Completely turn off tuplet brackets

How do I suppress tuplet brackets altogether for the duration of a piece?

This option confuses me:


What is ‘when necessary’? Do I have to buy a copy of Behind Bars to find out?

This is a Haydn String Quartet movement in 4/4. Dorico seems to deem it necessary to use brackets. Haydn did not. :slight_smile:


There’s page after page after page (!) of tuplets in this music, all notated with a simple 3.

1 Like

The “necessary” here relates, I believe, to whether just a beam is sufficiently clear about which notes are in the tuplet.

There should be an option to do with when tuplet brackets need to be shown when tuplets share a beam with non-tuplet notes or other tuplets, as in your example. If it’s not in Engrave > Engraving Options > Tuplets, check in Write > Notation Options > Beam Grouping.

I can tell you how I do:
Select all ==> Filter Tuplets ==> Disable brackets in Properties

Given what I’ve seen of some of the music Andro is engraving, getting rid of the brackets on all tuplets is not an option.

Try these settings:

That only affects hiding repeated tuplets, not the brackets in the OP’s example. Dorico is set up to use brackets to try to avoid any tuplet ambiguity, but it still places them in non-ambiguous situations like the Haydn example, which looks unnecessarily cluttered to me. In fact, I’ve never seen brackets used in this particular situation in commercial scores. Hopefully, a future version of Dorico will include a setting to avoid redundant brackets like these. In the meantime, breaking the beam for each tuplet will remove the bracket. BTW, how were the tuplets beamed in the original? Otherwise, you’ll have to select the sections of music with only the 16th tuplets whose beams you want removed and use the properties panel. It’d be really handy if we could program a key combinations for this!

It is the top option that removes the brackets, the second limits the times the tuplet is explicitly identified and the third prevents any later tuplet being marked.

So, the first instance of a semiquaver triplet and the first instance of quaver triplet will be marked. All subsequent ones are not. See below. Note that bar 4 does not re-identify the quaver triplets.

The OP’s point wasn’t the repeated tuplets but the use of unnecessary brackets, like in the third beat in b. 4 of your example. That really doesn’t need a bracket, and I would argue that a tuplet bracket in the 1st half of the 4th beat wouldn’t be necessary, even with the regular 16ths in the 2nd half, due to the broken secondary beam. This is how I’m used to seeing a passage like the one above. At the moment, there’s no setting in Dorico to achieve it without resorting to manual changes in the properties panel.

The OP wanted to eliminate ‘most/all’ triplet indications in a movement of a Haydn quartet. The setting I show achieves that, except for having to change the properties of just a single tuplet!

As a string player I find your ’

irksome. The beaming makes the passage perfectly clear and the repeated number is redundant - even in Haydn quartets.

1 Like

No Janus, the OP wanted to ‘suppress tuplet brackets altogether’, not ‘most/all triplet indications’. This whole post was about Dorico’s placing brackets whenever tuplets are beamed together with other tuplets or other note values. Sometimes a bracket is necessary to show the beginning and end points of the tuplet, but not in the OP’s example from Haydn, where the brackets are redundant. How many times the triplet -3- is repeated is something you introduced but which wasn’t part of the OP’s question.

This has been a problem for me since day 1

The use of brackets seems to be a modern practice, to indicate that the notes are detaché, and not legato, as might have been implied by a slur – and there are printed cases in which the slur over a triplet does not indicate legato.

Personally, as a conductor and player, in a passage that has a persistent stram of triplets, I find the 3 over each group soon gets very tedious. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring would be a good example, but there are several in the Beethoven score I am working on at present.

Any decent musician can recognise that the notes are grouped in threes without it having to be shoved down his/her throat!

Probably the Engraving option Show tuplet brackets only when necessary, and Hide ratio and bracket (in successive tuplets) will do the trick, though I have often removed the offending 3s by hand.

Be aware that, once you have removed the 3s, you have left nothing to click on!


1 Like

Unless you turn signposts on, in which case you have tuplet signposts that can be copied and pasted elsewhere along with the notes, as necessary.

Just so you know (and I know I’ve shared that trick already, long ago) : you can create a macro with the provided macro tool, in order to get rid of brackets and numbers in tuplets. It really works, I’ve been using it on a daily basis for over three years… Simply create your macro. Find where that usermacro file is created (on mac, it’s the same folder that households your keycommands.json file, your user preferences, etc. user Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 4/Macros) and modify that usermacro name in the finder, so that creating a new macro won’t delete it. It now will appear in your macros menu in Dorico and you can use it when you need it, on any document.

Thanks! That’s helpful!


Of course, you also sometimes have the opposite, where the composer never shows the tuplets and just takes the “eh, they’ll figure it out” approach, LOL! Here’s a screenshot of just a few of the tuplet signposts in Scriabin’s Op. 11, No. 19 that I used as a recent demonstration. Meter is 2/4.


LOL! Whether marked up in green, or not, anyone learning this piece is going to have to look very hard at it and I wonder whether the tuplet figures would help much! But I think the matter under discussion was not anything as extreme as this, rather situations in which the triplets were obvious, without the 3 on each of them.


1 Like

There’s a great edition of the famous Widor toccata where there’s a staccato mark on every single 16th note for 10 pages of literally non stop 16th notes. One takes the hint after the first bar… lol.

This is a special case! I think there is only one edition of this piece, and I can see full justification for the constant reminder of staccato. Playing that piece staccato with all five fingers, with an equally demanding but different articulation in the left hand is by no means easy. The notes need to be very short, or they are swallowed up in the acoustic and it is tempting not to maintain the staccato. Moreover, doing so is very tiring, unless your finger muscles are in very good shape. If you dont play the piece, just try alternating the fourth and fifth fingers of your right hand staccato at the tempo and see how long you can keep going!


I play it for Christmas every year (Dupré B major toccata tomorrow). I still think ‘simile’ or ‘sempre’ would have been perfectly sufficient. Also, precious few of us have the luxury of 9 seconds of reverb to contend with. You are right that it is fatiguing though… I’m always grateful for when you get to page 3 and the pattern shifts to the left hand for a few bars. The relief is always welcome.