Option for Cut Time Behaving like 4/4?

Sorry once again if I’m retracing something that’s already been asked/dealt with… (It really is kind of hard to find things in the forum)…

But, is there an option (or “Feature Request” CAN there be an option) for treating Cut Time like 4/4 when it comes to the Note Groupings settings in Notation Options? In 4/4 the rhythm 8th, 8th, dotted half will display just like that (without ties) when you have the appropriate settings in Note Groupings selected, but the same rhythm in Cut Time will default to a quarter tied to a half instead of the dotted half note. I’m guessing this has to do with either Dorico’s interpretation that Cut Time doesn’t have a “Half Bar” like 4/4 does, and/or the concept that 8th notes in Cut Time are two degrees smaller in value (not one) in cut time versus 4/4.

Anyway… logically it makes sense that Dorico does this, and it’s probably technically appropriate notation, but in practice Cut Time and 4/4 get interchanged a lot, particularly in older popular music so simply having an option to treat Cut Time like 4/4 would be helpful. (Unless there is already… and I missed it?). Obviously force duration will do the trick for now.


Instead of using force duration, create a 4/4 time signature on bar 2, and hide it using the Properties panel. Then you only have to tweak the formatting of bar 1.

I hope that one day we’ll be able to input ‘4/4 display as 3/4’ etc. It is truly useful in Finale.

Add a 4/4 time signature.
Select something in that bar.
Type Shift+B then -1q Enter.

Or did you mean the reverse?

Ah… Rob. Good idea. It’s kind of what we’d do in Finale in a way too. Although in Finale you set the Time Signature to 4/4 but DISPLAY as Cut. Effectively the same thing I guess, minus the first bar which has to be cut time in this case.

It was just an example. So both ways and lots more besides. Dorico’s popover is ideal for this kind of thing. To be fair, the workarounds in Dorico are probably quicker than doing this in Finale. I’ve been back in Finale for work for a week and it feels weirdly alien, despite using it for decades.

Or, enter the time signature as 4/4,3 (or 3/4,4 - like pianoleo I’m not quite sure what you want to do.)

Pickup bars don’t have to come at the beginning of a flow, and in Dorico they can be longer than normal bars if you want.

You’re not alone - I had to transfer a Dorico project to Sibelius a couple of weeks back and it was initially REALLY slow going.

Just wanted to reinforce that this should be an option. As per a recent post on Music Engraving Tips on Facebook, 4/4 and 2/2 should be beamed exactly the same, so having this option available in Dorico will hopefully be added.

This thread is about Note Grouping. Alexander Smith’s MET thread is about Beaming, which is quite a different matter.

2/2 and 4/4 should have identical note grouping and beaming. They are notated exactly the same. This should be possible in Dorico (and in my opinion, the default).

I’m sorry Chuck, but I disagree. There are 2 beats in cut time and 4 in common time. By default, the eighth notes should be beamed accordingly.

For everything I do that is new, I use the correct “Gouldian” cut-time defaults. They just make sense. However, everything becomes more problematic when transcribing older music. Baroque stuff, in particular, is notoriously inconsistent and creating a hidden common-time TS screws up multi-rests. Sometimes I will create a hidden common-time TS at a rehearsal number, but that always feels inelegant. I realize the issue is similar to old-style lyric beaming, which I detest personally, but absolutely cannot escape. For cut-time, I would be very much in favour of a toggle switch in notation option that would simply transfer to cut-time the common time choices selected by the user. Having said that, separate cut-time choices (including “wrong” ones") would be even better. Either way, it would save me a great deal of grief …

So, regardless of what is ‘proper’, is it possible to beam 8ths in 2/2 in groups of 2? There’s plenty of music which is written in 2/2 but whose note values are harder to read if beamed only at the half-bar. I’m arranging a piece by Salieri at the moment which needs this, including beaming 4 eighths in groups of 2.

Well, for starters, you could manually unbeam the first bar, then set bars 2-n to 4/4 and hide the time signature.

I guess that’s not too bad as far as workarounds go.

But to answer your question directly… I can’t seem to make it work in the meter popover. I tried brackets and such, to no avail.

Sounds like it should be an option in Notation Options—Beam Groupings.

Agreed, including that it should be an option in Notation Options and not Engraving Options.