Large Time Signatures independent from Groups?

Hey folks,

if I’m not overseeing something, Dorico is not yet able to handle the display of large time signatures independently from the instrument group settings.
Is that correct?

Quite often I handle instrument groups a bit different than Dorico’s default settings would to improve the readability of the score.

For example, per default, Dorico groups all the WWs and Reeds under one bracket and French Horn & Brass under another bracket. In this case, time signature display is fine for my taste – but the instrument groups are not.

My preferred bracketing for this line up looks like this:

But with these group settings time signatures appear way too often.
That’s why I would love to be able to handle time sigs independently. In this case I would love to hide the time sig in reeds and bones.

I would love to see this feature in a future Dorico update – or am I indeed missing something?


So you want to change the bracketing but not increase the number of large time signatures?

Yes, exactly.
Basically, I want my instrument groups to look like this and in addition lose these crossed out time signatures:

So, Instrument group settings put aside: How are you folks dealing with large time signatures then?
Even on a large orchestral score, in my opinion you don’t need more than 3 large time signatures… sometimes 4 maybe…

I think, Jochen, that most people use a single bracket for woodwinds, a single bracket for brass, use the option to treat all of the instruments between the brass and the strings as a single family for the purposes of large time signatures, and a single bracket for strings, so they do indeed get just four large time signatures. When we designed and implemented this feature we made the assumption (based on all of the scores, without exception, that we have seen using large time signatures) that the score would use conventional bracketing.

Thanks, Daniel. I completely understand.

However, with this line up, which is at its core a complete big band with rhythm section + orchestral woodwinds, french horn(s), harp, orchestral percussion + strings, I find it most useful not to use conventional bracketing. This is simply because I want to be able to identify my lead players (Alto 1, Tpt 1, maybe also Tbn 1) at one glance who otherwise would be buried within an enormous instrument group/bracket.
This is especially true when conducting a session where there is sometimes zero time to mark the score.

I understand your requirements, Jochen, but unfortunately they are not accommodated by the present design of the feature to show large time signatures.

I do understand that. Thanks a lot for clarifying, Daniel.
Yet I’d love to see this feature in a future update.

Sorry for resurrecting an older thread, but I missed this the first time around, and I would also like to see this feature.

In the meantime there is possibly a workaround that you could use, which I have done before. It is possible in Engraving Options to shrink the main bracket size so thin that it basically becomes invisible and won’t print. You can then increase the thickness of the sub-brackets so that they are the same thickness that you would normally have for the main brackets. They will look a little different of course, missing the wings, but with a bit of tweaking you can get it close.

I managed to come up with a workaround – it was a while ago but I think it actually involved setting the main bracket width to Zero and using the sub brackets to act as main brackets. But in the end I ran into all sorts of troubles, especially in complex scores. It’s just not the way it has been designed.