Secondary beams

Secondary beams are the lines that are added between the primary beam and the notehead as the rhythmic division gets smaller.

The primary beam is the outermost beam line that joins all of the notes in the beamed group. Depending on the durations of the notes in the beamed group, the primary beam may in fact be two or more lines; that is, for notes of a 16th or shorter in duration.

Secondary beams are additional beam lines that join only some of the notes in the group, creating subdivisions of the beam in order to make the metrical groupings of the beam clearer.

Figure 1. A phrase of 64th notes, with secondary beams subdivided to show 16th and eighth note groups

You can set per-flow options for splitting secondary beams and their appearance on the Beam Grouping page in Notation Options.