How to insert a beat

I’m sorry, guys, if I’m just not finding what I need to know among these threads, but how do you open up space to add a few extra beats?

And, further, how do you adjust the time signatures?

Specifically, I have a passage in 9/8 going along and I need to insert 3 eighth notes and then readjust the time signature either to 12/8 or two bars of 6/8. This revision is already pretty far into the “flow” and so I don’t want to be forced to re-input everything thereafter.

I’m sure that there is an easy way to deal with this, but the manual’s entries on “inserting” only cover the following:

Insert Flow Heading Change dialog 497
Insert mode 153, 193
activating 153
caret 170, 192
inputting notes 192
time signatures 241–244, 1457
tuplets 1490
Insert Pages dialog 406
insertion point 170
inserts 637

None of which touch on the issue of inserting a note, a bar, a rest, or otherwise cracking open a place where you can make the sort of musical change that is part and parcel of how things work.

And, yes, I did read PianoLeo’s advice about inserting rests, but this did not work for me.

  • Go to the place, where you want to insert the beats.
  • (enter a 9/8 time signature at beat one of the next bar)
  • shift-b, +3e (to add 3 eights)
  • change the time signature before to either 6/8 or 12/8
  • (enter a 9/8 time signature at beat one of the next bar)

The bracketed bullet you only need to do once, but you can do it either before or after.


In general, the manual uses the term “input” for “getting things into the music”, rather than insert, but there are a few places that do use “insert” and annoyingly because of the subentries for this index entry, I can’t have it show “inserting > see also, inputting” or similar. I’ll make a note to review the indexterms and keywords for inputting beats/time signatures.

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Ooh was about to suggest a slower workaround but this is beautiful - thanks! Had no idea you could insert beats using the Bar popover

I have to say that this is really complicated and that the steps you described were not precisely what one needed to do. I figured it out, though, but only because I’ve been working with the program day in and day out for months now.

I would also like to observe to all and sundry that, at least in my version of Dorico (the latest), there is a glitch in inserting 9/8 time signatures. Every time I do this, the bar-line prefacing the 9/8 change is a simple double-bar. so I always have to edit this.

Too complicated and incorrect? Do tell…

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Curious. This does not happen for me. All time signature insertions behave nicely. Care to share the project that has caused problems?

I wrote this off the top of my head on the go, so I couldn’t check it myself. But I am curious as to what didn’t seem to have worked for you?

I think we could do with a screen shot to show us what you’re doing and what you mean - I think something has been lost in translation here…

Here is a screen shot before changing the time signature:

And here (I hope) is the after-view with the 9/8 change inserted and an unwanted double-bar preceding it.

I’m not complaining, mind you, but just noting a glitch that I’ve encountered.

How did you enter that 9/8? With the popover or by clicking it in the “Used in this flow” section of the right panel?

Interesting! I can’t replicate the glitch I’m afraid - no matter what method I use, 9/8 enters without that double bar. How are you entering it? And what version of Dorico?

Looking at your score - I think I see the problem in re: @klafkid 's suggestion above - I think they (and myself) were imagining that you wanted a single bar of 9/8 in the middle of some 6/8, so that you needed to add 3 quaver rests universally in the middle of a larger piece of music.

What you wanted is to add 3 quaver rests into the Horn parts and convert the rest into 9/8. All you need to do here is what you’ve done - change to 9/8, use option-right arrow to move the horn material along 3 quavers…

I clicked on the “used in this flow” panel.

Maybe this is the problem, in that the first time I input the 9/8 signature, it was also immediately after a thin double-bar.

I wouldn’t mind if someone would acknowledge that, if we’ve figured out the cause, this might be a Dorico glitch.

Dorico is not perfect yet, and I’m okay with that.

Thank you for your suggestion.

No doubt, you are correct, and, even though I lived in the UK for a while a long time ago, I still get cross-eyed dealing with quavers and such. It’s just not first nature for me. Sorry.

My understanding of the word “insert” is that of the introduction of a new element in a given context. In the Computer Age, “input” has acquired a far broader meaning, it seems, but I do not think of it as synonymous with “insert.” For example, I might want to “insert” a piece of ham in between two slices of cheese for a sandwich, but I wouldn’t use the word “input” for the same action. And I’m sure you wouldn’t either.

I have already made reviewed the relevant files in-house to make sure the term “insert” is included, whether in the text body or as metadata for online searches (not published yet, of course).

Sometimes for consistency and/or clarity, in the manual we have to use terms that wouldn’t be someone’s first choice in more colloquial contexts. All tasks that involve getting stuff into the music use the verb “input” or “adding” (for where “input” really wouldn’t feel right at all) - this keeps the meaning consistent for both users and translators.

The topics for adding extra time (in the form of bars or beats) use the same procedure whether you’re inputting/adding time at the end of a flow or inserting it in the middle of a flow. The compromise I opted for was to keep the headline title consistent with all similar topics (“inputting”), and because this is one of the use-cases to which the steps apply, but include a reference to “inserting” in the introductory sentence (which is often where a slightly more expansive description of the context and an example are to be found).

I just tried searching the manual for “insert a beat”, and all the topics on the first page of results are relevant, I would say. Hopefully this means that the manual is doing what I want it to, namely catering for all sorts of perspectives and searches.