Change 1/2 note notehead to 1/4 note notehead?

Is it possible to change the notehead from a 1/2 note to a filled (1/4) note? I don’t see that option in the notehead menu, unless I missed it.

I need to notate some polyphonic string music where some of the notes in the chords are 1/2 and some are 1/4. I have done this on one staff, but this needs to have the 1/4 notes on a lower staff and it doesn’t seem to be possible to do that in the usual manner.


In the Engrave > Notehead Sets dialog, you’ll see that each notehead within a set is valid for a set duration (or range of durations).
The default (larger) notehead set uses one notehead for durations shorter than and equal to a quarter note, a separate notehead for half notes, a separate notehead for whole noteheads etc.
You can’t individually switch a note to use a different notehead within the same notehead set.
What you can do is create a duplicate of your regular notehead set (which is probably the Common > Larger Noteheads set), remove the standard half note notehead and tell the standard quarter notehead to apply to 1/2 notes and shorter durations. Name this notehead set something useful (like “sdb2 polyphonic”), then use the contextual menu to switch individual noteheads to the sdb2 polyphonic notehead set.

Honestly, I’d probably use a second voice, adjust the stems, and set the voice column to 0.

Thank you Pianoleo - your knowledge and generosity are amazing. Really appreciate it!

@dankreider: I tried that, of course, but when I lengthen the stems Dorico just moves the staves farther apart. How did you keep that from happening?

I think that Dan meant just to flip the stem of voice 2 so it’s the same direction as that of voice 1. That shouldn’t change the staff distance adversely. Also, this might be easier on the fly than creating a new notehead set.

Yes, flip stems if needed, select the offset noteheads, and set their voice column index to 0.

In context, of course, you’d end up with a quarter rest that you’d need to select and Edit–Remove Rests.

This needs to be on two staffs because of the clef. In any case, Panoleo’s idea worked fantastically. It’s even easier than the above method and I might always use it.

Very happy, thank you again!

You can move selected notes to the staff below or above using Alt-M or Alt-N respectively.

@Vaughan: Well, ok, but it did change the distance.

I already did what Dan suggested, but when I moved the quarter note to the lower staff, it was impossible to fake the connection between the stems as he did above. When I tried extending the stem, the staves just moved farther apart. Also rests don’t move to the bottom staff. Pianoleo’s suggestion is the only one that worked. I’m probably missing something obvious here, but I don’t see what it is.

Thanks for your help.

@dan, but then the stem becomes disconnected from the upper note?

Ok, I’m following you now. What you want is cross-staff beaming, so you do indeed need to use Leo’s method. Sorry for the confusion. When I answered your previous post, the image wasn’t yet attached.

Conversely, I could have just read what you originally wrote more carefully… :sunglasses: