Horizontal beams

Is there a switch somewhere to make a beam, say on a group of four 16th notes, horizontal, even when the note directions imply a slope? Surprised not to see it in the properties pane.

Have you checked the Beams section in the Engraving Options? It looks there like might be a setting there you can tweak - maybe that gives you what you want?

It is in the Properties panel: set ‘Beam direction’ to ‘Flat’ in the Beaming group.

Is there a setting to toggle all beams horizontal? I thought I found sometimes this option, but now I cannot find it again.

Yes. Engraving Options–Beams–Slants–Advanced Options. Force beams horizontal.

You mean the 2 options for “Beams with any repeated notes/patterns”? These are special, they don’t make ALL beams horizontal. Or do I missing something?

Ok, what about the section above it, “Slant–Normal Spacing”? Does setting all those values to 0 solve it?

Okay, that’s it, thank you. However, I would like to have an option for it.

Under what circumstances would you always want all beams horizontal regardless of the pitches of the notes, particularly as a default for an entire project? I’m curious as to the nature of the requirement.

Can’t speak for the OP, but it’s taken a role as a convention in many contemporary scores, where melodic contours are no longer modeled on vocal utterance and metrical groupings change in nature and need all the help they can get in being visually clarified at a glance.

And you’d want this for all beams on all instruments at all times?

I second what LSalguerio says. In contemporary music composers are often demanding horizontal beams throughout. And in this context another request: please add to the flag design options flags that are not only straight but even horizontal.

Well, as discussed, horizontal beams are possible by preventing Dorico from creating any slants, and I’m not sure there’s a need for a further way to achieve that.

Pretty much, yeah. At the very least in a sufficient quantity to overturn what we mean by default or override.

But to be clear, I was solely replying to your question. I agree that this is something that is and always was achievable, even if some users might find the current Engraving options somewhat more opaque than a switch that simply said “Flat” or something. It’s perfect that way it is.

It would be more comfortable as to set 9 fields to 0. More than ever if I want to toggle back to the default slant settings.

To reset the slant values, simply click the button at the bottom left, “Reset to Factory” or “Reset to Saved Defaults” (if different than factory settings).

Wouldn’t this reset ALL values in engrave options?

Yes, it would, of course. But it’s also not too difficult to start a new project and look at the default values in order to restore them in the other project. Though I wonder why you would need to do that, if the composer is adamant that he or she wants horizontal beams to start with.

“Although valuable, a thorough knowledge of music would make the musician only a novice in engraving.”
Ted Ross, The Art of Music Engraving and Processing, 1987

Not this again…

There is knowledge of music absent of wisdom about engraving, but the reverse is impossible. Me, just now. So, if you’re implying the convention is wrong, I can only assume you’re not intimate enough with the music it applies to. The convention exists, it has for decades, and it came into being not just from the composers’ ideation but also from the musicians’ practical needs and from the negotiating of context in the hands of master engravers.

I get it. I’m an engraver as well as a composer. I actually love that Dorico kind of forces you to be clear in how you input data. Were other notation softwares that composers who I work with use – yes, contemporary composers, who I often feel the need to correct on a daily basis – as adamant in precision as Dorico is, I would be spared a lot of grief. One often needs to go back and correct a lot of things, in a practical application of Ross’s quote. But this ain’t it, I can guarantee you.