a puzzlement regarding slurs and pedal markings

I’ve just run into something rather puzzling in a piano piece I’m inputting into Dorico 3 Pro:

You can begin a (sustain) Pedal marking in the middle of a slur. But you evidently can’t end one in the middle of a slur. If you try, the pedal marking (line) automatically extends itself to the end of the slur, and you can’t drag it back. Doesn’t matter what voice the slur is in, you just can’t do it. The only solution is to delete the slur, put in the Pedal line, and then re-input the slur. That works fine. One just has to remember to put in all the Pedal marks first, then do the slurs. Big pain .

I’m very puzzled by this behavior, as there’s plenty of piano literature in which Pedal lines and slurs are totally independent of each other. As they should be. There’s no relationship between the two things. One has to do with fingers, the other with your foot!

Anybody have any thoughts on this? Or is there some secret I’ve missed out on.


Len, I suspect you’re inputting slurs by selecting a passage and then clicking/typing the pedal mark. Nothing wrong with that at all, except you need to ensure you don’t select anything if you don’t want the pedal mark to respect that length. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a lyric, a slur or a gradual dynamic (or possibly even a Playing Technique) - Dorico will respect the length of the thing that’s selected.

Don’t do this:

Do this:

Or this:

Or use the caret:

As to not being able to drag, I don’t understand what you’re experiencing at all. I can’t reproduce a case where I can’t drag either or both ends of a pedal line, using either the mouse, Alt-arrows or Cmd-Alt-arrows.

Wow! I had no idea you could drag the caret like that! That’s very cool.

Thanks for the explanation of what’s happening and for the suggested fixes. I will use the first fix you provided, as it accomplishes what I thought I was doing to begin with!

As to the dragging issue: When I’ve created a Pedal line that goes farther than I intended, and I grab the last handle I can move it up or down but I can’t move it left or right. That’s what I meant by not being able to drag. Perhaps I don’t understand fully how the handles work or am grabbing the wrong handle. I’ll experiment and see if I can figure it out.

Thanks for the great tips. You are always so helpful. (And patient!)


It appears that Leo is “dragging” the end-pedal mark using SHIFT+ALT+Arrow.
I may be wrong though.

In my final example, no, I was just extending pedal marking using the caret and Space. Outside steptime entry mode (but still in Write mode) I’m struggling to create a pedal line that I can’t move right and left with the mouse, and I’m positive that you shouldn’t be able to drag it up and down, here (I certainly can’t).

Len, is there a chance that you’re trying to drag pedal lines about in Engrave mode? If so, there are three separate handles at the right end of each pedal line, each of which moves the end in a different direction (one for vertical movement, one for horizontal movement, one to change the length of the hook). Doing this in Engrave mode is a bad idea though - a) it won’t carry through to part layouts automatically and b) the adjustments won’t be respected in playback.

Leo: Yes, I was trying to do it in Engrave mode. I had made an illogical assumption, that since you can only drag dynamics in Engrave mode, you would only be able to drag Pedal lines in Engrave mode. Silly me! Next time I’ll try it in Write mode, if there is a next time, though if I create the Pedal line as you have showed me, instead of the way you said to Not do it, as I was, I won’t ever need to drag it again!

Again, thanks!