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Meterless music

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:07 am
by farabi
Hi, I was wondering if anyone had figured out a good workflow for entering meterless music.
While I'm familiar with some of the basic strategies (putting in a meter for each phrase and hiding barlines and time signatures), I'm working on a book project that is going to be about 30 or so pages of completely meterless music and it's pretty slow and cumbersome to do it that way.

Ideally, it would be great to just enter music in one big bar and have it flow across staves at determined phrase points, but I'm not aware of anything even close to that simple.

What I'm looking for are strategies for doing this in an efficient way for lots of music. Alternatively, any leads on notation software that works well for this kind of thing. I recognize that Lilypond can do it easily but has other drawbacks (including the learning curve).


Finale 2014.5 and 2012
MacBook OS10.9

Re: Meterless music

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:01 pm
by Bill Stevens
One thing you might want to check out is the plug-in JW Meter and Rhythm > Transform Contents > Create Time Signature. It allows you to over-fill a measure, then run the plug-in and a time signature is created. It doesn't solve all your problems, but it might be helpful. I often need to notate chant for liturgy settings and I find the plug-in immensely helpful.

In that same plug-in there is something called "Free Time" which I have not used, but it might be what you are looking for.


Re: Meterless music

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:39 pm
by farabi
Hi Bill!

Thanks, that plugin looks promising. I fooled with it a little bit and it definitely would speed up the process as I've been doing it.
FWIW, the difference between "create time signature" and "free time" seems to be that "free time" creates the time signature and then can perform the extra step of hiding time-related elements (time signature, barlines) automatically.


Re: Meterless music

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:46 am
by Bill Stevens
After I posted today I fussed with "Free Time" a bit and in addition to doing what you wrote, it appears to close up the space that the bar lines would leave if they were just invisible, and also the space for the time signature. When I am notating chant this will actually be very helpful to me. Hurrah to Jari, as usual.