Hiding time signatures in a score

I’m transcribing a score which has constantly varying bar lengths, i.e. implicitly, time signature changes, but would like to write it with no explicit time signatures in the score, yet still include barlines. (… unlike some of Satie’s music, which dispenses with both time signatures and barlines.)

I’ve looked at earlier threads in the Dorico forum, but haven’t found an answer. What’s the best and most natural way to do this?

See attached for example. I’ve hacked it with “hide time signature” (either in Write or Engrave mode). But it gets weird and unnatural. Most of the bars are implicitly flagged as 4/4 – the initial created time signature – even though they aren’t. And, it would be nice to just be able to enter music and allocate explicit barlines wherever appropriate, without Dorico attempting to impose barlines. I’ve managed in the example, but had to delete or adjust.

Is this possible? Any input appreciated.

I omitted the attachment, see here.

Untitled Project 2.dorico (841.7 KB)

Did you enter also some barline by hand?

If you know the “real” time signatures you can work with them properly and hide them in the end all together. Or you use a open meter (type “open” in the popover) and add manual barlines.

1 Like

You can place (and remove) barlines wherever you want, without time signatures appearing.

Edit: Like this…

1 Like

A followup – maybe the answer is trivial! I just realized that I had left checked “time signature” when I created the new score in the Hub. It seems that if I uncheck it, all is fine! Any further input appreciated.

Thanks Nukkul and Janus! Much appreciated. And I now see it clearly laid out in the Notations part of the manual (p. 1650).

While we’re on this, a related question:

I am also working on a score with alternating time signatures, e.g. 4/4 followed by
3/4. (There are some examples in Scriabin preludes, for example.). I see the useful “alternating” option in the manual, p. 1649. The only difference is that I’d like not to write a combined alternating key signature (4/4 + 3/4), but rather have explicit 4/4 on one measure followed by 3/4 in the next, etc. Including in inserting blank bars.

Any way to do this?


You mean somethin like this?

I don’t know, if there’s a option. But you can

  1. enter a 4/4 and a 3/4
  2. click a time signature, shift + cmd + a (select more)
  3. Opt + click it into the next bar
  4. repeat step 2. & 3.

Because it expends exponentially it’s fast.


I’ve not found a way to do this using the popover, but it is simple to create a 4/4 followed by 3/4 , select both (just the time signatures) and use alt-click to copy this along your score (It does the re-barring for you).

1 Like

Thanks Nukkul and Janus, very useful.