Unusual time signature


How can do a very unusual time signature on dorico, that is shown on the graph. I need the bar, curremtly on 4/4 last only 7 of 8 triplets.

Well, this is out of conventions which say that the bottom number of a time signature has to be 2^n.
I think you should write a 7/8 bar and add a tempo equation to make clear that quarters become dotted quarters and back again.

Invoke the caret in that bar, shift-b, -1e should remove one quaver from this bar.

But how to insert metric modulation formulas in Dorico?

Screenshot 2021-02-21 at 18.25.00
Is this something worth concidering?

How about - do shift-T for the tempo popover at the start of the bar, then type:


That should be it?

Easier to read (or at least more common) than 7/12 in my mind.

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Yes it works! But i have a lot of modulation happening in short time, so i don’t know how to make it as simple as possible.
The photo i posted, in theory should be correct, right? (Altough, dorico doesn’t play it back correctly…)

speaking as a pianist, I would prefer a metric modulation any day of the week to an irrational time signature. So long as the modulations are logical (and ideally the same value each time going forwards and back) then nothing wrong with having a lot of them


Alright! Thanks a lot!

Personally, I find irrational time signatures easier to read than having to decipher a metric modulation equation (as long as tuplet brackets are shown!). But as this thread shows, that view is not universal. If you do use a metric modulation though, IMO it’s much clearer and less ambiguous to do an Elliott Carter format one, with arrows:

<— [old unit] = [new unit] —>

That way it reads in the direction of the music (left to right), and there’s no question of it being [old]=[new] or [new]=[old].

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FWIW, I agree absolutely. This doesnt make the performer’s job easier in execution, but it removes any ambiguity and doubt about the composer’s intentions…

Tbh, I fail to see what bookending the formula with arrows does. If the formula is at a logical place (95% of the time at a barline) then it’s patently apparent that each half of the equation refers to either side of the barline. I’m not saying I’m against them in principal, just that they don’t actually clarify anything. Modulation formulas define either side of the line by their very nature.


Sorry, Romanos, I think you aren’t right on this one. Historically, the note length before the bar line used to refer to the music AFTER the bar line; and the note length after the bar line was the unit of measurement for the music BEFORE the bar line. God knows why. So, for me, arrows are good, and there is no ambiguity.


You’re probably right. It’s been a while since I’ve run into this issue. I stand corrected.

I think you are both right. Romanos was simply describing the norm these days, and Fergus the historical use of this (difficult to understand, which explains why the norm has changed).