Alternate chord sequences in Dorico 4?

Hi Daniel and everyone at Steinberg, is there still some considerations and work going on to have alternate chord symbols in a coming up version of Dorico? Features like “Generate notes from chord symbols” in V4.3 are interesting and nice for some people, but I think professionals will hardly ever need them. But having two chord lines for all jazz- and popular music-scores is just a basic feature wich many users really are looking for. Just looking into some common realbooks shows the urge of having a second alternative chord symbol line : every second tune does have alternate (reharmonized) chords. So please – it would be so great to have this in the next version of this wonderful software!


Are you talking about different chords for different players? That is already in there. See local chords:

I’m pretty sure he means like the Autumn Leaves example at the top of the thread. This still unfortunately isn’t really possible. If you place the alternate chord at another beat and move it manually, Dorico still takes it into account for horizontal spacing like below:

Obviously that looks pretty terrible. If a mechanism to allow multiple chords to occupy a beat is quite difficult to implement, perhaps a checkbox to ignore for horizontal spacing calculations could accomplish the same thing, and at least let users move elements manually. Of course, now that 4.3 has the Generate Notes from Chord Symbols feature, there would need to be some sort of method to tell Dorico which chords to use in the event there were multiple chords at the same location too.

1 Like

Got it.
Yes, formatting will be a question. it is almost as if a different paragraph style would be desirable for the alternate chords. I could see cases where I might want the alternates smaller or maybe in color.

I actually have a paragraph style set up for Shift-X text to match the Chord Symbols font style.

Of course, it’s not easily possible to have an alternate chord with Shift-X text if there are multiple alterations, but for the above case, I would just use text there.

And whether the alternates appear above or below the primary chords by default. Playback would have the same issue. I suppose most people don’t include chords in playback, but I do, just to make sure I haven’t spelled a chord wrong. I usually set it to a simple organ sound down in the mix. I have found enough errors that way to make it worth the trouble to set up. But if a person is including chords in playback, which chord? I assume Dorico would want to designate the primary chord, which is what we have today, and the alternate(s) would be for display purposes.

Yeah, I think that would make the most sense too. (I’m not sure I even remember how to turn chord symbol playback on, as I’ve never wanted it LOL. Back in the Finale days, the first thing I’d do after an install was uncheck Enable Chord Playback.)

In the meantime, MusGlyphs is a pretty easy way to enter anternate chord symbols as text, as long as they don’t have complex stacked alterations.


Yeah, I’ve certainly done that. The accidentals don’t really match though, which would be an issue with publication. You don’t have the SMuFL Standard Accidentals for Chord Symbols somewhere in MusGlyphs do you?

For something like an All the Things reharm like this …

… it can be noticeable when they are stacked next to one another.

Oops. Heheh. That was… accidental.


I now that there are a few workarounds for common situations, but sometimes alternative chords do use stacked alterations, slash chords or just another chord font like PetaChords…
So it would be just appropriate to add a second chord line (like a second lyric line).

1 Like