Rythmic subdivisions

Does anyone know if it’s possible to reproduce the attached example from Stravinsky’s Symphony in C?

I’m trying to get both the dots to separate the beats instead of the dashes, and then of course – obviously – I’d prefer to display 7/16 instead of 2/16+2/16+3/16 of the aggregate time signature.

Skærmbillede 2021-02-10 kl. 10.34.27



I don’t think you can consolidate an aggregate time signature into a single time signature, but you could input your aggregate time sig on the 2nd bar, hide it, and handle the first bar manually using either dashed barlines (which will affect the bar number count, so you might then need to add bar number changes) or vertical lines.

I cant’ really get that to work.

  1. If I “cheat” and hide the following aggregate time signatures, it will break whole measure rests in other staves. Or am I doing something wrong (project attached)?

  2. I guess it’s possible to draw custom vertical lines, but I fear that is going to be a little laborius…

  3. With the aggregate time signatures I also seem to get three 16-note rests instead of one dotted eight-note rest.

If you could use a different time signature for display + change the appearance of the dashes, then the method of the aggregated time signatures would work – in a future Dorico version perhaps… ? :smile:

[See Stravinsky: Symphony in C, 2nd movement, fig. 108 to dive deeper into this kind of notation]

Stravinsky_Symph_C-example.dorico (398.0 KB)

Yes, a hidden time signature will break multi-bar rests.

You can tell Dorico to group the rests by entering beat divisions in square brackets, e.g. [3]/16 | [3]/16

Ok, I think the best workaround I can come up with right know is:

  • using aggregate time signatures (with the bracket for groping that you suggested -thanks!)
  • Hiding the agg. time sigs.
  • Adding extra space with note spacing before the first beat in a bar.
  • Entering the time sig. as text.

Still not the most time-efficient way, and I still miss the dots instead of dashes, but ok for now.

Thank you for helping out!

You could try reducing the dashes in dashed barlines (Engrave > Engraving Options > Barlines) to get a bit closer to the dotted look.

The same notation of four vertical dots within the stave is used to subdivide bars in the first movement of Bartók’s Music for String Instruments, Percussion and Célèste; but, unlike the Stravinsky example, not in all instruments simultaneously. Thus one might imagine the symbol as applying only to a single stave, similar to a squiggly arpeggiando sign. Treating it in this way would avoid complicating the application of time signatures.

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