Problems with dotted rhythm

• Aug 24, 2012 - 01:10

1. Writing a long dotted rhythm sections forcing to select a different value for each note. It is very annoying. Is it possible to develop an option for easier writing repeated dotted rhythm - after selection of the basic value (for example quaver/eight note) ​​software will change every second note into the dotted quaver and the next note into the semiquavers/sixteenth note?

2. It is impossible to write a barock ouverture alla francese in original notation, for example if the dotted quarter-note (crotchet) is followed by an irregular number of thirty-second notes (demisemiquavers) within the duratin of the remaining quaver (eight note). For example if I want to write 3 demisemiquavers after a dotted crotchet , I have to use a double dotted crotchet (unused in the Baroque period) and 3 triplet demisemiquavers (deleting triplet mark), or a dotted crotchet and 3 triplet sixteenth notes (semiquavers). Both versions, however, are incorrect. Is it possible to do something about this issue?


I know of no mode to automatically switch between dotted notes and halved noted. An interesting request. I've never heard one like it, but I know the ABC text-based notation language has a mode like this

Easiest way I know of to enter a string of notes like this would be to enter them all as eighths/quavers, then go back and click the first, type dot to change it to a dotted note, which automatically changes the following note into an eighths. Then cursor right twice, and get into a loop: dot, cursor right twice, dot cursor right twice, etc.

Regarding your second question, I don't really understand it. Are you saying there exists some convention in which it is OK to enter notes that don't add up to the correct number of beats in a measure, and you wish to follow that convention rather than the usual one? By my count, a dotted quartet followed by three thirty-seconds is one thirty-second short of two full beats. So entering as three sixteenth triplets is correct, and three thirty-seconds is just wrong, at least by usual standards - three triplet sixteenths *is* the correct notation. But if you really need to show it as three thirty-seconds for some reason, you can enter the tuplet manually that way, and hide the number & bracket:

1) 5, dot (to select dotted quarter)
2) type your pitch
3) 4 (to selected eighth)
4) Notes->Tuplet->Other
5) relation: 3 / 4
6) number: nothing, bracket: nothing
7) OK
8) type your pitches

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Would it be posible to write a plugin which turned a series of quavers into dotted quaver semiquaver?

It seems to be just the sort of thing a plugin should do.

Regarding dots in French Baroque music, one way round your predicament would be to actually enter an extra demisemiquaver, turn the 1st into a rest and make it invisible. Playback would then emulate the silence of articulation which is usually implied in the performace of such a rhythm.

@ Marc there are all sorts of strange conventions in French Baroque music, particularly keyboard, which go against modern notation standards. The moot point is whether we should retain the original format for historical accuracy, or write it as it was intended to be performed.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Good to know about the French standards, then - thanks. Yes, I also thought of adding an extra note and hiding it, but given as it is just as much work and results in the playback hiccup, I think the manual tuplet is probably the way to go for most cases.

As for a plugin to create dotted rhythms, it may be that this will become possible in 2.0 with the new framework. Currently, though, I can't see a way to change start time of a note, which is what would have to happen to the short note. You could write one that created a new score with the results, and then you could copy and paste back on top of the original. For a sufficiently long passage, that should be quicker than the dot, cursor right twice loop.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

As Micheal observed, in early music (French, but not only!) there are lots of 'strange' things.

However, the procedure described by Marc is effective and I use it myself: attached is a partial screen shot from Boismortier's op. 31 pour viole et basse showing some out of rhythm measures; I have all created them as tuplet of some kind, hiding the tuplet numbers.

In some cases, I had to think carefully the relationships and sometime try more than once, before getting it right. Anyway, it can be done (the screen shot is from ver 2.0, as I needed B.c., but ver 1.2 works mostly the same as far as tuplets are concerned).

Micheal's suggestion about hidden rest and 'performing hiccup' (!) is very clever! However, I would prefer to have the typographic part as right as possible and then add phrasing via ontime/offtime offsets of individual notes (can be tuned more finely).


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Boimortier31_1_1.png 25.21 KB

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