Create Beamed Groups of Headless Note Stems in Dorico, Finale & Sibelius

I have a project which requires me to show beamed groups of stems with no noteheads:

it’s easy to create these beamed groups of stems only in Dorico, Finale and Sibelius. Here is how.


Change the noteheads to a grace note sized X notehead, which is relatively unobtrusive, and be sure to keep the noteheads on spaces so the noteheads don’t overlap the staff lines  – use the properties to color them white, as “whiteout”.

There may well be a different mechanism to create these in a future version of Dorico, but as of version 2.0, this is a simple and flexible way to create this type of notation.


In Finale, select the Note Shape Tool from the Special Tools Palette.

When the Note Shape Tool is selected, you will see little selection boxes on each of the noteheads attached to the beam.  Lasso around the group of notes you want to change to highlight them, then double click on one of the highlighted noteheads to open the Symbol Selection dialog.

Pressing the SpaceBar will take you to Symbol #32, which is the Space Character, which does not print. Press “Select” to OK the dialog for this result:



In Sibelius, there is already a notehead style which is stems-only. Select the beamed region containing the noteheads you want to show as stems only, and press Option-Shift-7 on Mac / Alt-Shift-7 on Windows for this result:


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