Contemporary notation features


To get an overview of important tools that we and our students in composition programs need I’ve made a summary. Many of these are already discussed (see the links below) but they can be difficult to find since they are scattered all over and appear multiple times under different names. Maybe I missed some typical features, but here is a list of three basic features of contemporary notation that we hope to see soon in Dorico:

Not yet in Dorico

  • Custom lines

  • Staff for approximate pitches. Most important: one line (and no ledger lines) but it would be good to have the possibility to define custom lines.

  • Box-notation. I don’t expect playback. (Maybe loops of different durations is possible, like bar repeats but with individual lengths)

Already in place

  • Custom noteheads. Would be useful to be able to predefine silent noteheads and noteheads without ledgerlines.

  • Microtonality, works excellent, but the default set is too complex. More useful with fever accidentals (=no double accidentals).

  • No clef/hidden clef. The no-clef that Dorico comes with acts as a hidden G-clef. We need this for all the common clefs: the bass the alto and the tenor clef.

  • Senza mizura, feathered beams, graphics and much more…

Links to discussions
Box notation:
Custom staves:,
Custom lines:,
Hidden clefs/No clef:
Hide stem:


And perhaps cutaway score as number 4.