Pick-up bar challenges

My concentration must be going – I’m having difficulty understanding the details here: Inputting pick-up bars with the popover

No trouble (yet) beginning a flow with a pickup bar, but no luck inserting one at the beginning of a flow that has already begun. I’ve uploaded a jpg of what I’m trying to do, and what happens:

Any tips on what I’m doing wrong would be very welcome!

(I’m also having difficulty understanding how to turn an existing bar into a pick-up bar – I always end up with an extra bar! – so, if anyone knows of a video on these techniques, please let me know!)

Thanks, in advance!


As stated in the bottom of the manual page:

Dorico Pro does not automatically insert beats at the start of existing music to which you add time signatures with pick-up bars. If you add a pick-up bar at the start of a flow, that flow now begins in the pick-up bar, not in the first full bar. You can insert beats at the start to push existing music to later rhythmic positions.

It seems that you have to add manually the beat that is missing (unless someone knows a better way) with “Shift+B” and “1e”.

Thank-you, Josu! Along with your solution, you have – for me – also added something important, that I had apparently missed (or forgotten): that the Bars popover can add (or subtract) beats!

Your answer also led me to try “pushing” my notes backward (see above) by adding a pickup NOTE via Insert. I had misunderstood this, and had tried to add the pickup via Insert (to no avail). Now I see that this has to be done as a second, separate step.

It would seem to me that if wanting to add a pickup to existing music, one would normally want that pickup to contain either notes or rests, and not to suddenly drag the existing music into that pickup. I’m sure that Dorico has complex internal reasons why it doesn’t work this way, but . . . :thinking:

I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I find the text in Inputting pick-up bars with the popover very difficult to grasp. There seem to be a number of different steps and concepts involved, and it looks like the author carefully articulated these as concisely as possible, but I’m wondering if the complexity of the subject would be more easily served by a short video. . .

For every user that wants to add a pick-up but leave the existing music in the first full bar, there will be others who want the opposite. The manual has to do its best to cover all possible situations, and as you rightly spotted in as few and simple words as possible.

Here’s a tutorial on creating a pick-up - not exactly the situation you wanted (actually the opposite, where the intention/desire is indeed to put the notes into the pick-up rather than the first full bar) but hopefully helpful nonetheless for demonstrating how notes can move quite flexibly in Dorico.

Thanks for this tutorial, Lillie!
Here’s hoping all the pieces eventually come together for me. :wink:

Because I generally try to avoid any editing actions that have an effect on music off-screen (and always try to avoid using Insert), I would just add a time signature in the second bar before creating the pickup as Dorico will not modify the music after the next explicit time signature. If I do that I end up with this:

The pickup and first bar are wrong of course but easily corrected, and nothing after the 2nd bar has been touched. In the first bar Shift+B, 1e, then select the pickup, Alt+Right arrow, then delete the added time sig to get this:

I’m not sure if that’s the Dorico-approved way, but I don’t have anything changing off-screen in the project which always makes me nervous and adds a proofreading step.

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If this is universally true – ie, that Dorico will not modify music after an explicit time signature – then it seems to be a terrific way of limiting the (possibly negative) consequences of using Input!

Thanks, FredGUnn!

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A related question: When creating a new flow, and using the meter popover to create a pickup bar, is there a way of entering not only the time signature and pickup duration, but also the number of bars one would like to have, all in one operation, or does the addition of bars have to be done as second operation?

Thanks, in advance, for your help!

Adding bars is a separate step. Or just start typing and Dorico will create the bars automatically.

Thank-you, as always, pianoleo! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: