Tremolo in odd meters

Hello everyone,

I’m having a problem with the tremolo function. I need a tremolo between two notes for a whole bar of 5/4. I filled the bar with the two notes equally (first screenshot). But when I try to make it a tremolo, it appears that the tremolo applies only to the eighth notes that are tied to the half notes, creating an awkward looking six beat tremolo (second screenshot).

This appears to be a problem with any odd-value-tremolo in general. When I try to make a 3 beat tremolo in a bar of 3/4, Dorico won’t even let me do it at all, even when I force duration of each note to quarter-tied-to-eighth, as opposed to dotted quarter.

Any solutions or possible workarounds? Based on advice from my players, I’d ideally like to get the tremolo to look like the third screenshot below – a dotted half to a half note.

Thanks in advance for your help!


This is possible if you go into tuplet mode at the start of the measure, enter 2:5, select quarter notes (sic!) and input the pitches. The result of this will look strange, but now select both pitches and apply the desired tremolo. Hey presto, the quarter notes have turned into trem’d half notes. The score will show a tuplet. To hide this (see attached screencap), you can set the tuplet colour to white.

Admittedly, not quite the notation you wanted, but absent personal expertise in this precise situation, I feel two notes of equal length are somewhat a more elegant visual solution than a dotted half to half.

Would any professional engravers care to weigh in on the matter?

Hey – THANK YOU! Will try this. Appreciate the help!

Interesting question! Two halves look wrong to me (the bar seems incomplete), two dotted halves look slightly better. A dotted half and a half seem awkward. How about two tremolos: two halves and then two eighth notes?

I would always hide tuplets by setting both the number and bracket property to none. If you use the color property the tuplet is invisible but still somehow present and affects the spacing.

Your work-around works like a charm – thanks! I agree with you that the logic of using two unequal notes in a tremolo is dubious, but the cellist who will be playing this piece said that he had seen that before. I’ll be looking into it before putting it in the final score (and I’m happy to hear anyone’s comments about it, although I recognize this is not the proper forum for that question.

But in the interest of sharing cheats, take a look at this workaround – exactly your trick, with the addition of a text-period, moved in Engrave mode, to stand in for a dot :slight_smile: