Note Grouping (Syncopation) Options

Copied and pasted from a FB post on the topic…

I know this has been discussed many times in this group, but let me add my plea about fixing the syncopation options in the Notation Options.
A is wrong. B is wrong. C is correct. (At least for MANY traditions of writing easy-to-read rhythms)
But currently, with the options provided, you can only get A or B. Yes, I know you can get C by using Force Duration… it’s how I created sample C in the first place. But, honestly, C is so much more correct (in common commercial practice) than A or B that it’s quite baffling to me that C can’t be achieved automatically with the basic settings in the Syncopation Options.
To be fair, I know that they used Behind Bars as their guide for all things in Dorico, which is… wise!.. but, syncopations is one area where I think Gould gets a little confusing and perhaps not as detailed or thorough as she could be. There’s a good reference page on the Indiana University Composition Department page, that explains Rhythm and syncopation in terms of “Levels of metrical hierarchy”. It’s really not about “half bar divisions” or “beat division”, it’s more about which durations are allowed to cross through which durational boundaries. 8th notes can cross through 8th note boundaries if they start at a 16th note boundary, but they can’t cross through quarter note boundaries if they start at a 16th note boundary. Quarters can cross through quarter boundaries if they start at an 8th-note boundary, but they can’t cross through a half-note boundary if they start at an 8th-note boundary. And this applies to all levels of durations. There is an algorithmic pattern to this, but I don’t think Dorico has picked up on this.
Anyway… I’m probably shouting into the void here, but… there REALLY should be an option that allows for this type of metrical hierarchy syncopation!


+1, completely agree!

Not shouting into the void, certainly …

We absolutely plan to return to this area of the program in future. It’s just a matter of having the right person available to work on it and it being the highest priority item for that person. We will definitely get to it.


Not only should it be an option, it should be the default. I’ve always found this frustrating and have posted about it before, but Jason has written the clearest demonstration of the issue. Option C is the most correct version of both m. 1 and m. 2, and it’s currently not possible without Force Duration.