Frustrated with polymetric problems

I am editing a fairly complex polymetric score—different time signatures in different staves, frequent time signature changes, etc.

  1. Whenever I enter a a signature of 7/8 from the “Used in This Flow” collection, the program adds a spurious right repeat sign along with the time signature. It as if this symbol was somehow stored with the time signature. It doesn’t happen with any other signature (so far) and it doesn’t happen when selecting the signature from the “Common” collection.
  2. The program sometimes adds spurious bar lines in the middle of measures.
  3. There’s one place where I need a repeat sign, but the program refuses to add one. When I click the repeat sign in the “Create Barline” group, the music shifts to the right to make room, but no repeat sign appears.
    Note: I just updated from Dorico Pro 3.5.10 to 3.5.12, but this didn’t solve the problems.

These are fairly context-dependent issues, so if you are able to cut down your project and give clear steps on how to reproduce the problems you are facing that would help us helping you.

For now it’s hard to say what’s going on. I work with independent time signatures a lot myself, and while some issues sound similar, they don’t seem to be exactly the same.

Dorico does treat time signatures, non-default barlines and bar number changes as the same type of object. If the 7/8 you initially added to the flow has a repeat or a bar number change attached to it, that will be stored as part of the 7/8 that shows in the “used in this flow” panel.

Use the popover or the general time signatures section of the right panel rather than the “used in this flow” bit.

This is clearly a bug that needs fixing.

20 days later and you still haven’t shared so much as a screenshot, let alone even a cut down file for us to help troubleshoot the situation. It does indeed sound like there’s something amiss, but it’s really hard to help you in the absence of more information.

As I continue to work on this project, the program continues to throw up (in the sense of “vomit”) new problems, illustrated in the accompanying screen shots. I was able to repair the first two (which I shouldn’t have needed to do). The third I seem to be stuck with. I bought Dorico initially because, in addition to other reasons, it was supposed to do polymeters right, unlike Finale or Sibelius. My view now is “kind of” or “sometimes.” My suspicion is that the other features of the program have not been adequately tested in the context of polymetric composition.

Is this by any chance an XML-Import? Dorico usually applies its own algorithms, UNLESS you have told it specifically not to (XML imports often belong to the latter category).

to you screenshots:

  • First: please turn on signposts. I assume there is a hidden time signature at the beginning of the system. The signpost will be red and probably contain an “x” symbol. If you add manual barlines, such a signpost will appear. I generally work with signposts visible in open meter, it tells you much more of what is going on. This could also be the result of an XML import.

  • Second: Have you forced beaming any time before changing the meter in S.1? If so, I think Dorico is trying to follow what you specifically told it to do. This could also be a result of an XML import. There’s an option to reset beaming.
    If you want to specify beam groupings in open meter/compound meters, there’s a more automatic way. For example instead of entering a 7/8 into the shift-M popover, try entering [3+2+2]/8 (giving you a beam grouping of 3 eights, follows by two pairs of eights). Alternatively [2+3+2]/8 gives you a pair of eights, then three eights, then two again. You can use it with compound meters, but also with open meter, where you know the length of a bar. In the latter case, just hide the time signature afterwards.

  • Third: if you select a barline and press delete, it should vanish and reset to normal barlines. Does that work for you?

In any case, sharing a project is a little more helpful, if you are unwilling to post it publicly, the Dorico team is often willing to help you directly if you mail them.

P.S. side note: the Soprano in your last picture seems unnaturally high due to the octaving treble clef.

1 Like