Attribute _and_ direction


I sometimes need a playing techniques both as an attribute and a direction. Take for example the marcato. By default, it is given as an attribute, and only applies to the single note.

But I sometimes want the “marc.” text to appear at the beginning of a passage that has to be always played marcato, up until a Natural or another technique is found.

My solution is to create a new playing technique (“marcato sempre”, simply shown as “marc.”) referring to a new playback technique (“marcato sempre”) set as a direction. So,

marc. [shown in page] --> marcato sempre [playing technique] --> marcato sempre [playback technique]

as opposed to

marc. [shown in page] --> Marcato (text) [playing technique] --> Marcato [playback technique]

Both playback techniques would go to the same expression maps’ programming.

Would there be a way to make the “Marcato” playback technique be used as an attribute or a direction, depending on the referring playing technique? This would save some redundancy. Maybe the status of “attribute” or “direction” could be saved in the playing technique, instead of the playback technique?


Why don’t you just give it a duration (with alt-shift-right arrow)
In playing techniques you can define how the duration should appear (repeating symbols, lines or nothing).
To add „sempre“ you could use the suffix property in the properties panel

For individual notes there is a marcato articulation, so I would only use “marcato” text for a passage of multiple notes.

I think we agree on that.

There are 2 playing techniques for marcato, the glyph for single notes and the text version “marcato”. Both are mapped to the same marcato playback technique. As klafkid says above, the text technique can be given a duration. The continuation type defaults to none, so it won’t display its continuation. To a human it may be obvious where the marcato ends, but Dorico will need an ord. or nat. Humans should benefit from it too :slight_smile:


Thank you very much for all your hints!

I’m, however, still very confused. And probably I chose the wrong example, due to the double “marcato” entry in the default set.

Take Staccato. If I’m not wrong, there is only one of them. It is linked to the dot over a note, and it is an attribute, immediately reset to Normal after the end of the note.

I may have a long passage of staccato notes, where I don’t want to put dots over each notes. I want to put them over the first ones, then add a “stacc.” indication, and have the current and following notes play staccato. Until I insert a different technique, or the length of the technique lasts.

At the moment, I think the only way to have both the standard Staccato, an attribute limited to a single note, and a Staccato as a direction continuing up to the next technique, is to have two Staccato playback techniques (one as an attribute, the other as a direction). Am I wrong? Or, is there a way to have this single Staccato playback technique work both as an attribute and a direction?

Maybe the answer is in one of your posts above, but I admit I have not yet understood it.


I imagine you would have to have two playback techniques, but you would only need a text Playing Technique for the direction version since the articulation already exists for the original Playback Technique.

What I see is that I can only decide if a technique is an attribute or direction type in the Edit Playback Technique window. So, apparently the status of attribute or direction is tied to the playback technique. I can’t have two different playing techniques pointing to two different status of a playback technique (attribute or direction).

You can edit the continuation line in the Edit Playing Technique window, but is this only a graphic parameter, or is it an override to the attribute status (making it be applied to more notes in a sequence)?

According to a note in the “Playing technique duration” page of the manual, this should only be a graphic parameter, with no effect on playback:


If the PT is of type direction, in WRITE mode, just select it and use alt/shift-right arrow to give it a duration of choice… (more later)

That’s clear. But what if the type is “attribute”?

In the case discussed earlier (Marcato), the playback technique is of type “attribute”. Then, you can change the duration of the playing technique in the score.

What happens in this case? Will the playback technique be momentarily changed to “direction”? According to the manual, it doesn’t seem so.

In reverse: if I can change the type of the playback techniques Staccato or Marcato to “direction”, what will happen when I apply the glyphs to a note? Will the subsequent note be affected, even if the glyph is not there?

Doing my tests, but it is still unclear to me.

EDIT: A test I did with Staccato. I created a new playing technique called “staccato”. I linked it to the Staccato playback technique. The Staccato playback technique was changed from “attribute” to “direction”.

The staccato glyph (dot) is still only acting on the single note. The staccato custom technique is behaving as a direction.

Why the glyph is not behaving as a “direction” as well?


Maybe because they are not playing techniques but articulations?
Seems to be a crucial difference which I overlooked in my first comment.

I think… as long as you give a PT a duration by using alt/shift-right arrow, it doesn’t matter whether the associated playback technique is defined as direction or attribute. Those are effective when they stand alone, unaltered. Marcato is defined as attribute and even the text version of it will only affect a single note, unless you give it a duration…

A glyph typically becomes a note attribute (part of the note, so to speak,) and cannot be given a duration on its own… but they still reference playback techniques…

If confirmed, this would be fantastic. It would mean that we can simply have a single “attribute” playback technique, that can be then extended on need by extending the playing technique. It would also make the Natural technique at the end of the passage redundant.

“Direction” would only be needed for techniques that would have to be extend for a very long part of the piece.

I don’t know if Daniel can confirm our deduction?


I’m more and more confused. Now, a custom playback technique of attribute type is behaving as a direction.

With a new project, I enter some music. Then create a new playing technique based on the Staccato playback technique. This is an attribute.

The staccato dot works as expected, by acting only on the single note.

The custom staccato playing technique continues to act on all the subsequent notes. Even if it is an attribute and not a direction.

At the same time, the playing techniques lane in Play mode shows the technique as applied only to the single note, and immediately followed by a Natural. At the same time, the sounding notes in the piano roll appear shortened even after the Natural.

I’m lost.


Yes, indeed. There seems to be a difference between Custom Techniques and built-in techniques like Marcato here…
As soon as I gave the (custom) Staccato a duration of a single note (or less), all the following notes reverted to normal in the Play lane…

I thought this might be related to the Mutual Exclusion Group, but it seems not to…
I know I have complained earlier of Mutual Exclusion Groups not being reliable when it comes to Custom techniques… still requiring an ord. or nat. to cancel
Maybe this is an example of that… :question:

I can confirm that if a custom playing technique (like “staccato (text)”) based on a factory attribute-type playback technique (like “Staccato”) is assigned to a single note, it acts only on that note. And if you use Shift-Alt-Right Arrow to extend it, it last up until the right handle goes.

So, the difference seems to be between attribute-type techniques, whose action goes from a single note to the length defined by the user, and direction-type techniques, lasting until a different technique is met.

This is very nice. I hope this is exactly how it is intended to work, and will remain this way.