Articulation rules

Will Dorico ‘supervise’ articulation in connection with ties and slurs?

E.g. In ‘another notation program’ it is possible to put a staccato (or any articulation) on note that ties.
This is not proper notation. Only the last note in a tie “chain” would could have a staccato “dot”.

The same could be said about staccato dots under a slur, but slurs can mean different things. If there were a rules option for slurs and articulation it would be good though.

Will this kind of checking be part of the ‘native’ Dorico engine or left to ‘Proofing Scripts’ later on, from Steinberg or from 3rd party script-writers?

Because tied notes are a single event under the hood, when you add an articulation to a tied note, the articulation will only appear on one of the notes. Articulations of force (accent, marcato) and stress (stress, unstress) appear on the first note in the tie chain, while articulations of duration (staccato, staccatissimo, tenuto, staccato-tenuto) appear on the last note in the tie chain. You can control which end of the tie chain these articulations should appear in Engraving Options, and override them on a per tie-chain basis using the Properties panel.

Dorico doesn’t mind you putting staccato articulations on all of the notes under a slur, since this is of course a common technique in writing for many different instruments, at the very least winds and strings.

Will it be possible to specify on a case by case basis whether or not staccato dot goes on the inside or outside of the last note of a slur?


It isn’t at the moment, Daryl, no. Staccatos always go inside slurs at present. You can of course rectify that by moving the staccato and the slur end point in Engrave mode, but we don’t have any options for this.

OK, so there needs to be a method where once can select and move very quickly. Is this something that some kind of macro can solve?


It’s certainly not something that would easily be performable by a macro, no. Can you tell me a little bit more about the nature of the requirement? We could potentially provide an option for this at some point in the future.

There is a convention for string playing that says the dot inside a slur means a gap both before and after the note (so actually staccato/detached), and is often performed as a bowing convenience, whereas one outside of a slur means just a gap after (shorten the note).

This is really interesting. How does it work when you do an edit like this:

(4/4 time sig)
Before: crotchet rest, tenuto crotchet tied to tenuto minim, barline

Edit: insert another crotchet rest at the start

Which of these do I see?

Option 1: minim rest, tenuto crotchet tied to tenuto crotchet tied over barline to crotchet
Option 2: minim rest, tenuto crotchet tied to crotchet tied over barline to tenuto crotchet

(sorry, a picture would be really handy here but I don’t have Sibelius on this machine).

Basically I’m wondering how a tenuto note behaves when it becomes split across a barline.

OK, I see the distinction. We’ll try to squeeze this in. The idea would be that you could select a note with a staccato that coincides with the end of a slur, and set a property in the Properties panel to set the staccato to go outside the slur.

Tenuto is an articulation of duration, so it ends up showing only on the last note in the tie chain, so in your example, it ends up on the note after the barline.

Maybe what I’m thinking of as tenuto is actually “stress”, then. Do they look identical on the page?

Yes, that would be great. Save getting questions during recording sessions. :wink:


No, they don’t. You can see them here:

A stress is a short diagonal stroke, whereas a tenuto is a horizontal stroke, normally a little wider than the notehead.

A stress, being an articulation of stress, would appear on the first note of the tie chain rather than the last, in your example.

Thanks. In that case, I think as a violinist I play tenuto as an articulation of stress and would expect it to be on the first note of the tie chain.

Here is an example of Rachmaninov with tenuto as the first note of a tie chain:

That’s fine: as I said earlier in this thread:

Fab. I guess this is one option I’ll be using :slight_smile:

Thanks for your time.

I wonder if Dorico is not a little too prescriptive in the way it treats the tenuto dash. While tenuto, taken literally — ‘held’ — certainly refers to duration, and I understand that is the way e.g. wind players interpret it, in piano writing it is often more like a gentle stress. In passages with rapid figuration, one often sees a melodic fragment picked out by marking certain notes with tenuto dashes. They are not so much held longer as made to stand out from their context by a gentle accent.
It would probably be complicating things beyond any reasonable measure to ask for two distinct tenuto dashes, identical in appearance but differing in behaviour (and playback?). But perhaps it would be better, given the ambiguity of the symbol, not to second-guess the composer/engraver in this case but just to leave the tenuto dash where it has been put?

I’ve always thought the difference in interpretation of the tenuto mark first and foremost was connected to genre, not instrument type (although there might be subtle differences across instruments as well). In classical music, I think all instruments will interpret the tenuto as an articulation of both duration and stress, in an effort to make the notes stand out from the context in a more subtle way than an accent or a dedicated stress mark. On the other hand, in jazz, tenuto is solely connected to duration, telling the player to hold the note for it’s full duration (which a jazz musician will not do by default), usually as a counterweight to the staccato dot.

I think it may be difficult to recreate the subtle stress aspect of the tenuto mark in playback, but it might indeed be a good idea to at least be able to edit the effect properties of the mark to accommodate different genres.

The issue, Kim, is that in Write mode, when you select a tied note, all of the noteheads in the tie chain are selected, because that tied note is a single note, and all operations that you perform on that note will affect the entire note.

You have the flexibility you want, however: Dorico will put the tenuto on the last note of the tie chain by default, but you can easily change this using both the Engraving Options (if you normally want tenuto on the first note of the tie chain), and using Properties (which allows you to change it on a case-by-case basis).

The issue, Kim, is that in Write mode, when you select a tied note, all of the noteheads in the tie chain are selected, because that tied note is a single note, and all operations that you perform on that note will affect the entire note.

I see the problem, and I must say that in general I very much like Dorico’s conception of tied notes. It will obviate at least one recurring source of frustration with certain existing software — the process you have to go through to change the pitch of such a note, and in particular to fix an incorrect accidental. And I presume that you will never accidentally get an accent (meaning either type of wedge accent) on any but the first of a series of tied notes.