Change Metric Divisions

Often an easier way to achieve desired beaming patterns is to redefine the metric division of the meter.

Since the underlying beaming patterns are based on divisions of the beat, changing those divisions (or the beat itself) results in different beaming patterns.

This method is far more efficient than individually breaking/joining beams (which can be tedious for a long piece) when changing beaming patterns throughout the score.

An example should help explain things:

In 5/8 meter, the default metric division is 2 8th notes + 3 8th notes, so it will beam 8th notes in groups of 2 + 3.

But another common metric division of 5/8 is 3 + 2. If the underlying meter is changed from a 5/8 to a (3+2)/8 meter the 8th notes will be beamed in groups of 3 + 2 instead of the default 2 + 3.

To Change the Metric Divison of the Meter

  1. Select the appropriate meter for the section you want to affect.

  1. Display the Properties Palette for the meter. Select the Appearance tab.

  1. Change the meter type to an equivalent custom meter to get the desired beaming pattern. In our 5/8 example, we would change the 5/8 meter into a (3+2)/8 meter.

  1. Check the Display As box at the bottom of the Properties Palette and type in the meter you want displayed in the score. In our example we would type in 5/8.

  1. Click the Apply button. The beaming patterns should now match the underlying meter, as it really is (i.e. not the "displayed" version).