Cues printed concurrently with played material

Cues: printed concurrently

A tradition in musical theatre writing is that the piano/keyboard pit part will often incorporate a vocal line as an almost continuous cue. Happily, I found that Dorico handles this cueing situation. However, some issues could be improved to speed up input, and there is one issue with no obvious workaround.

Ideally I would want to include one continuous cue for bb66-73 (see Example with fewest cues); in reality I had to use five separate cues (see Example). To achieve the appearance of this passage in one cue I would suggest flexibility on

(1) Unwanted rests. Hide specific rests within the cue part – e.g. b67, crotchet rest; b68, crotchet and quaver rests.
(2) Adapting to 8ve lines in the part. Ignore the 8ve line – b69, crotchet A.
(3) Different octave transpositions within a single cue. The vocal cue is transposed two octaves higher until b70 when it drops to one octave higher on the second crotchet.

The issue I couldn’t resolve concerns the stem direction of the cue occurring in a stave where the keyboard part has crossed to another stave, i.e. leaving a blank stave (b82 & b84). The obvious option is to use the property panel for the cue and force the stems in one direction. However, this option fails to work in this situation.

Cues: stem direction changes at specific points

Harp cue in bb74-5. As originally printed, the cue in b75 should have stems up. I could have two cues and force the stem direction separately, but then I can’t include the slur. As a single cue, the slur exists, but I cannot change stem directions at a specific point.

Cues: Miscellany

One way to deal with these things is to copy them to a new player (singer…). Then you can adjust everything to the way you want the cue to appear.
This means that you’ll need to update the extra stave if you update the original, but is flexible in that you can copy everything you want cued on to it (with instrument (singer…) changes).

Thanks, yes I’d thought of that. In hindsight I should have made three separate threads for the three parts of this post.

The first part was really trying to alert the development team to some of the issues with cues that need workarounds, and to some desired flexibility with cue notation - including a legitimate reason to hide (cue) rests that I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere. Obviously your solution or mine works in the meantime, and yours also covers the laissez vibrer issue.

I think with the point that wasn’t answered (stem direction changes at specific points), I’ll start a new thread as it isn’t exactly connected with this thread heading.

Also can anyone respond to this issue:

The issue I couldn’t resolve concerns the stem direction of the cue occurring in a stave where the keyboard part has crossed to another stave, i.e. leaving a blank stave (b82 & b84). The obvious option is to use the property panel for the cue and force the stems in one direction. However, this option fails to work in this situation.

It is intentional on our part that you cannot hide rests within cues: we considered the exact kind of situation you show here, where you want to cue an entire line but not show empty bars in the middle of the cue. We decided that the approach must be that you use separate cues, since in any case you should label each re-entry of the cued instrument or singer so that the player reading the cue knows what’s going on. So we do not intend to make it possible to hide rests within a cue (as you know, we do allow you to suppress the rests at the start and end of the cue if need be).

We also do not intend to make it possible to change the octave transposition within a cue, or indeed to change the stem direction within a cue. You can again use multiple abutting cues to achieve this, and suppress the superfluous labels. I believe this is a sufficiently rare situation that the use of multiple cues is not too onerous to achieve the results you are looking for.

As for the start of bar 84 not containing a rest: you could add a new voice on the left-hand piano staff and add an explicit half (minim) rest there, could you not?

Multiple cues won’t achieve the bb. 75-76 phrase mark.

Thanks, the dynamic cues are a real boon. Obviously I’m trying to use them without turning to the Sibelius method of dealing with cues.

Hiding rests within a concurrent cue. I agree that when cues are separated by whole bar rests you would treat them as separate cues, and that you should label each entry (save for a continual concurrent cue, which wouldn’t be re-labelled at every cue entry unless there were other instrument cues, the cue switched to the other stave, or there was much space between cues).

But I wasn’t talking about being able to input one long cue, say, from an entire piece and then hide whole bar rests so to form separated cues (with no labels). Referring to bars 66-73, you would read and consider these as one cue. So, within this cue, apart from being able to suppress the leading and ending rests, it would be very useful and much quicker to hide specific (non-whole bar) rests.

Take bar 67 alone, I had to split the cue in order to hide one crotchet rest. To my mind, this is a different case from the principle you outlined. There is a distinction between separating cues where you would label each entry, and hiding (non-whole bar) rests within a cue: you wouldn’t re-label the cue entry mid-bar 67.

For what it’s worth, I found it became a bit of a drag having to split concurrent cues in order to hide (individual) rests. It seems to me the natural way to deal with this type of case is simply to hide the rests as and when the concurrent material demands it.

Changing stem direction within a cue. I found it wasn’t onerous to split cues to achieve this. But this technique is not possible in cases where there is a marking that crosses where the stem direction needs to change, such as the slur in bars 75-76.

Cues concurrent with material that has crossed staves. Regarding bar 84 (or 82), I don’t understand your suggestion. I need the appearance as printed but with stems up in the vocal cue. When the RH crosses to the LH stave, as it does for the whole of these bars, Dorico automatically has the cue stems down. The stem direction override does not work in this case.

The stem direction override doesn’t work as its name might suggest because what it really does is tell Dorico what direction the stems should go in when multiple voices are active on a staff. In those situations where the only voice on the RH staff is crossed down to the LH staff, the RH staff has no voices active, and hence the stems are allowed to go down as they normally would for notes on those staff positions.

It is obviously problematic that you can’t then further force the cue’s stem to point upwards in that situation. I’ll have to discuss this with the team to see whether there would be any unintended consequences of changing the operation of this property such that it really would force the direction of the stems regardless of the presence of other voices, rather than merely give them a hint as to which way to go.