Chord Symbols to create notes?

I’m using SE 3.5. I have chord symbols entered in a score. I’m wondering if there is a way to have Dorico automatically enter the notes from the symbols on to the staff?

Not at present, no.

How would you expect this to work? If I see a chord symbol such as C7 it gives no clue as to how the chord is voiced or how the notes are distributed amongst parts/instruments. Even on one instrument such as a guitar there are different ways to play C7.

Dorico has an idea of a default voicing for a chord symbol, so it would be able to use that voicing to create a chord. If you play the chord symbol in using your MIDI keyboard, then it also remembers the specific voicing you played on your MIDI keyboard to input it (so that it can play that back if you choose to play the chords track in Play mode), so it could perhaps alternatively use that voicing.

One way to add the chord symbols is to play them on a keyboard. Dorico supposedly “remembers” the way you played it.
So it seems likely that it would be easy to just fill in the chord notes.
It seems that one of those processes could be automatic. Either play a chord on the keyboard and it is notated and the chord symbol is entered. Or you enter the chord symbol and the notes are filled in.
Seems like you shouldn’t have to do both manually.

I think the question was about avoiding the need to input the notes yourself - that’s the whole point really. In other words you enter C7 and the notes magically appear in your score. I would have thought this is a tall order, although as Daniel says, maybe some default voicings could be provided - this work best I imagine with instruments like the guitar where the range of possible voicings is more limited then for a piano, or indeed an orchestra. How would you even decide which octave the chord should be notated in?

Read my post just above yours. When you enter the chord symbols with a midi keyboard, Dorico remembers how you played the chord. So logically itt would seem that the notation could be automatically entered as well.
Conversely, if you enter the notes of the chord on the staff, Dorico should be able to detect the chord and enter the symbol.
I was just thinking that one of the ways could be automatic. .
To your point, if you just have the chord symbol, how would you know how to play it?
Just a suggestion.

Well, that’s the catch isn’t it? There are a bunch of free Band-in-a-Box alternatives like ChordPulse, MMA (Musical MIDI Accompaniment), etc that can create AI comps for you from chord changes. You can always export MIDI from BIAB or one of them and import into Dorico. Perhaps Dorico could even license the AI tech from BIAB, but this seems to be getting away from the core focus on notation. Plus, most of these are pretty terrible anyway, but they can be useful for beginners.

The reason we have musical notation is so that more complex things can be displayed with precision. If as a pianist I just saw C7 I would assume I am being given carte blanche to arrange it to suit my ear and how I interpret the music and style at that point. At a different point in the music I might arrange the chord completely differently. However if I was arranging, say, a chorale and saw C7 I would have to pay attention to the ranges of voices and voice leading too.
Maybe I misunderstood your original post - I thought you wanted to be able to type C7 and somehow Dorico would fill your stave with notes. Obviously if you enter notes from a keyboard this situation doesn’t arise.

Copying cubase would be a good start…

Scratch that, copying MuseScore would be a good start :wink:

How does MuseScore handle chord symbol playback? I always left Enable Chord Playback turned off, but Finale has simple chord playback capability built in. You can even define the voicing by editing the suffix, hitting Set Play, then Listen, and Finale will fill in the voicing intervals above to use whenever that chord appears. Finale then plays the chord on the beat whenever that symbol appears.

Would something like that be useful in Dorico? I guess I’m not sure how people that are asking for chord symbol playback use it. Is it just to hear a rough progression when writing? Or is it higher level AI to play along with?

Dorico does playback (root position only, no inversions, except perhaps slash chords).It lacks realization of chord symbols to staff.

Musescore, does both - but also just root position.

Sibelius has realization, i don’t know about playback.

Cubase is on the next level, as you can select different inversions (through chord pads) and even drive different instruments split by voices. But yeah, it’s a daw and workflow is a bit different.

Btw, chord suffixes are not the same as voicing. Most suffixes define quality of the chord (extensions and alterations), voicing is still left to interpretation.

The closest thing to voicings i know of in Dorico is shift-i, where you can add intervals to a note. So 3,5 would be a major, minor or diminished chord, depending on root note and scale. But you can enter intervals in any order, even below the root with -.

Perhaps a blend of shift-q and shift-i would be interesting, shift q to specify chord, bit then have something like shift-i but only limited to intervals of the chord. That would in effect be the same as Cubase chord pad, without the fancy ui. Then again, realizing to root position and then customize voicing using notes is the same, if not more suitable for notation software.

I’m still not really understanding the workflow regarding how people use this though. Is it just to hear a basic progression? Is it to practice along with like BIAB or iReal? Obviously in a DAW you can create various pads, are people using chords that way in Dorico too? How would some sort of chord playback be superior to just playing in what you want on a MIDI keyboard yourself? Or is it a way to input chord inversions without a MIDI keyboard?

I feel like I’m missing the point of this somehow. I’m a very experienced jazz performer/arranger/educator and I’ve never once felt the need for this, and in fact always made sure to actively turn it off by default. Just trying to understand the application of this.

I don’t understand the workflow either. If you want the simplicity of a DAW then fine - enter C7 and up pops C E G Bflat. Big deal.

Real music is rather different, we have varied chord voicings, inversions, doublings, instrumentation etc. The chord of C7 can be infinitely varied, so why not just enter the notes you actually want, in the registers you want, in the instruments you want, in the rhythms you want etc. If you want to turn Dorico into a clone of Cubase or Musicscore then fair enough I suppose.

I agree with Fred - what is the benefit here? By the time you had customised whatever default might be invoked you would be better off just entering the notes you want.

You are probably old enough (like me) to have learned how to audiate without needing a computer to do it for you.

Unfortunately, that puts us both in a fairly small minority of “composers” these days!

It’s actually really sad that being able to ‘audiate’ without needing a computer (or being able to perform arithmetic functions without needing a calculator) brands us as being ‘old’. In the performing world, I often have to work with singers with performing careers who can barely read music, if at all, and who have learned their parts from listening to YouTube recordings. Can you imagine an actor having to have his/her lines read aloud to them, either by a coach or by a computer, in order to learn their part? Isn’t that the definition of illiteracy?

Sorry. End of rant.

Dear Vaughan,
I am quite surprised. My experience is very different, and I have been singing professionally for 20 years now. My fellow singers usually are very highly musically trained (they usually play other instruments at a quite high level) and there’s not much to correct musically when we meet. And it is often because of bad editions :wink:

For quick mock-ups, I’d actually love a feature that combines the excellent voice-leading of Cubase’s chord playback with the ability to assign that to a rhythmic track consisting of, say, slash notation. And if there are Chord Diagrams for guitar present, the feature would of course use those…
For my line of work, that would be stunning!


I can understand why you might want this (or have to resort to importing the midi files from say, iReal Pro or similar) for the rhythm section.
For example, arranging a big band score, the imported tracks would provide a rhythm section so you can hear your brass, saxes, flutes etc. as you develop it. Very useful for those who do not play keys or any chordal instrument, or do not know what a bass player might typically play in that situation. The rhythm section might only require chords anyway, so this notation would be deleted after use.

Or for songwriting or vocal arrangements, a chord playing in the background would help offer the notes to be distributed or as a backing to check what has been notated for each instrument (or vocalist).

This kind of a function would be great to have eventually. Let’s put aside any ivory tower intellectual arrogance and just let technology work for us. In my thinking, technology exists to help us all get to “art” quicker. You can then choose what you wanna become a master of, rather than needing to become a jack-of-all-master-of-none.