24 EDO tonality music ok in full score, wrong notes in parts

enharmony problem.dorico (763.4 KB) Dear fellow Doricians,

I am probably suffering from some ignorance about those tonality systems… I was commissioned a piece with some 1/4 tone accidentals, and was able to achieve the full score perfectly, using the 24-EDO provided by default in the key sig panel (which I almost never have used before…)
The problem is that the notes do not appear as written in the full score in the vocal parts. I was quite confident that the note spelling was consistent between full score and parts (but not necessarily the other way round). Should I have used a 48-EDO system to make sure there was no equivalent spelling ? Is it possible to modify the tonality system without messing everything up ? — I know it would be easier if I could provide you with a file.
I’ll try to build one.

[Edit] I’ve cut down the file to those bars with the issue (soprano 1 and tenor 2 were showing high flats instead of low-naturals) but I’m not able to reproduce the problem now that I’ve corrected it…

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Wow, those are nice chords! For what it’s worth, I’ve never had the problem of pitches being wrong in the parts; but I haven’t written a microtonal piece for voices. Good luck with the performance.

I corrected the notes in the parts, and (as expected) it didn’t change the full score, so all is ok.
I am not performing this piece, it’s just some copyist job I’m doing while the operas are shut down. I 'd say I would be rather scared to sing this piece!

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When you are writing for transposing instruments, such as B flat clarinets and the like, then it’s not uncommon for microtonal accidentals to appear differently when written in transposed pitch than when written in concert pitch, because of the way Dorico is considering the temperament of the instrument in conjunction with the delta provided by the accidental; but I wouldn’t expect this to happen when you’re working with non-transposing instruments like voices. Indeed, I had a quick look through the project you uploaded and (bearing in mind it’s late on a Friday evening so it’s entirely possible I missed one or more examples) I couldn’t see any discrepancies between the tenor and soprano lines in the Full score and the Voix layouts.

No, Daniel, you are right, as I already wrote earlier. Once I had the accidentals corrected, everything is in order, both in full score and in the parts. The concern I had is I trust Dorico so much that I had neglected to really double check those details, and the commissionner saw the “mistakes”. Not that I felt betrayed by Dorico (although I would certainly not have expected that behavior), more a little forgetmenot for those who, like me, are not really used to those accidentals. Make sure you double check, because things can happen…

FWIW, I’ve just tried to rewrite those chords using an old saved copy of the file, and indeed, everything is in place as expected. I really don’t know how this might have happened. Maybe I’ve been working from the parts (although I doubt it and do not remember about that). Sorry for that noise.

There may have been some issue with using a 12EDO key signature while in 24EDO. Even though 24EDO has the standard key signatures, if a key signature for 12EDO was accidentally inserted into the flow, it would mess things up. (This would explain the problem disappearing in the file, since those key signature signposts would have been deleted). Also, putting a key signature from the 24EDO tonality system into the score may have caused some of the 1/4-tones to be respelled. Do your recall if the errors were enharmonic to the correct accidentals?

I think they were.

That’s probably what happened. This occasionally happens even in 12EDO when Dorico is trying to give the best accidental for the key (which is almost always correct). When more than 2 options are available, it starts to make weird choices. You’ll see something similar when using Alt+Shift+[up or down arrow] to move through the possible divisions. Sometimes Dorico will skip some divisions of the octave, or it takes a different route up than it does going down.

Dorico’s method for microtonality is brilliant and wonderful—it’s such a fantastic tool that far surpasses anything any other notation application has achieved—but there’s some implications of the system and occasionally perplexing behavior that I don’t understand yet.