Tip: Centred Beam for notes less than a fourth

Dorico currently only lets you ‘centre’ the beam between notes if the interval is a fourth or greater.

I’ve come up with a ‘workaround’ if you want this style for smaller intervals.

It’s easy enough just to grab one end of the beam and drag it down in Engrave mode.

Screenshot 14

But of course, the stem now connects to the wrong side of the second note.

We can change that with a Custom Notehead. Create a new Notehead Set; duplicate the default Notehead, (then delete the original).
Edit the notehead by switching the positions of the Stem Up SE and Stem Down NW anchor points. (Stem Up SE is normally on the right hand side.)

Now apply the the notehead set to the notehead.

Once set-up, you just have to drag the beam and apply the notehead. Bingo.


This method might also have other uses where a stem on the wrong side is required.


I tried to replicate that but whenever I change these values in the custom set it changes them also in the standard notehead set???

You have to make sure when you create a custom notehead set that it doesn’t share noteheads with other sets, as per the notes on this page. You can do this by duplicating the standard notehead, then removing the default one (leaving just your new, duplicate notehead as a unique notehead in your new custom notehead set).

Tried that as well, but I can not delete the default notehead, the trash-symbol is greyed out.

Have you tried removing the default notehead from the set (the export-y button in the top half of the dialog, rather than the delete button) after duplicating it?

Ok, that worked, thank you, Lillie!

I noticed a few things:

  1. Simply flipping the values isn’t enough, you have to add/subtract the stem thickness. For the Bravura standard notehead this means 0.00 / 1.18 becomes 0.18 / 1.00

  2. It will only display in engrave mode.

Yes, sorry, by “Delete the notehead”, I mean remove it from the set.

Placement of the stem position “by eye” is also required.

It should display in Write mode too, though.