Anomalies with Tied Quarter Notes, Casting Off and...

I’ve just finished copying nine string quartet arrangements from a book into Dorico. With the exception of some first and second endings, which Dorico doesn’t yet do, and a few minor roadmap tweaks and edits, the project is basically finished.

However, while doing so, I noticed some anomalies in how Dorico does things that I’d like to clarify. Not sure if these are bugs, intentional, or just things that might be ideas for improvement. I also had a question or two…

  1. I entered these as nine separate flows in one Dorico file. While harmonically dense, these are all rhythmically simple. Even so, in different flows, Dorico is behaving differently. In 4/4 in some cases it is tying two quarter notes together for beats two and three in a measure, while in others it will show a half note (my preference) instead. I did not do anything differently in terms of setting the meter for each flow, so I’m not sure why this is happening. I’d imagine that barring preference setting, it would be desired for all flows in a project to follow the same rule in this regard.

  2. In general, the casting off looks good. However, there are a few spots where Dorico has made some less than ideal choices. In general, Dorico has put two systems on the first page of the score, and then three systems on each succeeding page. However, in one case it put only two systems on the second to last page and then put a final system consisting of one bar onto another page.

  3. Similarly, in some cases, it puts the first bar of a repeated section as the last bar on a page, instead of pushing it to the beginning of the next page. I can understand how that might happen if there isn’t plenty of room, but in this case, there was more than enough room for Dorico to adjust. It seems that Dorico doesn’t (yet?) take repeat signs into account when casting off, and I think that’d be a useful feature to have. In my specific case, it means having the first bar of the repeated section being the sixth bar on a system, and leaving four and five measure systems on the next page instead of adjusting it over. These are simple, sparse arrangements, so there is definitely room to have pushed it to the next page. I think that visually, it’s better to have musicians return to the top of a page, where possible, instead of going back to the previous page.

  4. When I enter a Rit… in any voice, it places one Rit. above the measure, and won’t place them in each instrument.

  5. When I go to the Print tab, selecting either Full Score, Viola, or Violoncello results in my seeing those parts. However, when I select either Violin or Violin II, it shows me a blank page and I can’t view those parts alone on screen.

  6. How can I input an upwards gliss or slide? When I select a glissando, it automatically connects downward to the next note. IU’d like an undefined gliss or slide upwards (not to a specific note). How can I do this?

  7. Occasionally, pressing “S” on my keyboard would start playback instead of or in addition to inserting a slur. Similarly, it would occasionally result in some notes sounding. Thus doesn’t happen consistently, only sometimes.

  8. Is it possible to insert a grace note without a slash through it?

Thanks much!

Some thoughts:

  1. Notes surrounding the half-note have an effect how Dorico interprets it. You can change how Dorico interprets some of these situations in the Notation Options.
  2. no thoughts here
  3. Since repeats have not really been dealt with yet (i.e. no first and second endings) the implications in casting off might be part of that development process (i_.e._ not yet dealt with). Still, it’s good you pointed it out.
  4. I’ve noticed Finale (also, to my sometime consternation) considers tempo alterations as “top-staff-only” to match the score lists for Tempo marks. Dorico does have an option to put tempo marks (presumably including alterations?) above the top staff as well as above different sections. I’m not sure that helps if one wants a ritard between the staves of a keyboard part and does not want tempo marks above every part/section in a full score. The development team may need to take another look at this.
  5. no idea
  6. Click & CTRL-click on the two notes you want to select for the gliss. (I’m guessing you are glissing up to the top note of a chord or double-stop. Be sure only to select/CTRL-Click the top note, not the chord.)
  7. I’ve stumbled on this too. I haven’t figured out what I am doing to cause it.
  8. I think someone said the slash key toggled this property, but I have not gotten it to work. At any rate, in the Properties panel for the grace note–to the right of the Ties section–is a grace note section where you can add or remove slashes among other things.
  1. Alt slash toggles grace notes with and without slash …

ALT-/ really makes sense, if one thinks of the slash being the element to be toggled on/off.j

Notation Options can be set per-flow, so perhaps when you have changed some of the options, you did so with only the first flow selected in the Notation Options dialog.

You can choose which players should show system objects in Layout Options. This will affect rehearsal marks as well as tempo markings. If you only want gradual tempo markings to appear above each staff rather than all tempo markings, for the time being you’ll need to use Shift+X text to achieve this, and copy and paste it to each instrument.

I would need to be able to see the project itself to provide any guidance about this.

You can’t, at present. Glissando lines can only be drawn between two noteheads for now.

Yes, either by typing Alt+/ before you input the grace note to specify whether or not it should be slashed, or by editing an existing grace note by way of Properties.

Thanks for the answers, Derrek, Daniel et al.

  1. I didn’t change any Notation Options from the default at all. That’s what’s surprising about this to me.

  2. Can you be more specific? I couldn’t find an option for this in Layout Options.

  3. Daniel, I can send you the project so you can have a look if you like.

  4. Derreck, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one experiencing this.I’m pretty sure it’s a bug of some sort.

Thanks again!

Look on the ‘Staves and Systems’ page of Layout Options for the options that control which players should show system objects.

I posted a quick video here so that you can see what the missing Violin I & II parts looks like.

OK, so I went into Setup and unselected and then reselected all of the parts in the right-hand panel, and they all now show as expected. I’m leaving the previous post with the video clip here because I believe this to be a bug, as the previous behavior was occurring when Full Score was selected, but all of the others were not.

I experienced this kind of bug this week. Restarted Dorico and found everything back in place !

I would need to see the project itself in its faulty state to tell you why you were seeing blank pages in the print preview. I don’t doubt that it happened, but without the project file itself I can’t tell you what was wrong, and if you’ve subsequently fixed the project anyway then perhaps this has to be chalked up to experience for now.

OK, I’ve opened the project again, and it is not acting properly. When I select parts, both Violin I and Violin II show the Violin I part. Selecting the viola or cello results in a braced system of said instrument with Violin I, rather than just seeing the part alone.

I have not changed any settings prior to this happening.

Here’s a video clip of this behavior.

As I say, I need to see the project itself, not a video of the project, in order to diagnose the problem.

Where shall I send it to? I don’t want to post it publicly.

You can email it to me, of course. My email address is d dot spreadbury at steinberg dot de. Be sure to include some information about the problem you’re having as I get a lot of email.