# Free meter notation question

In the attached screenshot you can see a free meter passage surrounded by metered passages.

If we imagine a primary player soloing at will during this passage, I’m trying to figure out the best way to indicate that a secondary player should sustain a tremolo for as long as it takes.

Dorico seems to want me to fill the free meter with multiple whole notes, whereas I’m inclined to have a single whole note with a fermata. Is this doable?

I think you can achieve this with a quarter note 4:22 tuplet. Fill the tuplet with a whole note, and hide the bracket and number.

The fermata will also appear above the solo player, and I don’t think there’s a way to hide it except dragging it off the page in Engrave mode. Alternatively, you can create the fermata with a text object in the secondary player only.

Thanks for the response!

I am curious if there’s a more elegant way to achieve this. (Daniel?)

Well, I would suggest you do not use a free meter. The tuplet is a nice solution — you could even input a different meter for that bar and that instrument (using alt-enter instead of enter), but it would not give the nice result a hidden tuplet would…

Gentlemen, thank you. I am secretly hoping that someone who is actually developing the program will come in and tell me how this can be done the right way. Absent that, I will try your MacGuyver like solutions.

FWIW, here’s a little idea of what the tuplet solution gives (took me like two minutes to mock up)

I don’t consider this kind of solution “MacGyvering” (I’m pretty sure that’s not a verb…) since obviously a whole note has a fixed duration of four quarter beats, and some extended passage of other durations clearly has a longer duration, unless you use a tuplet of some kind, either to scale the whole note to be longer or to scale the extended passage to be shorter.

Leaving Dorico for a moment and turning to notational convention, how would you notate a sustained cymbal roll under an unmetered cadenza?

(McGuyver can make a verb out of used car parts.)

How would I personally do it? I think I would do it as you suggest: a single note with a fermata over it.

Having agreed upon our ideal, is there a better way to do it in Dorico than the MacGuyver solution above?

No, I think the way suggested by Anders and demonstrated by Marc works pretty nicely.

All I ask is that if one day you implement something more direct, you name the feature after me.

Could I use a feature that had been “Shapiroed”?