help with quarter note duplets in 6/8

Can someone help me with this? I’d like to notate these tuplets as a quarter note duplets, not 8th note quadruplets. Any clue on how to accomplish this? I’m stumped. Thanks!

You could either do 2x eighth note duplets per bar (enter 2:3e into the tuplets popover) or 1x quarter note duplet per bar (2:3q)

(2:3q) works. Thank you. – The problem I was having trouble wrapping my head around is that mathematically the ratio I wanted was 2 quarters in the span of a dotted quarter or (2:1.5) and that didn’t work. Thank you.

That ratio is the same as writing two dotted eighth notes instead. Wouldn’t you prefer that?

Funny. Yep. Thank you. My brain gets flipped in 6/8 - I normally don’t live here. I was just thinking 2 against 3.

Lucas_r and billscores:

I love using two dotted eighths in this situation, and often do, but a word of warning: a lot of less-than-professional musicians have no idea how to play that, as I’ve discovered the hard way. They see a dotted eight and think automatically that the next note MUST be a sixteenth, and play accordingly, having seen that combination all their lives. So we stop rehearsal, I explain what the notation means, and we resume, and they play it right but they’re still shaking their heads. They’ve never SEEN it that way before and don’t trust my explanation.

When I ask why they’re shaking their heads, they say, “Why don’t you write it as a duplet?” Sigh.

Just sayin’.


That’s true. I write eighth note duplets (not quarter, as suggested by the OP), in ternary subdivision measures when you want to imply a binary subdivision, but only if the notation is really simple. In this case, since it’s tied to the next quarter note, I think I’d rather write the two dotted eighth notes, or even the first dotted eighth note plus a 16th tied to 8th tied to the dotted quarter.

A question that is, I guess, related to the above: I’m dealing with a score that someone else has created, in 12/8, with a number of dotted-eighth pairs. I, in accordance with our editorial style, am to convert them to eighth-note duplets. Is there a simple way to make this conversion? If I start by removing the dot, preparatory to a popover definition, the notes keep their location, now with 16th rests between. If I try to use the tuplet popover on the existing notes, using “e” to specify eighth notes, that doesn’t have the desired effect. Short of deleting and re-entering all the notes, is there a better way?

Hi Rinaldo. Here’s what I would do. Select a pair of dotted eights. Press i (inser mode on). Remove the dots (press 5 or.)Press the tuplet key, 2:3 in the tuplet popover. Your score should look ok, but with a duplet as requested. Rinse and repeat, or alt-click the duplet where needed and use lock duration to correct the pitches… Sorry, no more automatic function. But you might make the first sequence a macro. I haven’t tried it but it seems reasonable. Hope it helps!

You need to be in insert mode.

Change the dotted 8ths to normal 8ths (which will move all the following notes to close up the gap in the rhythm, but don’t worry about that). Then select the notes, press ; and change them to 2:3e tuplets.

I know what it means and I can read it, but I prefer not to. Four dotted-16ths beamed together is even worse.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should :slight_smile:

Hearty thanks to Marc and Rob. Insert Mode was indeed the missing piece of the puzzle. I haven’t (yet) explored the idea of a macro, as there aren’t that many steps, and I have to cast a detailed editorial eye on every beat as I go through the score in any case – lots of enharmonic misspellings to correct. A word of praise, too, for Dorico’s understanding of rhythm. The changes I’ve done come early in a piece full of meter changes and rhythmic complications, and all this sliding to and fro of dotted-undotted-duplet values hasn’t dislodged the overall rhythmic integrity at all. It still ends on exactly the right beat in all parts. That may sound like the least we should expect, but from experience in other programs, we don’t always get it.

One complication that wasn’t apparent at first: this procedure doesn’t seem to work so well with a 5-line-staff percussion kit, if the duplet uses different lines (instruments). I suppose that this is because the notes are conceptually in different instruments? Removing the dots gives me notes positioned where they were, separated by rests, even if I use Insert mode. And if I delete the rests (still in Insert) and then use the tuplet popover, Dorico doesn’t want them to become duplets – it chooses another pair of notes, or suggests a triplet instead. I guess I’m not that used to the complexities of percussion writing within this framework yet.

You are right, Dorico considers each drum to be a separate instrument, and “condenses” the notation onto the 5-line staff.

I would start by changing the drum kit notation to single-line instruments, and then sort out the tuplets on each instrument separately.

In Setup mode, go to Layout Options / Players / Percussion and change the drum kit to display as single-line instruments.

I’m not a hard-core percussion user so I don’t know how well Dorico will combine the tuplets when you change back to the drum kit view, but this is worth a try.

It works! The duplets get combined!

So thank you enormously for that. It took some doing, though. Percussion staves, even one-line ones, really do not like to create a duplet where the first event is a rest. (It would create one on the next beat instead, or just ignore me – anything but do what I asked.) I had to “trick” it by having two notes in the duplet first (and then, only by copying one from elsewhere), then deleting the first note. But in the end, it worked. In that measure, anyway. Onward…

Yeah, converting to and from tuplets that contain rests can be a bit temperamental (on any staff, not just percussion). Adding some notes to fill up the rests and deleting them is often a work round.

You can also copy and paste (or alt-click) tuplets after you have created one. Select the notes and also the tuplet bracket. On a single line percussion staff, you don’t have to repitch the notes!

Thanks, that’s just what I’ve been doing. But I can see a real headache coming up, for which I’m just going to have to grit my teeth and do it. Nothing to do with Dorico – just a fault in our notation system (about which I would openly complain to my students, as the one convention that I really couldn’t defend): in a meter with a dotted-quarter beat (6/8, etc.), eighth notes are used both for duplets and for quadruplets, and a mixture of the two (even within a beat) is coming up on the next page. I’m going to have to grit my teeth and use 16th notes for a quarter of a beat here, as the alternative is utterly unreadable. Nothing anyone here or anywhere can do about it, I just needed to vent. (Why couldn’t quarter-note duplets have been declared the norm?)