Conductor signs for bar subdivision

Hello everyone,

I am a new user of Dorico (and a former user of Sibelius). I should first say that I am extremely impressed by the ease of use, flexibility and amazing results of this software both in terms of engraving style and playback.

There is a particular issue however which I have not seen discussed anywhere. I would like to know whether it is possible in Dorico to add those conductor symbols that specify how bars are subdivided in groups of two and three beats. I am attaching a .png file to this message showing exactly which symbols I have in mind.

Thank you very much in advance,

You can copy & paste those symbols into text created via shift+x or in text boxes in engrave mode. All you have to do is change the type to “music text”.

Welcome to the forum, Daniel, and welcome as a Dorico user. I hope you enjoy learning and using the program.

We originally intended to have a whole “Conductor & Analysis” panel in Write mode to include these conductor symbols, and things like the Second Viennese School Hauptstimme/Nebenstimme symbols, and potentially other things like Maler’s function symbols, Roman numerals, and so on, but as yet we’ve not returned to this idea, though it’s certainly something I would expect in the fullness of time.

For the time being, if you want these markings to appear in each part, then you should use Shift+Alt+X (system-attached) text. If, on the other hand, you only want them to appear in the score, then adding them as playing techniques via Engrave > Playing Techniques might be the easiest way to go about it.

That would be delightful. I know every collegiate student in America would be happy to have the option for doing analysis (or perhaps I should say, being able to mark harmonic analysis). I love the concept writ large though.

Dear colleagues,

I´ve the same complication. I find the conductor - symbols in version 3.5. - but, how to set that? - I would like to ask about anyway - maybe how to create a system-attached symbol?


For one staff, I would recommend a custom playing technique. If you Google “Dorico custom playing technique,” there’s a helpful video tutorial on it.

If it needs to be system-attached and display on every part, you’ll want system text (Alt-Shift-X). You can then copy-paste the symbols as needed:

(Make sure you’re using Bravura Text)

Unfortunately, inserted as playing techniques they are not vertically aligned, because of the notes to which they have to be attached. I wonder if this is still the best workaround, as of now.


What if you group them and set the line to no line?


I really hope for an “align vertically” option in Dorico 4, where you can align similar items.

Laborious, but it may work. Thank you!


An added note, regarding the available symbols in Dorico: I don’t find a “beat 1”. It is just a vertical line, that I find in some scores. Maybe it can be simulated with another vertical symbol, but I’ve not been able to find it.

In any case, it would be a nice addition to the SMuFL catalogue.


So far, the solution that works best for me is to add the symbols as system text (Alt-Shift-X) - like that I find that they align vertically at all defined system object positions (and you only have to input them once). The problem is that they will show up in all the parts where you (I) generally don’t want them. My solution to this was to create my own “Paragraph Style” where you can then set the font size for parts to “0”. Like that they show up in the score, but not in the parts.

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There’s also a “Hidden” property for text items that can be used locally or globally.

Yes, but then the problem is that you have to select all symbols in all parts and hide them - quite a lot of work. Or am I missing something?

What if you hide them in the score with global on. Then change to local and unhide in the score.


Edit: nah, doesn’t seem to work, I guess local only works in parts

Add your symbols to that as simple SHIFT+X text and add to other layouts as needed.