Automatic custos

Much of the early music, e.g. renaissance, baroque era, etc, have a “custos” at the end of the staves to show where the next one continues. This gives your eyes a clue to start playing the next stave while still shifting your look to the next stave.
I have seen that it can be added manually as described in the post titled " Putting ‘something’ in the way of the notes? " (sorry, I’m not allowed to link to the post, but a search will find it)
But what if you need to change the layout? Plus making it automatic saves work in the first place (except for the developers…)

Unless your system breaks are in the same places as the source (which is unlikely), then adding custos to a modern edition is just an affectation rather than a transcription of original notation. Modern singers are ac-custom-ed :wink: to reading ahead.

As a result, I can’t imagine it being a high priority for the team.

(I say this as the person who instigated the original discussion, which was for an attempt to mimic a partbook as my idea of fun, rather than something useful.)

I get your point, but to me the custos is not just decorative to replicate an original manuscript. In addition to giving hints of what is coming it could be a lifesaver if there is a clef change from let’s say C2 to C3 within a system break. (I’ve played such pieces and a custos will really help secure you play the correct pitch.)
Early music is relatively easy to play and has a large following of amateur musicians who may not be looking ahead in the music so in this context it’s useful enough to warrant a feature request. Then of course it’s up to the team to prioritize it relative to everything else.

I would certainly like Dorico to include support for custos in future. It’s probably not going to happen soon, but it’s definitely on our radar.


A custos feature would be of great use and even necessary if (when?) Dorico were to have full-featured Gregorian chant capabilities.
Also, fun fact: the plural of “custos” is “custodes”. :upside_down_face:

I sometimes add custodes in parts I play, just to be sure, especially at page turns, and not only in Early music.
(Edit:) With pencil, I mean.

Amen. I find them very useful and I occasionally fake them by adding extra beats. At least for choral music, I wish they had never fallen out of fashion.