Note grouping rules?

Here are two examples, both in bars of 6/4

In this one, I’d like the next-to-last chord (A major in 2nd inversion, this is bass clef by the way) to be written as a quarter note instead of two tied 8ths. (and, possibly, the final chord to be written as a dotted quarter note)
Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 12.57.39 PM.png
Here I’d like this to be written as a whole note instead of a dotted half tied to a quarter.
Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 12.57.48 PM.png
How do I achieve this? I imagine the second issue is because Dorico is grouping my 6/4 bar as 3+3, and I’d like it to be 4+2 (or 2+2+2, if I must). But I’d also like to know how to control this on a note-by-note basis, of course.


Force Duration is the answer. Shortcut O I believe.

In the left hand panel you’ll see a clamp icon. Use that when you input your notes. It is not retroactive, so you’ll need to delete and reattempt. Force duration will force it to keep the rhythmic value you notated in the music.

There may be some other options in Engrave Option, layout options, etc. that I believe will allow you to change the way beats are beamed.


I found it in write mode from the write menu, notation options… second from the bottom. Note groupings is where to adjust some of this behavior.

However, I don’t believe it covers every instance, so force duration is the next best thing.


Try playing with the beat groupings when you define the time signature. You can type things like [2+4]/4 or [4+2]/4 in the popover. Note the square brackets! They will both display as 6/4 in the score.

[4+2]/4 will solve your second question. It’s a bit harder to understand exactly what you want in the first question, but [2+4]/4 probably gets closer that just 6/4.

If you need to keep changing the beat grouping, You can hide these time signatures with the Properties panel - open it with Ctrl-8.

This last response solved my query, similar to the OP. A very handy thing to know. Thanks Rob!