Simultaneous Time Signatures

I am working on a project where 90% of the piece is in 3/8. However, at certain points in the score some of the instruments switch to 2/8 (I suppose it is easier to read than a continual stream of duplets).

I’ve read the Scoring Notes post on making tuplets hiding the tuplet marker. However, I can’t figure out how to get Dorico to create a time signature that is for display only.

It’s in the third bar. The Clarinets and horns switch to 2/8 while the bassoons remain in 3/8.

The attempts I’ve made so far simply realign the barlines. (Shift–M, 2/8, Alt+Enter)

I had considered switching all of the instruments to 2/8, hiding the new time signature for the bassoons and entering that staff as hidden triplets but I was hoping to find a way to do it while keeping the score in 3/8. This is an isolated section that will change back to the original 3/8.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

It might be easier to switch everyone to 2/8 and then switch the ones that remain in 3/8 back to 3/8 w/ ALT+ENTER. Of course it depends how many end up in each time signature.

Depending how much say you have in how to express the music, I would use tuplets rather than changing the time signature if it were my own music.

My suspicion is that you’re trying to enter the independent time signatures in an unsupported way. Before invoking the popover, you can’t just select some notes. You have to invoke the caret (Shift+N). Then bring up the popover, then type 2/8 Alt+Enter.

It might be that I’m misunderstanding, of course.

Is there a way to change time signature in one player without rebarring the music? (I recognize that Dorico is built with the note as the foundation of time rather than the measure.)

PS: Thank you for the quick responses.

Yes, by using a pickup bar. I think to do what you want I’d go Shift+M 2/8,3 Alt+Enter. Then in the following bar I’d have a hidden 3/8 meter. To make it line up correctly with the other players (who are genuinely in 3/8) I’d use hidden duplets.

I find this terribly odd. I don’t think that the original music is actually “correct” at least mathematically. (Is there a metric modulation marker at the top?) I agree this must be a way around using tuplets. The question is, which is the proper time signature here? Is it actually 2/8 or 3/8? If it reverts back to 3/8 I’d stick with that and tuplet the odd parts for a few bars. TBH, I think you’d run into issues in the real world reproducing the score as originally done. This also seems a conducting nightmare. If you keep beating 3 (or 1) what are the people in 2/8 to do if they don’t know (because it isn’t marked as such) that they are playing duplets?

I agree that it’s rather odd. I’m trying to reproduce the original engraving but have run into these problems.

Conceptually, 3/8 is the basis of the piece. 2/8 is a way around writing tuplets. The piece is quick (a Presto with the ♩. being the beat). The 2/8 is with the understanding that the 3/8 ♩. = the 2/8 ♩ – Does this make sense? The conductor would beat simply the downbeat of each bar.

I think I may take Derrek’s solution and simply notate using tuplets. Clarity beats faithfulness to the original layout!

This is what you want:

The post is old, so the bit about bar numbers is no longer necessary (although you should check anyway!)

Hope that helps


This is somewhat related, perhaps.
I have a section in 9/8 that is all dotted 8ths. At the moment, it has a bunch of tied notes (XML import; I know I can force the durations to be dotted 8th, but that is cumbersome at this point). If I change the meter to 18/16, the beaming is perfect.

Maybe I’m missing this somehow, but is there a way to beam according to 18/16 but display 9/8? I know I can from bar two of the 9/8 with hidden meter, but if I could from the first bar, that would be ideal.

Same thing for some 6/8 passages that I want beamed like 12/16 in dotted 8ths.

If you type in [9]/8 in the popover, you will have dotted 8ths, but you will have to separate the beaming manually as they will be beamed for entire bars. Also, in Notation Options>Note Grouping>Rhythms Dots, you can set Dorico to notate this by default (and with proper beaming this time), but then it will remain the default for the entire flow.