Changing tied 1/4 notes to a 1/2 note

Hi people, as in the attached screenshot, showing Dorico’s default behaviour when a half-note straddles the half-bar mark in 4/4. It ties two quarter-notes together. How do I change this so that a half-note is displayed.

I did this in a previous project, but a thorough search of all menus and engraving options today has failed to find it again. And I have no idea what words to search for in the help or manual. Any assistance appreciated.

two quarter-notes.JPG

Here’s how I do this:

  1. Select the tied note
  2. Type 6 to change it to a quarter note (a rst will appear)
  3. Type ‘o’ for Force Duration (with the note still selected)
  4. Type 7 to change it into a half note.
    (5. Type ‘o’ again to turn off Force Duration)

Use force duration when you input the note. Enter caret mode (shift-n), enable force duration (press o once), 7, and the pitch.
PS: I’ve just seen the former answer, which also works.

Thanks so much folks.
Mmm, I seem to remember that I saw a preference to make what I want automatic (i.e., to ignore half-bar divisions). Perhaps I’m mistaken.

Try Notation Options > Note Grouping.

Yeah, it‘s the fourth option down in the Note Grouping section of Notation Options.

There still doesn’t seem an option to stop ANY note splitting in 4/4. Even with everything set to “Notate as single note”, I still get a split at the half-bar for some durations.
This is my one footling issue with Dorico, as when transcribing editions, I need the notes verbatim, even if idiosyncratic. The solution is to remember to turn on Force Duration every time I do Note Entry.

Dorico doesn’t seem to like writing a long note across the half bar if there are beamed groups either side (i.e. 8th or 16 notes either side of the note across the half bar, not quarter notes).

I sometimes wonder whether this is by design or by accident.

It’s by design. It will allow a note to be written across the half-bar if it matches one of the syncopated patterns it’s looking for, but it takes quite a hard line on just what those syncopations have to look like, and shorter notes adding up to the “short” of e.g. “short-long-short” will prevent the “long” from being notated as a single note. We do plan to soften its stance on this in future.

“Soften its stance…” LOL !
More seriously, while Dorico does like to be “proper” in many respects, it’s great to see programmers who are determined to make allowances for the vaguaries of humans.


There’s an insoluble problem with beaming in 18th century scores, in that composers, hand copyists and publishers all used beams as an alternative to short slurs (which was a perfectly sensible convention if the rhythms were relatively simple - why spend twice as long making two marks on the paper when one mark will do just as well!).

So any fixed rule for beaming is going to be wrong some of the time for that genre of music. Re-editing it to use modern conventional beaming plus slurs doesn’t really work either, because the slurs can look too prescriptive compared with the original.

Please fix this in the next version. It is a major inconvenience for professionals of ancient music.

Hi Miguel.
This is a quite “old” thread, can you detail more precisely what pattern you want to see changed (picture maybe)? This way we can help you find the setting, or the way to achieve what you want, or you’ll get more influence over the team for your wish to come true.

Hi Marc,

I want to change two tied 1/2 notes to a whole-note between two bars/measures. I tried to do what PjotrB said, using ‘force duration’ but it didn’t work, I don’t know why.

Thank you for your help.

(From the top of my head, not at computer right now)
In this case you can use the trick of using a 1:1 tuplet (a whole note “in place of” itself) and invoke the ‘spans barline’ property. And make the tuplet number and bracket invisible, of course.
This is also useful for dotted notes spanning a barline, which is also fairly common in this kind of music. For a dotted half note/minim, you’d need a 3:3 tuplet of quarter notes/crotchets, and fill it with the dotted half.

Thank you PjotrB, it works! But I’m still thinking it’s a lot of job for a whole score… Doesn’t ‘force duration’ never work in this case?

Force Duration won’t work if there’s a barline in the way.

Yes, editing early music in Dorico may involve a lot of manual tweaking, but I find the beautiful end result quite rewarding…

Dorico was designed with, say, ‘classical/romantic/popular’ western music notation in mind. Typesetting baroque, renaissance or even earlier music (or advanced contemporary notation, for that matter) was not the principal objective. Let’s hope we need less and less “hacks” as Dorico develops further. I’m optimistic.

Yes, I hope too. I think it’s very important that Dorico could be competitive in both early and contemporary music too. I’m a choir conductor and usually need ancient notations, and I’m composer as well so need a lot of contemporary notations. I think Dorico is great, and will be greater, because developers are listening us in our needs. Thank you all for your help!

If you turn on Chord mode (“Q”) you can paste this tuplet (or the signpost) onto existing notes, much quicker to do in bulk.