Advanced notation in Dorico

Hello friends.
I am interested how far has Dorico gone in its development, concerning some of advanced, nonstandard aspects of notation.
I am not interested in the playback.
These would include:

  • completely independent bar-lines (even invisible);
  • independent time-signatures;
  • single time signatures (such as 2, 3, 4…);
  • independently move notes and keep them fixed (optically);
  • independently move notes and keep them fixed (proportionally);
  • independently move: note-heads, stems, beams, accidentals and flags to any X/Y position off from the default (optically);
  • transpose quarter-tones accordingly to the transposition;
  • parenthesised trill notes, single and multiple, transposable;
  • use any font inside of the software, particularly for creating lines and curves;
  • slurs across layers/voices/instrument staves;
  • apply various spacing algorithms for selected measures/beats only;
  • hide any object, including parts of notes such as stems, flags, etc.;
  • change font, symbol and size of any object (excluding lines and curves);
  • add brackets and braces between staves at any position.

Thank you.

Dear OCTO,

Invisible barlines is non-relevant in Dorico : you can add or remove any barline anywhere without any problem.
You have independant time-signatures (alt-enter them instead of entering)
You can “show” the time signature in different appearances, and the 2,3,4 is one of them.
As long as you enter note in force duration, you will override Dorico’s ability to “redraw” a rythmic value. And you can manipulate notes at will.
The Note spacing function in Engrave mode gives you full power over the horizontal spreading of the notes.
The properties panel in Engrave mode provides you with the different position settings you need.
I don’t use microtonal things but I understand Dorico is already ahead of competition in this field. However, I would suggest you talk about that with people who use this ability.
Trill notes are going to be implemented in the next weeks, with full array of possibilities (like everytime the team implements something “for real” : amazing)
Lines and curves are areas that still need development, though workarounds exist.
You can slur as you wish (as long as you select the start and end note), but for “complicated” slurs, Engrave mode is your friend.
Hiding stuff is not really in Dorico’s philosophy. However, things have evolved in that field since Dorico 1. Stems, rests, noteheads can be hidden natively now.
Labelling and grouping has evolved too. Still needs some more engineering, but we’re close to ideal.

Hope this helps !


Thank you, Marc.

So, independent (invisible) barlines are possible(?).



= Optical distance is a fixed note-spacing (distance) regardless of density spacing. Such would be trill notes or similar. Possible?

= Proportional distance is manually edited note-position that includes (affects) horizontal note-spacing in its position and calculates positions of all other notes accordingly to the new edited spacing.

Not sure if it is possible. Possible? Can you move an accidental to the bottom of a page, or a flag to a top of page, and so on?

On hold. Anyone?

Good to hear it will be implemented. Pay attention: it is optically fixed position.

On hold. Anyone?


On hold. Anyone?

It would be really good to be able to hide ANYTHING. Possible?

On hold. Anyone?

This is not grouping in the standard way, but even in the middle of systems. On hold. Anyone?

Since day one, my friend!

I’m not sure you’re being entirely clear here… You can set the base spacing value for a quarter note, and then scale it for the other values by a constant ratio (so no Finale style spacing table for now…). You can however offset any note from its rhythmical column without moving the column itself, which is I think what Marc meant by optical.

Yes, of course, editing the position of a single whole rhythmical column will keep the others’ proportions intact.

As a property of the concept “note”, no, not really. However, just thinking graphically, you can use any glyph as text or as a playing technique, allowing it to be placed anywhere on the page.

Not a heavy user, but I’ve never run across problems transposing passages while in 24-EDO. You can calculate the intervals needed for trickier passages in the Write > Transpose dialog, if the popover fails you.

You can use any installed font to create Text and Playing Techniques. We don’t have primitive lines yet, however, but if you want to create them with font glyphs, by all means… Bravura has a host of wonderful multi-segment lines.

On hold. Anyone?[/quote]
Not currently possible, sadly, but I’m sure it will come eventually.

Certainly possible, but you may find that it won’t be achieved by a brute “hide” command, but by minding the function of whatever you’re looking to hide.

You’ll soon be able to edit any musical glyph employed in the score with a dedicated editor. We haven’t seen it yet, but it might be a Sibelius-style Symbols kind of affair (this is entirely my speculation). Off the top of my head, you can change the font of any text, sure. Same for size.

Not yet. Bracketing will be further addressed somewhere in the (near) future.

You can change the spacing algorithm anywhere you like with a Note Spacing Change (in Engrave mode). You can also set different spacing for the same passage in the different layouts (e.g. the score and the parts.)

You can make the spacing approximately “proportional” by setting the factor between different note lengths to 2.0 instead of the default 1.4, but there will still be extra space allocated for bar lines, clef changes, etc. You can only get rid of that by manual adjustments (which are possible, but obviously tedious to do and not really designed for this sort of thing IMO).

D’oh. You are of course absolutely right. And now that you’ve corrected me, I recall you can do it from very early on, if not from day one. Sorry!

Good to hear.

Just to clarify the terminology used above:
OPTICAL SPACING - is a fixed horizontal distance (spacing) between two items, such are augmentation dots, and accidentals. Regardless what spacing is in use in that system, they remain optically at the same place. Sometimes we need that position even for notes. Such would be parenthesized trill notes, or in spatial notation where they are fixed to the raster of time.
PROPORTIONAL SPACING - is a flexible distance that involves calculation of both the spacing algorithm and current density. If, let us say, a trill note described above, would not have optical spacing but proportional spacing, than its position would affect spacing AND its position would not be fixed, but defined in proportion of the measure density and spacing algorithm.

In some cases I would like to see that just accidentals have the PROPORTIONAL spacing, so to speak: that their distance varies (here in a very very small degree) depending of the density, of course in extreme situations.