CHANT notation

Dorico, please consider a host of options for early music engravers, especially in regards to chant notation: neumes (all various types), do and fa clef (different than modern clefs and C-clefs), four-line staff, and preferably also St. Gall and Laon semiology. If you need help with these items, I’d be happy to provide it. Email me.

These probably are not easy features to implement, but I would greatly appreciate all of them.

In the meantime, it would be nice if the 3rd-party neume plug-ins for Finale could be made to work with Dorico.

I think it’s unlikely that a Finale plug-in could be ‘made to work’ with Dorico. Dorico has no plug-in architecture for starters.

Plainsong uses such different rules of notation that it would require an entirely different mode of operation for the application. I doubt we would see this in Dorico for many years.

My workflow is to create plainsong either by using the tools at the Gregorio project, or to make it in Illustrator, and then import to Finale or Dorico as a graphic.

Speaking as somebody who prepared a whole chant hymnal using the old St Meinrad fonts and Microsoft Word the better part of 20 years ago and still bearing the scars, I agree that this would be a good thing for Dorico to be able to do, but I also agree with Ben’s assessment that it’s unlikely we’ll be able to work on this in the near future given the relatively small demand for such a feature. But it is definitely in our long-term plans.

I’m glad to hear this is planned, even if it’s for the far future.

It does, based on Lua - but at present it’s very under-developed, and even more “under-documented,” so this is definitely something for the future!

Interesting! Even so, Klemm’s Medieval plug-in is written in C++ using Finale’s byzantine plug-in SDK, which describes and manipulates Finale’s data structures. There’s no way you could make it work in Dorico without re-writing it from scratch. It’s also super expensive.

I look forward to the day when Dorico’s plug-in architecture (and scripting) are fully documented!

My understanding, like Ben mentioned, is that the Gregorio project is currently the best way to go for chant. Given it’s free access, perhaps there is something here in its architecture that could be of use:

Of course, it would be nice to have a one-stop shop for all notation and Dorico seems like it could be primed to include this. Thanks to Ben, Daniel, and all for the thoughtful replies.

This is probably the best notation software available right now (Gregorio):

Honestly, I’d be thrilled if the medieval program (finale) was ported over. I’ve considered buying finale just to run that particular plugin. (But I’d then export to pdf and bring those graphics back into Dorico :wink: )

At least there is the silver lining that stemless notes are fully supported. I’m currently in the habit of transcribing into modified modern chant notation many of the works we do. Between stemless notes and fully-fledged support for open meter, it is pretty painless, although I’d also love full support for genuine chant notation. At least we know that Daniel is fully entrenched in the church music world so he won’t forget us.