Req Help: Polymeter dispair

Hi all,

I’m a hobbyist who enjoys inputting scores.

My latest interest is that of Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto.

I’ve input the vast majority of the 2nd mov. Intermezzo: Adagio (yes, I’m avoiding the 1st mov. and it’s cadenza for the meantime) and I’m working on the 3rd mov. Finale: Alla breve.

The issue I’m having (and I have searched the forums and read many posts and the help provided by PianoLeo and links to the scoringnotes page).

At this point, I think I need to be certified stupid as I can’t seem to translate what I’m reading to the score I’m working on.

Approaching the end the violins go into 6/4, then the piano a few bars later, then…

further instruments go into 6/4.

I’ve managed once to get a single instrument to go into 6/4 and keep the barlines aligned with the 4/4 bars, however, to fit the 6/4 quavers (eighth note) I’d need to make them triplets. Ignoring hiding anything at this moment, I can merge the 1st 2 eighth note rests into a quaver/quarter note rest (looks good so far).

The issue is, I can’t merge the last of the (1st group) triplet eighth note rest to the to the first eighth note rest in the (2nd group) triplets to form a crotchet/quarter note rest.

The issue other than the above is, I still have no idea what steps I need to use polymetered sections.

If anyone could help explain in the absolute simplest of ways how this all works I’d be very grateful.

@dspreadbury I love Dorico, I bought it on day one and it’s given me countless hours of pleasure, I value everything you and the team have achieved and I’m sure there is a workaround and I’m no developer to question it’s complexity to implement but why some 7 years (and the couple of years in development prior) after release is this process so complex, requiring trickery of doing this and that and hiding things.

I understand there are priorities of order as to what you’ve implement (both in terms of internal team direction and to some extent majority user driven needs) and I totally get it that this issue may still fall outside of priority.

Other software has you jumping through hoops and I’m stunned (if I’m honest) that what I (maybe wrongly) see as music notation software 101, put time signatures on/in score after all this time requires the same requirement for convoluted workarounds.

I’m ranting (I apologise) I admit I’m frustrated with Dorico (with this issue) and with what appears to be my inability to achieve this outcome by means of workarounds rather than a built in elegant solution.

You could put in a 6:4q Tuplet to cover the whole measure with one Tuplet.

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With simultaneous different meters, you have to fake some meters and use hidden tuplets to keep the barlines lining up. Dorico can do polymeter, but not poly-tempo. So for this kind of situation everyone needs to be in the same actual meter at the same time.

The usual way to show 6/4 for one instrument and not another is to fake it with a pickup bar (6/4,4), and then invisibly change back to 2/2 in the next bar.

Let us know anything else that isn’t making sense yet!

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That’s because it is extremely difficult to program.

You have to choose a base time signature (either 4/4 or 6/4) and then use a hidden tuplet for every other meter bar (either 6:4q or 4:6q as needed). Showing the bracketed time signature is another problem altogether.

Notating cadenzas is actually relatively simple using tuplets (you can make a tuplet as big as you like (eg 54:4q which would give you space for 54 crotchets in a single 4/4 bar - and remember you can nest tuplets within it if needed).

This is one of those tasks in Dorico that does require patience and clear thinking.

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If it’s useful, here is Nancarrow Study #16 for player piano, which uses both polymeter (different simultaneous time signatures) and polytempo (different tempi, accomplished in Dorico with lots of 5:3 tuplets). I’ve made the signposts visible so you can see how it works.

Nancarrow-Study-16.dorico (1.5 MB)


This is so cool to see; your transcription?

Thanks! Nancarrow made the score from his piano roll; I just engraved it.