Can't insert lower voices (Newbie again)

I am working on the “First Steps” tutorial. I have attached the practice score. My task is to finish note input after most of the lessons. I am attempting to input bar 36 and I am having a significant problem. I have successfully input the top voice of the R.H. part (nothing else yet in the bar). After finishing the top voice of bar 36 I returned the caret to beat 1 of Bar 36 and attempted to enter the ½-note A-natural (by entering note input selecting half note and playing A-natural on my midi keyboard).

Unfortunately doing this totally erases the upper voice. May I ask the correct method of inputting the rest of bar 36 and, in general how to add lower voices once I have added the upper voice? Sorry to say, I am shocked that Dorico overwrote the upper voice as I entered the middle voice.

First Steps Piano Piece - Pejacevic Walzer Capricen No2 - Score.pdf (90.5 KB)

If you don’t tell Dorico you want to enter notes in a different voice, it will assume you are continuing input in the same voice.

So you have to tell it you want a different voice.

  1. Have your cursor at the proper point (bar 36, beat 1)
  2. Press V to go into the “next” voice, one in which stems will point downward if there’s another voice present (signaled by the little cursor note doing just that).
  3. If the cursor-note doesn’t change direction (it very likely won’t), you haven’t created that second voice yet. So create it, by typing shift-V.
    Now note input in the new voice will work, and it won’t overwrite the original one.
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The idea of the First Steps Guide is that you work through it in order. Three pages later (at least in the online version) than where you’re at is the section in which adding additional voices is explained.

Rather than second guessing and being shocked by the result, have faith that what you want to know will be explained, and thought has gone into the best order in which to explain things.


Thank-you Leo. I am already at the “Finish writing the music” portion, just before “layout”.

I’m not sure quite how you skipped past Adding another voice to the top staff - it’s definitely there.

It worked! Thank-you.

Thank-you Leo. I have been doing the tutorial over several days as time permits so I probably forgot if the lesson was much earlier. As I said, I am mostly through the note input section but have to complete some measures “on my own” before proceeding to layout.

There is also the option to download a pre-prepared demo project file that is complete, musically, but completely unformatted. Dorico 5 First Steps Documentation

The suggestion to complete the piece yourself is a learning opportunity to apply everything you’ve learned in the tasks up to that point, without the step-by-step instructions provided earlier in the guide (as a low-stakes “test” for yourself to check how much you’ve picked up). If you can’t remember how to do a particular step, go back to the earlier task on the same theme and remind yourself of the key parts.


Check the gif I created and posted in this other thread, to get clarity on voices:

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I tasked myself to complete all the music and managed to get through it. It’s a perfect assignment. Kudos to the designer of the lesson!

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The Caret indicator is super helpful. Thank-you!


Thank you, I’m really glad to hear you’ve enjoyed working through it! That was obviously the hope :slight_smile:

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