Breath Marks, Long Ties, and Write Mode


New to the Forum, and hope I’m complying with protocol. Also, not sure my two attachments made it.

Found a great solution on Tim Davies blog to wind/brass breathing stutters on long-held passages. (attached) Add suggested breath marks without using short rests, which confuse the eye. Player gets the idea without hand-holding.

But find when I add breath marks to long ties in Write Mode, the breath marks jump to the beginning or end, which might be quite far away.

Can repair in Engrave, but in Write Mode, the breath marks stay at the beginning or end---- not even close to where they belong when you’re typically in Galley View.

I’ve fiddled, but no cigar.

Any/all suggestions welcome.

(I did my due diligence search for a similar topic, but the one I found didn’t seem close enough.

Thanks Much,


Problem- breach marks with long ties.dorico (1.9 MB)

Try this. It might (or might not) work.

Untie the notes.

Change the voice of the note which immediately follows where you want the breath mark to appear.

Select the note preceding that one (ie the note immediately before where you want the breath mark to appear, and add the breath mark. It should appear after that note.

Re-tie the notes. Because the notes are now in different voices, you will need to select them manually using cmd-click (on the Mac), which I think is ctrl-click on Windows, and then press T.

Selecting all the notes to be tied can also be done using marquee selection, or click on the first note and then shift-click on the last note.

Thanks Steven,

Clever! Worked. Only thing is, the B. mark goes to the end of the measure, and can’t adjust to specific spot within the measure. BUT, can do that in Engrave. At least the mark is in the approximate spot in Write Mode.

Lot better than trying to keep track of marks in 5 staves of whole notes, and held for 7 measures. Breath marks arbitrarily at beginning or end give no clue.

Thank You,


Another approach is to create a playing technique that looks like a breath mark. In write mode, you can activate the caret and move it to where you want a breath mark to appear and then add this playing technique. This approach allows you to condense two instruments onto the same staff:

1 Like

Thanks John P.

That looks like a very creative idea!

I’m new to Dorico so will research playing techniques.

Do I actually use the breath mark at some point?

I’ll do the homework.


John C