# Notation option for 5/4 beaming?

I’m getting this beaming for 5/4:

What I want is for it to be beamed in quarter-note groupings, which I think is better here.

The meter changes constantly, too. I know I can set it as [1+1+1+1+1]/4, and copy-paste that meter to other bars. Just wondering if there’s a notation option that will do this automatically. In my opinion, the default beaming in 5/4 should beam eighth notes in groups of two (just my two cents!).

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No, there’s not: 5/4 is considered an irregular compound meter by default, like 5/8, so doing [1+1+1+1+1]/4 is the way to go. I think that, in the fullness of time, we may well have options for whether or not time signatures with quarter note denominators should be considered irregular by default, since I suspect that these days it really is just as common that (say) 5/4 or 7/4 is treated as a series of quarter beats rather than combinations of dotted half and half beats.

Often true, but we would still be well-served to have a way of showing Dorico how we want larger notes subdivided (i.e., how a measure should be filled). For example, in 5/4 we often want need eighth-notes and sixteenth-notes grouped by quarter note, but a whole bar needs to be either half + dotted-half OR dotted-half vs. half. The biggest problem (IMHO) is when we use [1+1+1+1+1]/4, we have to force duration to get long notes divided the way we need.

I believe you’d said before that some day we might get more granular control over beaming in different time signatures (maybe I’m making that up). While Sibelius’s “beam group” panel is surely not the ideal , it does give a lot of granular control, which can be a big time saver. Dorico is much, much smarter in general, but there are a lot of edge cases that (at least right now) require a lot of manual adjustment.

Maybe not the best solution, but one possibility along these lines is to add to the existing text defining a time signature division another set of parentheses like: [(1+1+1)+(1+1)]/4. With nesting, this could be extended indefinitely. For example, if for some reason someone wants the first 4 eighths to not beam at all but the others to do so: [((0.5+0.5)+(0.5+0.5)+1)+(1+1)]/4

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More food for thought: it may be limiting that the ‘base unit’ is a quarter note=1 instead of whole note=1, for those people who find reason to use unusual time signatures like 4/6.

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The other issue that arises from using special meters like [1+1+1+1+1]/4; [2+1+2]/4; etc., is that it messes up measure number counts for rehearsal marks.

I realize this is an older thread, but have not been able to find a way both to get the beaming I wish in 5/4 and to keep my rehearsal (measure) numbers. Have I missed something over the past few years?

How does it mess things up? The total number of bars stays the same!

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After I inserted [2+1+2]/4 all of my measure-numbered rehearsal marks became blank boxes, but letter names still work fine. An earlier forum entry mentioned that this problem would happen (unless I misunderstood).

It seems to work perfectly OK here.

Hmm….

One detail to add: I’m deliberately putting some parts in 5/4 while others are simultaneously in [2+1+2]/4 in order to achieve the rhythmic notation and beaming I want.

Could the independent time sigs be “breaking” the measure number count?

Okay, it appears that it’s a completely different issue. The measure counting is working just fine in the full score and some of the parts, but not in others.

Obviously I’ve got to track down some independent settings in my part layouts.

Sorry to have taken down the path needlessly, Janus, and thank you for taking the time to help out!

Independent time signatures would definitely affect automatic measure numbering and would have been important to know right off.

Hope you find a solution that satisfies you.