conventional value for a dotted note

Hello Dorico,
I was perusing the Bach’s Fugue in D Major BWV 850 where at measure 3 there is a peculiar rhythmic figuration, there is a dotted quaver followed by three demisemiquavers (32 notes), and here, according to baroque convention, the dotted quaver has the value of 1 eighth note + 1 thirty-second note.
I have seen modern transcription where the eighth note is tied to a thirty-second note.
Anyway, is it possible to force Dorico’s precise hand and obtain this particular figuration?

I have found a reference for the fugue at this link

Yes, with a 6:5 tuplet:
(in note input mode, caret showing):

  1. press 3 for demisemiquavers/32nds
  2. press ; for tuplet, then type 6:5, enter
  3. press 5 and . for a dotted quaver/8th within the tuplet
  4. enter note
  5. press shift-; (i.e. colon) to end tuplet
  6. press 3 for 32nds, enter 3 notes

Schermafbeelding 2020-12-02 om 22.25.32.png

I ‘sight read’ two keys in scales/arpeggios/WTC every morning as my warmup (practically have them memorized now so it’s not really sight reading anymore). I use the Alfred Masterworks edition by Willard Palmer, which is the best I found at being a true Urtext and performance edition (it’s comb bind!)

It’s conventionally notated as a regular dotted eighth and sixteenth (dotted quaver and semiquaver). The notation PjotrB has above is in ancillary staves above the figures as an alternative, with this note

NB) The performance of this fugue with “overdotting” throughout, suggested by Arnold Dolmetsch, as indicated in the staffs in light print, is controversial.

Further there is a note in the second bar, bass second beat

"In the manuscript of Anna Magdalena Bach (P202), there are alignment lines here and in many subsequent measures … since it is not known when or by whoem these lines were added, they do not contribute important evidence that over-dotting should not be used

And later they note that doing the overdotting in one voice (bass, third beat of bar 9) against sixteenths (semiquavers) in the treble is extremely controversial, though some artists do it. Anyhow it appears these are problematic and best avoided unless you’re a top drawer performer preparing this for performance.

There is nothing controversial about the fact that in the 18th century, rhythm dots were never considered to be “mathematically accurate” rhythmic notation.

Converting all the single dot rhythms to double with mathematical precision is as anachronistic as playing them all as exact single dots.

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Thank you for being so detailed, I am new to Dorico so all the passages are more than welcome. I thought there there was a sort of override for note input value, as in “I write these values but I mean these other values”.

Ops, I never thought to raise the question of the “overdotting syndrome”!
I was more concerned in having forcing Dorico to write what I want baffling its mathematical heart and mind. Will Dorico learn some exceptions?
Here a couple of consideration.

Peter gave you the (hidden) tuplet solution to your problem. I doubt you will see Dorico supply a built-in, one-click panacea to what is pretty much a niche situation any time soon.

If you have a number of these overdotting situations, you may be able to save time by copy/pasting the rhythm and then using Lock Duration to repitch the notes involved.

I guess Bach hardly realised that he was actually ‘misusing’ the dot for extending the quaver/8th with 1/4 of its value, instead of 1/2. The dot is just ‘a lengthening’, at least on a small scale within a beat. It could as well indicate overdotting, depending on style and context. Nowadays we are taught (and Dorico assumes) that a dot makes a note exactly 1.5 times as long, and some of us find the baroque notation incorrect or confusing, which, frankly, it isn’t. I don’t mind tricking Dorico to treat a dotted quaver as 1.25 its undotted value by means of a hidden tuplet, because it doesn’t even feel like a messy or clumsy workaround: the note has its exact right value now, it looks right, and will play back perfectly.

On a related note :wink: : dotted quaver + semiquaver was often used to indicate a triplet, depending on context. It’s a nice puzzle to construct such a thing in Dorico, if you want to have it play back as a triplet as well… But Dorico will not blink, it has perfect tools for that. (381 KB)

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Thank you! I feel we all need more baroque swinging style in our modern life. Anyway I am new to Dorico, having a bit of a problem to play your file since I do not have note performer (studying how to reroute audio, by the way is it any good? Dorico audio seems so much better than “the other program”).

If you do not have NotePerformer (NP), you can set the HALion Template in Play to assign your sounds to listen to the file–or you can try out the NP demo file to see if you like it.

It is a worthwhile investment for not much money and can be “rent-to-buy” on a monthly basis.

Of course, for this tiny example file, the use of NotePerformer is totally unimportant, sorry for not resetting the piano sound to a simple default. But Derrek is right, NotePerformer is remarkably good for its modest price, and excellent for someone (like me) who just wants hassle-free playback. I don’t bother about DAW functionality. I use playback mainly for checking my input, not for highly fine-tuned realistic mock-ups.