to bring up the Meter popover at the spot desired, then type “X” (without quotes) into the popover and press enter. You can use the Properties screen to determine how to express the open tempo.

Well, I tried that, but the measure retained the actual meter of the previous bar: i.e. the previous bar was 6/8, I put 6 8th-notes’ worth of music in the new X bar, and then the caret advanced to the next bar. That doesn’t seem like free meter to me. I guess I could count the beats in the free meter bar and create, for example, a 11/4 bar and then figure out how to hide the signature. But I thought something different would happen… Have I misunderstood something?

Not only that, when I did create an 11/4 bar, that one too was stuck in 6/8 time. This is beginning to sound like a bug.

Also, when I deleted the bar in question and then added a new bar and assigned it a meter of 11/4, the new one was also stuck as a 6/8 bar.

And, when I changed it to plain old 4/4, it still remained a 6/8 bar. Huh?

So then I created a brand new project, entered a few measures of 4/4, then switched to X, and lo and behold, a free-meter bar that worked just as it should. So it seems as if the problem is in the file I’m trying to work on. I’m very reluctant to scrap it, because I’ve already put a ton of work into it. Suggestions?

maybe I am not sure what you are trying to do. I entered several bars in a specific meter; then, hit keyb shortcut for meter and entered x and was able to enter music without meter until I wanted measures again. of course, you can have free meter in one voice and measured in another by using the alt key (pc) when entering the shortcut or mouse command.

perhaps you see the free meter as still beamed as the original meter. don’t think so, but of course, you can re-beam it, if so.

if I am not understanding what you want can you clarify this?

dropbox link with dorico example

is this what you are thinking of? unmeasured, followed by meter, followed by unmeasured, etc.

I am trying to transform a metered measure in the middle of an already existing orchestral piece (which is empty in all parts) into an unmetered measure. Or alternatively, insert a new unmetered measure and then get rid of the existing metered measure. Does that clarify things?

I think that I might be a bit dense (and that is my problem, in this case; but, being 73 doesn’t help). You have a measure in the middle of the orchestra score (notes in the measure or not) you just go to the measure, go to the short cut and type x for the meter and it should be a free measure. you can insert time there with th insert key, but at the moment only works on an individual voice (that sucks in an orchestra piece. promises for it to be better in updates). then, when you want to go back to measures, just move the cursor o that point and choose the meter (you can have different meters in different voices by using the alt or cmd key (depending on platform).

I think what you are saying, that even though the new measure has the x signature, it still has limited beats and should have more available note space(being a free measure). I am a bit confused as to what dorico is doing. I tried on a simple piano example: converted a measured point to free meter and it did it not only for the chosen measure but for the next measure as well. it didn’t just do that space. I am a bit confused, but it i late. post whatever you discover.

I know that the insert key only works on an individual voice but had not really used it (probably for that reason) but when I use it in the middle of a page it doesn’t seem to add new space, which is what I would think an insert should do, and is the problem in the change in the middle of the orchestra example above). question: how do you use the insert key and what should we expect it to do?

Well, I’m 74…
You got it. What I eventually did was insert extra measures of 6/8 that had as many beats as I needed and then converted the first to X; all the subsequent measures up to the next meter change were converted to a single X that I could use as intended for my cadenza. But it was a bit kludgy, and still doesn’t look exactly like what I had in mind. It would be easy-ish in S****ius, but Dorico has a bunch of other advantages…