Beam grouping according to meters

According to accepted conventions, notes are beamed differently in different time signatures to make the meter clear and easily readable. In Dorico Elements, default beam groupings are determined by time signatures.

Dorico Elements has default beaming settings for common time signatures, based on general conventions and your chosen settings. For example, although the time signatures of 3/4 and 6/8 contain the same number of beats, they imply different meters and so are beamed differently. In 3/4, phrases of eighth notes are beamed together within each bar and phrases of other durations are beamed in quarter notes (crotchets) by default, but in 6/8, phrases are beamed in dotted quarter notes.

Figure 1. Default eighth note beam grouping in 3/4
Figure 2. Default eighth note beam grouping in 6/8

Dorico Elements groups and beams notes in irregular time signatures, such as 5/8 or 7/8, according to the most common practices for those time signatures.

Figure 3. Default beam grouping in 5/8
Figure 4. Default beam grouping in 7/8

For situations where you want to control the beat grouping in more detail, you can input a custom time signature with an explicit rhythmic subdivision. Dorico Elements then automatically beams phrases according to this subdivision. For example, entering [7]/8 into the time signatures popover means all seven eighth notes (quavers) are beamed together, whereas entering [2+2+3]/8 subdivides the seven eighth notes into two, then two, then three.


The duration of beam groups in Dorico Elements depends on the beat grouping in the prevailing time signature and your per-flow beam grouping settings in Notation Options.