Starting a first ending on the 4th beat in 4/4 time

I’m looking at a Domenico Scarlatti Sonata piece and wondering how I would do this in Dorico. In the graphic you can see that the first ending starts on the 4th beat. I’m pretty sure Engrave mode would allow me to make it look like this, but playback would be wrong. My instinct is to change the bar to two bars, 3/4 and 1/4 but since we aren’t allowed to have invisible bar lines, that won’t work. Is it possible to do this and have proper playback?

If you don’t need dashed barlines, you can put a dashed barline there. Then in Engraving Options make the dash length equal to zero.

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I’m curious: How is the second repeat notated in this case?

One could probably use a hidden time signature with a pickup beat.

The 2nd ending is only two beats long. If it weren’t for the inability to have an invisible bar line I’d go with three bars of 2/4, hiding the time signatures, the 1st ending being the 2nd of those three bars, the 3rd bar the 2nd ending.

But if you do need dashed bar lines, you’re out of luck. I’m going to experiment with some other ideas, but it appears to be something you can’t do in Dorico.

If you follow the advice of @Craig_F to convert dashed barlines into invisible barlines, you could use dashed vertical lines when you need dashed barlines. Use the Edit Line Bodies dialog to change the dashed line body to have a line width of 1/5 and a dash-gap pattern of 2/3; 2/3 to simulate the appearance of a dashed barline.

Another possible solution would be to make each ending a 4/4 bar. Move the start of the first ending to the right in engrave mode so it looks like it starts on the third beat. For the second ending, hide the notes in the first two beats by setting the custom scale property to 1, and move the note spacing handles in engrave mode to eliminate the gaps between notes so the bar looks like it starts on the third beat. The drawback to this solution is that the playhead will appear to stall at the start of the second ending for two beats. Otherwise, this solution allows the music to look the way you want and have correct playback.

I don’t understand the problem.
I tried to do it and I had no problem.
I shifted in engraving mode the number 1 and for the 2nd one I made a time signature with 2 beats
and no more problem.
I would like to do a complete test with the 1 and the 2 but I would like to have the notes of the 1 and the 2 if I can have a piece of the file that would be great

Changing it in Engrave gives the visual look that is in the graphic. HOWEVER, playback does not work. That’s the problem.

I thought of that but didn’t mention in my post because my question was whether I could do what is shown in the original. That brings up the philosophical question probably best discussed elsewhere as to whether one should preserve the original notation or modernize it?

If I do transcribe this piece - I was only looking at it and wondering if it could be done - I’ll go with the Engraving option and not worry about playback.

I am for a moderation of the writing.

Wouldn’t both repeats be the same length then (the first repeat comprising the 3rd and 4th beats of the measure)?

I realize that sometimes people are contracted to make music match a particular style exactly, and I presume that must be true in this case. Otherwise, wouldn’t it make 1000 times more sense to use modern conventions and simply duplicate the first two beats such that you have proper full-bar endings? It is surely easier for musicians to read if we use the modern “language” for music.


I agree with cparmerlee. In addition, the edition the OP is using is hardly an urtext edition of the Scarlatti sonatas!

I’m guessing that’s the 1906 Ricordi edition. Whether or not that’s the ‘original notation’ is unknown.