Another accidental rant

I know this has been brought up a lot, yet in the latest version of D 4 it’s still a problem. In the highlighted Bb Cl. part the C naturals are completely unnecessary (key sig. is marked atonal) and the first F in beat 2 should be sharped, and that not showing makes absolutely no sense. Players are going to be left scratching their heads. This example happens frequently throughout a score that is over 400 bars. That makes an awful amount of manual undoing. I have played around with all the various presets and the other options but can’t get this to work correctly. It is an mxl.

If you select those C naturals, is the Accidental visibility property set explicitly in the Properties panel? You could make a large selection (e.g. the entire flow), filter for notes, and deactivate this property for all selected notes in one go. This will revert them to the default settings for accidental visibility.


If you haven’t un-checked this option in the Application Preferences:

then you may get ‘forced’ accidentals that won’t obey the rules you’ve chosen in Notation Options, unless you do as Lillie says (always a good idea).


Benwiggy: I had that already unchecked.
Lillie: I’m not quite sure what you mean. In the properties panel where you can select hide or show this only affects the current accidental? Another problem would be that not all the C’s use the same accidental so they are either natural or sharp and I’d have to do each C individually. Dorico seems to think the clarinet is transposed to D major which is why the F sharps don’t show and the C’s have naturals whether they need them or not. Makes a lot of score clutter.

Here is another example, all the C’s have naturals and the f’s should have sharps that aren’t showing (highlighted).

Select only the notes (or one note) --not the slur as well – and then check the status of this property:


If yours is the same as mine, then the problem is the settings for accidentals in Notation Options.

Turn on View > Signposts > Accidentals. Any accidental signposts you can see are notes whose accidentals have been hidden (either in Dorico, or in whatever program produced the MusicXML).

That works but there are an awful lot of them. Its from Sib 7

I use Modernist with show cautionary accidentals.

If you want to put them all back to normal, select one signpost, use Cmd/Ctrl-Shift-A a few times to select all of them, then unset the Accidental Hide property in the lower zone, once!

And as @benwiggy suggested earlier, turn off the Accidental visibility option in Preferences > MusicXML Import in order not to have to do this next time.

Of course, a sample file would be really useful, in order to pin down exactly what’s going on.

pianoleo: the Accidental visibility option in Preferences > MusicXML was off.
Here is a silent copy of the clars.
Bbclars…dorico (2.6 MB)

I can’t think of another explanation as to how all of these accidentals were globally hidden.
Having seen the file, though, I see that you have tuplets all over the place. With that in mind, there are slightly more steps to restore all the hidden accidentals in one fell swoop:

  1. Select All.
  2. Filter > Notes and Chords.
  3. Set Filter to Deselect Only (it’s at the top of the Filter submenu.
  4. Filter Tuplets. (Now the Notes and Chords properties should appear in the bottom panel.)
  5. Unset the Accidental property once.
  6. (Remember to set Filter back to Select Only.)

When you filter notes and chords, tuplets remain selected, by design. If your next move was to copy and paste the selection elsewhere the chances are you’d want to retain the tuplets. If your next move was to delete the selection, the chances are you’d also want to delete the tuplets.

I tried Select All and filtering {notes and not tuplets} in this file, but Properties never shows the controls. There must be something else that needs to be deselected. I am able to get the Properties controls when selecting less than the whole score. But even once I turn off the Accidental switch in Properties, signposts remain on tied-over notes. These can only be removed in Engrave mode. If you switch to Engrave mode with all the notes selected, that works.

When trying to select the whole score, Select All takes 29 seconds to complete on this 2018 MacBook Pro (2.6 GHz), and my filtering script (that does Leo’s steps 2–4) 27 seconds.

A separate point: It is much better to give the two Clarinets separate players (so they will have separate parts) and use Condensing to combine them in the score.

Mark’s right about selecting all and deselect filtering tuplets not being helpful in this case.

  1. Switch to the score layout, select a short tutti (or as near as possible) that doesn’t include tuplets - I selected the very final bar.
  2. Filter notes
  3. Select More a few times to grab all the notes in those instruments (sadly only in the selected voices).
  4. Turn off the Accidental property.
  5. Look through the score with the signposts still turned on, then grab a relevant note in each voice and in each instance, then repeat steps 3 and 4. For instance, there’s some two voice stuff in the trumpets at 230, likewise in the piano cadenza at 328-334.

Then leave the signposts on and pick up any others as you go.

I’m afraid that my new 11th gen i7 quad core processor isn’t pleased with some of these actions, will have to try again later.

What I have done is taken the clar part and filtered all the c and f sharps and naturals and straightened out the accidentals. Of course there may be a few minor adustments. I will have to do this with each transposing instrument but certainly easier that doing it manually. Thanks all for the help, I realize it takes some time to work on these things.