Pick-up bars

Pick-up bars, also known as upbeats or anacrusis, allow you to include music before the first full bar. Often, pick-up bars only comprise a few beats whose main purpose is to lead in to the start of the piece.

Figure: Pick-up bar of a single quarter note beat at the start of Chopin's Mazurka Op. 30 No. 2

Pieces that start with a pick-up bar have time signatures that are positioned at the start of the system as normal. However, the first full bar of the time signature occurs after the first barline and not before. Therefore, pick-up bars do not contribute to the bar number count. Bar numbers are counted from the first full bar in the flow.

Because pick-up bars are linked to the number of notes/rests in the music, in Dorico they are linked to time signatures and so you must input pick-up bars alongside a time signature. However, you can hide time signatures you do not want to show in the music.