Custom Scale Degree Notehead Set Question

Newbie to Dorico Pro here. Trying to create a new set of noteheads based on scale degrees. Am a bit confused by the editor’s behavior and the process in general. I read the help text, which I did not find helpful. Here are some of the the problems I encounter, is my objective attainable?

If I create a new notehead set based on an existing scale degree set (Aiken for example), and edit a existing notehead in my new set, that change apparently back-propagates to all other sets (e.g. the Aiken set) using that notehead (which seems to indicate the noteheads are separate entities from notehead sets and are not independent to the set, so that to change it in one set is to change it in every set that uses it (i.e. I could not then use both my inherited set and the unmodified Aiken set together) , but…

it is not obvious to me that there is anywhere I can go to create completely new noteheads for inclusion in a completely new set). This seems a peculiar situation and not at all what I want, but I assume there is some reason for it and so I try a different tack, but…

if I add a new notehead to a set inherited from an existing notehead set, I am once again only permitted to add a predefined notehead type from a dropdown list, which leads directly back to the issue of back-propagating changes to any set using this selected notehead, so I try a different tack, but…

if I try to add a completely new notehead set, intending to include and subsequently modify notehead types that I will not use elsewhere in the composition, the notehead set group type defaults to ‘Common’ and even changing it to ‘Scale Degree’ results in the same behavior, namely that the Scale Degree selector is no longer available in the notehead editor, for me to use to indicate which scale degree should be associated with my edited notehead.

In short, I guess I have two questions - first, is it possible to create completely new notehead types for inclusion in a completely new notehead set and associate those new noteheads with scale degrees, second, if not is the only option to essentially overwrite an existing set of noteheads in an existing notehead set or alternatively overwrite the noteheads in an inherited notehead set (which produces the identical result in that the group inherited from no longer exists in its original form).

Any insights or pointing out of the error of my ways would be most appreciated. :slight_smile:

Welcome to the forum, Stephen. Your observations about how the notehead set editor works are correct: if you add one of the pre-defined noteheads to your set, then if you edit that notehead, that edit will be reflected everywhere that notehead appears. (This is powerful since it means you can create multiple notehead sets that use different combinations of the same notehead designs without having to redefine them many times.)

You can, however, create a brand new notehead: click the + button in the lower of the two panels on the right-hand side, which will add a brand new notehead (using the default black notehead) to the row of noteheads above.

Thank you. Making some progress now - the difference in the interface between ‘Add Notehead to Set’ and ‘New Notehead’ is perhaps not intuitive, and the default for noteheads in the ‘Scale Degree’’ category appears to be be ‘noteShapeDiamondBlack’ rather than the default black notehead, and there are other behaviors that are not yet clear to me. I suspect there are refinements to be had by further poking about, but at least I have succeeded with creating a simple NMN set of noteheads thanks to your direction. I appreciate it. Thank you.

I find this to be the case in the Notehead and Notehead Set editors as well. The capability is powerful but the interface is confusing. I am never sure if I am editing an inherited notehead or a brand new one. I would appreciate it if the interface more clearly reflected/signaled what the editors were doing.

When you’re editing a single notehead, you can look at its Name – if it’s something legible, it’s probably a default notehead. If it’s a random-seeming string of letters and numbers coming after “comp.user.”, it’s probably a new one :wink:

1 Like

Thank you for the pointer to expected behavior. I would like to think I would have picked up on that, had it been my experience. However, the behavior I encountered was different.

New noteheads were named after the default notehead with numbers in parenthesis, e.g. noteShapeDiamondBlack (1), noteShapeDiamondBlack (2), etc. This was not consistent however; after adding several new noteheads, I ended up with some that had the same name, e.g. noteShapeDiamondBlack (2) appearing three times. This peculiarity I did notice, and didn’t care for, so since the attribute editor (lower part of right-hand panel) appeared to allow me to change these names, I did so. However, after saving the notehead set and subsequently returning to the notehead editor, I noticed that all of the names I had entered had been replaced and all noteheads were now simply named noteShapeDiamondBlack. They remained individually editable; however, and the changes to each of them did not appear to back-propagate to other notehead collections containing the noteShapeDiamondBlack note type.

This is part of what I referring to as confusing behavior.

Other examples include, that if one is in the left hand pane and selects a category, and then selects the ‘plus’ sign to create a new notehead set, the new notehead set is not of the type selected in the category dropdown, and when the newly created notehead set is chosen for editing, the attribute editor is missing the attributes specific to that category of notehead, for example scale degree.

This is why I had problems in the first place, since the only option to get a Scale Degree notehead set appeared to be to use the ‘double plus’ new from selection option. This is when I figured out that the new set is merely a collection label for existing notehead types.

Now I understand that I must create a new from collection notehead set from an existing set of the desired category, delete all the noteheads in the set, and add new ones, in order to get approximately what I am after. Even then, the noteheads will not be able to be labeled something indicating their function, as they will all be renamed by the editor upon saving.

Other peculiar behavior, including simply hanging on two occassions while racing the processor, and one case where I came back into the editor to find that all my new noteheads had been changed to the default black notehead and assigned scale degree one.

At a guess, there is some object inheritance wonkiness involved (along with the lack of tools tips, process indicators, or help files detailing the expected sequence of activities when using the editor), but that is just a guess. It could also be ‘I haven’t had my morning coffee yet’ wonkiness on my part. :slight_smile:

Whatever the case, if there is a way to get consistent and desired behavior, I hope to puzzle it out. If not, perhaps this an area for the developers to consider for future review.