# How to halve the time signature?

I have my piece imported via midi that is in 4/4 time. I would rather the piece be counted in 2/4. I know I can just change the meter at the start of the piece and it will change it to two beats per bar but I would also like to cut the value of all the notes in half, so my four quarter notes in each 4-beat measure become four eighth notes in the 2-beat measures, allowing four counts in a two beat measure (i.e… [2/4] 1 + 2 + , instead of [4/4] 1 2 3 4 ) Is there a quick and easy way that I can make this happen?

turn insert mode on, select the notes, and using the write-mode pull down menu, do :
write -> edit duration -> half note duration.

…works fine as shr23 describes, as long as there are no tuplets involved.

yes, triplets are quite a puzzle. developers might want to take a look at that.
intuitively one would think 3 quarter-trips would become 3 eighth-trips, but maybe there is another interpretation.

While on the one hand I can imagine coding in the basic examples like this one into a reference table, I imagine it is much more complex than this because they allow for nested tuplets and tuplets that are not equally subdivided. I’d guess that it would be very easy to generate very unfavorable results in a hurry.

Come to think of it: if the tuplets are told to replace XX value in the code and then you change the underlying values, I’d guess the triplet would either be ignored or deleted outright since that value to which it was attached doesn’t exist anymore. It really is a tricky thing. Luckily, much brighter minds than mine are the ones who get to deal with that.

Ok, thanks guys. And just a question to add on this… The reason I’m wanting to do this is I thought it makes more sense to have a slow, sentimental piece marked at a slower metronome marking. I suppose one could write a tempo marking of h=68 instead of q=136, but I thought it would make more common to instead write the piece is 2/4 rather than 4/4 to end up with a lower bpm. Is that a valid thought to consider in terms of structuring my notation? Sorry if my question seems elementary, I’m pretty new to this whole business.

the base of the tempo is in the denominator.
It’s really a matter of how many notes you want to pack into a measure, and sometimes where the “natural” downbeat feels.
Mathematically, you can put an entire opera in one measure of 400000/4, (but only a mathematician would perform it).

As it turns out, this shortcut isn’t going to work for me; perhaps I need to go back to Cubase and change something there before I export the Midi to Dorico?

Halving the note durations just creates rests in between everything, even if the time signature is reduced from 4/4 to 2/4.

When what I really want is this:

turn on insert

ah, there’s the magic! Thanks

The other alternative is to change note values. Think of Renaissance music that has everything written in long note values vs Baroque that is ripe with 16ths even in slow movements. It is just a different way of conceptualizing music. Doubling note values and then writing it in “cut time” can have a similar effect.

I suppose it’s a matter of priorities only. After all, the JW Meter and Rhythm plugin in Finale handles (nested) tuplets quite eloquently …

It may not just be priorities. The data structures behind the two programs are likely significantly different.

Well, I’m glad to know it is indeed possible. I haven’t used finale since around 2008 (shudders). I’d like to pick it up again to use the medieval plugin for chant notation but every single time I visit the finale page and view their latest and greatest I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s the same as when I used it literally a decade ago. I hated it then and don’t fancy the idea any better now. (Not trying to finale bash; it’s just not my cup of tea.)

In addition, the “jump” (relearning) you’d have to do to familiarize yourself with the changes between Finale 2008 and Finale v26 would be considerable. A lot changed around 2012.

On the other hand… the difference between Dorico version 1.0 and Dorico version 2.2.20 is 10 times greater than the difference between Finale v 3 and v 26…

Hi. I had a very similar problem - MIDI file that imported as 4/4 but each note & rest being twice the number of beats I wanted. Before spotting this post I did the following (please try not to scream…):

• Select all notes and do “write -> edit duration -> half note duration”.
• As noted above, this halves the note lengths but adds rests to make up the difference.
• I changed the time signature to 8/4 so at least the bar lines were in the right place.
• I then deleted the rests I didn’t want.
I have got where I wanted to be, except that the time signature says “8/4” when the piece appears to be in 4/4. When I change the time signature to 4/4 I get nonsense. In fact it then appears to be in 3/4!
Any ideas how I can make the cosmetic change from 8/4 to 4/4 without changing the appearance of the rest of the piece?

Rob
PS. I’m using Dorico Elements 2

Rob, what you’ve done is take a MIDI file, halve the note values then HIDE the rests. This is a cosmetic change that hasn’t fixed the actual music.
I suggest you import the MIDI file again, then do the following:

1. Select All.
2. Hit I to turn on Insert mode - this is the step you previously missed.
2. Do Write > Edit Duration > Half note duration.
3. Change the Time Signature.
4. Hit I to turn off Insert mode.
(5. Redo any tuplets that have become messed up)

Hi pianoleo, thanks for the speedy response.
I only want to print out the piece. Is there no cosmetic way of changing the time signature (apart from Tipp-ex)?

Yeah, you could work around it using pickup bars and hiding a time signature, but I can’t tell you what to do without seeing the project - working blind is just a waste of everyone’s time. If you don’t mind my saying so, it’s also a rather unorthodox approach: Dorico gives you a perfectly good way of doing what you want to do, properly. I guess if you’ve gone past removing rests and also fixed all the beaming etc., then you have a valid reason for seeking out a cosmetic fix.