Reversed time signatures

I transcribe a lot of 18th century British & American church music which often use reversed (retorted) cut C and C time signatures. I have put these in by changing the number 8 in Music Symbol editing to the required time signature, putting an 8/8 time signature in the popover and editing the Denominator Style. This is OK as far as it goes but, of course if I need a time change to 3/8 or 6/8 etc within the piece then it obviously doesn’t work. There are a lot of options for different time sigs in Music Symbol editing, such as the Bach cut time which I could change to a reversed time sig. but how would I add it as a time signature in the popover?

Not sure this is what you mean, but if it is…

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You could create an incipit (usually done as a Coda), and hide the time sig, but there should be room to add a manually positioned text object in place; then have a normal sig at the start of the ‘modern’ transcription.

The Bach ‘Cut 2’ is present in SMuFL, but you can’t ‘create’ new time signature objects, so even that can’t be used without replacing something else.

But if you’re transcribing a modern edition, then I wouldn’t bother, TBH. You could add the symbol above the system as a text object, but use a normal C or Cut C. You could add a c. metronome mark to indicate what tempo you think the diminution implies, if it’s not obvious from the music itself.

I’d say it’s a pretty archaic practice by the 18th century, in England, certainly, so I’m surprised you say ‘often’.

Thanks for your replies. The music I transcribe is music written for ‘country’ or gallery choirs. If you look at scans of early American psalmody, William Billings, Ingalls etc, or English composers like John Arnold or William Tans’ur (available on IMSLP wecsite) you will find many examples of reversed time signatures. Other than as I described in my original query I have put them in as a text item, hiding a Cut C or C, but that means a bit of adjusting of the stave spacing. As I have never used the Bach Cut C (have to admit I didn’t know there was such a thing) I could replace it with a reversed cut C, but I can’t see how to use in a popover. Yes, I know I could make it into a modern edition as suggested, but I like to to keep it as close to the original as possible, That’s not just me being awkward - see Stainer & Bell’s ‘18th Century Psalmody’ in the Musica Britannica series - they have them there not in the incipit. Not sure about using the Coda for an incipit as you have to have the bracket and initial barline - I am assured incipits are on the list of things Dorico will be able to do. Thanks again for taking time to reply. If there are any other suggestions I’d be grateful. What I really want to be able to do is have them in the time sig popover.

I recall looking up William Billings when I added his “When Jesus Wept” canon and finding this amusing quote: “After Billings’s death there was a reaction against Billings and the Billings school: tastes were rising.”

In spite of resurgent interest in his work in the early 20th Century, I found the blunt quote funny.