Beams

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Beams

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Composer automatically determines how notes are beamed together, but you can change the beams if you disagree with any of Composer's decisions.

You can add or remove a beam, or change the secondary beam. An example of changing a secondary beam is:

BeamConvertSecondary

You can specify the beaming pattern for many measures at a time, if they share a common meter. For example, in a 4:4: meter, eighth notes are normally beamed together as four pairs of two eighth notes each. You can change this so that for every measure, eighth notes are beamed together in two groups of four eighth notes each. Instead of individually changing the beaming of eighth notes in every measure, you can change the beaming of notes in all of the measures in one step. The procedure for doing this is described at the end of this topic.

prcarrow To add a beam from one note to the next:

1.Enter Select Mode.
2.Select the first of the two notes by clicking it with the mouse. For example:

    BeamsBeforeBeamRightAndLeft

3.Type SHIFT+B to show the Beam Palette:

    BeamPalette

4.Click the Beam Right and Left button in the Beam Palette: beams

    -- OR --

    Choose the Beam Right and Left command in the Beam Menu.

    -- OR --

    Type "==". The two equal sign characters (==) are intended to look like beams on the left and right side of a note stem.

    In this example, the result is:

    BeamAfterBeamRightAndLeft

prcarrow To remove a beam between two notes:

1.Enter Select Mode; select one of the notes; and type SHIFT+B to display the Beam Palette.
2.Select the first of the two notes, and click the Beam Right beams1 button, or type "r" for "right only".

    -- OR --

    Select the second of the two notes, and click the Beam Left beams2 button, or type "l" for "left only".

prcarrow To remove beams on both sides of a note, so that it is left with only a flag:

1.Enter Select Mode; select the note; and type SHIFT+B to display the Beam Palette.
2.Click the Flag beams3 button to replace the beam(s) with a flag.

prcarrow To change the secondary beam between two notes:

1.Enter Select Mode; select the note; and type SHIFT+B to display the Beam Palette.
2.To remove a secondary beam that extends from the selected note to the next note:
B816Click the beams4 button.

-- OR --

B816Type "=-". The first "=" character suggests two beams; and the second dash "-" suggests one beam.
3.To remove a secondary beam that extends from a previous note to the selected note:
B816Click the beams5 button.

-- OR --

B816Type "-=".
4.To add a secondary beam among one or more selected notes:
B816Click the beams6 button.

-- OR --

B816Type "==".

prcarrow To restore <%PRODPOSESSIVE%> default choice for beams:

1.Enter Select Mode; select the note; and type SHIFT+B to display the Beam Palette.
2.Drag the mouse over all of the notes for which you wish to reset the beams.
3.In the Beam Palette, click the beams7 ("default") button.

    -- OR --

    Choose the Default Beams command in the Beam Menu.

Suppose your song has a 4:4 meter. By default, Composer beams eighth notes in the 4:4 meter as four pairs of two eighth notes each, as illustrated below:

    BeamingPatternBefore

If you want to change the beaming to two groups of four eighth notes per measure, follow the next procedure.

prcarrow To change the beaming pattern of notes for several measures at a time:

1.Navigate to the Meter Palette.

-- OR --

Type SHIFT+M.

    MeterPalette

2.Select a range of measures for which you wish to change the pattern of beaming. All of these measures must have the same meter. You can select the measures using the Select Region command in the Region menu. Or, select the range of measures by holding down the CTRL key and dragging the mouse over them. You can extend the range by holding down both the Shift and CTRL keys and clicking in some further measure in the score. It does not matter which staff you choose.
3.Click the meter MeterButton button in the palette.

    Composer will display the Meter dialog box, such as shown here:

    MeterDlgBeamGroups

4.In the dialog box, change the "From" and "To" measures if the pre-selected measures are not what you want.
5.In the Beam Groups section of the dialog box, enter the pattern for beaming notes in the meter of the selected measures. Enter one to four numbers, each separated by a plus "+" sign. The total of these numbers should add up to the total number of sub-beats in the selected meter. The sub-beat value initially displayed by Composer shows the beam group pattern for the first of the pre-selected measures.

In the above example, the Beam Group pattern "2+2+2+2" of eighth notes indicates that there are four pairs of two eighth notes each, such as was illustrated in the score example before the beginning of this procedure. In this example, if the beaming pattern is changed to "4+4", that is, two groups of four eighth notes each, the notes will be re-beamed as shown here:

    BeamingPatternAfter