Note & beam grouping in 3/4 [minor feature request]

In scores from the common practice era up until the mid to late 19th century, in 3/4 time (regardless of tempo), notes and rhythms will typically be notated like this:


There are obviously some variations but the core of it is: a 3/4 where groups of three eighth notes anywhere in the bar are beamed together, dotted quarter notes are always notated as dotted quarter notes rather than a quarter tied to an eighth, half note rests are not allowed, 16ths and 32nds are beamed in groups of four, and any mixed group of 16ths and 32nds (or smaller notes) is beamed as though it were a group of 16ths, etc.

In Dorico this is trivial to create by activating Force Duration and Beam Together/Beam Separately whenever necessary, or by alternating between local, single-staff time signatures of [3]/4 and 3/4 as needed. However, since as far as I know the core operating philosophy of Dorico is that everything should be automatic and one should only have to invoke Force Duration etc for deviations from the norm, it would be nice if a notation option existed that could cover this era of common practice music. For example: in 3/4 time, a setting to allow groups of three eighth notes, or in [3]/4 time, a setting to disallow half note rests, etc; in notation options, a setting to suppress secondary beam breaks in any beam group that contains 16ths, etc; and ideally, a time signature specific option to beam 16ths or 32nds/64ths/etc differently from the prevailing metre as in Sibelius, I have no idea if this is something that’s easy to do, however.

2 Likes

You’re quite right that you can’t currently obtain these exact beam groupings by default. You can get a little closer by changing a couple of options in Notation Options.

Set Notes starting on a beat followed by a rest in the middle of the beat to Notate as a single note, and that will cause a dotted quarter note on the first or second beat of the bar to be notated as a dotted quarter rather than as a quarter tied to an eighth.

I’m curious about your choice to break the beam entirely between the 16th and 32nd notes in the third bar. What’s the justification for doing that?

However, certainly your point stands, and I agree that this is something we should put some more time and effort into in future.