Caeciliae, but with Dorico

I’m not sure if this is an appropriate place to post this, but I’m really curious…

There’s a fabulous gregorian chant font called “caeciliae” which incorporates ligatures, neumes, etc, into an OTF standard which can combine glyphs, etc. I’m wondering: Would this be possible with Bravura? I know the standard has specifications for combining various glyphs.

Has anyone dabbled with this? The possibility of this would allow for direct inline examples as well as integration of the font’s tremendous design in academia, etc. Metrico (GitHub - fkretlow/metrico: Font for metric equations in music notation.) already can do some of this.

Any ideas? Any attempts at doing this that I’m not aware of? What would it take to implement something like this?


I haven’t. I presume you could do incipits in a text frame though. Currently I reference gregobase and combine svgs with what I transcribe in dorico.

I don’t really want to do that. I just want to be able to use Bravura the way Caeciliae works, as a dynamic font capable of combining various glyphs.

Even Bravura contains most of the plainsong neum forms. So you can swap the default noteheads, clefs and other symbols for plainsong glyphs from any font. But Dorico is not designed to create plainsong, it will still space out each note separately, and it won’t centre the syllable on the vowel, etc.

The ligatures in Cecilae are based on two letters being next to each other in one line of text. That’s not how Dorico uses fonts.

Sure, I understand. I’m wondering if it’s possible to do a project similar to how Caeciliae worked, in that we could get ligatures and other font specs of OTF to create a typable music font?

Oh heavens… out of genuine curiosity, why would you want this? There’s a reason these programs have sprung up to accommodate rendering music this way. I suspect that if this was actually feasible by just using fonts/ligatures it would have been done long ago.

The simplicity of being able to type up an example and not have to rely on graphic compatibility within any program is incredibly attractive. There’s always a tediousness to putting examples together when it could just be “typed up”.

Yes, there are fonts designed to’ type’ plainsong in a word processor, and even one to emulate 16th-century printed notation.

St Meinrad is the plainsong one; and EMS Serenissima is the 16th-century one. The symbol contains the staff lines and note, so you have to type each pitch.