I have a slowish piece for cello (with piano) that has sections of 6-tuplets and various other groups of very short notes where the phrasing implies a double-time feel, so it's much easier to count if you tap your foot on each eight note rather than each quarter note.

Is it acceptable/advisable in this case to beam each eighth note group separately, to make it easier to read, rather than having a ton of notes beamed together for each quarter note? That seems to be the default for Dorico but it's a lot to take in in one glance.

edit: this is an example bar at around 105bpm, with Dorico's default beaming.

enter image description here

  • Sextuplets are common; I don't feel that they'd be hard to read. Jul 25, 2023 at 13:24
  • 2
    You shouldn't tap your foot at all, actually.
    – user207421
    Jul 26, 2023 at 1:02
  • @user207421 - there's absolutely nothing wrong with tapping one's foot. What backing do you give for stating such? Your profile goes on about 'facts that might upset people'. That's not even a fact!! It's an opinion. Maybe edit the profile..?
    – Tim
    Jul 26, 2023 at 10:25
  • @AndyBonner I've added a sample bar with Dorico default beaming, it's a transcription from an improvised solo and I think the other suggestion about breaking them into triplets and possibly having secondary beaming to separate them would help readability.
    – Wilskt
    Jul 26, 2023 at 12:26
  • Those sextuplets would be far easier to read as triplets (particularly if you're counting eighths)
    – PiedPiper
    Jul 26, 2023 at 13:06

1 Answer 1


If you want a division in two you probably rather want to score two triplets, rather than sextuplets. Also you might go for subdivided beams like this:

enter image description here

  • 1
    Certainly with the one beam joining, but could also work with a '6' instead of two '3's. +1.
    – Tim
    Jul 25, 2023 at 11:46
  • That helps, thanks - looking at Dorico defaults, even with two triplets it would extend the double beams all the way across, so I'll look into changing that. Also noticed that it has sometimes beamed two full beats together so that's an easy win just by splitting those into individual beats.
    – Wilskt
    Jul 25, 2023 at 11:59
  • Does that subdivided beaming have a particular name in musical terms? Or just 'subdivided'? edit - Dorico possibly calls it Secondary Beaming, which would make sense, will have a click around.
    – Wilskt
    Jul 25, 2023 at 12:00

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