change notes to rest

Could I change a note or some notes to the rest(s) with equivalent value(s)?
I could not find an appropriate command in the menu and in the keyboard shortcuts.

No, as far as I know there’s no such command.
Of course just deleting the notes would leave rests behind, but they’re not necessarily grouped in the way you want them to be.

Click on the note you want to convert to a rest, type shift-N to enter note-entry mode and activate the caret, type comma to select a rest, type the appropriate note value number (5 for eighth, 6 for quarter, etc.) and then type Y to convert the note at the caret location to a rest. To convert additional notes to rests, move the caret with the arrow keys, type the appropriate note value number, and type Y. When you’re done, type comma to de-select rest input, and hit escape.

Don’t forget to activate Force Duration if you need to enforce special rest values. Otherwise you might as well just delete the notes.

Yes, that’s a critical step! Sorry I left that out.

Deleting the notes is the way to go if you just want to change a note into an equivalent length rest. The procedure I described is what I use to change, say, a dotted quarter rest into separate quarter and eighth rests (which of course requires Force Duration to be enabled). This only works for pitched instrument staves, though, and not percussion staves.

You shouldn’t fixate on the specific notated duration of rests any more than you should fixate on the specific notated duration of notes. This is one of the areas you can trust Dorico to do the right thing for you, and if for whatever reason you don’t like what it does, you can almost always find an option to produce your preferred result in Notation Options. So it normally really is a single key press to turn a note into a rest: hit Delete.

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There’s no special behaviour for turning a rest into a note. If you want a note where there once was a rest, you input one using any of the provided methods. Dorico doesn’t subscribe to the view that notes and rests are functionally equivalent, unlike some other software applications. Notes have primacy, and rests don’t. I think this a pretty sound design approach – but I’m biased, of course, since I am one of the architects of the design.

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Switching is difficult. Persevere! I say this as someone who used Sibelius from the Acorn days onwards. There’s nothing inherently logical about up/down moving pitches up and down and left/right being navigational; it’s just that, over years, Sibelius has trained you that that’s how it’s done. You can retrain yourself to work in a different (and arguably more logical) way.

Dear vanmeule,
Just so you know, it’s been a thought after decision that led the team to force us to use alt-arrow to change notes : the aim is to avoid any unwanted alteration of the music. This is why you cannot change music stuff in Engrave mode, and it is the reason behind alt-arrow. There are (really) many things you can remap in the Preferences>Key Commands, but I’m sorry to say you cannot make Dorico behave like Sibelius. There’s a moment in your switch where you have to stop fighting the software if you want to make the efficient workflow (with it) become “natural”. That’s the tough (but rewarding in the end) step. Your finger on the alt button might get more and more responsive :wink:

It’s worth remembering that most of the Dorico development team worked on (and for) Sibelius for many years (though not until after the shift from Acorn to Windows and Mac, IIRC). These differences in note entry don’t come from a place of ignorance or thoughtlessness; the aim is to do a better job of note entry than Sibelius while making it harder for the user to make errors.

You probably realise this but part of Dorico’s engineering design has to do with minimising the chance of altering the music inadvertently. This is the reason for having a separate Engraving Mode, where you can’t alter the music itself, only its appearance. Bearing this in mind, being able to alter pitches by simply pressing an arrow key would be asking for trouble. When scrolling or reaching for the mouse/trackpad/keyboard, it’s very easy to graze a key by mistake, especially an arrow key, and this is prevented by including Alt. Fortunately you can press Alt-arrow with one hand!

This brings up another habit I’ve had to learn: it’s important when scrolling though a score in Write Mode to make sure nothing is selected. If you have left a note, for example, selected, and you’ve scrolled to another passage, pressing an arrow key [inadvertently] will take you to an adjacent note to the one selected, leaving you confused at the unexpected shift in location. If a note is selected and you’ve scrolled to another location, an inadvertent keypress will probably change the music without your noticing it.

Both Marc and Leo got their responses in while I was writing mine. We all agree on this point.

Rather than using Alt-Up/Down to repitch notes, use L (which does the equivalent of Sibelius’s Shift-Alt-N), followed by the pitch (whether typed on a MIDI keyboard or the computer keyboard). It is by far the quickest way to repitch, requires no contortion, and doesn’t require two hands.

(I should clarify - you do need to invoke the caret, either using Shift-N or the more general Enter).

You can assign anything you like to “Raise Pitch By Step” and “Lower Pitch By Step” - see Preferences > Key Commands. I’d advise assigning a couple of keys on the number keypad or some otherwise unused Function keys, rather than Up and Down (because otherwise you’ll have to unassign at least some of the various navigational functions of Up and Down). The choice is yours.

Dear vanmeule,
Just to make sure we’re working with the same software, there’s nothing called Edit mode in Dorico :wink: It’s easier to communicate with the fellow Doricians with the exact names found in the UI (even English names, for foreigners like myself).
The fact that you have to switch modes is something that the brains get used to, with practice… but I know it does require some work !

And for the fellow hardware geeks with multiple monitors out there: All the issues with mode switching went away completely for me after discovering you could put write and engrave modes on two different (but completely synchronized!) monitors.


Then what if you want to make a selection that’s too large to fit a single window by selecting the first note, scrolling to the last note and Shift-clicking? This is far from uncommon, you can only zoom out so far.

That was my point: it’s a good idea to make sure to disable the selection.

BTW, speaking of BWV 1006a, I’ve had lots of fun with that prelude! When I used to play viola (that’s no joke) I played it in A. I’ve also recorded Bach’s own arrangement of it (BWV 29) on organ with orchestra (in D) and even made an arrangement of it for solo harpsichord in G. Here’s a screen shot of the 1st page:

For what it’s worth I switched the key commands so that you move notes without needing the alt key, and use the alt key to navigate between different notes. I don’t really have problems ‘moving things by mistake’ (if this is the primary justification for the default key command), or at least not enough to justify the discomfort posed by holding down alt more. Even if you do move things by mistake, it’s now easier to fix it without alt!