# [newbie] beaming and groupinq issues (does 6/4 have a half-bar?)

Guys, I’m typesetting a movement in 6/4 and in what’s displayed in beam.png I’d like to beam the 3 quarter-groups separately. I have many cases of this throughout the movement so I thought I’d do it via Notation Options. However, I’m baffled: which option is the one to do the trick?

First, 6/4 is of course a signature with a crotchet denominator. So I set ‘beaming eighth notes together in quarter note denominator time signatures’ to ‘only when the group fills an entire bar’. I expected, taking this option literally, to see the first two eighth notes to be beamed together and separated from the rest. But nothing happened.

Then I considered the first option, ‘eighth notes in quarter note denominator time signatures’. The option set was ‘allow to cross beats’. In my case I don’t want to allow the beams to cross beats, so I changed it to ‘break beams at beam boundaries’ which is exactly what I want here – still, nothing happened. [Are the 16th notes the culprits?]

Then I looked at the ‘Quarter Note Denominator Time Signatures with Half-Bars’. Now, for me 6/4 is ‘dotted half + dotted half’, that is, I take it to have a half-bar. But I don’t know if Dorico considers it as such: half-bar does not mention 6/4 explicitly and in fact suggests otherwise: ‘the prevailing time signatures can be divided into four equal beats’. Assuming 6/4 did have a half-bar, I clicked ‘Break beams at beat boundaries’. Again: nothing happened.

I must be missing something simple here. I’d appreciate any pointers!

Second issue: in quarter.png you see some eighth notes tied to eighth notes. I’d like them to be quarter notes and I’d like to achieve this using options and not Force Duration. Is there an option for this?

To beam 8ths in pairs, try entering [1+1+1+1+1+1]/4 in the meter popover.

I’m assuming the reason why it’s not working as expected is because 6/4 isn’t technically a quarter-note denominator time signature, in the sense that the beat unit is a dotted half note (two dotted half notes to the bar). I believe that option is referring to 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 (and maybe 5/4 and 7/4?).

Dorico doesn’t consider 6/4 to have a half-bar in the same way that 4/4 does: it’s duple compound meter, like 6/8.

Thank you very much for the information guys. And yes, [1+1+1+1+1+1]/4 put me on the right track!

…then again, unfortunately, this of course breaks the correct display of rests: from the beginning of a bar, 4 beats of rests should be displayed as dotted half + quarter rest, and [1+1+1+1+1+1]/4 destroys that. Hm. Not sure what to do, will tinker…

Use the desired time signature on the desired bars, and hide the time signatures.

Thank you very much!

Guys, I have a different question regarding this now. At this point in my flow some 6/4 symbols refer to ‘real’ 6/4 (duple compound), and sometimes to [1+1+1+1+1+1]/4. Where is this information stored, so that I can check to which of the two ‘types’ of time signature the given ‘6/4’ symbol actually corresponds?

You can’t easily tell, I’m afraid. If you select the time signature and set ‘Numerator style’ to ‘Beat group’ in the Properties panel, you’ll see the underlying grouping.

Thanks! That’s also a lesson for me for the future: do these things later in the project so I don’t forget…

I found the solution here, by using the [1+1+1+1+1+1]/4-trick, but why is Dorico grouping a normal 6/4 like this in the first place? Is there some other setting I could try? (The penultimate quarter is divided into 16+dotted8).